Scholarship competitions receive applications from numerous deserving students each year. While some believe that only the best applicants win, this doesn’t always hold true.  Instead, it’s often the applicants who come prepared who do. The key to success lies in creating a successful approach to finding and applying for awards. Here are some strategies to set your applicants up for success and improve their chances of winning.

Play Your Strengths

Perhaps the most basic scholarship application strategy is to encourage applicants to apply for scholarships they have the best chance of winning. While this seems obvious enough, figuring out what these scholarships are for requires thought and strategy. This searchable directory from Scholars United gives applicants complete access to available opportunities, the ability to manage active scholarships, and qualify via automated nominations and referrals.

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Scholarships Dashboard 2

Give your applicants a serious head start on the competition by encouraging them to apply early and after they do, begin narrowing the list down to awards they think they have the best chance of winning. Whatever the reason, there are likely to be scholarships that stand out as awards for areas in which they excel.

Our intuitive and scalable cloud-based platform gives your applicants the ability to manage their applications, check the statuses of their applications, and download copies in one user-friendly interface.


Empower your applicants to play their strengths when constructing their scholarship applications. Everything they indicate in their applications should highlight their strengths as aspiring scholars.

Our easy application portal makes this possible with the “One-Click Apply” option, so applicants can apply for all available opportunities in a matter of seconds. With the option to upload attachments, essays, and letters of recommendation, we offer nothing less than convenience and ease of use.  


Write a Killer Essay

A big chunk of your applicants’ time and energy will be devoted to writing scholarship essays. Many scholarship applications require at least one essay and scholarship reviewers consider this pivotal.

Most providers are very specific in their length and format requirements;  so if your applicants don’t adhere to the guidelines, their essays will most likely be disqualified.

Even if they don’t consider themselves strong writers, they can write a scholarship-worthy essay if they put in the time and effort the task requires. By learning about their audience and what they want (i.e. reading about the scholarship contest’s mission and reading previous years’ winning essays), they can better tailor their scholarship applications to the prompt. This will immediately set them apart from students who didn’t bother doing preliminary research.

Instruct your applicants to answer each part of the question to the best of their ability, using examples, evidence, and supplemental material to strengthen their argument and position in the essay. Not all essays require research or a thesis, so if it’s more personal, ensure they use examples to further illustrate their ideas and experiences.

Beyond that, following other basic guidelines for the scholarship application process and scholarship essay portion will keep them on track and set them up for success.

Pay Attention to Details

The most useful, and often overlooked, scholarship application strategy is paying attention to details. From making note of scholarship application deadlines and getting organized to formatting essays, paying attention to details can make the difference between winning a scholarship and being rejected.

Certain scholarships may even require a specific kind of bibliographic citation. Make sure your applicants follow rules, no matter how tiny or arbitrary, and observe appropriate scholarship application etiquette. Taking these steps will ensure that it’s the substance of their scholarship application that stands out, not the errors.