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What not to do on a scholarship application

Aviation scholarship applications take a lot of effort to complete, and we want to make sure you don’t inadvertently sabotage your chances.

Avoid these pitfalls to give your scholarship application the best chance of a successful landing. Photo by Christopher Rose.

We are offering more than $1 million in You Can Fly scholarships for primary and advanced flight training students, high schoolers who want to learn to fly, and teachers who want to introduce aviation in their classrooms. The April 2 entry deadline is quickly approaching, so don’t delay in completing your application.

We’ve shared advice to make your application stand out, but these five things will dash your chances of earning a scholarship. Make a mental note of these “don’ts.”

  1. Incomplete application. Turning in an application without all the required fields completed or with references who don’t submit a recommendation will disqualify that application.
  2. Hasty answers. Just as with flying, mistakes happen when you are in a hurry. On the scholarship application, you might misread questions and provide quick answers that don’t make sense or that could disqualify you. For example, many applicants misread a question that ask if they are related to an “AOPA employee.” Many incorrectly read that as “AOPA member” and incorrectly select “yes.” This automatically disqualifies them, because the scholarships aren’t open to employees' families. They are, however, open to AOPA members.
  3. Text jargon. You are completing a formal scholarship application, not texting your BFF. So, don’t use jargon.
  4. Having someone else submit your application for you. Yes, this really happens. And no, it doesn’t fly with us. If a family member or friend completes and submits the application on your behalf, how could we know if you’d be able to handle the time and dedication required to learn to fly? (It takes a lot longer to learn to fly than it does to fill out a scholarship application.)
  5. Last-minute Larry and Lucy. If you wait until the last minute to complete your application, you likely won’t be putting your best foot forward and your references certainly won’t have time to provide a ringing endorsement.

If you have any questions about the scholarships or the application process, please send us an email at [email protected], and we’ll get back to you!

You Can Fly scholarships are made possible by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation, including a $1 million grant from the Ray Foundation for high school and teacher scholarships.

Alyssa J. Miller

Alyssa J. Cobb

AOPA Senior Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor
AOPA Senior Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Cobb began working at AOPA in 2004, is a flight instructor, and loves flying her Cessna 170B with her husband and son. Alyssa is also co-host of AOPA Live This Week.
Topics: You Can Fly, AOPA Foundation, Scholarship

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