The current job market makes it more important than ever to have a college degree. Unfortunately, the rising cost of getting a degree is making it more difficult for a large number of people. Scholarships can help ease the financial burden of pursuing higher education, so many students start applying for scholarship funds as soon as possible. As such, there is very stiff competition for most scholarships, especially those that offer a large amount of money. How can you make your application stand out in the eyes of the committee? Many times, the majority of applicants have very similar goals, activities, experience, and grades. The only way to set yourself apart from the crowd is to present an amazing essay. Your essay lets the scholarship committee know who you are as a person and helps them to see why you deserve the award. What if you aren’t a stellar writer? With these four simple tips, even the most challenged writer can create an astounding essay:
Plan Well Ahead of Time
Start researching and planning your essay at least a week before the time you would normally start. Giving yourself this extra time will allow you to create an outline, which will make it easier for you to stay on topic and to present all the information you wish to provide in a clear, concise manner. Try to develop between two and three major points in response to the essay topic. Turn each point into a paragraph by developing an introduction, a conclusion, and two or three details that support your point. This will provide the majority of the structure of your essay, making it much easier to write and much more impressive to read.
Relate to Your Audience
It is important to personalize your essays to fit individual scholarships. Look at each scholarship application closely to see what the organization is looking for in a candidate. Also research the gifting organization to see its mission and values so you will know what tone to take. Find out what qualities they prize most in an applicant and make sure to provide information on how you embody those qualities. An essay that is drafted specifically for each scholarship audience will get much more notice than the generic essays submitted by many applicants.
The whole point of a scholarship essay is to convince the provider that you are the ideal candidate for the funding. Make sure every answer you provide utilizes examples of personal experience and details that show that you truly care about the topic. When you list volunteer and other experience, make sure to describe important experience you had and/or how the experience shaped you into the person you have become. These details will show that you are passionate about your goals and that you are a deserving student.
When you have completed your essay, have a parent, teacher, or other person who is skilled at grammar and writing to look it over for you. Even if you are a great writer, it is easy to overlook your own spelling and grammar mistakes. Just a few minutes of proofreading by someone you trust can allow you to correct mistakes and to take your essay to the next level of excellence.
Scholarship essay can be a major pain. By starting early, doing your research, showing your true self, and getting a second opinion, you can take your essay from drab to fab and can greatly increase your chances of landing some great scholarships.