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February 23, 2011 / Brent Sears

Who Judges Scholarships?

If you are applying for a scholarship at your high school or college it is very likely that you will personally meet one of your judges.  This is why it is very important to treat everyone with dignity and respect.  People talk, and if you are a student whose scholarship essay doesn’t match the way you are perceived, then it could cost you an award.

Sometimes one single person makes the decision on who receives awards, but it is rare.  What usually happens is a committee is formed which is made up of administrators, counselors, advisors, teachers, and sometimes community members.  It depends on the award and the institution.

Technically, each judge will be volunteering to review the applications.  So, knowing your judges are giving of their free time, you should not waste it and make sure your application is complete, well written, and to the point.  Many students assume that since they spent so much time on their applications the judges are going to go over it with a fine-toothed comb.

Scholarship applications are (usually) important to all involved, but at the same time it is another task that needs to get done during the day.  If there is a stack of 12 applications for 10 awards, and each one has a 500-word essay, then that is 6000 words, plus references forms, and general application information.  What they learn about you on paper better stand out…but not for the wrong reasons.



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