There are thousands of scholarships out there. The only thing you’re missing is the knowledge, time and effort to apply for them. Says Dj Bettencourt, If you want to succeed at finding and winning a scholarship, then you have to put in the work up front.
NOT PROOFREADING OR ASKING FOR FEEDBACK.
You may be tempted to jump the gun on submitting your scholarship application, but proofreading is important. You’ll want to get in the habit of asking for feedback from teachers and friends before you hit “send.” This will help you make sure that there are no mistakes in your application.
A good rule of thumb: If it feels like a typo, then check again! Proofreading is so important because mistakes can cost you points on your scholarship application. The more thorough and careful you are with editing, the better chance you have at getting a higher score for your essay!
NOT FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS.
Not following the instructions.
The best way to ensure that you don’t get your application rejected is to make sure you understand the requirements for applying for a scholarship and follow them exactly. If you are not sure about something, ask for clarification from the organization that is giving away the money.
NOT READING THE ESSAY PROMPT.
- Read the essay prompt carefully.
- Make sure you understand what is being asked of you and are answering that question, not some other one that happens to be mentioned in the prompt.
- Don’t get distracted by the rest of the prompts.
NOT SHOWING WHY YOU DESERVE IT.
The most common scholarship mistake is not showing why you deserve it. This means, when you send in your application, make sure to include a few sentences about why you’re applying for this particular scholarship.
What are some of the reasons why? For example:
- Why do I want to study abroad?
- How will my background impact my ability to succeed at this opportunity?
- What would I do with the money if I were awarded it?
NOT WRITING A DRAFT.
The first mistake is not writing a draft. It’s okay to start with an outline or bullet points, but you need to get your thoughts out on paper before sending it to the scholarship committee or applying for one. Writing is an art form and requires practice, so even if you are confident in your writing ability, don’t skip this step! The best way to make sure you are saying what you want to say is by trying different wordings of sentences until they sound right. Also, when writing essays and cover letters for scholarships there isn’t always time for proofreading so having a draft will give more time for corrections before submitting them.
NOT SHARING YOUR STORY.
You might be wondering why it’s important to share your story. While some students may think that sharing their story isn’t necessary, it is an extremely valuable thing to do. Your application will stand out if you show how you have been able to overcome challenges and persevere in the face of adversity.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a story yet! Many students start with a blank slate when they begin applying for scholarships. You can still write about what interests you or your future plans, which are also great topics to consider writing about in any case.
You’ve got this! We hope you can use our insights to avoid some of the common scholarship mistakes that students make and get better results in your search.