A young student applies for scholarships

Common Scholarship Application Mistakes

Paying for college can be a real hassle. The cost of tuition, room and board, and textbooks can add up very quickly. Luckily, there are many scholarships and grants available to help with the bill. However, many people complain when they apply for money for school only to end up right where they started. If this is you, then your scholarship application may not have been up to par. Here are some common mistakes that students make when applying for scholarships.

Spelling Errors

This should be a given, but you would be surprised how often it comes up. For whoever determines the distribution of the funding, spelling errors are one of the biggest red flags. Why would they give you money to further your education when they don’t think that you’ve utilized the one you worked toward in high school? In their eyes, they’re making an investment, so you have to show them that you’re worth the energy (and money). Make sure that you proofread your application before you send it in. Spell check won’t catch everything. If there is an essay component, you may want to have several friends look it over as well.

Not Following Directions

Once again, you’re trying to impress these people. You don’t want to show them that you have trouble following simple instructions. Give them exactly what they’re looking for. If they ask you for information, be sure to provide it on the application, even if you can’t directly see why it’s important. If they say that they want three letters of recommendation, don’t send them five just to show off. They know what they want, and now they have told you by way of the application. Make sure you give it to them. It can’t hurt to look over your work after you think it’s finished. You may have missed something.

Missing Deadlines

This is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid, and yet it’s one of the most commonly made. If a scholarship gives you a deadline, adhere to it. Many providers won’t even look at your application if it comes in after that date. When researching new scholarships, the deadline should be one of the first pieces of information that you look for. Keep a calendar and write the deadlines down. Apply to the earlier ones first.

Only Applying for One or Two Scholarships

For some reason, people can often get oddly confident when applying for scholarships. They assume that they will get everything they sent out for, and so they don’t take the time to apply for more than a few resources. Why would you limit yourself like that? You should try for as much funding as possible. Things will fall through. Even if you applied for $200,000 worth of scholarships, that doesn’t mean they’re all going to accept you. Talk to your guidance counselors. They will be able to set you up with applications for many awards that match your needs and qualifications.

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