Applying for Scholarships Finding Scholarships Paying for College

When Should You Start Looking for Scholarships?

Parents and students often ask me, “When should we start looking for scholarships?”

You may be wondering about this or think you know the answer. Take your best guess, but the answer may surprise you.

When should students start looking for scholarships?🤔

  • A. Elementary School (We’ve got some overachievers!)😮

  • B. Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)😊

  • C. High School (Freshman – Junior Year)😬

  • D. High School (Senior Year)😲

  • E. Students shouldn’t look, their parents should!😑

Drum roll, please…

Scholarships and monetary compensation are given to students as early as kindergarten. So if you guessed answered “A”, you’re right!

For example, Google offers a yearly scholarship called the Doodle for Google Scholarship. It’s a $30,000 scholarship open to kindergartners through high school seniors…for doodling!

Google isn’t the only organization offering these types of scholarships and opportunities.

Numerous organizations have scholarship and scholarship-type competitions that are available to students in grades K-12.

Preparing for Scholarships

Preparation is key.

Defined by Merriam-Webster, “Preparation is the activity or process of making something ready or of becoming ready for something.”

When you add consistency to preparation, you end up with phenomenal scholarship results.Click To Tweet

Not only scholarship winners but successful people, in general, have a level of urgency that they live by… EVERY SINGLE DAY.

  • The University of Alabama has had a dominant football team, winning 4 National Titles between 2009 and 2016.
  • The founder of Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, was left broke 5 times because of his early business ventures.
  • Albert Einstein was told he was mentally handicapped, slow, and anti-social.
  • Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.
  • Oprah Winfrey was told she was not made for television.
  • K. Rowling was told not to quit her day job while dealing with 12+ rejections regarding the first Harry Potter book.

The list goes on and on.

Here’s the thing, they had an all-or-nothing attitude.

The same applies to families that are going after scholarships. You and your family have to connect scholarships with an all-or-nothing attitude.

There is no pause button.

Student loans are not the kind of safety net you should aspire to have.

Approach scholarships as if your life depends on it…because it does!Click To Tweet

I would hate to see you and your family weighed down by tens of thousands of student debt due to an approach that lacked the hunger needed to produce the results you desire.

If scholarships are not a priority for your family, you will not stick to the daily grind it requires.

Why You Don’t Have Time for Scholarships

Let’s be real. Most of us are not spending every hour of the day wisely. Between Netflix, social media, texting, YouTube, and many other activities, we allow time get away from us. A few minutes turn into several minutes… which turns into an hour… which results in not having any time left to devote to scholarships.

“I don’t have enough time” is really code for: Uncertainty.

Who wants to spend loads of time working on things that result in nothing… nada… zero?

It’s scary to think about.

Working your butt off on a scholarship application only to be told “Thank you for your application. Unfortunately…” sucks!

Instead of focusing on the uncertainty of the process, focus on your “Why”.

Your Family’s Scholarship Mindset

Your family can do this. You can do this.

Most families struggle with this because they approach the process worried, frustrated, irritated, stressed, and concerned.

Families should be putting all of their energy into fueling their motivation.

  • Maybe you’re the first to go to college in your family.
  • You might be a parent that doesn’t want your son/daughter to owe thousands in student debt.
  • Perhaps your family can’t afford a college education and you know that scholarships are the only thing that’ll make it happen.

Whatever your motivation may be, use it as your strength.

Why does your family need scholarships?

Seriously, determine what’s motivating you.

Look beyond the surface level and determine what a college degree mean to you and your family?

Keep those answers with you at all times.

Will You Be Like The Others?

No. There may not be as many scholarships for students in grades K-8, but the point is to be proactive and not reactive.

Even if you or your student don’t qualify for a current scholarship opportunity, keep track of it.

Numerous scholarships are offered on an annual basis. If a deadline has passed, add it to your list anyways! Now you’re formulating a strategy and plan for the present and future.

As the saying goes, “The time to fix the roof is when it’s sunny.”

DON’T WAIT TO BEGIN FINDING SCHOLARSHIPS!

Real Talk: Truth be told, had I started paying attention to scholarships back in middle school, I would have graduated with even more scholarship money. You can bet this is a mistake that I’m working to ensure no other student makes ever again.

Unfortunately (and without fail), some families that are reading this will continue to put off the scholarship process until the last minute. It’s one of the most expensive mistakes you can make. By starting today, you’re changing your family’s history.

I know it sounds far-fetched, but it’s the truth.

Will you wait to get serious?

Will you be like the other families…

Or will you get to work?

Hopefully, you choose the latter because scholarships are waiting on you.

Feature Image Artwork Credit: iStockPhoto/wildpixel

About Your Author
Having earned well over $150,000 in scholarships to pay for her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, Gabrielle McCormick teaches students, parents, and education professionals from across the country about winning scholarships to pay for college. Between finishing her dissertation and watching the NFL and NBA, she runs Scholarship Informer in her efforts to make college affordable for anyone that wishes to attend.
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  • Alfie Allen

    My dear friend is 26 years old, male, black, father of two, high school graduate, and in jail again for at least a year. He is bright, personable, with a tremendous math aptitude and love of numbers, and has had previous problems with anger management, especially as concerns his kids. Consequently, the drama with his baby mama has him in jail on her falsified word. I believe, as his mentor and friend, that he can turn his life around for himself and his kids. I also know that he will not squander a chance at school or for future success. Can you tell me how best to proceed for him, or if there is a chance at all for him to be the beneficiary of a scholarship?

  • Rob Bosma

    We switched our Google searches from “Scholarships elementary school” to “Essay Contest” . That gave our daughter five times as many contests she was eligible for. She’s in 6th grade now and enters one money contest per week. She’ll have a great system in place by 9th grade when she can enroll at our local CC and start getting the big dollars.

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