It's hard to believe, but next week it will be December. While it's tempting to train your eyes on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and the accompanying problem of consuming enough homecooked food to sustain you through finals, the next few months will be busy, especially if you're planning to apply for any sort of financial aid. Between your high school or college coursework and adjusting your schedule and budget to accommodate winter holidays, December and January tend to fly by. Since many scholarship application deadlines happen in December and January, now is the perfect time to do a quick scholarship search and double check that you don't miss out on applying for scholarships while you're in Thursday night's turkey-induced coma.
A Thanksgiving week scholarship application checklist:
- Search for available scholarships. See if anything new has come up since you last looked. Many scholarship providers post new information in November, so if it's been a few weeks, now is the time to go back!
- Make note of approaching deadlines. While January deadlines may seem a long way off now, consider how many free days you're likely to have between now and then. Probably not many if you have finals, family, and friends all demanding a large chunk of your time. Also, several scholarship awards have November/December deadlines, including our own College Health Scholarship, which closes November 30.
- Take a hard look at your schedule. By now you should know what the rest of this semester looks like as well as how heavy your next semester will be. Figure out times you'll be able to get those applications done. Then take a look at your list of scholarship opportunities and prioritize accordingly.
- Do some drafting. You're going to be spending an entire day in a house with your extended family. Defeat awkward silences and make your relatives feel smart by asking them for input on your scholarship essays. You don't have to staple your rough draft to the turkey or refuse to let anyone sit until they've proofread a paragraph, but usually there's some downtime where the topic can successfully be brought up. If nothing else, saying that you have essay writing to do can give you an out when the topic turns to your great aunt's new medication.