3 Trends I Noticed in Scholarship Applications

I read a couple of applications last month for scholarships. There are some great ones and there are some that still need to be worked on. However, here are three trends that I noticed.

1. The desire to win the scholarship is not there. This means they have less research about the scholarship and the university they want to go to. They just want to submit a manuscript and just want to add to the number of submitted applications. From the essay, I know when someone has researched enough, written to lecturers, spoken to alumni, read about the school, and has a clear plan of what they want. Do not be a lazy applicant. If you cannot research to come up with a strong and distinctive essay, how do you intend to cope with the academic rigor? You need to show that truly you are worth investing in and deserve the scholarship.

2. You need context and stories. I recently saw a movie where a person was applying to grad school and said in their motivation letter, "I want to change the world" You need to tell us how do you want to change the world and what are you already doing to make that happen. Context and being explicit are key. "I want to be the next big thing" Tell us how you want to be the next big thing. "I want to make an impact and I am passionate about that" Tell us how you want to make an impact by showing us a plan for that and how it aligns with your career progressions. Show us in your essay how passionate you are.

3. Answer the Question: You need to understand and reflect on the question. What are the elements of the questions? What is the prompt saying? While it is important to start writing your answers, you need to also give room for reflection to understand what the question is saying and develop your thoughts or the thesis upon which your response to the prompts question would be built on. You have to be able to think and that is why you are called a scholar if you win a scholarship and deserve to be in a graduate school. Think before you write and understand what the question is saying.

I hope this is helpful and best of luck.

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