Monday, February 14, 2011

Organizing Scholarship Search Information

Organization of the scholarship journey is important.  Lost documents can mean lost money.  Unsaved information may mean missing out on a scholarship in the future.  To organize the materials that can save you thousands of dollars in college costs, choose a simple process by purchasing an accordion style file holder.  This system is very portable and allows for safe storage of much information because of the numerous compartments.  Keep labeling the accordion file simple as well.  Since the accordion (expandable) file folder has so many individual folders, try the following to help maximize its use.

  • Divide internal folders into 5 sections.  This will provide plenty of filing space for each tab you will need to use.
  •  Label the first tab "Scholarships to Research."  This section of folders should be used to store scholarships you want to research or scholarships you ran across that you have started to read about but have not finished.  It is likened to a "to do" file.
  • The next tab should be labeled "Applications in Process."  This section is to be used to keep track of those applications you have started to complete.  You may be putting together documents such as references or financial information.  At any rate, you can keep track of scholarships you are currently working on completing.
  • A third tab should be labeled "Scholarships Sent."  This is, obviously, where you place a copy of those scholarships (and all accompanying documents) for which you have applied.  An additional complete copy will be beneficial if you find your materials did not arrive for a particular scholarship.  Without this section, you may find yourself filling out the information all over again, if you even have time to do that.
  •  A fourth tab should be labeled "Scholarships Awarded."  This section will help you keep track of all of your award letters and have a confirmation receipt.  This may be helpful if a scholarship is delayed for some reason and you have to have proof you will receive it.
  • While this next tab is not popular, it is important.  Label a 5th tab "Rejections."  Keep a copy of the rejection letter.  These letters sometimes contain information for why you did not receive the scholarship.  You can use that information to help you on other scholarships.  Also, you may find you are eligible for that same scholarship in the future.  Keeping the information will only help you the next time you apply for this particular scholarship.
  • A final 6th tab should be labeled "Miscellaneous."  It is here you can file scholarship information that you may use to help you in other ways.  For example, you could file this document in this respective section. 
There are many ways to organize scholarship information.  This is just a simple way to get started if you are not sure where to begin.  The key is to find a tool that is user-friendly and can keep documents in a central location.

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