Common Scholarship Requirements We(Mistakenly) Ignore
by Esther Ng If you’re fretting about how to find the perfect scholarship, you’re not alone. While the internet has certainly made things far more accessible to find multiple scholarships, it also creates new problems for applicants. A major one is that there are far too many scholarships scattered around the web(and some still only in print) without any sort of categorizing. Even scholarship websites “list” as many scholarships as they can, but applicants still have to sift through several hundred, maybe thousands, of scholarships available. During this search, however, most applicants ignore the most common requirements that they should read. It is easy to miss the small, seemingly unimportant pieces that do not stand out. However, do note that these requirements are still compulsory, and very much worth noting. It may seem like a chore to have to read through them all, but it would be a lot less heartbreaking if you spent all that time compiling your application packet only for it to be rejected on that technicality. Here are the common scholarship requirements that you should always take note of: Professional field/course of study Some professional fields and tertiary study courses can be very specific. This includes culinary, sports, agriculture, and more. Most scholarships are geared towards a particular course of study, and the applicant must be pursuing a particular field of that choice in order to qualify for the scholarship. It may seem easy to assume a general branch of that field of study, for instance, agriculture. However, some scholarships may require a specific branch of agriculture itself– horticulture, as an example. The good news is, most scholarships usually do not get more specific than one field or course of study. It would be wise, however, to still double check. Level of study Be careful when applying for scholarships that cater to particular group of students. Some scholarships welcome applicants from different levels of study; that is, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate. Others may only welcome students already enrolled in college, while there are some that are only open to high school seniors graduating in the upcoming semester. Read before you apply! Needs-based Requirement Donors will usually ask for a proof of income status if you are applying for a needs-based scholarship. This would include a copy of your tax return statement, for instance, or if you are a minor, a copy of your guardian’s/parent’s tax return. Merely writing a statement or letter will not be proof enough. Applicants often forget to add this document to their packet, because it is so easily overlooked, or perhaps takes a long time to obtain. All the more reason to start compiling your packet early! GPA While this is a common requirement that applicants will naturally fret over, be mindful that GPA scores come with a few catches. For instance, some donors will specify that your GPA score has to be taken from your final senior semester in high school, instead of your current standing score. Therefore, if you have a standing 3.50 on a scale of 4.00 at the moment, don’t rest too easy just yet! If the scholarship you’re applying for wishes their applicants to have a minimum of 3.5 on the GPA scale, a slight drop in your final semester would put you out of the race. Remember to watch for any specificities on the GPA requirement; whether your current one will do or if you need to turn in the latest one before your graduation. In the meantime, keep that GPA up anyway! The one mistake that applicants often make is not reading every requirement or merely skimming through it. While it can seem like a chore to have to read through the many lines over and over, trust us that it will be worth it. Being specific in this case is a skill that you will need. To make things easier, separate each application packet and go through each requirements individually. You’ll be less likely to miss out on any requirements!