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4 Things to Avoid When Applying for Scholarships

Tue, 01/14/2020 Zhou Mei An
4 Things to Avoid When Applying for Scholarships

Scholarship applications can be an overwhelming and stressful process. You probably have just finished the exhausting GCE ‘A’ Levels examinations, and the last thing you want to do is tedious administrative work. This means looking through scholarships available, shortlisting what interests you, and writing up your applications.


Even though BrightSparks streamlines the process by letting you apply for multiple scholarships with one application, you still need to draft that first application and come up with different scholarship essays, depending on requirements.


To optimise your chances of landing a scholarship, we have compiled a list of things you should definitely avoid doing when applying for one. (Hint: Late submissions are the biggest offender.)

1.     Submitting too late


The most well-written and painstakingly-crafted application will fall through if it’s submitted after the deadline. This small mistake has cost many an applicant their scholarship, and is all the sadder because it is so easily avoided.


As you will likely be applying for more than one scholarship, take extra note of their respective deadlines and plan your time accordingly. You may wish to set up a calendar or keep a few reminders on your phone or computer to make sure you don’t miss those dates!

2.     Inadequate research


We cannot overemphasise the importance of research.


Successful scholars we spoke with tell us how internships and networking events have helped them with their application decision tremendously.


However, if you cannot afford the time or missed the opportunity, you should gather information from avenues such as websites, forums and even social media channels.


In-depth research lets you know more about the scholarship and the organisation, understand what they are looking for in a scholar, and plan your application process better. It also builds your sense of confidence, as you will be able to go for the interview with a clearer idea of what the organisation stands for, and what you want to say.

3.     Unreadable text


This is a scholarship application, not your fanfic exchange with a friend. Use clear, formal fonts like Times New Roman or Arial and keep font size to 14 for headings and 10-12 for the body. And it goes without saying that black is the font colour of choice.


Remember, the most incredible writing is useless if the reader cannot decipher it. As a scholarship applicant, your goal is to make it easier for the person reading your application, not harder.

4.     Poor language ability


Keep your work free of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, as those reflect badly on you no matter who you’re applying to. It’s better to write simply and clearly than to try to write “impressively” and end up being “incomprehensible”.


You may wish to use a checker like Grammarly, or get someone to proofread your application, to ensure that it reads smoothly. To make sure your points are getting across, ask them what they understood from your writing and check if it matches what you want to say.


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