How to Write a Scholarship Essay
Five Elements All Successful Scholarship Essays Have in Common
Applying to college and university scholarships can seem like an overwhelming process, but it is one that can be broken into more manageable steps. While most colleges and universities have advisors to help new students, and your high school may help with your application, there are basics that you need to know.
1. Be specific
Scholarship essays always asks for your reasons for going to university. If the reasons for doing a specific degree are more or less the standard reasons and could be those found in any of the applications, the reasons which made you send an application to that particular school must be specified with the greatest possible precision. Don't think it's enough just to give general reasons like the school's ranking and reputation. You need to know how to write an essay that works. Show that you know the assets of that particular school, what the school can specifically offer you, and to demonstrate that it fits right in with your own goals.
2. Be concise, direct and coherent
Avoid writing a standard essay for all scholarship essays, merely adapting it to the specific nature of each scholarship. Since the application essay system is comparable across most schools, you need to be original but also get to the point as quickly as possible. Don’t pad your essay with information they don’t need.
3. Start with honesty
The lessons that you are able to draw upon from your life’s challenges make for excellent stories about your resilience and adaptability, and how you overcome issues in order to succeed in life. While you want to leave a good impression on the reader, persuading them that you have learned from your mistakes is sometimes the best way to make an impact. It is appropriate to explain what you learned from a particular circumstance but more importantly to discuss what were the general lessons that you were able to use later on in life.
4. Look at the big picture
Commit at least a paragraph to your contribution to the community, and bring out your leadership qualities and to describe your initiatives in students’ associations, charitable associations, and more. You are not simply your grades in school, and you’ll need to show the scholarship committee why you are someone who stands out from the crowd. Be authentic in describing your contributions.
5. Get feedback from someone who knows what they are doing
This is not the time to have a friend or your parents comment on your essay, as they will probably just tell you what you want to hear. Have your essays read by someone, perhaps by someone who has attended the same university or college who knows the procedure and is capable of giving you constructive criticism. Be prepared to write several drafts!
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