Scholarships

Winning A Scholarship, Insider Tips & Secrets

Don't bore scholarship judges.

Shawna Newman

November 18, 2020

To get to round two, your scholarship application must STAND OUT. Here uncommon ways boost your winning odds.
Winning A Scholarship, Insider Tips & Secrets
Looking for winning tips from scholarship judges? We have gathered the absolute best insider tips and scholarship-winning secrets to help you boost your odds of winning and score money for college. There are six ways to ensure your application impresses the scholarship committee judging your entry and how to win college scholarships:
  1. First Impression is KEY.

  2. The team evaluating scholarship entries have many scholarship applications to look at. It is important to be sure you meet the guidelines. Read all the scholarship requirements and double check that you meet the minimum requirements. Errors at the start of your application often displease scholarship committees and judges.
  3. Follow Directions.

  4. Increase your chances of winning by following directions. If your entry is missing a basic requirement, it is likely to be tossed. Don’t leave out references, transcripts, photos, videos, your essay, or anything else the application requires. Be sure every question asked, gets an answer.
  5. Essay Scholarships Must Address the Essay Topic.

  6. You feel like your essay is Pulitzer Prize quality, but if it does not address the essay prompt your time will have been wasted—it will not make it to round two. Keep your essay content unique to you. Judges want to read entries that are special. BE sure to share firsthand experiences and amazing achievements that address the essay content requirements. Take a different approach to the topic, but do not make it too much of a stretch. Unless the essay requires an abstract approach, avoid difficult concepts. Ensure your introduction is captivating. An interesting essay, from the start will keep judges reading and help your essay stand out.
  7. Showcase your uniqueness.

  8. Judging thousands of scholarships can be a bore. This is where highlighting your uniqueness can give you a leg up in the applicant pool. Heller Adler, a scholarship judge interviewed in a U.S. News article said, “Don't shy away from talking about your culture, traditions, and experiences.” Scholarship winners tend to have unique qualities, which leads us to the next selection committee secret...
  9. Judges really like these qualities in applicants.

  10. It is no secret your GPA is important; a specific GPA may be a scholarship application requirement. However, there are other important applicant qualities that seem to perk up judges when reviewing applications. Boost your chances of winning by sharing your talents. Leadership is a promising quality to address in your scholarship application. Do not feel like you must be the class president. Students can highlight leadership in many unique ways. Service and volunteer work are outstanding qualities applicants should highlight when applying for a scholarship. Your selflessness is a value the committee will appreciate. Creativity reflects your ability to captative. Remember, judges are reviewing many applications. Keep things fresh and entertaining, yet on point.
  11. Set your scholarship application aside and proof it another day before submitting.

Once you feel like your scholarship application is complete, it is best to set it aside for a day or two and revisit it with fresh eyes. Writers that proof their own tend to overlook obvious errors. If your application has spelling or grammar errors your chances of making it to the second round are slim. This includes proofing your essay content. Ask someone else to proofread and give feedback or edits. If you have a teacher or professor that provides helpful editing, reach out to ask him/her if they could help you out. Do not forget to submit your application on time. If you miss the deadline, your application will not make it to the next round.

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