How Early Should I Apply for a Scholarship?

Many factors and responsibilities come with applying for a scholarship. The worst thing a scholarship applicant can do is waiting until the last minute to apply for the scholarship or scholarships that they want. If you are in the process of looking for scholarships to apply to, make a list of all the important things you need to do to complete the application.


Start Sophomore Year


Sophomore year of high school is the time to start researching scholarships that you would like to apply to and figuring out how you can be eligible for them. Make a list of local scholarships and national scholarships that appeal to you and go over them with your guidance counselor. He or she can help you map out a plan of action, as well as giving you tips about how to spruce up your resume activities so that you can be eligible for more scholarships.


Get Serious Junior Year


Now is the time that you will need to start thinking seriously about applying to the scholarships you want. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands or the scholarship you want to apply to isn’t accepting applications until the following year, it is a good idea to start on the personal information documents and plan a few essay topics. The more prepared you are now, the less work you’ll have to do senior year and the less stress you’ll be under. If friends of yours are also applying to some scholarships work on the application together so it feels more fun.


Summer before Senior Year


The summer before your senior year is when many scholarships will start accepting applications. If you are applying to many scholarships, finish the applications for ones that have earlier due dates first and then work on the other ones. Some scholarships have set due dates while others accept applicants on a rolling basis. Make a note on your calendar or in your planner when these due dates are so that you don’t find yourself rushing to submit the applications at the last minute.


First Semester of Senior Year

If you are still working on scholarships at this time, create a personal due date to finish all of the applications before Christmas break. That way you won’t be working on your holiday break and you won’t be worrying about finishing it when you get back to school if you’ve decided to put off the work until later. By the time second semester of your senior year rolls around, you will be ahead of the game and you can enjoy the last few months of high school without stress.


An extra piece of advice is to keep in mind is that scholarship providers are always on the lookout for clues as to what kind of students their applicants are. If you are one of the first students to apply to their scholarship, it might influence them to study your application a little longer than someone who turns in the application at the last minute. Always try to turn in applications early if not for the thrill of being done early, then for less anxiety later.