By TamaraWhen you start working on scholarship applications, you may find that it’s very easy to lose track of which programs you have already applied to and which ones you still need to complete. Many scholarship search tools provide a way for you to manage the scholarships within their own databases, but what happens if you use more than one resource to locate scholarships? It can be pretty time consuming jumping from website to website trying to figure out what’s next on your scholarship agenda. The best way to keep track of everything on your plate is to create a system to organize it all in one place. You could use the old-fashioned system of office folders, but I personally prefer using an Excel spreadsheet to ensure I never miss a scholarship deadline. If you’ve never created one before, don’t worry; it’s very simple. Just follow these steps and you’ll soon have your very own scholarship application organizer. 1. Choose a Template You can start with a blank slate or download a template to customize. If you want something a little more complex, check out the spreadsheet templates on Microsoft Office. 2. Add Your Fields You’ll find that many scholarship applications ask for the same types of information and documentation. Here are some of the fields you should consider adding to your spreadsheet: Scholarship name Scholarship provider Contact information URL for additional information or online application Deadline date Award amount Criteria (age, grade, GPA, etc.) Documentation required (transcript, financial records, letters of recommendation, essays, etc.) 3. Filter Your Results The wonderful thing about Excel is that it allows you to filter your fields. You can easily sort your spreadsheet by deadline, award amount, or any other specification. If you’re not familiar with using this feature, you can also filter your scholarships by color coding them. For example, you could mark the awards you have completed in green, those you are working on in yellow, and any you decide not to apply to in red. It will make it much easier to identify which awards need your attention first. 4. Record Your Progress Don’t forget to check your organizer each week for any applications that may be due. Once you receive a response on your application (pending, approved or denied), be sure to include those updates, as well. This will make it easy for you to track how many scholarships you have applied for and may even help you determine which programs are better suited to your unique talents and skills, which may increase your chances of winning! My Gift to You I know that many students won’t take the time to sit down and create a good scholarship application organizer on their own, but it really is something that every student should use. So, being the helpful mom that I am, I took the time to create an organizer for you. If you want to keep all your scholarship applications organized, all you have to do is click on this link! I’ve even filled in the first line for you as an example. Let me know how you like it, or if there’s something else you need to help you stay organized. I’m always happy to help.