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How to Automate your Scholarship Search With Google Alert- Google Research Secret

Google Alert
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results from websites, news-sites or blogs, based on your choice of query or topic. Users can set up a Google Alert for any query, and Google will automatically email them a digest of all new publication for that query as often as they require. It is totally free and easy to use.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
* monitoring a developing news story,
* keeping current on an industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or your favorite sports teams
* and most importantly, monitoring latest scholarship opportunities.

Users can set how many results they’d like included in the emails (between 20 and 50) and how often the emails should be sent (Twice daily, Daily, Weekly or Monthly). Google Alerts can help you stay abreast of any particular topic as frequently as you can manage.

Monitor the Web for Specific new Scholarship Opportunities With Google Alert

If you’re not already using Google Alerts for your scholarship research, you should start Now. Google Alerts is a good way to keep abreast of new scholarships on a variety of fields and eligibility, or on a particular research interest.

1. Delivery Option
You can choose to have the alerts delivered to an email address (either as-it-happens, once a day, or once a week); or you can have the alerts delivered to an RSS feed (as-it-happens). For email delivery you will need a Google-mail/Gmail account (go to www.gmail.com to create an account for free).

2. Brainstorm appropriate Words & Phrases
This is where you need to think of what specific scholarship information you want to be fed with. You have to be creative about the words or phrase you choose because this will greatly determine the context of notification you recieve. For example, for a medical student searching for undergraduate scholarships, using the phrase ‘undergraduate scholarships for medical student’ may give you some cool digest but may not filter your results for best possible scholarship opportunities you will be eligible to apply. For best tracking, you may have to create more than one alert (you can create as much as you want) with the phrases like; ‘international medical students undergraduate scholarship’ or ‘scholarship for medical undergraduate student Africa’. The key is for you to include just enough words to bring relevant notifications, and at the same time not be too restricted to end up filtering away relevant information. Secondly, if your query has as few as two or three words, you can put the words in quotes. Here’s what I mean: I monitor “After School Africa” but not After School Africa. After School Africa without quotes is too generic and will end up with too many unrelated stuffs, that randomly contains the above three words. I’ve explained the use and effect of searching with quotes in my post on How to search for scholarship online on Google.

3. Alerts! Alerts!!
Go to www.google.com/alerts and enter the terms you would like to set up alerts for. For each term or phrase, choose the type of results you want. These include: blogs, news, web, groups, videos, and comprehensive. I always choose comprehensive because you get to see as many results from as many sources as possible. If you are choosing to have your alerts delivered to an email address you will need enter that email address (if you’re logged into Google your email should already be there). Additionally, you will need to choose how often you would like to receive emails: as-it-happens, once a day, once a week or once a month. Your frequency choices for each term or phrase will likely be different. You may want an alert about- Medical Scholarship- daily, but only need to see- Government Scholarship alert once a week.
You can always change your settings later if you find that you’re being alerted too often or not enough for a particular term.

4. Managing & Fine-tuning
If you are monitoring something with a specific deadline date like ‘scholarship deadline in june 2012’ or as things change, you might want to delete an alert eventually. From the Google Alerts main page click ‘Manage Alerts’ and you will be taken to an admin section. To delete an alert simply click the ‘check box’ and then click ‘delete’.
If a term starts making your mailbox overflow you might want to change the frequency or delivery method, or tweak the search terms if the results are not comprehensive enough. From the admin section mentioned above, click “edit”, change any of the parameters, then save your changes.

Congratulations! You’ve now employed Google to work for you for free. In a matter of time, Your scholarship list will no longer go blank.

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