Finally! You did it! All those hours of applying have finally paid off! You won a scholarship! I am so proud of you. You’re not done yet though. Here’s what you do after you’ve won a scholarship.
#1 Congratulate yourself
Give yourself a pat on the back! You deserve it! Honestly. Finding, applying and earning scholarships is hard work so share your success on social media and bathe in the afterglow. You did it! You are absolutely amazing!
#2 Write a handwritten thank you note to your sponsors.
If you’re not exactly sure how to write a handwritten thank you note, then read this short article here. It’s very straightforward I promise. Sometimes writing a handwritten letter is not feasible. In that case, send an email thanking your sponsors. (If your penmanship is awful, then sending a typed letter thanking your sponsors is appropriate as well.)
When you share your success on social, tag the organization that gave you the scholarship and say thank you again. There is no such thing as saying thank you too many times.
#3 Clarify how disbursement will work.
Will they give you the scholarship directly or send it straight to the school? You need to double check on those details. If they send it to the school, make sure they have your school ID and the correct mailing address. If they are sending it to you directly, make sure they have your correct mailing address. If it’s a direct deposit, make sure they have the correct account number. Basically, make their lives easier by sending them exactly what they ask for and make sure what you send is accurate.
#4 Check with the school.
If they are disbursing it to the school, check with your school periodically to make sure they received the fund and it’s going to the right place. If they are giving it straight to you then use it to pay for school.
Sometimes after tuition and fees are paid for the semester, you’ll have extra money left over. If there are extra funds, the school will send it to your personal account. I strongly recommend saving the money to pay for the next semester.
#5 Keep your commitments.
If the scholarship stipulates a certain GPA or that you learn a foreign language or play an instrument or volunteer 40 hours a week, make sure you do it! Do what it takes to keep that scholarship! You worked way too hard to let it slip through your hands just because you weren’t paying attention.
#6 Check in with your sponsors regularly.
Update them on how you are progressing in the school year and how much the scholarship has helped you. Always remember the people who helped make your higher education possible. Check in with your sponsors about 2 or 3 times a semester. It can be an email, phone call or letter. However you decide to communicate with them, make sure it is genuine and humble. You don’t have to fill them in on EVERYTHING but make sure you hit the highlights.
#7 KEEP APPLYING!
There is no rest for the weary! As a college student, you are always weary! You should be in the middle of applying for the next scholarship. As long as you still have tuition to pay (and school-related expenses) you have a scholarship calling your name.
If you haven’t won a scholarship yet, that’s okay! There’s still hope. Check out this article on how I earned $80,000+ in scholarships and grants to attend the University of Houston. (I also make a video and infographic to help you out.)
What was the first thing you did after winning a scholarship? Share your experience below. If you have any questions related to scholarships and college in general feel free to ask them here or in the comments section. If you found this article helpful, please pass it along!