If I Don’t Perfectly Match Up With A Scholarship’s Criteria, Should I Still Apply?

You go down the checklist of scholarship's criteria to see if you match, but what if you match on all the criteria except one?

Pixabay user Maialisa

Searching for college scholarships can sometimes be quite a daunting task, especially with how many are available to students. There will be a few that are a perfect match for you and then hundreds of others that you don’t qualify for. However, have you ever come across a scholarship that you almost perfectly match, but not quite? You meet all of the scholarship’s criteria except for one requirement. What should you do?

Should You Apply Anyway? 

If you don’t meet a particular scholarship’s criteria perfectly, it’s a good rule of thumb to not apply. The competition for scholarships are fierce and you will be contending with other students who actually perfectly match the requirements. The organization hosting the scholarship will receive quite a few applications and have to sift through hundreds, if not thousands. If you don’t meet the criteria, yours may be thrown out or disqualified right at the beginning.

What To Do Instead 

Instead of applying for scholarships you are almost perfect for, find the ones that are just right for you. There are thousands upon thousands of scholarships available, some specific to your major, high school, college, state, region, or hobbies.

If you feel overwhelmed at the task, or feel you can’t find any scholarships you can meet the requirements of, talk to your high school counselor. They may have some examples of awards and grants in the office that you are perfect for. They may also have advice for your search.

Another route is to take advantage of the dozens of scholarship databases and listings available online. Some websites allow you to fill in your profile and find scholarships that match your qualifications. The internet has made it easier than ever to find awards.

The Benefits Of Only Applying When You Meet The Scholarship’s Criteria

 While it may hurt to have to pass on the scholarship you don’t quite qualify for, it may still provide plenty of benefits for you. For example, you saved time on not filling out the application. Instead of completing the form, you can continue the search for the right scholarship.

Since you have this extra time, make sure to pay attention to the scholarships you do apply for. Pay attention to the details and avoid mistakes; failing to do so can be just as bad as not meeting the requirements. There will be other applicants who complete the forms or requirements correctly, so you want to make sure you stay in the competition.

While it may be tempting to apply anyway for a scholarship you’re not a perfect match for, it should be avoided. There is so much competition that it’s best to stick to what you have a chance of winning, rather than hoping you get lucky. Most of all, you don’t want to waste time, and this includes the organization’s as well as yours. If you meet all the criteria of a scholarship, complete the requirements correctly, and grab their attention, you could be in a good spot towards winning the award.

 

Hilary Cairns

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