Applying for a scholarship includes many tasks that need to be completed entirely and in a timely manner. Many students either have a lot going on when applying for scholarships or make common mistakes that can ruin their chances of earning the scholarship they worked so hard to achieve. Many of these mistakes, if not all, can be avoided by doing simple checks. Don’t make mistakes that others before you have made simply by being sloppy and wanting to finish the application quickly.
Not Reading the Directions
Reading the directions of any scholarship application is very important to understand what students will need to do to complete the forms. This even includes figuring out when the deadline is. Many think that they can get the gist of the directions simply by scanning the page and trying to figure out the rest on their own. This is extremely detrimental because many students miss pertinent information when scanning, especially with extra documents that need to be sent in.
Not Being Yourself
In addition to reading all of the directions for the essay portion of your scholarship application, it is important to be yourself when writing. Many of the essays that are required for scholarship applications ask you to describe a significant experience or personal goal of yours. The most common mistake a student can make in his or her scholarship essay is over embellishing or lying about things that didn’t happen to make their essay stand out more. If you keep your essay original and personal, the scholarship that you’re applying for will see your personality in your writing and will be more apt to enjoy your essay if there are no frills.
Forgetting to Proofread
This tip goes for both your essay and your contact information on the application. Many people have made mistakes misspelling their name, their address, or simple words in their essays. Avoid this by using spellcheck on your computer, as well as asking family members or a counselor to go over it and edit it for you. Turning in an application that has many spelling and grammar errors makes you look lazy and uninterested in the scholarship. Another tip is to read your essay aloud so that you can hear any inconsistencies in your writing.
Sending It in Incomplete
Because of all of the extra documents that a scholarship application requires, it is very common for a student to turn in the application incomplete. Sometimes, where the scholarship outlines the directions for the application, there will also be a checklist for other documents that need to be turned in as well. Take the time to write this down on a separate piece of paper and check each item off once you have completed it or have acquired the document. This includes transcripts from high school, your essay, the personal information page, and sometimes even a resume. Turning in a complete scholarship application will help you avoid being dismissed by the organization just because you forgot a page or two in your rush to submit it.
Turning It in Late
If you have avoided all of the above mistakes, then you are on your way to earning a great scholarship. However if you turn in the scholarship application late, all of your work will be for nothing. This goes back to making sure that you have read all directions including deadlines. Turning in a scholarship application late is unacceptable, and more than likely your application will not be read. Avoid this mistake by turning in your application early so that you show the institution that you take your studies seriously.
Make a mental list of these common mistakes so that when you are applying for a scholarship, you do not make them yourself. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the deadlines or of all the documents that need to be sent in, ask a family member or your counselor for some additional assistance.