Students Corner

14 Reasons Why Your Scholarship Application Was Rejected

Answers to Why Scholarship Applications Get Rejected

We all have the desire to get our hands on top scholarships. And it isn’t necessarily about the money sometimes. Sure, yes – a chance for free education, who would want to miss that? But in our opinion, it’s more about the scholarship’s weightage on your resume. The mention of receiving a scholarship alone can validate the fact that your achievements are something and you have been awarded for your merit. Also, it states that you were chosen from a pool of thousands of people. It’s a big tick on the hard work you did before college.

Now, imagine that two individuals have applied for a scholarship and are waiting for the results. One is a high achiever from your class, possibly even the head girl/boy of your section, and they have everything they need to get a scholarship. You’re probably already thinking that this straight-A, the active-in extra-curricular student will be the definite choice, right? The other individual has somewhat good grades, they are passionately working on what they love in terms of extra-curricular, and they play sports in school for fun only. Both individuals are not the same but are hoping to get a college scholarship.  

It may come as a shock to you, but the latter was awarded the scholarship, and our straight-A student was not. How could that possibly happen? Well, there’s a lot that goes into your scholarship application. The choice of the scholarship, the way your application goes, and what sets you apart in the eyes of scholarship givers. We are going to look into that so you can avoid being rejected for your dream scholarship.

Why is Application Rejection Normal? 

First of all, we have to understand that it is also okay to receive a rejection. From Scarlett Johansson to Hugh Jackman, the biggest stars have been rejected, and look where it got them. Did you know the first book of the Harry Potter series was rejected by publishers 12 times!? Sounds crazy. But she did not give up. Had she thrown all her hard work away, we would not be binge-watching the most loved movie series of all time! 

Of course, while you’re hopeful about hearing back on your scholarship and not getting the result you were expecting can put you down. You may ask questions like, ‘Was my application not good enough?’ or ‘What did I do to fail at this?’ or ‘Why was I rejected?’ While letting yourself feel all that is important, you must also get rid of this discouragement because failing or being rejected means that you have the opportunity to do better and learn from it. So we will push you to keep at it and you might even get your hands on something better, who knows?

Here’s Why Your Scholarship Got Rejected & Why It’s Completely Normal

It may come as a surprise when a perfect student is not selected for a scholarship. The essence is in the details, and you should look at all the minute details so your application does not end up in the rejection pile. Below, you’ll find the top 14 reasons your scholarship application was rejected:

1# According to the criteria of the scholarship, you were ineligible.

What many scholarships outline are the conditions for potential applicants’ eligibility. This can be in terms of your age, educational standing, field of study, degree of education, and a variety of other factors. For instance, if the scholarship is only available for medical students or those with accounting majors, you can be sure that you will be rejected if you list your interest in journalism or literature as your degree of choice. So micro-scoping the core of your application is necessary!

2# You did not realize the number of scholarships being given.

Each year, thousands of people apply, but they are all turned down because of this particular problem. It has nothing to do with how tirelessly they worked and is primarily the product of luck and chance. 

The total amount of award money available for distribution is the subject of this discussion. There will undoubtedly be a sizeable portion of unsuccessful applicants if, for example, 100,000 people apply for 1000 scholarships but only 100 can be awarded. Nothing less than flawless completion of your application will suffice to ensure success.

3# You overlooked adding your contact.

Remember to include your contact information so that people can reach you. Additionally, changing phone numbers at this moment is not a good idea. Remember to check your email every day because some organizations may touch you via email.

4# You were behind schedule.

It is very easy to think, ‘Okay, I have got this. It’s not a lot. I will manage and be ahead of deadlines.’ Well, no. It is a lot and you may not be ahead of the deadline either. Many applicants begin their applications with full energy, but they frequently lose focus or procrastinate during the challenging sections where they must write essays.

5# You failed to respond to what the scholarship was asking.

Scholarship application guidelines are unique. The guidelines for you to follow are created by the selection panel to determine if you possess the qualifications they are looking for. 

Therefore, avoid responding to a question about how you managed to overcome a challenge with information regarding your outstanding high school performance. Be concise and clear in answering and sharing about yourself. The review panel will presume you simply forwarded the same copy-and-pasted application to each scholarship if you don’t consider the explicit rules.

6# You turned in a soiled application.

While assembling your application form, academic transcripts, and other documents, you might have sat on them, spilled coffee on them, or even torn them. Start fresh with neat, crystal clear copies if that occurs. Nothing turns off a prospective scholarship more than filthy, crinkled, or torn application materials.

7# Your application had a lot of spelling mistakes.

They will know that you don’t care very much about receiving the scholarship if you don’t consider taking the time to fix the misspellings and grammatical mistakes in your application. 

Thus make sure to proofread it carefully to find any errors that spell-check missed. It is great to have a fresh set of eyes review your application. You may receive priceless input to incorporate and make your application better. So, if you feel you require a second opinion, seek assistance!

8# Your personal statement was plagiarized from the web.

Plagiarism is a big fat no. While it is often tempting because sometimes you don’t know where to start and going on the internet, you find exactly what you need, and is a showcase of what you want to say. But that is the point. A personal statement has to be you! For you to stand out, you have to showcase your uniqueness and thoughts that only you’ll think! Look for inspiration if you must, but copying that sample essay thinking who would know, will cost you your dream scholarship. 

Also, who’s to say other students have not used the same thing? This truly discredits you too.

9# You provided incorrect or unrelated supporting documentation.

You must be wary of that. If your scholarship requirement specifically states 5-6 supporting documents, then you must only attach those. And not go over the board by submitting double the amount of what is asked of you. You don’t want to unsettle the individuals responsible for evaluating applications. The likelihood that they won’t accept your application increases if they have to sift through a mountain of insignificant paperwork.

10# Your writing is difficult to read.

The majority of applications can now be submitted online. Additionally, even if they must be delivered by mail, you can always finish your application online and print it. You might occasionally be expected to send a handwritten essay, though. You might also be obliged to conform to a handwritten application. Assure your writing is easily readable in these circumstances. You don’t want them to give up trying to understand your writing out of frustration.

11# You did not apply for more than one option.

What many scholarships offer applicants is more than one opportunity to apply. As a result, you are eligible to apply for multiple study programs at the same level but multiple colleges using the same scholarship. 

Utilize the opportunity to enroll in multiple study programs when it is available to you. Don’t just pick one; instead, make a few choices so that if one doesn’t work, the other can. Since the candidate did not satisfy the criteria for that specific study program, applications are typically turned down. So, you won’t be given another chance if they have no other options. This might be yet another factor in the rejection of your scholarship application.

12# Something was missing from your application.

You know how long and complex scholarship applications can be if you have previously applied for scholarships. Or if even it’s your first time, you may struggle with wanting to just get it done. And scholarship applications do entail a lot of your information in form of autobiography or memoirs, which include details on your family and generally your school activities.

So, despite how laborious it may be, you must ensure that you give them all the information they request, and if for some reason you are unable to, be sure to include a brief rationale for it. Also, don’t skip anything thinking it would not matter, because, in all honesty, it will matter.

13# You put it off until the very end.

You require time to organize and coordinate yourself as well as conduct research on how to go about the process. We advise that you locate a suitable reviewer so your overall application can have an edge and again, a fresh set of eyes is ideal for this situation.

You never know what you might be missing! Make arrangements for the necessary paperwork beforehand, like transcripts, which may need to be attested. Work closely with your school counselor. Don’t take the chance of overlooking something crucial because otherwise there is no reason to send the application.

14# You did not use enough postage.

There wasn’t enough postage included on your scholarship application postal document package. Keep in mind your envelope has the proper quantity of postage if you’re mailing your application. Ensure the address is correct by checking it twice. You have no likelihood of progressing to the next phase if your application doesn’t get through to them.

Apply for More Scholarships Now!

Receiving a scholarship rejection letter is one of the most difficult aspects of the application. Devoting a great deal of energy to perfecting your application, composing statements, and whatnot can be heartbreaking. 

A scholarship rejection letter, however, is typically just a step in the procedure. Numerous students withdraw after receiving a scholarship rejection letter and begin to believe that there must be something wrong with them. 

In truth, there is a wide range of reasons for scholarship rejection, but they are not an assessment of your value. Instead, they usually take into account other elements, like the reality that another student has a greater need or that they have particular expertise that happened to appeal to the scholarship review panel.

Over anything else, upon hearing the news, you need to be kind to yourself. It can be challenging to avoid internalizing the rejection, but doing so is essential for progress. Idealistically, you must pause to ask yourself, ‘How can I do this better?’ and fight any negative self-talk about your value or deservingness because it seldom represents reality.

Dr. Youasf Saeed

I am Dr. Engr. Yousaf Saeed, the creator of this Fully Funded Scholarship platform. My academic journey has been marked by securing three significant international scholarships for my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, including the esteemed Australia Awards, CSC, and HKPFS. I am an affiliate of IChemE and have lent my engineering skills to renowned companies such as Aramco and BYCO oil refinery. My scholarly work is published in leading SCI journals, a fact that underscores my academic excellence, visible on my Researchgate Profile. Motivated by my deep-seated passion for education and dedication to fostering emerging scholars, i established this website to serve as a guiding light for international students aspiring to pursue their education abroad. As a distinguished educationist and mentor, i am specialized in steering students through the complexities of research and the journey towards achieving patents. Through this platform, I offer invaluable insights and mentorship, shining a light on pathways to fully funded scholarships, exchange programs, internships, and rewarding research career trajectories. My mission is to help students navigate the vast educational opportunities abroad, ensuring they grasp the chances that will shape their promising futures. Whereas you can also choose to follow me on my social media: - Facebook - Linkedin - Youtube