Write a unique and memorable scholarship essay by following these tips.
Scholarships can be a great way to cut college costs while also adding to a student’s resume. There are thousands of scholarship options out there, but nearly all of them require some sort of written statement or essay.
Applying for scholarships can be very competitive and it is so important to write an essay that will set you apart from the other applicants. Keep reading for our top tips on creating that one-of-a-kind scholarship applications.
Don't apply to every scholarship you find
There are thousands of scholarships available. Take the time to research and find out which scholarships meet your needs. Instead of applying to every scholarship you can find, take the time to research each option and select a manageable number to apply to. Focusing on quality over quantity will enable you to give each application the time and attention needed in order to set yourself apart. Start by choosing 3-5 scholarships to apply for, work on each application thoroughly, and add on several more if you find you have additional time.
Who will be reading your Application?
Each student's different qualities and achievements may influence a scholarship judge in a specific way. Before writing your essay, gain a thorough understanding of the specific scholarship program and what it is designed to reward. Write an essay or application that is specific and tailored to the program you are applying for and the values or qualities they have emphasized. A one-size-fits-all essay rarely cuts it because many scholarships are nuanced and looking for students who can express a certain interest, passion or idea.
Articulate your Passions
The same interests and passions that help define you as a college applicant can also set you apart in your scholarship search. Scholarship judges look for students who are eager to learn more and deepen their expertise in a specific field through higher education. Consequently, it is important to clearly articulate your commitment to your interests and passions throughout your application. Be sure to include specific examples that highlight your dedication to a certain craft or cause and your curiosity and desire to continue learning and growing.
Stay on Top of Deadlines
Starting the scholarship application process well in advance will provide students with ample time for editing and ensure you don’t miss any important deadlines. Before applying for a scholarship, have an understanding of due dates and the application process. Some scholarships may require additional materials, such as a letter of recommendation from a teacher or a portfolio of work, which is another reason why planning in advance is critical. Consider setting reminders on your phone or computer and writing the scholarship deadlines into your weekly calendar to make sure you stay on top of due dates.
Get A Second Set of Eyes
Even the most well written essays can benefit from editing by a peer, parent, or teacher. Once you are confident in your essay draft, consider sending it to someone you trust for review and feedback. Make sure to read carefully for grammar and punctuation errors; scholarship applications need to be carefully proofread and should be treated with the same level of care as college essays. A second set of eyes can help you catch any careless mistakes you might have overlooked.