You submitted several scholarship applications and you’re feeling good about your chances of winning money for college. Now you can sit back and let the scholarship providers do everything, right? Wrong! Follow these steps to make sure that the notification and awarding process goes smoothly for both you and the scholarship provider.

  1. Keep a list of all scholarships that you applied for: If you’ve applied for several scholarships, it can be easy to forget some of them. Keep a list throughout your senior year of every scholarship that you’ve applied for. That way if you receive contact from one of them, it won’t be a surprise.

  3. Be available for contact: During scholarship season, you will need to be easily reachable. This means checking every email address that you’ve listed on a scholarship application at least 1-2 times a week (including your spam/junk folder), making sure you go through the mail, and answering your phone whenever you can (especially for numbers you don’t recognize—sorry that you’ll probably be picking up some spam calls for a few months!). This also means that if at all possible, you shouldn’t switch emails or phone numbers in the middle of scholarship season. Some providers indicate on the application around what time they will notify applicants, but this isn’t the case for everyone. If the provider can’t reach you, the provider can’t give you money. Don’t let missed contact be the reason why you aren’t awarded a scholarship!

  5. Respond to all contact attempts quickly: If you receive a letter, email or voicemail from a scholarship provider, reply to them right away (assuming it’s a legitimate scholarship that you applied for—click here to learn how to spot scholarship scams). The sooner you get back to them, the sooner you can get your money. Being hard to reach or slow to return contact can be frustrating for a scholarship provider, and if you miss any awarding deadlines, it may cost you a scholarship.

  7. Follow all instructions set by the scholarship provider: It is not unusual for a scholarship provider to request additional action steps and/or paperwork from you after you’ve been selected to receive an award. This can include (but is not limited to) signing a scholarship agreement, sending a photo, providing additional contact information, completing payment procedures, and more. Follow these steps quickly and thoroughly in order to receive your money in a timely manner. If you’re unsure about anything related to the scholarship notification and awarding process, ask the provider! Most providers are happy to answer questions.

    Scholarships require organization and quick action throughout all stages of the application process. If you’re a proactive applicant, you can make scholarship season much easier for yourself. Good luck!