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"Top 10 Mistakes Made On Scholarship Applications"



Winning scholarships is not easy. With as many as tens or even hundreds of thousands of entries per competition, you should do everything you can to make your application perfect. Incorporating the advice of over 40 different scholarship judges, here are common mistakes that students make that take their applications out of the running, and how you can guarantee that your scholarship application will NOT win!

  1. Forget to include your name and/or address! You would be surprised how many students do not include their name or address on an application.

  2. Submit an incomplete application. Make sure you include all required references, photos, transcripts, and essays.

  3. Be rude or abusive to the judges. Telling the judges that they will burn in Hades if they don't pick you or that they are idiots because they don't accept applications from students in your major is a sure-fire way to guarantee that you will NOT be considered for this award and that the judges will tell all their judge friends how immature you are.

  4. Submit a dirty application. Use a plate for your lunch, not your application. Don't spill (root) beer on your application! Make copies before you start. Fill in the original in a clean space after you have everything completed and ready to go.

  5. Apply when you do not meet their minimum requirements. If they require a minimum 3.0 GPA and you have a 1.2 GPA, don't waste your time!

  6. Send it "postage due." Oops! Bring your envelope to the post office and have them weigh it for correct postage.

  7. Mail the envelope but forget to put the application in it. Surprisingly common!

  8. Submit inappropriate supporting documentation, such as including a picture of you at age 6 months when the application asks for you to include a photo. Or including a copy of your arrest record as a reference! (This really happened!)

  9. No one can read your application. The use of fancy, hard-to-read script typefaces on your essay, or handwriting that even a doctor would be ashamed of, spells disaster.

  10. Spelling errors! Even one spelling error can doom your application! Remember, if you do not take the time to spell-check your application, the judges won't take the time to read it!


I know that these seem like common-sense mistakes, ones that very few students would make, but these are the most common mistakes made by 75% or more of all applicants! Last summer, I sat on a judging committee, and 96% of the applications contained three or more of the above errors. Why so many students make these mistakes is a mystery - but I hope after reading this, you will not be one of them!

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Thank you for visiting,

Al Brouillard

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