“Congratulations! We are happy to inform you that you’ve been awarded a $5,000 renewable college scholarship!”
What if you received this news from the scholarship provider? That you, out of countless applicants, received their award? It not only validates that you’re on the right path, but shows that your hard work finally paid off. If you rinse and repeat your strategy, you can open the door for future opportunities.
But how do you know if you’ve actually won a scholarship?
Will the scholarship provider tell you? What if they already tried to reach you and you missed their message? When will you know if it’s too early to tell?
We’ll answer this and other nerve-wrecking questions, especially when it’s an award you desperately want.
When will you know if you’ve won a scholarship?
If you’re like me, you start wondering if you made the cut just moments after you send the application. If you are extremely anxious, wait a few days, then send a short, courteous email to see if the donor got your information. Resist the urge to ask if you’ve won a scholarship or if you’re one of the top contenders. In some cases, the donor will respond, but there’s no guarantee that they will. They have hundreds – if not thousands – of applications to sort through, giving them less time to answer individual questions.
The scholarship provider won’t make a decision or start notifying winners until the scholarship deadline has passed. This is generally a few months after the scholarship application period has ended. So, if the scholarship is still open, you can rest assured that they haven’t selected any winners yet.
How are you notified that you’ve won a scholarship?
When I was awarded scholarships, I wasn’t expecting it. Several months had passed and I had totally forgotten about my application. I received a letter in the mail or a notification through my college that I had won. This is how most students are notified that they’ve won a scholarship as well. Through a phone call, by email or snail mail, or through their school.
In most cases, if you don’t hear back from the scholarship provider within a reasonable amount of time, it’s likely that you didn’t receive the award. Some providers occasionally inform non-winners that their application wasn’t selected as well.
Should you contact the organization to see if you’ve won the scholarship?
You can reach out to the donor to see if they’ve notified the winners or if you perhaps missed their notification. With that said, always be respectful and mindful of their time. The scholarship process is extremely busy for everyone. Donors receive lots of mail, phone calls and questions from other students who have the same question. Nagging them to check your status will not improve your chances.
You didn’t win the scholarship. Now what?
If you didn’t win the scholarship you applied for, don’t fret. Scholarships are very competitive, but there’s always next time. Review your application to see what you could have done differently. You can also reach out to the donor to get their advice on how to improve your application next time.
Be sure to follow all the instructions for the scholarship before you submit it. If there’s an essay component, write a quality essay, answer the prompt and make the essay yours. Define why you’re different. Double-check your work. Target less competitive scholarships in your local area or school. These are usually much easier to win than national scholarships.
To get additional information on making your essay stand out, check out our Scholarship Essay Tips section. Best wishes on your scholarship application.