Five Essential Steps to Your Scholarship Essay
Have a scholarship in your sights that would suit you and your academic needs? Chances are they require an essay written by you on why you need and deserve the scholarship. If writing isn’t your thing – or even if it is – there is a certain method to writing an essay for a scholarship that you should know. Check out the below five steps to learn more.
- Know the requirements – It might sound obvious, but many scholarship offices are flooded with applications, many of which can be filled out incorrectly. Before you put a drop of ink to paper or hit that first key on the board, make sure you are clear on items such as word count, content, and even writing style to stay out of the instant reject pile.
- Choose your topic – Now that you know how long your essay has to be, know and choose your topic. While some scholarship essays have specific topics, such as listing any achievements you’ve made up to this point, others can be more broad, such as where you see yourself in ten years. While it can be tempting to just start writing, coming up with several ideas for a topic, then choosing the one that you think is best, can really make your essay stand out.
- Research – Writers always say you should know your audience, and that holds true for your scholarship essay as well. In this case, your audience is the entity awarding the scholarship whether it is a foundation, non-profit organization, or even the school itself. A must-do includes visiting the site of whoever is awarding the scholarship to see what they value most. In addition to their values, using their terminology makes it easier for them to read, understand, and approve of. So for example if the motto of the foundation awarding the scholarship is “building the future,” be sure and use the words generously throughout.
- No negatives – Although you may come from a rough life and have a deep financial need for a scholarship, it does not help to be a “downer” in your scholarship essay. Find creative ways to say that your parents don’t have money for school, your neighborhood is rough, or that this scholarship is the only way you can pay for school. Instead, discuss how supportive your family is, that you are the first in your family or one of the few neighborhoods to attend college, and how dedicated you are to finding a way to pay for your education.
- Revise – You or your parents might think the essay is perfect, but it can be riddled with errors you are not even aware of. With so many other essays to sift through, it can be easy for the people awarding the scholarship to put yours in the reject pile for not being right. Once you have your essay as far as you can take it, now is the time to call on your teachers, counselors, and others to read and edit your essay.