Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

The scholarship cycle

The scholarship cycle: explore in summer, find in fall, apply in winter, win in spring

One of the trickiest parts of applying for scholarships is the timing.

Most scholarships follow a similar timeline. Applications are due around February, and you receive funds the next fall. To be ready to apply, you must start preparing in advance. From the start of your research to receiving your money, the scholarship process takes almost a year.

  • Summer: explore strengths
    Figure out what to highlight about yourself to be a competitive applicant.
  • Fall: find scholarships
    Research available scholarships and determine which ones are right for you.
  • Winter: complete application
    Write your essays and submit applications on time.
  • Spring: wait and win
    Hear back from scholarship agencies, write thank you letters, and get your funds.

What should I be doing now?

Spring and summer

Focus on preparation: define your goals and hunt for opportunities.

Get ready to apply for the next academic year.

Fall and winter

Write your essays and get your paperwork together.

Applications will be due any day now!

Now that you know when to do everything, you’re next step is to do it… keep reading!