Every student that applies for a scholarship dreams of receiving that fateful email, letter, or phone call that informs them that they have won. After all, who wouldn’t be excited to find out that the long, arduous process of writing an essay, collecting transcripts and recommendation letters, filling out the application, and whatever else you may have needed to do, finally paid off in a big way.
I know I felt this way after hearing that I had won a scholarship. However, shortly after finding out that I was the recipient, I realized that nobody had ever told me about what I needed to do after I won. Everybody just talks about what you need to do to win.
Which brings me to the topic of this post: Depending on the scholarship, there may be a few different things that you need to do after you win, and this list just covers a few of the basics. After all, each scholarship is unique, and each may for different things from their winners. Many of them, however, will follow these steps:
1) Accept the Scholarship
This step is especially important because they need to know whether you want the scholarship or whether they need to award it to the runner-up. When it comes to scholarships awarded by colleges, they will often have a certain deadline that you need to accept/decline award offers by. For external organizations, their method of how you accept the scholarship may vary based on their preferences; some may have you contact them to acknowledge that you would like to receive it, and with others you may need to fill out a form or sign a paper.
2) Confirm Your College Information
This step mostly regards external organizations, whom will either write the check directly to you, or to the school If they are writing it to the school, they may ask for your schools address, your student i.d. number, and any other important information. Additionally, they may ask for proof that you are enrolling in school, which means you will either need to provide an acceptance letter or enrollment statement, which you can get either from your school or your school’s website.
3) Thank The Benefactor
Let’s be honest: the benefactors worked really hard to organize the scholarship competition, raise the funds, and sort through dozens (hundreds, or even thousands!) of applications to find their scholarship recipient. Out of all the other applicants, they chose you. The benefactors believe in you and wants to help you succeed. After all, that’s why they offered the scholarship in the first place! Don’t let them think that their help has gone unappreciated; after being declared the scholarship recipient, send them a thank-you note telling them how much it means to you and how the scholarship is going to help you achieve your goals.
4) Report the External Scholarships to Your College
Another important step that you will need to take after receiving your scholarship is to report it to your college. How you will need to report it (either through a form, online, or some other method) will often be found on the scholarship/financial aid office website. The reason why scholarships need to be reported to your college is because they need to know where the money for your education is coming from; depending on the amount of the scholarship, your financial aid package may need to be adjusted.
These are just some of the steps that you may need take after you’ve won the scholarship, all of which are extremely important. Although it may seem like a lot, it is nothing compared to the benefits that the scholarship will bring you throughout the school year and beyond. As you work on applying for scholarships, be sure to check out my post on Where to Find Scholarships, How to Apply to Scholarships (the right way), How to Organize Your Scholarship Binder, and How to Create a Scholarship Application Portfolio!
Let me know: what are some of the steps that you take after winning a scholarship?