Four of the Most Common Mistakes that Ruin Your Scholarship Essay

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Admissions, Finance

Applying for scholarships to fund your education abroad can be an arduous task.

Each major scholarship receives thousands of applications from qualified candidates. To give yourself the best chance of winning, it’s important to have a compelling scholarship essay.

Scholarship committees use essays to select the best deserving candidates among the qualified. The demand for scholarships far outweighs the supply.

In this article, let’s explore some of the most common mistakes that ruin your scholarship essay:

Mistake #1 Not Paying Attention to the Required Word Count

Before you start writing a scholarship essay, check the required word count. Writing essays that are either too long or too short can get your application automatically rejected.

No matter how much you feel you have to say, stick to the word or character count indicated. Trust that the word count limit has been set for a reason—usually to keep candidates on topic while allowing the scholarship committee to gauge your response.

Mistake #2 Providing the Wrong Answer to Scholarship Essay Prompts

Before you start writing a scholarship essay, make sure that you’ve fully understood the question asked. If the question is how Africa should respond to global warming, the scholarship committee won’t be impressed by your brilliant thoughts on the future of technology.

Not responding directly to the prompts given will get you disqualified. Bear in mind that the scholarship sponsor has a specific reason why they provided the particular essay prompts. Providing the information asked for will greatly increase your chances of winning.

Mistake #3 Writing with Poor Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation

You can lose your chance at a scholarship due to poor grammar and spelling and punctuation errors. Such mistakes show carelessness and lack of attention to detail.

Even if you’re not the best of writers, make sure that your scholarship essay is free from grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Use tools such as Grammarly to check your scholarship essay before hitting “Submit.”

Having another person to proofread your scholarship essays is also a great idea. A peer, parent, or mentor can catch simple mistakes that you might have overlooked.

Mistake #4 Failing to Submit the Scholarship Essay Within the Stipulated Deadline

Many scholarship essays are disqualified due to missed deadlines.

Even if you’ve crafted the most compelling scholarship essay, submitting it past the deadline will render your efforts futile.

Unforeseen circumstances such as illness, electricity blackouts, and technology malfunction can hinder you from submitting your essay. It’s therefore advisable not to wait till the last minute to submit your scholarship essay.

Plan ahead and submit your scholarship essay early—at least a couple of days before the stipulated deadline. 


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