Scholarships are a popular means that students use to secure financial support for their education. Looking for scholarships and applying for them may be easy, but winning them is something else. The process for reviewing the scholarships is thorough. The committee responsible for the evaluation and selection process is good at scrutinizing application forms to get the best candidates. They go beyond checking content to examining essays for grammatical and spelling errors.
Failure to follow instructions
This will lead to incomplete applications. Do not be in haste. Read the instructions carefully and follow everything specified. If it requires you to include reference letters or any transcripts, make sure you do so. Some scholarships like the APJ Abdul Kalam Scholarship are very strict. It clearly states that the committee will not process applications with incomplete documents. Do not ruin your chances of getting an award because of minor mistakes that you can avoid.
Not proofreading your essay and application form
This is an obvious mistake that many applicants overlook. It is always good to double-check your application and make sure you have followed all the directions given. Check your spelling and grammar keenly. Make your application and essays flawless. Do not allow the reviewers a chance to perceive you as a person who is careless and not detail-oriented. This will ruin your image and deny you an opportunity to win.
Submitting your application past the deadline is a sure mistake that will lock you out of the selection process. Take note of the start and end dates for submitting your application. Research early, gather all the information and documents and apply in good time. If you have several applications to make, plan on how to submit each application depending on their urgency.
Submitting the same essay for every application
It is common to find yourself applying for multiple scholarships. The temptation of using the same essay in every application you make could be your downfall. Some scholarships focus on a specific topic or idea such as talents, community service, or sports. A general essay that does not highlight the theme for the award could result in a rejection. It is wise first to identify the purpose of the scholarship you are applying for. Highlight the essential points to ensure that your essay correlates well with the goals of the scholarship.
Making irrelevant applications
There are hundreds of scholarships announced every month and year. You can find yourself applying for too many scholarships that may not be relevant. Be strategic. Go through the details for each scholarship carefully. You can even opt for your databases and scholarship listings to sift through the offers. The idea is to find those that match your profile. Apply only for scholarships you are eligible for. It is pointless to apply for a scholarship if you cannot meet its eligibility criteria. Your application will, indeed, be rejected.
Skipping the essay
Essays are common in scholarship applications. Others make it mandatory to submit one, but for others, it is optional. Many applicants tend to dodge optional essays. You can think of it as a time-consuming exercise, but that is a big mistake. Essays play a crucial role in grabbing the attention of the reviewers. It helps them to know more about you and show how committed you are as a person.
A carefully-drafted essay will explain your talents, experiences, and skills, which may not be present in the application form or supporting documents. This helps to solidify your application and increase the chances of you winning the award.
Applying for scholarships may not be as simple as it sounds. You have to put in more effort in terms of research for schemes you are eligible for, following all the requirements, and submitting an error-free application that can guarantee you a win. Avoid these common pitfalls if you want your application to be accepted.