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Friday, August 12, 2022

Explainer: 7 Common Mistakes That Mar Your Scholarship Application

Are you wondering why your applications have been rejected on many occasions?

Scholarship applications usually result in congratulatory or ‘try again’ emails (some do not even get back to you) and no applicant want to be blessed with the latter.

Thus this post has been constructed to highlight the 7 common mistakes that mar your scholarship application.

Several other scholarships are available in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and Canada that offer full scholarships and monthly allowances. Here are some suggestions you should check out;

Thousands of students (sometimes hundreds of thousands) are applying for the same scholarship as yourself. In the same vein, the few members of the panel will review the applications of all these applicants.

It is not just advisable to apply early, in some cases it is a requirement. A scholarship that has funding for only 200 applicants might have concluded their list after the firs 48 hours of applications, hence the portal is not closed but your application may not be considered.

In fact, some scholarship organizations shifts the deadline forward internally due to the volume of applications but they do not make it public.

A serious scholarship applicant would have gotten his documents ready before applications are even open. The dates of the previous year will be guide as to know when the calls for applications will be made.

Insisting on Popular Scholarships

This is by far the most common especially for fresh graduates or those with little or zero knowledge of scholarship applications.

Popular scholarships are often too competitive that some of the applicants may have been preparing for them for three years. Some others are third, fourth or fifth-time applicants with not only the know-how but the work, research and internship experiences.

This accounts for the reason why stale applicants with a 2:2 or an HND will get full funding while a fresh graduate with First-Class or Distinction will not even make the reserved list.

Many scholarships with full funding that aspirants don’t explore are currently ongoing in Germany, Sweden, Norway, China and Malaysia. 

Below are several other scholarships arranged by categories for your exploration. 

Plagiarism and Copying

As much as possible, you should avid copying other people’s Statement of Purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation or Motivation Essays.

Selection panels run your applications through sophisticated software programmes that detect the level of plagiarism in your documents, hence it is important that you do not just copy and paste other people’s essays and make them yours.

Applications such as Grammarly, Quillbot, and many other software programmes will help you check plagiarism as well as grammatical and vocabulary errors.

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Incoherent CV, SOP and LOR

Except you have made false claims about your academic and research qualifications, your curriculum vitae, statement of purpose and letter of recommendation will be coherent.

The SOP is meant to elaborate the details in your CV while the LOR will serve as an external source confirming your ability, capacity and experience in the chosen field.

So, do not make your documents disjointed by being inconsistent with your research, work and internship experiences, academic background and skills.

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Incomplete Application

Incomplete applications are usually not reviewed nor accessed by selection panels.

Though some secondary documents such as National Identification card may be used in place of International Passport, or English proficiency letter in place of IELTS or TOEFL result which will ready before the deadline or a specific date (not far from the deadline), primary and vital documents cannot be substituted used in place of another documents.

In our previous post, we have listed the most important documents applicants should prepare before applying for any scholarship.

Self Recommendation

Recommendation letters are meant to be sent by supervisors, professors or employers. 

Applicants sometimes with the intention of cutting corners, try to recommend themselves because the aforementioned persons are either busy or do not have cordial relationship with them. This is detrimental to both the application and the studentship of such applicants.

Applicants are hence advised to strengthen their relationships with supervisors, professors and employers.

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Non-Adherence to Requirements

Just like examination instructions, requirements are very vital to scholarship applications.

Scholarships which require IELTS or GRE will not consider English proficiency letter except stated. 

Some scholarships are also age-limited and will not consider applications from overage applicants even with a First-Class grade and ocean of experiences and publications.

Other Scholarship Application Retardants

  • Unvetted/ error-prone documents
  • Wrong naming of documents
  • Application after or before the application window

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