Applying for scholarships isn’t just a means to pay for university; it’s a long-term investment.
Scholarships are absolutely empowering. The process of applying alone is a much bigger investment than we usually think. It’s clear that scholarships and other types of student funding programs provide monetary value, but they also provide other lesser known benefits. For example, are you aware of the skills and life lessons one can master while applying? Did you know that countless thriving communities, lifelong friendships, and professional networks are born from scholarship programs?
Regardless of whether you knew or not, you’ll be caught up and ahead of the game once you know the four main ways scholarships can change a student’s life for the better. So let’s get started, here are the great benefits of habitually applying for student funding programs.
1. Become Introspective and Develop Intrapersonal Intelligence:
The process of applying for scholarships alone is beneficial and can potentially make any student a better, more mindful, and purposeful person.
When you apply to scholarships effectively, you’re pushed to take the time and think about what you really want for yourself and want you want out of your education. You’re encouraged to think deeply about where you’re headed (or where you want to go) along your educational and career paths. This type of introspection centers you. And this type of self-analysis isn’t just necessary for scholarship success, but for success in every endeavor you’ll pursue in life. Take advantage of every opportunity available to you to apply for scholarships. You’ll develop your intrapersonal intelligence while increasing your chances of reducing your educational expenses and student loan debt. You have absolutely nothing to lose, it’s a win-win situation.
*The word intrapersonal means “within the self”—so, “intrapersonal intelligence” is another term for self-awareness or introspection.
2. Achieve Financial Freedom and Stability:
Many students have avoided the student loan trap by using scholarships, other types of student funding opportunities, and great personal finance habits. Trust me, you DO NOT want student loans holding you back after graduation. I know that student loans may seem convenient and easy at times when you don’t have money, but if you take out too many it could prevent you from pursuing your passions and goals later on.
There are horror stories about people getting arrested for student loans. I imagine that if the student-debt epidemic continues to get out of control, debtor prisons will start to trickle back into society. I don’t want any student to be in this horrible predicament.
If you graduate debt-free because you were wise enough to study, learn, and practice the scholarship game, you will love yourself forever for it. Plus, you’ll be ahead of the majority of other students and recent graduates.
3. Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Sprit and Blaze Your Own Path
At its core, applying for and winning scholarships is an entrepreneurial pursuit. The student who applies for scholarships works for herself/himself. When you apply for scholarships, you’re blazing your own trail. You’re adding value anywhere you can in exchange for the opportunity to learn and attend school. When you apply for scholarships you are innovating yourself out of the obstacle of not having the immediate resources to pay for college or university. You’re reinventing, reconstructing your reality.
Sure, applying to scholarships can be stressful and might seem like a lot of work. You have to write, edit, and customize countless essays, ask teachers and professors for recommendation letters (and make sure they actually submit them!), fill out forms, and patiently wait for replies. But trust me when I say that all of this work and effort will pay off tremendously in the end.
Additionally, make sure to take advantage of scholarships and other funding programs that offer students opportunities to explore and pursue different career paths and to take and/or create career opportunities of their own.
4. Build Support Networks and Communities:
Scholarship programs provide invaluable community and connections for students. Whether through orientations, team-building activities, or social media networks, scholarship programs offer countless opportunities for students to form bonds that last a life time. Many scholarship and student funding programs thrust students into thriving, supportive communities.
Scholarship networks and communities often lead students into valuable career and academic opportunities. The more people students know and connect with, the more they’ll be exposed to other academic, career, and scholarship opportunities.
I still keep in touch with people from many of the scholarship and fellowship programs that I’ve participated in. The people and students that I’ve met through these networks and communities have even helped me to identify and win other scholarships and fellowships! Many scholarship and fellowship programs have continued to support me through mentorship and guidance well after my graduation and after the official funding has ended.
- When you apply to scholarships, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
- Applying to scholarships successfully is a skill that can be honed- the more you apply, the better you get and your chances of scoring money increases.
Invest in yourself and apply for as many scholarships as possible. You will never look back and regret taking the time to do this, there’s just too much to gain and nothing to lose.
Plus, if you don’t make the investment in yourself, then who will?
Make the investment in your student and do as much research as possible about scholarships and other types of sponsored programs. Encourage your student(s) as much as possible to take advantage of every chance to seize scholarship opportunities.