Do not be a prisoner of your past. You cannot change a past grade. You cannot change someone’s opinion of you. You should not let these factors define yourself. You are a writer – this is your story – you choose what defines you.We may be unaware of the exposition or the resolution, but we know our climax. It is up to us to reach that climax. You are worth so much more than that failed math test, you are worth so much more than their comments – life is hard, but you have choices. There is always a tomorrow – if you want that scholarship, “hard” is not in your dictionary, “difficult” is not in your dictionary – it is: GO from the start and WIN in the end. Win for yourself.

Tips to make your scholarship application stand out


Annually, a plethora of scholarships are offered – either by the university itself or by private companies. You are either reading this article because you have already found a scholarship and need some assistance, or you are still looking around for one – either way, it is important to note that you should always have a contingency plan (Plan B), you cannot only rely on one scholarship opportunity.

Read this article on how to find scholarships. You should apply to a range of scholarship opportunities to avoid disappointment and to reap the benefit of getting an education without worrying about the expenses!

You should choose scholarships that speak to you. Look at the type of scholarship – do you meet eligibility requirements (GPA , geographic boundaries, field of interest), is the financial coverage suited for you – will a partially funded scholarship or a fully funded scholarship or both best suit you, as well as the outcomes; e.g.does the scholarship offer candidates support groups? It is important to take these factors into account, as you not only want to make the most out of the scholarship, but more importantly you want it to work best for you.


Scholarships scams are a fraudulent activity – where scammers are not only out for your money but out to steal your identity. Identity theft is devastating, as scammers can use your personal information to obtain for example a loan – that loan that you never applied for will thus be under your name – you do not want that! Scammers will offer you scholarships for college.

How do I know if it is a scholarship scam?

·         Ask for some form of payment

·         Ask for personal information e.g. bank account details, ID (identity document), home address, visa

·         Source is unknown – you have never heard of this organization, company, or college

·         Informs you have won a scholarship, even though you have never applied

·         Creates a false promising picture of a high success rate (usually used by scholarship matching services) – this can really damage your feelings too – we do not want that!

How to avoid scholarship scams?

·         RESEARCH – do extensive research around this scholarship offering, check if the university is legitimate, check if the organization that is offering this scholarship is legitimate, as well as the scholarship matching service. BEWARE – these scammers can also create fake websites, use Google Transparency Report to check the site.

·         TALK – talk to people about this opportunity; e.g. your parents, your career counsellor at school. You can even personally email the university to ask if this scholarship is true, as well as ask people on open platforms like Google reviews and ratings. Read any reviews about these organizations, colleges from past people – maybe they have been scammed too!


If I already have been a victim?

Get the police involved.

File your complaint here:


Take note of the details:

·         requirements criteria (GPA needed or SAT score needed)

·         required documents that need to be submitted

·         deadlines for essays, interviews

Highlight these dates and requirements.

If you are applying for a scholarship soon – check if you meet the academic requirements especially, however “the early bird catches the worm” – if you are thinking of applying for a particular scholarship in the future, prioritize it and start working from now to ensure you meet those academic requirements.

Learn how you can meet the academic requirements by learning how to ace your online classes.

Start researching scholarships early. A rule of thumb is most scholarships open for the following year around August and deadlines are generally around October/December. This is dependent on the scholarship you apply for – always note the opening and closing dates. Apply to as many scholarships as you can to keep your options open to avoid disappointment.

Choosing a scholarship from a private company vs. university

Both are advantageous and disadvantageous – just dependent on the scholarship offered. Many scholarships offered by private companies such as Deloitte scholarships – you may see it as a pro that not only does the scholarship offers financial aid but secures traineeship after you have done your degree, it is killing two birds in one stone however one may also view the con to be that interests change during university and thus you may not want to do this compulsory traineeship. Usually private company scholarships are centered around the course you are applying for – your interests may change during university and you may even switch courses, this could be a major issue for some to handle. These scholarships are great if you are certain about the degree you will be studying, the career you will be going into but not so great if you are unsure and just “testing” that degree option.

Fewer people will apply to a private company scholarship since it is centered around the course you are applying for; it is less competitive; your chances will be higher. University scholarships tend to be more general which is a pro in case your interests change, however it is very competitive as it tends to consider many different career fields.

University scholarships tend to offer more of a variety of financial aid than what private companies offer. Scholarships offered by private companies are limited.


This is not only essential and beneficial in nailing that scholarship, but also in nailing an internship or a job in the future. What you do now marks your future.

Meeting academic requirements, having an excellent GPA has become petty, many people can achieve these marks – how can you tell which one of out of many is worth giving this scholarship to? – many scholarship awarders are looking for something deeper within each candidate. You need to stand out and appear unique under their eyes.

FIRST OF ALL: do some self-introspection – be with yourself, speak to yourself and dig deep within yourself to find out: who you are, what are your interests. Try some self-reflection exercises to help you get the answers you need: meditate, do free writing (this is a useful technique where just for 5 minutes you can write whatever comes to your mind (your thoughts) – it can be very random – this is your journey, include as many “ums” as you want), take on new activities to find your interests, get outdoors, talk to yourself or even seek counselling if necessary. These actions will help you analyze yourself and craft the person you want to be, the person you aim to share with the world including the scholarship admissions committee.

If you can do this then you can show this to your scholarship awarders by participating in the following activities to add value to your profile :

·         Volunteering for example if you enjoy the company of the elderly, you can volunteer at an old age home participating in activities with the elderly, or if you enjoy working with people around the same age as you – you  can volunteer at Scholarship Track (plus you can learn more about student opportunities and develop your skills by choosing a position that is of interest to you! – click HERE! for more)

·         Part-time job – for example if you enjoy math and excel in it, share your passion with another student by offering tuition (you will also be earning a side income here!)

·         Start a side hustle (freelance), or your own business e.g. a home-cooked meals service, offering home-cooked meals to the community

·         Start an NGO – if you are passionate about a social issue e.g. women abuse, you can start a platform where abused women can share their stories, and sponsors can offer mentorship programs to abused women, thus taking them under their wing (you will boost employment, giving abused women hope – the idea behind starting a NGO is about making an impact rather than a profit)

·         Extracurriculars, activities e.g. play a musical instrument, sport, learning a new language

·         Start a student society or be part of a student society and associations (you can also make good friends here too!)

·         Take part in student adventures e.g. cultural programs, exchange programs as well as leadership adventures e.g. The President’s Award (this is also great material to add to your scholarship essay and even speak about in a scholarship interview!)


Your scholarship resume will cover the following areas:

·         Academic achievements

·         Work and internship experience

·         Volunteering

·         Projects, skills

·         Awards

·         Extracurriculars

·         Leadership moments and personal obstacles overcome

This is just the brainstorming stage. Summarize all the points, covering each of these areas first.

You can use the 5W and H technique to ensure you include relevant and necessary points.

Apply this technique when going through each area.


Remember, that you are not the only scholarship applicant applying. There are thousands and sometimes even millions. Whether your application is at the top, in the middle or even in the end – the admissions committee members really sometimes just want to get it over and done with. It is a very tedious and tiring process. As a candidate, you want to be in the admissions committee’s good books with a stellar application. Apart from the content, format plays a major role in achieving this.

·         Your name and surname should be at the top – capitalize this, apply a bold style and ensure it is in black text to make it stand out. Underneath put your contact details (phone number including country code as well as email address, share your general location – no home address needed, do not give away too much!)

·         Ensure your resume is no longer than 2 pages – the admissions committee do not have time for stories. Your resume is not the place to tell a story – keep that for your scholarship essay or your scholarship interview. You want to be straight to the point via listing, and keep your profile summary basic. You can use free resume templates on CANVA – click HERE! – this will help you keep your resume concise and short as well as pretty to look at! Do not go overboard on the “pretty” factor, keep it classy! 

·         Follow a chronological order to make your resume an easy read for the admissions committee. Following this order allows your resume to appear more like a story: start off with your profile summary, then venture into your schooling experience (academic history), and then your out-of-school experience (work and internship experience), concluding to where you are at now.


Here you will take your summary in step 3 and formulate it into a final draft.

Start with the body and after it is finalized, we will work on the profile summary (step 6). 

Reminder your scholarship resume will cover the following areas, and should follow this order to create a chronological order (“story”) – as discussed in step 4 above: 

• Academic achievements

• Experience: Internship (work), volunteering, projects involved in

• Extracurriculars 

• Awards 

Remember in step 4 we established the importance of keeping your scholarship resume concise – you cannot include all the points you put in step 3: your summary. Come on – do you think a math quiz you aced four years ago matters? Pick aspects of your life that depict who you are today and support the field you are going in – for example mention an entrepreneurship challenge you won/participated in if you are applying for a business degree. 


This rule is usually used in creative writing when an author wants the reader to engage with their senses and imagination in the text via creating a descriptive image – rather than simply stating the obvious.

This is what you will need to do – choose certain achievements, projects, experiences that show who you are. You must list these – no explanations required.

For example: Toastmasters International Public Speaking Course – Certificate of Completion. This is an award worth putting on your resume as it shows the viewer that you have public speaking skills. You do not need to explain what you learnt – save that for your scholarship essay, scholarship interview. The content you pick for the body of your resume will do the “talking”. 

An example of what NOT to put: 5th Grade Spelling Bee Champion – this literally shows the viewer that when you were in 5th grade you were a great speller – we change from middle to high school; it does not show the viewer who you are right now.

Choose meaningful content – this will help in the long run with your scholarship essay and interview too!


In our “Show Don’t Tell Rule” this is the only space where we scrap “showing” and start “telling” in a simple and concise manner.

Your profile summary should focus on 4 areas:

1. School

2. Major – in your degree

3. Experience/opportunity

4. What you want and why (the “why” should be answered in your body, briefly touch on it here)

Your profile summary should be short, at the least 4-5 sentences. This is a brief introduction telling the viewer who you are and what they can expect as they go through your scholarship resume.

This area of your scholarship resume is where you can really tell the viewer who you are.

TIP: when starting off your profile summary – you want to “hook” the reader – try starting off with one of your achievements, awards received (e.g. Dean’s List Merit scholar) and use emotive words to describe the type of candidate you are e.g. creative, responsible


Past X Entrepreneurship Challenge Champion who is innovative, creative and motivated to transform a winning entrepreneurship idea into reality.  Recent hungry-for-knowledge ABC high school graduate who would like to further expand business skills and knowledge by being enrolled at XYZ program.  Always keen to learn more via participating in past internship program at Deloittes and to share more with the world and beyond!


Check your scholarship resume, back and front. Check if you have covered all the relevant content you want to include.

Run a spell check through it, use GRAMMARLY.

Ensure you have used a formal tone. Formal text should not consist of contractions, colloquialism, slang, avoid first person (I) or second person (you), and abbreviations.

Additionally, the appearance should also look formal. Arial, Helvetica, Calibri, Times New Roman are a few examples of fonts which are considered professional. Choose one font and keep it consistent throughout your resume. You can underline your subheadings and/or bold it and/or italicize. Heading, which is your name and surname should be capitalized, bold and centered.

Read it loud to yourself. When you read it out loud, see what visual images come to mind as you read through your resume – your scholarship resume should depict your journey visually – if this comes to mind then you know your scholarship resume is ready and the viewers will see exactly what you see.

Ask close friends, family or even your school/college counsellor to proof read and review your scholarship resume. Everyone has different opinions – take into account criticism and it is your choice whether you agree with your proof reader’s point or not. Adjust where you feel is necessary.

Scholarship Track also provides many opportunities – we write articles about past scholarship recipients who are willing to share their stories and secret tips and tricks on how they secured the scholarship of their dreams!

Check out the following stories:

·         Daksh Sharma – International Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship

·         Sabrina Kundu – Grace Hopper Celebration Student Scholarship

·         Moe Hay Mar Kaung – Grace Hopper Celebration Student Scholarship

·         Ankit Verma – SN Bose Scholarship   

Above all, before submitting your resume you should feel confident about your application. You should feel the application best represents your authentic self and tells your story accurately the way you painted it. This essentially is your artwork that you are sharing with the world (scholarship admission committee). Have a positive attitude and prepare for the best. Good luck! 


Sometimes a candidate’s resume may seem too good to be true or the scholarships admissions committee feel that they would like to know more information about a candidate.

“Thirty-six percent of admissions officers check applicants’ social media profiles, up from 25 percent last year, according to a survey by Kaplan Test Prep.

The high-water mark of 40 percent saying that they check came in the 2015 survey by Kaplan.

Of admissions officers who have checked out an applicant’s social media footprint, about 19 percent say they do it “often,” significantly higher than the 11 percent who said they did so in 2015.

Of the admissions officers who say they check social media to learn more about their applicants, 38 percent say that what they found has had a positive impact on prospective students, and 32 percent say that what they found had a negative impact.”



Check your privacy settings. Ensure your social media profile is a private account, however if it needs to be a public account for a reason e.g. you are an Instagram influencer – make certain your pictures and content are appropriate. You can restrict your content that you provide on your profile for example on Facebook – check to see what other users who are not your Facebook friend can see on your timeline – you can restrict this.

We all may like to have as many followers as possible – but check who your followers are and ensure it is not a weird random account, this could be a member from the scholarship admissions committee!

Delete inappropriate content or pictures – your scholarship dream is on the line here if you do have such content available on your social media!

Delete inappropriate comments, twitter rants.

WARNING: Just by Googling your name – your social media account and content can appear.

TIP: Do a social media check of your profile. See what others who are not “connected” to you virtually can see – on your social media and on Google. 



Phone Number




Profile Summary

Past X Entrepreneurship Challenge Champion who is innovative, creative and motivated to transform a winning entrepreneurship idea into reality.  Recent hungry-for-knowledge ABC high school graduate who would like to further expand business skills and knowledge by being enrolled at XYZ program.  Always keen to learn more via participating in past internship program at Deloittes and to share more with the world and beyond! 

 (taken from example in tip 6) 

Hook and emotive words                                                                      Why you want this opportunity (briefly)

Past X Entrepreneurship Challenge Champion who is innovative, creative and motivated to transform a winning entrepreneurship idea into reality.  

                                                     Mention school 

Recent hungry-for-knowledge ABC high school graduate who would like to further expand business skills 

What do you want, mention major

and knowledge by being enrolled in the XYZ program.  Always keen to learn more via participating in past internship program at Deloittes and to share more with the world and beyond. 

Some sort of opportunity, achievement, experience mentioned 


Academic History

Name of educational institution attended – for masters program you would write University X and for undergraduate program you would write High School XYZ

– Duration 

– What subjects did you do / what degree did you study

– GPA / SAT score 



List all volunteer experiences as well as duration and contact details of person in charge as referral 

For example: Content Writer –  at Company. Contact: Person A

Work and Internship

List internship/work experience with duration and contact details of person in charge as referral

Interned at Deloitte (2019-2020). Contact: XYZ

Job at Starbucks (2019-2020). Contact: ABC


List exchange programs involved in, student clubs apart from, extra activities, any sort of courses attended with duration and contact details of the person in charge as referral.

Exchange Program – France (2013) – contact: xxx 

French Club (2013) – contact: xxxx 

Toastmasters Public Speaking Course (2015) – contact: xxxx 

Awards and Internships 

List awards received, achievements. You may want to attach a copy of these certificates, or provide some proof of this. 

Golden Key Society 

Deans Merit List

Started NGO 

X Entrepreneurship Challenge Champion



• Proofread, review, edit and check your scholarship resume 

• Use Canva to use a free template for a “pretty” effect 

• Add your picture 

• KISS (KEEP IT SHORT & SIMPLE) – no longer than 2 pages!

• Ask yourself: does it truly represent who you are? (check if content is relevant to who you are today and to what they are looking for in a candidate)





Life is unpredictable. Whether you end up getting the scholarship of your dreams or not – happiness is not based on expectations – happiness is what you make out of your life. At a funeral attended, the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis was read – the question at the end is: how are you going to spend your dash – is your dash going to be a happy one or a sad one? – the dash being an analogy representing our timeline on this earth – that answer is up to you. Are you just going to give up, give up on the idea of university, the idea of making a better life for yourself or are you going to push through and find a way to make your ends meet? Be proud of who you are. Own who you are. Beauty lies within us – it is up to us to see it in the mirror – it is up to us to appreciate who we are and to always keep our dreams alive until the very end once it is achieved. You can do this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: