Scholarship Tips from All the Wisdom and None of the Junk: Be Specific and Detailed

Scholarship Tips from All the Wisdom and None of the Junk: Be Specific and Detailed

Specific wording can make or break a college or scholarship application. Avoid the widespread mistake of over-generalizing or leaving too much to interpretation by shifting your perspective to that of the reviewers.

Think about it: while you may know exactly what you contributed to an activity just by mentioning its name, strangers reading your application won’t. As reviewers, all we have to go on is what you write. So being specific and detailed in quantifying your contributions is incredibly important.

It’s one thing, for example, to write “Food Bank Volunteer,” and another to write “Volunteered 20 hours per week during junior year to collect canned food and coordinated food basket distribution with local food bank.”

It’s also key to elaborate on – and not repeat – the information in the basic Activity Section if the application you’re completing has an additional “Detailed Activities Section,” which many do. These sections give you more space to describe the three or four activities that mean the most to you – and space to explain why. Sometimes left blank and often misjudged, detailed activity sections can be capitalized on, giving reviewers even more insight into your motivation and commitment while also demonstrating that you care enough to follow instructions and give review committees the information they’ve asked you to provide.

For deeper insight into this tip and other secrets of applying for college admission and scholarships, check out our new book All the Wisdom and None of the Junk. It gives students inside information – but only what they truly need to create exceptional college and scholarship applications. Learn more.

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