Reviewing Guidelines Can Make or Break Scholarship Applications

by Monica Matthews, Scholarship Editor

This week’s scholarship tip continues the S-M-A-R-T method of applying for scholarships with the “R.”

R = Review Guidelines

When applying for scholarships you must review the guidelines!Each scholarship comes with a specific set of rules or guidelines for students to follow as they complete and submit their applications. Some guidelines are very simple and straightforward, such as the level of school students need to be in to be eligible to apply along with a minimum G.P.A., while others are quite involved with long sets of rules and submitting procedures.

Students applying for scholarships need to know that the first thing that most scholarship judges do when narrowing down the application pool is to eliminate the applicants who have not followed the listed guidelines.

Scholarship applications get tossed into the non-winners pile for obvious reasons first:

• G.P.A. is below the required amount
• Student is the wrong level in school
• Essay is obviously over the word count
• Required materials are not in the order requested
• Documents are missing or unsubmitted
• Student has sent more letters of recommendation than requested
• Application is sent late, missing the listed deadline

Carefully reviewing and meticulously following printed guidelines is a MUST when it comes to winning scholarship money. Scholarship providers are looking for students who will represent them well and following directions is extremely important when it comes to making a good first impression.

Students who review and follow all scholarship guidelines keep their applications out of the reject pile and bring them one step closer to winning money for college.

Check back next week as I wrap up the S-M-A-R-T method of applying for scholarships and share how trusted eyes can make or break a scholarship application.

Related: Use a Scholarship Checklist


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