After the academic year starts, many college students stop worrying about how to pay for college and focus on their course work and making the most of being a college student. However, taking a break from looking for college funding may cost you because the application deadlines for many college scholarships for the next academic year begin as early as November.
Doing a quick search at my university, I found that 13 national scholarship deadlines are in November alone. This is only a small list and does not include university scholarships or those offered by other institutions or individuals, which could be several hundred scholarships with deadlines in November alone. Add to this those expiring in December and you can see that it’s to your benefit to start looking an applying for scholarships today.
Expiration dates are not the only reason to start searching for college scholarships. You also need time to complete the application forms. This may include writing an essay, getting transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation and other documentation. The process takes time; transcripts and test scores may need to be requested and sent, writing a decent essay takes time and revision, and letters of recommendation need to be written by professors who may already have a full schedule and limited time. You should give yourself about 6 weeks to complete the process in order to fulfill all the requirements of the application. A rush job is not the best way to apply for scholarships.
The point is, start looking early to set yourself up for as many scholarships you might be eligible for. The longer you put it off, the less money you may get for college funding next year.