It is a common knowledge that getting a college education puts people at a major advantage of building a financially stable future. However, the stakes of getting it are very high because college expenses are notorious for being almost unmanageable. As a result, many students end up getting student loans that follow them for a number of years. So, what can be done to ease the financial stress of school? There is a simple answer – try to get a scholarship.
As a student, you may feel that getting a scholarship requires too much work. You may think that you’re not smart enough to get one or that being extra smart is required to get one. While getting a scholarship is a long process and does take some effort, you definitely do not need to be a genius to obtain one.
There are many scholarships that are granted to students based on their interests and accomplishments; you can usually find them on university’s or organization’s official website or Linkedin page. The only caveat is that finding suitable scholarships and applying for them might be a little time-consuming. This is when doing your own personal SWOT analysis comes in handy, as it will help you identify your strengths and the opportunities they can create.
Before we jump into the ways a personal SWOT analysis can increase your chances of getting a scholarship, let’s break down what this analysis entails. SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is usually used in the business world, as it allows companies to discover new opportunities, identify their own strengths, and eliminate possible threats.
You may wonder how this approach will help you in your endeavors to get a scholarship. Here’s what a personal SWOT analysis can help you figure out:
- Identify Your Own Strengths
Ask yourself what makes you stand out among your peers. Do you have an interesting story? Share it. Are you proud of any unique skills you have? Talk about them in your scholarship essays. If you are struggling to identify your personal strengths, there are a few things that might help you. First, take a few moments to think about what comes easy to you. Second, ask your friends and family what they think your strengths are. Some of their responses might be eye-opening for you. Third, think about the things you have done that have made you proud of yourself. These exercises will make it easier for you to see your own strengths.
- Recognize Your Weaknesses
Everyone has weaknesses they wish they could overcome. Acknowledging our weaknesses is not an easy task. Sometimes we may not even be aware of our flaws. It takes careful thinking to understand your weaknesses and be able to pinpoint them. However, once you are able to do it, you will identify areas for growth. Being humble enough to identify your weaknesses allows you to focus on becoming a better version of yourself.
- Discover Opportunities
As stated previously, you do not need to be a genius to get a scholarship. While some scholarships do require excellent academic performance, there are also some organizations that give out scholarships and grants to students who demonstrate passion for their hobbies. It doesn’t matter what your interests are. Whether your passion is cars, photography or even public speaking. you will find an institution that will be willing to financially support you. Put a little effort into finding scholarship opportunities relating to your passions and you will have some more opportunities for scholarship applications.
- Do Not Forget About Possible Threats
While there are plenty of organizations that provide students with scholarships, you should always have a plan B in case you do not get one. However, do not let this possible threat discourage you. If you are struggling financially, you can turn to the government to help you get your dream education. Some students qualify for federal student aid. You can check if you meet the basic eligibility criteria and file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The life of a college student can be stressful. However, hard work eventually pays off. Do not let your financial problems hold you back from accomplishing your dreams. On the contrary, think strategically how you can find a solution to them. In this case, doing your own SWOT analysis might increase your chances of obtaining some type of financial security. Plus, it is always worth a try.