Common Scholarship Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Here are some Common Scholarship Mistakes That Students Make Before, During, and When Applying For Scholarships


Even though getting a scholarship sounds simple, the actual process of getting one is much more difficult. The selection process for scholarships is lengthy, and oftentimes, requires a period of time before all the necessary information is gathered. And the thought of having scholarship mistakes in your course of application.

Scholarships have a high number of applicants, and the competition for open slots gets more fierce year after year. Take, for example, the CommonWealth scholarship recorded more than 40,000 applicants this year while they had only 1000 spots open. In reviewing your application, the review panels lookout for uniqueness, creativity, purpose, and several other criteria.

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The scholarship application can quickly get overwhelming because there is so much to do. There are documents to submit, essays to turn in, submission requirements to follow…the requirements could get endless. Because of these requirements, it’s easy for applicants to overlook a series of scholarship mistakes when turning in their applications.


There are so many unknown variables that even the tiniest mistake could harm your chances of success. To avoid such mistakes in your application, you must learn what they are and how you can avoid them. 


Getting picked for a scholarship is hard. However, it is not impossible. To increase your chances of getting your desired funding, it’s best to find out ways to stand out from the crowd and get recognized easily. By standing out, we mean ensuring you fill your application correctly, follow all guidelines listed, and avoid all scholarship mistakes. So, what are the common scholarship mistakes? And how can you avoid these mistakes during your scholarship application?

Read Also: A Guide to preparing for International exams


The team at GES has compiled a list of common scholarship mistakes that often gets students disqualified from a scholarship process. Also, we have provided a series of ways to help you recognize and avoid these mistakes. 

  1. Applying to scholarships you are not at least 80% eligible for: There are lots of scholarships with big bonuses out. Truth it, most times, you cannot be eligible for all because of the varying requirements. One mistake applicants make is applying for scholarships that they are not eligible for which usually ends up in several rejection letters. Before applying to any scholarship, we strongly advise that you carefully read the requirement and make sure you are at least 80% eligible for the scholarship position. This will save you both time, money, and the stress of going through the entire application process only to get rejected. 
  2. Waiting till deadline before submitting: Late applications are usually turned away. And leaving your application until the deadline will result in turning in rushed work which could most likely lead to making several mistakes. You want to make sure that you submit your application and crosscheck multiple times before you finally click that submit button.
  3. Failing to stand out: Scholarship applications can get really tough, especially when they are limited available spots. To get noticed, you have to find ways to stand out from the crowd. For people who have high grades, it’s easier to stand out. But these days, scholarship review boards look out for more than good grades in applicants. Your application must reveal to the review board who you are, highlight your strength as well as your passion.
  4. Ignoring application requirements: Application requirements are there for a reason. To eliminate applicants who don’t follow instructions. Before filling out your application, read scholarship details carefully, and when you are submitting, follow the application requirements carefully. Submit all required documents in the stated format. Failing to follow instructions can result in automatic disqualification.
  5.  Failing to research scholarship: When looking for scholarship opportunities, it is important to research extensively about the scholarship. Researching the scholarship reveals beforehand key details about the scholarship like the judges, what they look out for and what past successful candidates have done differently.
  6. Applying with generic content: For scholarships offered yearly, the review board goes through thousands of applicants and is quick to eliminate applicants with generic, or uninspiring content. Some scholarship requirements include writing personal essays about your background, your experience, and multiple questions. The tone you choose when answering these application essays must be positive and highlight the strengths, flaws, and obstacles you overcame to tell your story to a review board in a unique way.



When applying for a scholarship, you are competing with other qualified applicants and the best thing to do is stand out. Making mistakes when applying for scholarships can result in automatic disqualification. Understanding common application mistakes and having the right knowledge will save you a lot of time, money, and stress from going through the entire application process.


With the right knowledge, you can avoid these mistakes. Start by reaching out to our team at GES to help you process your scholarship process. We offer services like writing a strong statement of purpose, cv, and helping you to secure good scholarships to study abroad.

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