Question: I am typing a scholarship essay that is supposed to be 500 words long. I was typing and continued to type and type and soon realized I was at 600 words. So I finished up and was about to submit it when I saw in smaller print in the instructions that it is supposed to be 500 words or less. Should I cut out some of my essay or submit it with all 601 words? I have heard that they may not even look at it or they may cut it off at 500 and not even read the rest. I really liked my essay but if it means being disqualified then I will definitely cut some parts out. Thanks!
If the online form did not actually cut you off at 500 words, then you don't have to worry about an exact count. BUT ... I have NEVER (in three decades) read a student essay that couldn't use at least a little shortening in order to be stronger. So I suggest that you try to carve off at least 50 of those extra words.