3 things that make scholarship judges cringe

By Tkrause
05/29/2015
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If you've ever applied for a scholarship, you know that it can be frustrating trying to figure out what the scholarship committee is looking for in an application. There’s really no easy answer since every scholarship program has its own secret method of determining who gets the cash. Sometimes, it’s based solely on your academic record. Sometimes, it all hinges on your scholarship essay. And then, there are those programs that look at everything, including letters of recommendation, volunteer work, and even your finances. There are, however, some universal DON'TS when it comes to applying for scholarships. Here are three things that make all scholarship judges cringe.

Text lingo

text lingo
OMG, i'm so going 2 win this scholarship! NOT. Courtesy of rebloggy.com.

We get it. Your life is literally in the palm of your hands, and writing out every word is a pain in the ass on a smartphone. Although it may be fine to use omg, lol, wtf, and other text lingo with your friends, it’s definitely a no-no on scholarship applications. Want to know what the real kiss of death is? If you use “i” instead of “I” — that’s probably the quickest way to have your scholarship application tossed.

Rants that are off-topic

no ranting allowed
Courtesy of footballsfuture.com.

Passion is great, but it can easily turn into a soapbox tirade or come off as an angry rant. If you are tasked with writing about a subject that hits close to home (like our new $10,000 RESIST THE IST: DEFY STEREOTYPES SCHOLARSHIP) make sure you are staying on point and making a good case for your argument. Filling a page with random complaints or writing about something that has nothing to do with the scholarship essay prompt won't help you get any closer to the winner’s circle.

Simple grammar mistakes

common grammar mistakes
You're going to shine in your application. (See what we did there?) Courtesy of PWI New Horizons.

Along with text lingo, there’s another thing scholarship judges hate to see — simple grammatical mistakes. These generally fall along the lines of using there, their, and they're incorrectly, but can also include other commonly misused words. Pay close attention to your choice of words and ALWAYS have someone edit your work before you hit submit. Any one of these mistakes could land your scholarship application in the “rejected” pile. It’s hard enough competing with hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of scholarship applicants, so do yourself a favor and don’t give the scholarship judges any easy reasons to eliminate you as a finalist. Take your time when completing scholarship applications and essays to ensure you have the best shot at winning the prize.

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