In Portuguese I would say "concurso" and not "competição" which has the same meaning as competition in English. In English it seems off to say competition because a competition is more direct, like a sports competition.

  • In English, word usage is about context. Can you give us a sentence the way you think the word should be used? Don't worry if it doesn't look or feel right, we are here to help. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:32
  • The scolarship competition opens/starts tomorrow, for example
    – Pedro
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:18
  • And I also would like to know how do you refer to your appliance. For example, when I apply to a scholarship, I may want to say: My appliance was very good because I had a very good GPA.
    – Pedro
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:23
  • @Pedro "Application" is the word you're looking for. Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 23:49

3 Answers 3


Scholarship competition or scholarship contest are used a lot. You're right, competition does sound more intense, like a sports event, but the basic idea is still right. The students are competing to see who wins the scholarship.

  • And you refer to the act of applying as appliance? For example, in the sentence:My appliance was very good because I had a very good GPA.
    – Pedro
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:41
  • 2
    No, appliance is used for items such as washing machines and dishwashers, those are appliances. You would want to use 'application', as in 'My application was very good..'
    – Bobo
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:43

It is more succinct to say that you are "applying for a scholarship" instead of appending "competition" or "contest" at the end of the phrase. "Applying for a scholarship" is a colloquial expression that is used far more often than the other phrases.

To address your comment, you would either reference your application or yourself as the applicant. There are two ways of stating this:

My application is very good because I have a strong GPA.

I am a very good applicant because I have a strong GPA.

  • 1
    I've never heard or read the phrase "applying to a scholarship" and I regard it as non-standard. A phrase I've often heard is "applying for a scholarship". Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 19:28
  • @jwpat7 It sounds almost like something a British person might say. Not sure, though.
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 19:45
  • @jwpat7 I think you are correct. I may have mixed up "applying to a college/university" with "applying for a scholarship." I'll make the appropriate edits.
    – Andrew Ng
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 19:52

If what you're refering to is an examination where the goal is to be in the top N applicants, rather than getting a passing grade, then the expression you're looking for is competitive examination.

An examination (competitive or not) usually implies that the candidates submit a written paper or pass oral or practical tests. If the concurso is purely based on candidates sending an application, then competitive examination doesn't work, and something like “scholarship competition” would be better.

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