Preparing a Near-Perfect Scholarship...

Preparing a Near-Perfect Scholarship Application by Avoiding Costly Mistakes

by Rochelle C. Pangilinan
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

With the continuous rise of tuition costs over the last few years, earning a college or university education in Canada is a privilege not everyone has access to, making scholarship applications all the more competitive. Since it comes with such a high cost—literally and figuratively—completing a scholarship application is something that requires a lot of attention to detail and organization.

Alas, some people take for granted how cutthroat the scholarship application selection is, and they commit follies that cause them to miss their chance to acquire a scholarship and eventually an education at the college or university of their choosing. If you’ve got your eye on a scholarship at your dream school, read on for the following sure-fire tips to avoid costly scholarship blunders.

Answer the scholarship essay question.

It seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how a lot of students get this part wrong because of carelessness. That’s why it’s important to invest your time and effort to ensure that you’re answering the scholarship essay question correctly. Sure, it’s tempting to just copy and paste each time you’re filling out an application—that is, if you’re applying for multiple scholarships—but the scholarship committees can read through if you are simply trying to coast your way. If you’re confused about the question, there’s no shame in asking for clarification. It’s better to get it right the first time than to face a big mistake after all is said and done.

Grab the readers’ attention.

Just like with hiring managers, scholarship committees read hundreds of applications each day, so you’d have to ensure your essay captures their attention so you can stand out from the rest of the pile. The main reason you’ve been asked to submit a scholarship essay is for them to get to know you on a deeper level, so avoid run-of-the-mill personal statements like simply telling them you are hoping to get into the field of social services because you want to be of value to the community. Offer a story when you can. What exactly led you to make that decision? Surely there’s an individual or a situation that inspired you to go for an education in the social services.

Submit on time.

This seems like another obvious tip, but again, you’d be surprised how we all have the tendency to procrastinate in the midst of something important. We get so overwhelmed with a pertinent task that we allow ourselves to fall into the temptation of doing things at the last minute. The end result? We panic and we hurry, leaving a lot of room for mistakes. When you have a scholarship due, do your best to submit it a week before. This way, you have ample time to do your research, proofread and edit, and make changes as necessary.

Complete all the requirements.

Each educational institutional may have their own set of requirements for scholarship applications. Some require an essay or personal statement while some don’t. To avoid missing an important requirement, check the list of documents you have to submit before kick-starting your application. Check it twice if you have too. Some of them may require a letter of recommendation from your previous instructor or professor, and completing this early will definitely give you an advantage over the other applicants. Remember, you’re not the only one with valuable time, so be respectful of other people’s schedule too. If you ask your previous teacher for a recommendation letter a mere few days before your application deadline, don’t expect to receive it in time.

Ask someone to check it.

It doesn’t hurt to ask someone who underwent the same process to check your application for you. This will give you a good idea of what your application lacks so you can make the necessary enhancements. If you’re pressed for time for proofreading or editing, you can ask a trusted friend or family member to do it for you. Having a second opinion or any form of assistance will definitely go a long way.

Preparing scholarship applications has its share of challenges for sure. However, keeping the above tips in mind can help you avoid the missteps and you’ll be on your way to scholarship success!





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