Tips on How to Fill out Scholarship Applications
Completing scholarship applications can be scary if you’ve never had to fill one out before! Many students scramble to submit applications, sometimes not knowing how to put their best effort forward. Here are some general points you may want to keep in mind:
Read Everything First
Before filling in the form, read through the different sections and familiarize yourself with the document. If any documents are required beforehand – such as passport verification, academic certificates, and/or other reports – gather them now to avoid having to pause later to search them out. Before giving your personal information like your passport, etc., do your research! There are always a lot of scams online that will take advantage of a student’s need for a scholarship.
Be Legible in your Writing
Make sure that however you fill in the scholarship that the writing is legible. If you are not able to fill out an online application, use a standard blue pen to fill in the form. Always use block letters. No cursive.
All information should be up to date and correct. Expect an organization to conduct a background check. If they find out you have not been honest in your application, you could end up disqualified. Potentially more embarrassing, having it come out in the interview that you lied can be damaging to your reputation in the eyes of the organization.
Don’t write it and forget it. Check for correct grammar and spelling. Spellcheck is not as reliable as you may think. If you’re not confident you can proofread it yourself and/or prefer another person to do so, ask a parent, a friend, or a teacher to spot any errors.
Be Open and Honest in your Essay
Most scholarships require an essay explaining a little bit about you and your perspective. Ask yourself some questions to find out how you want to present yourself. What accomplishments are you most proud of, academic or otherwise? What is motivating you to pursue post-secondary education? How would this scholarship help in achieving your dreams? Create an outline based around these questions, or whatever questions you are required to answer.
In an essay, don’t repeat information that can be found elsewhere in your scholarship application form and don’t jump around onto too many different subjects. Keep it simple and direct.
Show Them Who You Are
Don’t say the things you think they want to hear. People reading these applications have to comb through as many as hundreds sometimes. So open up and share who you really are. Say what you want to achieve and don’t hesitate in your honesty.
Support yourself with Examples
Instead of writing, “I love volunteering at my local church”, demonstrate this by sharing examples of events you’ve attended, activities you’ve planned, etc. This makes much more of an impact than a generalized statement. It also shows you took action which is key.
Don’t go Over the Word Limit
We know. It’s tempting. But do not, in any circumstances, go over the word limit. Never exceed. If you do, you risk communicating that you do not know how to follow directions. Even worse, the person tasked with reading all these applications might be turned off by something that is overtly lengthy.
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