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Tips for the best scholarship application and essay
Scholarship search can bring innumerable avenues for a student to obtain financial aid for college/school education. However, the next step to success lies in filling up the scholarship application accurately. Here's an article that lists down all tips in the forms of do's and dont's to be followed while writing a scholarship application and a scholarship essay.
Scholarships can make the entire education experience a pleasant experience. Students make the best of efforts to identify scholarships avenues and apply for them. Scholarship committees assign the scholarship applications to some experts who review the application form of a student for a few minutes. This small amount of time available with the expert to judge and decide about the sanction of scholarship should be optimally utilised. The opportunity should be utilised as a golden chance to get selected otherwise, the form will make its way to the trash. Here are some do’s and dont’s in filling up a scholarship application to increase the chances of winning a scholarship and funding college education.
Top Do’s for a scholarship application
Do search far and wide
A parent and student needs to have multiple choices in order to choose the best scholarships available. One can take the help of websites updating online details of scholarship schemes, newspapers, educational magazines, family, friends and the community for tapping all possible avenues to apply for a scholarship. The parents, student and school counsellors can make combined effort to trace the best scholarship organisations, meet deadlines and follow-up.
Do know the purpose of scholarship
Every scholarship organisation has a different goal and purpose in mind. Every student should read the details of scholarship and know the main aim of the organisation. Some scholarship organisations promote students to take up a specific stream of education, some favour specific educational institutions, some favour under-privileged students, some favour students who excel in sports and so on. Each scholarship application needs to be filled in a customised manner to suit the needs of that organisation. The application should appear in such a manner that the student fulfils the requirements of the organisation.
Do follow the application instructions
Every scholarship application form has some specific instructions attached to it. Ensure that:
• correct ink colour is used,
• write in capital letters where required,
• attach all required annexures,
• correct size of photograph,
• correct spellings in the application
• all inapplicable sections are correctly crossed,
• all corrections are counter signed,
• dates and years are correctly mentioned,
• Unwanted attachments are not provided with the form.
Do write about yourself and why you should win
The scholarship application is a base on which the experts judge the student and also the aims of the student. Project all the skill sets and qualities that the scholarship experts expect in an application form and write in detail how you match them. A student needs to display his best side through the scholarship application and never try to be moderate in describing accomplishments. The experts judge an application based on what is written and true and clearly explained facts are a must.
Do write scholarship essay excellently
A scholarship application requires the first round of short-listed students to write essays on specific topics. Almost most of the scholarship applications may have similar profiles. Hence, it is the scholarship essay which can take a student to the next round successfully ahead of the whole class.
Some tips to write the best scholarship essay are:
• The start of the essay should be catchy. Boring introductions can let the essay move to the trash in the first sight. An essay written with a bang can easily catch the attention of the scholarship experts and they would definitely take the application to the next round.
• The sentences beginning with the word “INever ignore instructions on the essay. If the word limit is specified, then attempts should be made to adhere to it.
• Do not repeat information found at some other place in the application form.
• Do not write on controversial topics which can cause the expert to get biased. Religion, politics are some such examples of controversial topics for a scholarship essay.
• Do not use poetry or jargons unless the scholarship application form specifically encourages it.
A self- introspection of the scholarship essay is very essential at the end of the process. One should ask oneself if they would be impressed with the essay and think of reading it again. If an expert will like to meet the author of the essay personally after reading the essay? If the answer is ‘yes’, then the essay has chances of standing out from the crowd.
Do practice for the scholarship interview stage
A scholarship interview stage is the final leg of the entire financial aid process. A student should prepare before-hand for the interview process. One can ask family or friends to conduct mock interviews to prepare properly.
Do maintain the application in an organised manner
If a scholarship application form has many loose pages and annexures, it is very important to label each page with number and name of the student. Also the numbering should be done as page number/total number of pages like 1/10, 2/10 and so on. This will help all pages to be tracked and ordered. A detailed note of all scholarship applications and their details should be kept in a comparative manner so that proper track can be maintained.
Do make photocopies of the form before and after filling the application
A photocopy of the blank scholarship application can help a student practise before filling the final application form and avoid any kind of errors in the scholarship form. A photocopy of the finally filled application form can help a student refer to the old one while applying the next time. Moreover, even if the scholarship application is lost, one can easily fill a new form.
Top Dont’s for a scholarship application
Don’t omit any column in the application form
An incomplete scholarship application form will straight away head to the trash. If a particular section does not apply to the student, then it is better to write the words ‘Not Applicable’ or cross the section rather than leaving it blank. There may be thousands of applications with the experts and blank sections might make them brand the scholarship application form as incomplete. Never omit any section to leave the race at the first hurdle itself.
Don’t ignore small scholarships
Scholarships can be of different amounts. Some may provide high amounts while some provide only token money. Whether it is big or small, one should not avoid any kind of scholarship application. Every penny counts while paying the college fees and even small amounts help a great deal. Any free money is useful for college education.
Don’t judge negatively
Every scholarship is not for the brilliant students or great sports persons. There are many scholarships which are given based on many extra-curricular activities like music, dance, theatre, social service, financial status and so on. Hence, one should always try to find out the criteria for selection in every scholarship application.
Don’t forget to address the exact issue in essay
Every scholarship organisation might require a different essay with a different purpose. A student should be careful to ensure that the main topic required for the essay is clearly covered. The scholarship experts might like to know a specific answer to some question through the scholarship essay. However, if the essay is well written but does not reply to the question then they may not consider the application for the next round.
Don’t delay submissions of application till the deadline
• Never try to fill applications on the last day or a few hours before the deadline set for submission.
• Moreover, the deadline time should also be read carefully to check if the time and date mentioned in the application form is of posting the form or receipt by the scholarship organisation. If the deadline mentions the date as receipt by the organisation, then the application form should be mailed in advance.
Don’t give incorrect facts
One should ensure that the scholarship application form contains honest and factual details and data. The inaccuracy of details in application forms may be traced once short-listed and the reputation comes at stake. Sometimes, the replies of students during the interview sessions also enable a scholarship expert to judge the accuracy of facts provided in the scholarship application form.
A student who keeps all the above tips in mind can ensure that the application form is selected for the next round of scholarship interview and sanction.
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