College Scholarship Workshop Part Three: Learn, Learn, and Learn some more!

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -- Albert Einstein

One word to sum up the college scholarship process: overwhelming

Now, lets fix that. 

Please remember one word throughout this process: FOCUS

The goal for this part of the workshop is to gather the necessary information you need to be successful. The remainder of part three (days 2 + 3) will explain how to use the information you have gathered. 

Before we begin:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Say the word: Focus (write it on a little piece of paper so you don’t forget)

Create a document on your computer or take out a piece of paper designated as your official scholarship resource list. At the end of your research, you should have a list of the resources you have gathered. Find a resource, put it on the list -- simple. 

What is a resource? For the purpose of this workshop, a resource is a guide that will help you find the scholarships best suited for you. 

Step One: Talk to People (Google is NOT a person!)

For example, does your mom know anything about scholarships? Does your mom know of any friends/colleagues that know anything about scholarships? How about their children? Has one of them just completed the scholarship process successfully? That person would be a great resource! 

Did your sibling go through the scholarship process? Does your sibling have any friends that went through the process (or maybe watched a brother/sister go through the process)? Great potential resources!

Talk to people and find out who has knowledge about scholarships. These people go on your resource list! 

Here are some possibilities:




People within community organizations you belong to

School organization/club (even ones you don’t belong to)

School guidance counselor 

School college counselor

Potential college financial aid office



Keep a list of who you’ve talked to and who you want to talk to and then note any resources you find. Remember stay focused!

Step Two: Go to the library

There are some great scholarship guidebooks that could be potentially wonderful resources. Talk to your librarian and ask if he/she knows of any specific books that would be a good resource to have. And then put those books on your list.

Step Three: The Internet (Use Caution!)

Personally, I get lost on the internet. I will go to a site looking for one thing and an hour later end up at another site related to something totally different. It’s a huge waste of time and makes me less productive. Don’t let this happen to you. 

Separate your internet search into four chunks and stay FOCUSED. Limit your time searching the internet by using a timer. When that timer goes off, take a break and sign off the internet. 

Why separate the search into four chunks? You don’t want to rely on too narrow or too wide a field of information. So just a little of each will allow you to cover all your bases. 

The four internet search chunks:

  1. National Resources -- search for resources that are broad and not too specific 
  2. State Resources
  3. County Resources (includes your school -- they may have their own scholarships set up)
  4. Specific Resources (ex. for a specific nationality or for cancer survivors) -- more personalized resources

Take Away Message:

The resources are endless and overwhelming. 

Don’t rely on just the internet. 

Create a daily plan and remain focused

Follow the three steps outlined above and create a list of resources. This list will be your ticket to success so don’t underestimate the value of time spent researching. 

Now get started on that list :). Good luck!!