While there is no doubt most scholarship applications will have to be painstakingly put together, some seemingly negligible points can make or break your chances of a successful application. Applying for scholarships can be an overwhelming process that usually starts out exciting but might end up more disheartening than anything if the results are not delivered.
Too many minute aspects in the scholarship application process that you might easily overlook can contribute to your application heading straight for the reject pile. As long as you avoid these four things, you’ll have a higher chance of securing a scholarship!
1. Inadequate research
You can never do too much research. Almost every university and college has something to offer, not to mention scholarships from both public and private organisations. Find all the available options and make sure you understand perfectly what each is looking for.
Also, with adequate research, you are better able to compare and find out more. You have more time to make calls to enquire on aspects that you don’t understand, or simply ask for more information.
2. Applying too late
Amidst the pile of research that you are likely to be immersed in, do note this one little detail that will make all the difference to you: the deadline.
A smashing application, complete with a winning portfolio, will still come to naught if the deadline has already passed. It is a silly mistake that has been committed repeatedly by careless applicants.
In fact, it will be ideal to send the applications in early just to err on the side of caution. Don’t leave preparations to the last minute.
Set a deadline, organise your material, acquire the relevant documents, and ensure that you have everything you need. Check through several times to ensure that you have not missed anything out. Send the whole package in well ahead of time and give yourself peace of mind.
3. Illegible applications
The most interesting, informative, and impressive content is useless when no one else can decipher it. Script or “cutesy” fonts might look very interesting but they sacrifice readability. Easy-to-read fonts like Arial, Helvetica, and Times New Roman are recommended for a professional appearance. Also, maintain a standard, suitable font size. As a general rule of thumb, if no format is mentioned in the instructions, keep to 14 points for headings and between 10 to 12 points for the body.
4. Poor language
In addition to the technicalities of presentation, flawed language, spelling errors, and grammar mistakes also reflect badly on you.
Use this chance to flaunt your writing skills, ensuring of course that it will still be an easy read.
You might be oblivious to some of your own mistakes. Microsoft Word’s spellchecker function helps you spot some standard errors, but it will be good to also get people with above average writing skills to proofread your package.
Besides checking for spelling mistakes and structure, have them read through your answers to ensure that the questions have been properly addressed. Ask for more opinions and suggestions to improve on, mull over it, and then finalise your application!
Start your scholarship journey today. Explore your scholarship options at BrightSparks now!