9 Killer Mistakes That Destroy College Scholarship Applications

By: Dale Clifton

Are there mistakes that can disqualify a collegescholarship application? You bet. Generally speaking, mostlocal scholarship committees may find a few minor mistakesacceptable, but the higher the level of competition, theless tolerance there is for a faux pas. And when you go forthe gold at the national level of competition, no mistakeis permissible. Even at the local level, if the competitionis heavy, one error can result in the loss of money.

Even small spelling mistakes can cause an application to bethrown out. A judge reviewed a submission from a girl whowas second in her class. She had a 3.95 GPA. The problem?She misspelled salutatorian. Believe it! How does thathappen? Surely, it should have been noticed. Was it akeyboarding error? Maybe.

Another application from a boy on the baseball team notedthat he won the league batting title with a .259 average.Know anything about baseball? Most likely, the number 2should have been a 3, 4, 5, or even 6.

Yet, another listed the applicant's age as "88." Do yousuppose she was the oldest high school student in thecountry...in the world? But wait, she listed her birth dateas eighteen years earlier.

Those are the kinds of sillylittle miscues that can disqualify good candidates. Use thecomputer spell check and have someone read for context andspelling problems. Most people cannot do a good job ofproof-reading themselves. Why take a chance?

Another blunder is leaving blank spaces. This is not a goodthing. The committee may think that you are trying to hidesomething. If the question or statement is not applicableto you, write DNA on the line, which is the standardabbreviation or acronym for Does Not Apply.

Use a computer and keyboard whenever possible. Investigatethe many inexpensive and free form-filling computerprograms. No long hand here. Never write in pencil. And,NEVER, NEVER. EVER, EVER use whiteout.

Follow directions exactly. It is not unusual to see listswhere paragraphs are required and vice versa. Sometimes asignature is needed with the name printed. A simple YES orNO may be necessary, Instead, an opinion is given.

Here's a tricky one that trips many juniors and seniorswith honor roll credentials. After ten years in school, theystill have problems using to, too, two, and they're, their,there.

Oops! I saw a sure regional and possible national winnerdisqualified, because her application missed the deadlinedate...by one day. Always beat the deadline. Mail early.

How could this happen? An app arrived without the parentpermission slip signature.

Check, Check, Check.

This bears repeating: most mistakes can be eliminated whenothers proof the application. Then read it aloud whilesomeone else listens.

What can you do, if the mistake cannot be corrected? Besure to make a copy before you start. If it says "copiesare not permitted," go back for one or two more originals.

Planning produces positive outcomes when the scholarshipeffort is truly a family affair.

To learn more about planning to win scholarshipsHealth Fitness Articles, visit

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