How to Mess Up a Scholarship Essay

How to Mess Up a Scholarship Essay

Oh no, you spelled that word wrong! It happens all the time but mistakes like these and others can cost you free money aka scholarships. You wouldn’t want to miss out on $2,500 because you typed an “L” instead of a “Z” right? Well here are some common mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

Fulfill the Criteria

Make sure you read the scholarship application description and follow the guidelines. If the scholarship asks you to write about a time where you overcame a struggle, don’t write about how your aunt’s cat is the most adorable cat. Be careful with copying and pasting other scholarship essays that you wrote - this could be a huge blunder if you replace it with the wrong topic. If the scholarship application says there is a maximum of 500 words, keep it to 500 words. Unfortunately, you won’t get any extra credit here for going over the word count.


We mentioned it briefly in the introduction but this is a very easy way to mess up your scholarship essay. One or multiple misspelled words show the scholarship reviewers that you didn’t take the time to proofread. If you’re competing against others for scholarship money, taking the time to proofread shows that you actually care about getting the scholarship. We suggest getting a second pair of eyes on your scholarship essays to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, run-on sentences, and more.

Stay Humble

Although scholarship essays ask you to talk about yourself, they are no place to brag and boast. In acknowledging your accomplishments you should always carry a strong sense of humility. Scholarship reviewers are here to help support you and it helps if you have stories that reflect on how others in your community have helped you to achieve your goals. We’re all in this together and it’s hard to want to stamp ‘won’ on essays where people think they’ve got it all figured out themselves.

Stay Hungry

If you’ve experienced hardship in your life and your scholarship essays ask you to write about that, make sure that you write in stride. Try to tell your story in a frame that doesn’t sound like you’re complaining about your situation. How people write about their experiences can be very telling about how they deal with those experiences and reviewers of scholarships want to ensure that the individuals they’re supporting will use their resources to continue growing to advance themselves out of their situation.


The Top 5 Myths About Scholarships

The Top 5 Myths About Scholarships

Many people believe that they can’t or won’t win scholarships for certain reasons that really aren’t true. We want you to win as much money as possible for college so here’s our list of the top 5 myths about scholarships to keep you encouraged throughout the process:

1) “I don’t have enough time to search for and apply to scholarships.”

Not to toot our own horn but that’s why we’re here! Scholly was made for you so you don’t have to spend all of that time searching for scholarships. Make sure you keep a list of your activities and update them in the Miscellaneous category on your profile to get matched with more targeted scholarships that are suited for you.

2) “There are too many people I’m competing against to win this scholarship.”

There are so many scholarships out there. And by so many, we mean SO many. Over $100 million in scholarship awards go unclaimed each year. These range from essays that ask you to write your favorite thing about milk to telling about a time where you overcame a struggle. The chances are that there are scholarships out there that you will win but you just need to apply!

3) “I can’t get scholarships with my GPA”

Yes you can. Plain and simple - there are scholarships out there that don’t have any GPA requirements. While you should work to improve your GPA, it does not define your scholarship opportunities so apply and apply often.

4) “My race or family’s income is going to prevent me from getting scholarships.”

It’s true that many scholarships are suited for specific income levels or racial backgrounds. However, those are not the only opportunities that exist. Scholarships cater to people based on a variety of criteria where race and income don’t matter. These merit based scholarships offer great ways to help afford your education.

5) “I’m too [insert reason here] for scholarships.”

I’m too old, young, boring.... Don’t let your thoughts discourage you from applying to scholarships because the truth is that scholarships abound in a variety of categories. You should have to be intentional about finding what opportunities match you the best. And we’re here to help you do exactly that.


4 Reasons to Apply for Scholarships During the Spring

4 Reasons to Apply for Scholarships During the Spring

Spring is here and while you are enjoying Spring Break, or preparing for Spring semester, it’s important to start looking into all the scholarships that are opening up to either help you pay for the rest of school year, your summer term, or next year. Here are a few reasons why you should be applying for scholarships during the Spring.

  1. New Scholarship Season: When March hits, a new wave of scholarships open up for students to apply for. Since students are only a few months away from having to make their college decision, it’s important to apply for as many of these awards as possible in order to be able pay the tuition bill when it comes.
  2. FASFA: By March, you should have submitted your FASFA (if you need to) in order to see what financial aid and grants you are eligible for. This only helps add to the funds you need and even if you don’t think you qualify, it’s super easy to apply and you never know what you could get.
  3. Recycle Essays: At this point, you have likely applied for a good number of scholarships so far. So a good tip would be to start seeing if any of the Spring scholarships you qualify for have similar essay prompts as scholarships you have applied for in the past. This allows you to reuse your essays and apply for several scholarships at once, saving you a ton of time during the process.
  4. Timing: A lot of scholarships that open in the Spring are awarded during the summer so while you are waiting to pick what school you are going to attend, it’s best to line up and time when things will be awarded so you can hedge your bets.

Spring is a time of great weather and lots of fun, but also full of scholarship opportunities waiting to be applied for. Go get ‘em!

Announcing our $10,000 scholarship!

Announcing our $10,000 scholarship!

Announcing our $10,000 scholarship!

We're excited to announce that for the first time, Scholly is offering our own scholarship! We call it the JUMPSTART scholarship because, sometimes, all great minds need is a bit of a spark to accomplish great things. Scholly's vision is to help all students reach their potential, and partnering with CommonBond allows us to put our money here our mouth is. This $10,000 scholarship is for students throughout the United States and only takes like a minute to apply.  

Good luck! And we'll announce the winner on April 25th.

I Won Over $600,000 in Scholarships Using Scholly

I Won Over $600,000 in Scholarships Using Scholly

To date, Scholly has helped students win over $70 million in scholarships, impacting the lives of families across the world. We have helped students from various economic and ethnic backgrounds, ensuring that all students reach their potential.

However, there are some stories that are so incredible that are compelled to share in order to inspire other students on their journey to pay for college. One of the most compelling stories is that of Sunny Sandhu a student who used Scholly to win over $600,000 in scholarships to attend Princeton University.

He won nearly every major scholarship (and many others) including the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Coca Cola Scholarship, and Jack Cook Kent Scholarship.

How did you Scholly help you in your scholarship search process?

There are thousands of dollars of scholarships out there with your name on it, but the hard part is finding those scholarships. Scholly did exactly that for me, it helped me find the scholarships that wanted to invest in a student like me.

How did you feel Scholly impacted your life?

I would never have thought one download on the App Store would have such an impact on my future. I am grateful for Scholly in helping me realize my potential and showing me that the sky is truly the limit. Without the platform, attending a top-notch university like Princeton on a full-ride would not have an attainable task for me.

How did you feel when you found out you won so many scholarships?

Shocked. Winning these scholarships was not something I took for granted. In fact, with each scholarship I received, the more surprised I was. However, with the tools provided by Scholly, a feat like this should not be surprising, but should rather be everyday occurrence for the millions of students out there.

We are inspired by Sunny’s story and the team at Scholly is working hard every day to make sure we help create many more like him. 

Scholly Scholarships for Immigrants and Refugees

Scholly Scholarships for Immigrants and Refugees

The Scholly team is proud to announce that we've recently added a very special scholarship to our platform, for undocumented students and refugees aka "Dreamers" called the Dreamers Scholarship. The Dreamers US National Scholarship is for undocumented immigrants with significant, unmet financial need. 

As our tagline OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL expresses, we believe in helping all students achieve their potential — and with the American Dream starting to feeling like an illusion for some, it's important that we all do our part to make a difference and have a positive impact for those in need. So we are truly honored to promote this opportunity for the many students that need it!

And as always, remember to check Scholly often to get matched with other amazing scholarship opportunities suited just for you!