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7 Tips for Scholarship Applications

Applications for college scholarships can be overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged! Once you’ve devised a plan of attack, the application process will fall into place. Below, we’ve shared how to apply for scholarships with seven practical tips, so that you improve your odds of success.


Develop a Strategy

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It’s pointless to spend months filling out scholarship applications if you don’t develop a concrete plan. Every prospective student has a unique background, which affects their eligibility for receiving certain scholarships. We recommend playing to your strengths and applying in fields that have less competition.


Seek Out Smaller Awards

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Big money scholarships are tempting, but the odds of winning are much lower than the small-scale awards. Local scholarships have fewer applicants than the high-profile ones. Even though an award might only be a few hundred dollars, it can help with your textbooks and school supplies. We recommend searching for scholarships associated with local businesses, clubs, and foundations.


Meet Every Requirement

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Read the requirements before filling out applications for college scholarships. It doesn’t matter if you write an incredible essay if you go over the word limit. Make sure your application will qualify. Make sure to complete every section, follow all instructions, and then double-check your work before submitting it.


Write Personalized Essays

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You might be able to get away with writing a one-size-fits-all essay for a dozen scholarships, but don’t sell yourself short. Every essay is an opportunity for you to showcase specific talents. If you’re applying for a creative writing scholarship, you don’t need to talk about math class (unless it’s relevant to your story, of course). Ultimately, scholarship committees love to read passionate and genuine essays. Just try to be real, and steer clear of generic subjects whenever possible.


Avoid Scholarships with Fees

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Some scholarships charge a submission fee, but they’re not worth the risk! As a rule of thumb, you should screen out any scholarships with fees, because most of these awards are scams. Any scholarships with guarantees should also raise a red flag.


Perform Demanding Work

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Scholarships with the most rigorous requirements have the fewest applicants. If you’re willing to put in more work than the average student, you stand to benefit. For example, a scholarship with a 5,000 or 10,000-word essay will scare off the average person, and they’ll just apply for scholarships with 1,000-word essays. If you go above and beyond the average applicant, you’ll significantly increase your chances.


Submit Applications Early

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Finally, don’t wait until the last minute to submit applications. If you have a computer problem or the scholarship web page breaks down, it may cost you. We recommend leaving a week-long buffer so that you have plenty of time to proofread your work and deal with unforeseen issues before submitting.

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