You must Beat the Stack.

Once you read this section, it’ll seem very obvious, but most people completely overlook the advantage you can give yourself by paying great attention to the way you physically package your essay. Remember Rule #1: Competitors are everywhere, and you must put your best foot forward. Your essay’s packaging is one way to do this that hasn’t even crossed the mind of most of your competition; hence, it’s an area where you can seize a big advantage if you give it your best effort.

First, though, let me give you a little bit of background on the nuts and bolts of what happens to your scholarship essays once you send them in. Where do you think they go? You’ve probably never given it much thought, and rightly so. You’re much more concerned with winning the contest and collecting the cash. I can’t blame you.

In most cases, the scholarship essays go in a) a big pile; b) a big file cabinet; or c) a big pile inside a big file cabinet. If you imagine the committee eagerly rips them open and reads them the moment they come in –- sorry, it doesn’t happen that way. Most scholarship judges have day jobs, and during the day, that’s what they do –- their day jobs. Usually, we just set aside big blocks of time later on down the line, closer to the end of the application period (often after the application period has passed) for reviewing applications. And like other normal people, we often procrastinate as the stack grows bigger and bigger.

Consequently, you as the scholarship applicant face one of the most difficult challenges around: you must beat The Stack. That’s what we’re going to call this phenomenon from now on in this book: Beating the Stack. You’ve got to find some way, any way at all, to somehow make your piece(s) of paper stand out from the thousands of others in that stack. If this site were a human being, his purpose in life would be to help you Beat the Stack.

3 thoughts on “You must Beat the Stack.”

  1. Hi Josh
    I have been reading your suggestions posted on the Internet and find them both informative and entertaining. I have a couple of questions on this page for you. When using electronic mail what suggestions do you have for beating the stack? Is the first essay received placed on the bottom or the top of the pile?

  2. Irish Girl: Good question — I would say this tip applies mostly to physical apps. The tricks that would allow you to stick at the top of the inbox are the ones employed by spammers — probably a bad idea. Good luck!

  3. Josh,
    Do most scholarship programs follow the strict deadlines listed? I’ve just been surprised recently at a few scholarships that extended their deadlines. I also mean that question for scholarships that don’t publicly announce that they are extending their deadlines.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top