Rule #3: Scholarship judges pay attention to every detail.

The crush of applicants from all over the Internet isn’t only tough on students; it’s also pretty rough on us scholarship judges as well. Not only is it extremely time-consuming to wade through thousands of essays instead of a hundred or even a few dozen, as it used to be, it’s also a lot tougher to choose a winner. Every contest now has dozens of students whose essays are great and deserve to win. But when there can only be one winner, all but one of those excellent, sometimes-flawless essays has to be tossed in the same trash can with the essays that contained all the silly mistakes you’ll read about in the rest of this book. It’s tough to do, but we have no choice.

So how do scholarship judges make the tough choices at the end, when all that remains are tip-top, primo essays? We have to start picking at the details, the small things – you’ll read about a lot of them later in this book. Make no mistake, when a tie needs to be broken, the smallest details matter. And that’s why you must pay attention to the small details – in the ultracompetitive world of scholarships that shows no sign of getting any less competitive anytime soon, you must pay attention to the small details, because the judges do. I can’t say it any plainer than that.

Let’s get on it with it then, shall we?

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