Where to Start
Fellowships & Grants
Is Your Worst Enemy -
If you're like a lot of people you don't consciously procrastinate, you
just do it out of force of habit. But when you're talking about your future,
your education, your money, just "do it now!" When you must
complete an application or other important document by a certain deadline date,
don't wait until the last minute. You'll end up frustrated, making mistakes, getting
all stressed out, and on top of that you may end up missing the deadline date.
Don't put yourself through that, just "do it now!" Get the ball
rolling way before the deadline. Give yourself a new deadline of at least
two-weeks before the real one so you have plenty of time.
Big jobs seem smaller when you take them in chunks -
Alright, so you've got 10 scholarship essays to write, a FAFSA to fill out, a
college to decide on, and a biology test next week? Instead of feeling like
you'll never be able to get it all done, break the task up into little pieces.
Take each portion one at a time and work through it. Don't do a little bit of
each task and not finish anything. It would be better to just get a few things
done well than to half-finish a bunch of things.
Write down all the sub-tasks that must be done in order to complete each
bigger project. By breaking down each project into many sub-tasks, you will
feel like you've accomplished something every time you finish a sub-task and you
will have a plan.
What Do Deadline Dates Really Mean? -
Schools mean different things by deadline. Some call a deadline the date they
want everything postmarked and others call the deadline the date they want to
have recieved everything. Our best advice is to treat each deadline like its the
date everything must be received. Mail everything in at least a week
before the deadline date. And if possible, mail it all in even earlier and be
done with it. Don't let it hang over your head, "just do it!"
Make Copies! -
After you have signed and dated everything and are all ready to mail it off,
make a copy of the whole packet. Some of the information can simply be
copied off of this "master copy" to apply for other scholarships.
Also, if the original copy was lost in the mail you can use this backup to
quickly replace it.
Don't use FedEx overnight service to a P.O. Box. -
In fact, don't use any overnight mail couriers as the U.S. Post Office will not
deliver them to a P.O. Box. While overnight services are great for street
address, The USPS will not let them deliver to a PO Box. However, you can use
the USPS overnight service. Another thing to keep in mind if the deadline
is really close is the "signature waiver or release." Signing this
area of the U.S. Post Office overnight mail form will let the package be
delivered without anyone there to sign for it.
Missed a deadline?
Tsk, tsk, tsk...naw, I won't fuss at you, you're probably already kicking
yourself. Besides, there is good news. Many schools and government agencies have
a secret, internal date they use to determine if someone is truly
"late." This unpublished deadline is sometimes up to a week after the
published deadline. Don't count on this being the case, go ahead and mail
your stuff in. And remember, start EARLY next time, and don't procrastinate,
"just do it!"