Baskets that tend to contain all of one’s eggs are, generally speaking, cursed. When it comes to scholarships, too, resting all your hopes of on a single application is an invitation for Murphy’s law to take effect. To stand a good chance of financing your education through scholarship funds, it is advisable to apply for as many scholarships as you can.
While it may sound easy in theory, the actual act of sending scores of scholarship applications can be a challenge for even the most organized. With multiple deadlines to juggle and distinct requirements for each scholarship, there’s high probability of a mix up – if you can keep your brain unscrambled for long enough to manage it in the first place, that is.
This is a challenge for your organizational skills, and if there ever was a tool for that, it is a spreadsheet! Right off the bat, the first thing you need to do to ensure you keep a track of all your applications is create a scholarship calendar in the form of an excel spreadsheet. If you've never created one before, don’t worry. The following steps will guide you on how to make your very own scholarship calendar:
1. Choose a template
You can choose to start with a blank slate as you open your Microsoft Excel, or another spreadsheet program, but if you prefer another visual template, you could choose and download from the templates available online, and customize according to your needs.
2. Add your fields
Now, comes the most important part. You would need to add header fields for the top row to help you organize the details of each scholarship. Below are some of the fields you should consider adding to your spreadsheet:
- Scholarship name
- Scholarship website address
- URL for online application
- Address for offline application
- Award amount
- Eligibility Criteria (age, household income, religion, etc.)
- Documentation required (financial records, letters of recommendation, essays, etc.)
3. Add filters
The best thing about organizing using spreadsheets is that you can filter and sort your results by your fields. So if you want to sort all applications according to the deadline date, you can do so. Or if you need to filter the scholarships above a certain award amount, you can do this as well!
4. Colour code
Another great visualization tool with spreadsheets is colour coding. For example, you could mark the applications you have completed in green, those you are working on in yellow, and any you decide not to apply to in red. It will make it much easier to prioritise your work and track its progress.
5. Update regularly
All your efforts will be for naught if you do not check and update the scholarship calendar regularly. So do ensure you check your calendar each week for any upcoming applications and update any responses to submitted applications.
By keeping a track of multiple scholarship applications, a scholarship calendar can increase your chances of winning your desired scholarship manifold. We at Buddy4Study have always strived to make education affordable for all students. For more such tips to help you through your scholarship application process, do check out our blog.