Avoid these “scholarship losing” mistakes
Adam Griffiths - January 15th, 2022
After working with thousands of students, we’ve seen exactly what makes some students winners—and what causes students to miss out on scholarships. Their mistakes are simple and easy to avoid if you know what they are. In this article, we cover what those “scholarship losing” mistakes are and how tracking applications using GrantMe’s app can help you.
Scholarship Losing Mistake #1: Not Getting Started
Ok, you’ve heard this one before. But let’s break down the hidden advantage for some students here:
Most students do not get started. They see the process as overwhelming (because it is), and confusing (because it is)—and they conclude that they cannot do it. With that belief in mind, they give up before they begin.
If you can get past the overwhelm and confusion, and start taking action, you can beat 99% of other students.
There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to focus on the process of applying to scholarships instead of the outcome of winning. One way we frame this for students is that it’s great practice for life! You need to keep track of deadlines, improve your communication, and put in hard work without the promise of a return for several months. All of these are valuable life skills that will serve you no matter if you win scholarships or not.
The second is to follow a proven system to take the guesswork out of the process. For example, we aim to provide students with their next step instead of all the steps at once to avoid the overwhelm. We’ve guided thousands of students through the process, and so we know the common pitfalls, and exactly where you focus your attention.
Which brings us to…
Scholarship Losing Mistake #2: Focusing on the wrong scholarships
When we first started our scholarship matching app, we were confused.
We really wanted students to submit their essays to high probability essays. Ones that matched their unique situation, and thus were easiest for them to win. But they kept applying to the silly low probability scholarships like the Tough Turtle Scholarship. We were confused about why they were applying to scholarships that they had the lowest chance of winning—and spending lots of time on the applications, too.
When we dug into it, it was because the Tough Turtle Scholarship was ranked similarly in our app. We didn’t have a way to differentiate the importance of a student’s high probability scholarships.
We created a system called the North Star Scholarship System. We ensured that students were ruthlessly focused on their high probability scholarships. And if they wanted to spend a bit of extra time on some low probability scholarships because they were super eager—well that was fine. So long as they knocked their North Star Scholarships out of the park.
People usually want to spend time “majoring in minor things”. So students would spend hours and hours on a $1,000 scholarship that has tens of thousands of students applying to it.
When a student adjusts their focus to the high probability scholarships that are unique, they get way better results. We see a 2-4x improvement in scholarship winnings based on applications when students apply to high probability scholarships.
Scholarship Losing Mistake #3: Not Tracking Anything
We find that there are two types of students who approach scholarships. The first student “keeps it all in their head”. Inevitably, they get overwhelmed because they ignore the law that brains are for having ideas—not holding them. They usually forget scholarship applications and deadlines. These students rarely have success.
The second type of student tracks everything. They keep an organized list of due dates, which ones they’ve applied to, and which ones they’ve won. Some students do this on paper. Others use a Google Sheet. The smart ones (we think) commit to tracking applications using GrantMe’s app.
This is what one of our $20,000 winning student’s tracking sheet looks like:
Not only is it easy to filter and sort, but when you add a scholarship to your tracking sheet, you’re automatically sent email reminders to apply. This allows you to stay on top of your time instead of…
Scholarships Losing Mistake #4: Not Managing Your Time
When tracking applications using GrantMe’s app, the students who apply on time and win scholarships add everything to their calendar. They’ll input the deadlines into their calendar with reminders at the right times. They don’t have to worry about forgetting anything because they’re on their phones all day long anyway—so when the reminders pop up, there’s no way they’ll forget.
Tracking applications using GrantMe’s app provides an advantage as we make it easy for you to add the scholarship deadlines right to your calendar.
The “Add” button creates a deadline reminder right in your calendar automatically.
If you can avoid these 4 Scholarship Losing Mistakes, you can beat 99% of other students who are making them.
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