Four Reasons I Hate Applying for Scholarships, and One Reason I Keep Doing It

1.They take a long time to fill out.

For most of the scholarships I have applied to, I have had to fill in the exact same things over and over for each one, with no way to lessen the tedium. There are very few scholarship applications where you can simply upload a resume and be done; usually I have to fill in text boxes within the application with the same information I put on the last application. But as far as I can tell there is no way to consolidate all this key-board tapping and save time. And by the time I have finished filling out three pages of my personal information again, I realize that I still have to write a 500-word essay from a thought-provoking, vague, and somehow familiar prompt.

2. I have only ever gotten the scholarships I didn’t apply for.

Every single scholarship I have ever filled out an application for- big or small- I have not gotten. The only ones I have gotten are the ones that I was considered for automatically with acceptance to specific colleges. People always encourage students to apply even when they think they have little chance of winning the scholarship, saying that surely somewhere along the way you will get a scholarship. Sadly, this has not proved true for the scholarships I have applied for.

3. They create false and unneeded stress.

For the last five months, there has been hardly a day when I have not had a scholarship application weighing on my mind. Several times, the very day after I submit an application and think I don’t have worry about scholarship deadlines for a while, I am alerted of yet another imminent deadline. This creates the illusion of always being not quite done with the things I need to do, adding stress and distraction to every day.

4. I am too normal.

Too often have I seen a scholarship that looks promising, only to discover that it is for hispanics, students from single-parents homes, students affiliated with a specific organization, or, my favorite, Catholics with the last name Zolp. Being a white male who comes from a stable, two-parent upper-middle class family and having no weird affiliations, interests or attributes which might get me a scholarship, looking at all the scholarship ‘opportunities’ can be rather off-putting. Sure, there are still plenty of scholarships I can apply for, but nearly half of all interesting scholarships I have found I have been ineligible for due to one thing or another.

The Reason I keep applying: I need money for school.

There’s always the chance that I’ll be able to get just a little bit more. I have been told that some colleges, if not all, will redistribute scholarships that were allotted to students who decided not to attend that college and award them to other students. This is the reason it’s never too late to keep asking about and applying for scholarships.


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