Looking forward to spring scholarship season

December 4, 2012

Many single moms with college scholarships may have their heads buried in the books as they study for finals. Others are already relaxing and looking forward to the holiday season. With so many things to plan for and mandatory appointments to attend, it may be easy to not look past New Year's Day.

On the other hand, those interested in additional single parent scholarships - or even just keeping the ones they already have - must be aware that January marks the start of the new scholarship season. That means that spring semester money and additional funding for the fall semester will be open for application, and if single moms aren't prepared to jump on the best ones, they may lose out completely.

Know the deadlines
There's nothing worse than picking out an ideal scholarship, going through the motions and filling out the paperwork, only to find out the submission deadline has expired. The best way to avoid this is to start looking early and come up with a schedule for completing key documentation. This may include getting physical exams, copies of official grades, recommendations from professors or writing application essays. These all can take a long time, depending on the intricacy of the scholarship request, so mapping everything out beforehand can help single moms with college scholarships maintain these awards.

Ask in advance
Teachers, just like everyone else, will be going on vacation for the winter break. If a single mom has a college scholarship application she knows will require a recommendation from a professor or academic advisor, asking before the school closes for the holiday is the best way to ensure this comes through on time. This also applies for official transcripts, as most administrative offices are also closed.

Be thorough
Don't send a vague email or leave a voicemail when asking for documentation. If a recommendation or transcript is needed, provide the necessary individuals with copies of the scholarship application, as well as detailed instructions on what is necessary. If letters must be typed in black ink and sealed in a special envelope, include all needed items as well as information on what to write and where and how to send it.

Be gracious
Remember to thank everyone involved. These individuals are helping single moms get free money and stay in school, so a card or other token of appreciation should be in order.

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