5 Key Ways to Make Your Scholarship Application Stand Out

5 Key Ways to Make Your Scholarship Application Stand Out

Scholarship applications can be very intimidating, which is why a lot of students hesitate to apply. Hundreds or thousands of people enter, and it can seem like a waste of time to submit your application. But the key is to focus on doing the right thing: standing out.

Michigan First’s Scholarship Application is now open and the entries are rolling in. If you’re still working on your app, here are a few tips on how to make any scholarship entry the absolute best:

1. Read the rules.

It sounds trivial, but you’d be surprised at how many applications get weeded out simply because they didn’t follow the instructions. I.e. - Your name wasn’t showing on your transcript PDF; you went over the word count; didn’t meet the GPA requirement; or your video was too long. By simply following the rules, you’ve already won half the battle.

2. Dig deeper.

If the application includes an essay, video, or any sort of prompted response, pay attention to the first thing that comes to your mind… and then don’t use that as your response. Always go against the grain and search for a unique perspective. Usually, the first thing that comes to your mind is the first thing that comes to everyone else’s mind. 

3. Be personal and passionate. Focus on experiences, not accolades.

There’s only one you in the world. So, show them that you are exactly who they’re looking for. People invest in passion. When someone is giving hundreds or thousands of dollars away, they want to give it to someone who will make a difference.  

You may not have the top GPA, and maybe you weren’t the president of your class, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough to win scholarships. Being a good storyteller and revealing your true self can get much further. For example, if you love to dance, instead of writing about all of your dance awards, tell them how dancing has brought you out of your shell and opened up the door of self-exploration; or, instead of doing a talk-head selfie video sharing your love for photography, show one photo and tell the story behind the picture. People remember experiences more than accolades.

4. Get an editor.

Always get a pair of second eyes on your application. A typo-free entry is always better. You may spend days or weeks working on the app, so don’t underestimate your power to overlook typos, awkward wording, or minor grammatical glitches that you’ve been constantly rereading.

5. Don’t procrastinate.

It’s hard, I know. But some scholarships require official mail-in transcripts, letters of recommendation, or more extensive criteria that may take time to retrieve. Make sure you budget your time so that everything gets done correctly.  

Don't forget to apply to our scholarship! The deadline is February 6th, so you still have time. Good luck! Get this free money. You'll thank yourself later.

Be Easy, 

Erin