Don’t Let Your Scholarship Application Fail: 10 Tips for Success

Don’t Let Your Scholarship Application Fail: 10 Tips for Success

Don't Let Your Scholarship Application Fail: 10 Tips for Success
Don’t Let Your Scholarship Application Fail: 10 Tips for Success

Don’t Let Your Scholarship Application Fail: 10 Tips for Success

 

Each year, thousands of students apply to various scholarship competitions, only to be denied by the judges. Your scholarship application will probably fail if you don’t take the right steps to avoid the pitfalls that cause so many applicants to lose out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in potential funding. These 10 tips are designed to help you make your application stand out from the crowd and ultimately land you a spot on the winning side of these competitions.

 

1) Do your research

The most common way people mess up scholarship applications is by neglecting to do research. Do your homework! Make sure you’re applying for scholarships that match your experience and future goals, in order to help shape your career. And make sure you know what they’re looking for—for example, if they ask for a short essay or a personal statement. Without doing these things ahead of time, it’s easy to get thrown off track by formatting issues and miss important requirements (like an essay length). It may take a little more time upfront but it will save you from frustration later on.

 

2) Know the end goal

Whether you’re submitting an application to a medical school or asking your boss for a raise, never forget why you’re doing it. If you’re applying for scholarships, then yes—getting free money is important. But if your motivation is solely to prove that you can get more money than everyone else in class, then focus on that and don’t let grades take second priority. Always keep your end goal in mind, and make sure it aligns with your goals as a student.

 

3) Make sure you have enough information in your application

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—you don’t want to run out of information on your scholarship application. Make sure you have enough details, even if that means you need to make a longer application. If you run out of things to say about yourself, you may not be able to finish in time. In addition, make sure your application has enough depth and substance; judges are looking for people who put real thought into their applications and help them learn something new (not just repeat information they can read elsewhere).

 

4) Give them something to remember you by

Scholarships are increasingly competitive, with ever-increasing numbers of applicants applying for each award. Your application needs to stand out from all of those other applications in order to win one. However, instead of going all out, you have to remember that you’re not writing a book (even though it may feel like it!). You have a limited amount of time to impress reviewers and scholarship committees. Make sure every word counts!

 

5) Take your time

The deadline is approaching fast and you haven’t finished your application yet. Don’t stress, there are still a few things you can do to make sure your application makes it in on time. First, try not to procrastinate! The last thing you want is to start scrambling at 6 pm on a Friday evening because you forgot about an important deadline. When possible, give yourself plenty of lead time so that you have time to check with teachers or other sources for recommendations if needed.

 

6) Keep it professional and organized

It may seem obvious, but be sure to use proper grammar and punctuation in your essay. Don’t throw typos into an application that could land you thousands of dollars in scholarship money—make sure your application is as polished as possible. If English isn’t your first language, enlist a friend or family member to proofread for you.

 

7) Follow instructions

There are hundreds of scholarships out there, and many scholarship providers don’t want to use more words than necessary to describe their requirements. This can result in instructions that read more like a series of and/or statements (e.g., Applicants must write a 500-word essay on…). These instructions often leave much room for interpretation, so it’s important to pay attention closely to details like these.

 

8) Proofread your application

When I worked in financial aid at a private university, I saw so many people misspell their own names and address that it boggled my mind. You’d think these students would have read over their applications, but mistakes happen – and even reputable scholarship providers will discard an application without consideration if there are errors. Make sure you get it right before you submit! If your application is rejected by one provider, make sure to check for spelling and grammatical errors when you revise it for another organization.

 

9) Use proper grammar and spelling

Grammar and spelling are essential to an effective scholarship application. Some scholarship committees even require a writing sample as part of their application process, so your essay will be judged not only on content but also on proper sentence structure and word choice. If you have grammatical errors or misspelled words in your essay, a committee might assume that you are sloppy about details in general and will not be a responsible leader. Read it over at least once to ensure there are no glaring mistakes before submitting it.

 

10) Believe in yourself

It’s easy to feel like your application won’t make it because you believe yourself to be unworthy of your dream. Don’t give up! Many students suffer from self-doubt when they start thinking about their scholarship applications, but you have every right to go after what you want and work hard toward getting it. There is no reason why you shouldn’t apply—the only thing that will hold you back is your own belief that something isn’t possible for you. It’s okay if people tell you that your dream won’t come true or that you need to focus on something more realistic. You know what? Who cares?

 

 

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