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Tips & Advice

Tipping the Scales

Life is about putting yourself out there. Nothing is going to happen if you always stay in your shell. Tell that to the snail that moves like an inch a day. With that in mind, completing grant, contest, and scholarship applications may seem daunting and even scary. Follow these simple steps, and you will be on your way to writing a better, more complete application!

1. So, tell me about yourself. People like talking about themselves; I know I do! But when it comes to writing that down, many people scratch their heads. Someone evaluating your application doesn't see you, but they see your application. You need to make your application come alive because you are not just numbers or words. When talking about yourself, share some goals you have or what really makes you tick (especially if you are a clock).

2. Do you even know how to spel? First impressions are a huge part in deciding if your applications succeeds or fails. Just like a stinky breath, grammar is can be managed, but many people neglect this simple aspect of application writing. Make sure you not only run spell check through your application but also check spelling the old fashion way. This is because there are some mistakes that Microsoft Word cannot catch - the mistakes in context.

3. Start early! I was never the fastest kid growing up, so every time a deadline came about, I cringe at the fact that I had to finish something by a certain time. Grant, contest, and scholarship applications have some of the strictest deadlines out there, and missing these deadlines usually always means an automatic disqualification. Start your application as soon as possible and make sure you manage your time effectively so that you don't end up rushing to finish.

4. We're all in this together. Have a friend look over your application before you turn it in. It's always good to have a fresh set of eyes look over your information because they pick up things that you missed. Remember that you don't have to use all the advice you get from others, because you are in charge of the application. Instead, consider all opinions with a grain of salt and see how they fit into the big picture.

5. Thank you very much. After you get a decision back on your application, regardless of if you got accepted or not, always send in a thank you card. If you got accepted, this only reiterates how much the acceptance means to you. If you got rejected (which shouldn't happen because you're that amazing), this leaves a positive imprint on the evaluators for next application!

Follow these tips, and you will tip the scales in your favor come next application time!