4 Scholarship Application Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

What’s one of the top scholarship application mistakes?

Failing to apply at all!

Around 4,000 colleges and universities grant degrees in the United States. Many of them have numerous scholarship opportunities that you can apply for.

The only problem is that if you don’t know the best application tips and tricks, you could wind up wasting your time. That’s why we’ve created this short guide to help you land the scholarship of your dreams. 

What application mistakes for scholarships should you be avoiding? Read on to find out.

1. Applying for Too Many Scholarships

It’s exciting to think of the financial opportunities scholarships can bring. But that doesn’t mean you should start applying for every scholarship opportunity out there. It’ll be tough to perform well on the scholarships that really matter when you spread yourself thin.

You might think that increasing the number of applications will increase your chances of acceptance. However, not every scholarship out there will be the right fit for you.

First, you need to consider the scholarship application requirements. Do you have an academic history that meets this criterion?
Furthermore, will the scholarship help you with your future academic goals?

You don’t want to be in a situation where you apply for a scholarship, get it, and don’t even need it. For instance, if the scholarship is for a computer program, but you want to major in fine arts, don’t apply. It might seem like common sense, but many students waste their time applying for scholarships they don’t really want.

Create a list once you find the scholarships you’re genuinely interested in. We suggest having a list of 8 to 10 scholarships you wish to apply for.

Put your heart and soul into the application for those scholarships. Once you’re fully finished using all 10, you can explore other options.

2. Submitting a Weak Essay

Another mistake students make is submitting a weak scholarship essay. If you’re not a writer, the idea of putting your heart onto a piece of paper can be intimidating. But the good news is there are a lot of tips and tricks you can use to create a compelling admissions essay scholarship essay.

Start by finding out what the criteria are for the scholarship essay. For example, is it an open form, and you simply have to state why you deserve the scholarship? Or do they want you to answer a specific question?

Perhaps the school wants you to explain something difficult that you’ve overcome. When it comes time to tell your story, you need to speak from the heart. Be as honest, conversational, and real as possible.

Don’t try to come across as professional or distant. Instead, now is the time to connect with the college. Once you have your essay typed out, you can send it through free programs like Grammarly and Hemingway to clean it up.

Then we suggest giving the essay to one of your teachers to review. Simple reformats and sprinkling in the right words here and there can help your essay shine.

3. Customize Each Application

A cookie-cutter approach is definitely one of the top scholarship application mistakes that will cause you problems. You should approach each new scholarship as a fresh start.

Don’t try to reuse another scholarships essay, or copy and paste your answers from other scholarship applications. Copying information from one application to the next might seem like a quick fix. But chances are unless the questions are generic, you’re not going to be putting your best foot forward.

Generic questions about what classes you’ve taken, where you live, and so on are fine to copy and paste. But when it comes to questions about your goals and aspirations, you need to customize each answer for the scholarship you’re applying to.

The answers you give for a music-focused scholarship could be different from those you provide for scholarships- for international students. Just keep the school and the mission of the scholarship in mind when crafting your answers. Finding keywords that will resonate with the mission of the scholarship will help boost your chances of acceptance.

4. Missing the Scholarship Application Deadline

Missing the scholarship application deadline is another mistake to watch out for. It seems crazy that students would miss scholarship deadlines, but it happens all the time! When you’re stressed about keeping up with your current school work and you’re applying to multiple scholarships, deadlines can slip through the cracks.

If you don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity, we suggest setting the calendar on your phone now. Mark each scholarship deadline and set a notification.

We recommend having your notification settings for one week before the deadline. Then you can put more reminders as the deadline approaches.

Go one step further by color-coding the different scholarship deadlines. By using a green font for one scholarship and a pink font for the other, it’ll be easy to keep them apart.

Are you somebody you can miss a deadline even when you put it in your phone? Then it’s time to resort to post-it notes. Place post-its around your house so that you can have a visual reminder of the upcoming deadline. If you’re still worried, reach out to a friend for help. Let them know when the deadline is and ask them to call you a week before.

The more steps you take to set up deadline reminders, the easier it’ll be to get your scholarship on time. Of course, submitting your scholarship way before the deadline is always a great idea too. Then you can go back to looking for other scholarships!

Avoid Scholarship Application Mistakes

Now that you know the top scholarship application mistakes to avoid, it’s time to put yourself out there. Missing deadlines or ignoring scholarship criteria are 2 of the big ones.

You also have to remember to customize each application. Don’t rush. spend plenty of time creating your essay.

The more work you put into your scholarship application, the better you’ll do! So make a list of the top 10 scholarships you want and explore the application process. For more ways to secure your future, read another one of our posts.