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When you are completing a college scholarship application, it's a good idea to take your time. Go through the materials you are given to make sure you understand what information you need to provide to be considered for the college or university scholarship. Each one will have different requirements, and you want to make sure that you fulfill all of them. Failure to do so may result in your college scholarship application being discarded without being considered.
It may be tempting to include extra information that has not been requested to show the scholarship committee that you are a deserving candidate for this type of financial assistance. Unfortunately, this tactic can backfire on you. On a college scholarship application, it makes you look like someone who either can't follow instructions or who doesn't have a good eye for detail. Neither one makes a good impression.
If the scholarship you are applying for is based on financial need, you will need to provide a statement indicating that there is a gap between your resources and the cost of your education on the college scholarship application. The scholarship committee also wants to get an idea of what kind of person you are, and you will be asked to provide information about your extracurricular activities and community service as part of the process. If you have been recognized for an outstanding achievement, you can include this information with your application.
If you are asked to provide a personal statement as part of your college scholarship application, take it as an opportunity to tell the scholarship committee about yourself. You may want to pretend that you are speaking to someone in the room and write it accordingly. Explain what being awarded the scholarship funds would mean to you, and why you chose to major in a particular subject. Set out how reaching your educational goals will affect your future career plans.
Since your academic history is considered as part of the college scholarship application process, you will need to include your official transcripts with the materials you submit. Letters of recommendation may also be submitted with your college scholarship application. Be sure to read the instructions carefully to find out whether you need to submit a letter discussing your academic achievements or community involvement. Teachers, professors, or employers are all good choices to provide this information to the scholarship committee members considering your application.
@backdraft - You make some good points. I have been on several scholarship application review boards and we saw instances where people left out crucial materials or where they provided encyclopedias of information on themselves. Follow the letter of the application.
But that being said, you should try to find ways to stand out. The personal statement is the best place to do this. What makes you exemplary? What about your experience is completely unique? We hear a lot of the same stories over and over again. Try to find a way for us to take notice of yours.
This is probably obvious but it bears repeating. The best tip I can give anyone that is filling out a college scholarship application is to read through the application guidelines very carefully and give them exactly what they ask for, no more, no less.
Your ability to follow directions is one of the skills you will be evaluated on. Furthermore, the people reading through these applications in most cases have to sift through hundreds or thousands of applications. If you stand out in a bad way by omitting necessary information it shows. If you have included information not asked for it annoys them because you application takes longer to review. Do yourself a favor and only give them what they've said they wanted.
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