What is the importance of scholarship deadlines?

Loans, scholarships, grants and other college or university financial aid resources make it easier for you to pay for your tuition, books, housing and lab fees.  If you meet every deadline for student loans, scholarships and grants, you’ll give yourself a better chance to receive the free funding.

Think about a time when you were filled with excitement as you applied for a prize or award, telling your family and friends how good it was going to feel to receive the award, only to find out that you’d applied for the award too late.  If you met every other requirement to receive the award, even answering trivia questions correctly, one can only imagine how you felt as you watched potential money go down the drain because you sent in your application after the deadline. 

The same applies to college and university scholarships, grants, loans and other forms of financial aid.  If you apply for these free forms for funding too late you might miss out on opportunities to receive free money to pay for your tuition, books, housing and/or lab fees, making it tougher on you and your parents as you scramble to find last minute funding so you can enroll at college or university on time.

Applying for Scholarships, Grants, Student Loans and Fellowships

Deadlines for each scholarship, grant, student loan, fellowship or work/study program you apply for are listed at websites of the organizations that fund the programs.  The accredited college or university you currently attend or hope to attend also has information regarding specific financial aid deadlines.  You can get much of this information from your postsecondary school’s financial aid office.  In fact, when you visit colleges and universities in your senior year of high school make it a point to stop by the financial aid office with your parents and ask the office administrators to give you a list of scholarships, grants, loans, fellowships and internships you can apply for.  In this age of advancing technology, many of the applications might be online, making it easier for you to complete and submit them.

Read through the details on the applications, being certain to read the small print as well.  If you plan on applying for several scholarships, grants, loans, fellowships and work/study programs, consider creating a database and listing the name of the financial aid program you are applying for, the contact name at the organization that’s funding the program, a telephone number or email address for the contact, the website URL for the organization funding the financial aid program and, equally importantly, the deadline that the application must be submitted by.

Following Up on Financial Aid Applications

After you complete and submit the applications, type the date that you electronically submitted or snail mailed your application.  One to two weeks after mailing applications, contact the college, university or organization you submitted your application to and check that they received your application, keeping in mind that when you submit your scholarship, grant, fellowship and student loan applications on time you send a message to college and university administrators and prospective hiring managers that you are responsible and also that you have valuable time management skills.

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