“I thought the deadline wasn’t actually a deadline."
Sara D., a financial aid officer from a public university in the Midwest, tells this story of a deadline-adverse student, which she says is typical...
A scholarship came across my desk that very few students actually qualified for, so I emailed two or three potential applicants who came to mind. One of those students submitted a completed application on time.
The second student sent a partially finished one and politely asked for an extension due to a family issue.
The third student submitted her application about three days past the deadline. When I asked why she waited until after the deadline, she answered that she thought that the deadline was a guide! Obviously, the scholarship committee didn’t want to give a scholarship to someone who couldn’t follow a basic deadline.
Students don't realize that many scholarship rules are completely arbitrary – they exist simply to see if students can follow them.
Monica P., a retired financial aid counselor for a private college on the East Coast, explains. “Even the smallest scholarships’ award committees want to see that you care about their funds. The most basic way you can show this to them is to follow the guidelines. Don’t disrespect them by submitting an incomplete or past-due application without a good excuse.”