Applying for college is a time-consuming and complicated process, which requires much dedication and efforts. Those who dream of becoming students must first fill in numerous application forms, prepare admission essays, and apply for financial aid. Apart from that, to compete for scholarship you have to write an essay explaining why you need it.
So, preparation of a scholarship essay requires a lot of time and effort, too. But do not panic! The following guide will help you understand what the colleges are looking for and what you should mention in the essay when asking for financial support.
You should remember that your scholarship essay readers are people, and people get bored sometimes. Therefore, the power of attention grabbers cannot be overestimated. You should try to make the reader interested already in the introduction. Have a look at the following examples and feel the difference:
Bad introduction: Good leadership skills can help achieve success due to several factors.
Good introduction: September 14, 2013 was the day my life changed completely.
While the first example is clichéd, vague, and uninteresting, the second example is creative intriguing, and personal. With an attention grabber like this, you make sure that the reader will not fall asleep while seeing the same essay the umpteenth time in an hour.
If you want to win a scholarship, you have to apply for many programs and use as many opportunities as possible. It does not mean you must write just as many scholarship essays, though. As a rule, different scholarships have similar essay topics. So, one good scholarship essay can be changed a little to fit the purpose of several contests. With a little creativity and flexibility, you can save a lot of time!
To win a contest, you have to stand out of the crowd. You will not achieve this goal if your answers are OK but the same as the answers of the hundred other contestants. So if the essay question is “Who is your leadership model?” most applicants will probably discuss their mother, father, or Steve Jobs. Think about your early childhood or school years. Can you say that Superman is an example of a great leader to you? Or some social activist, like Gloria Steinem?
A scholarship essay reader will never approve an essay which ignores instructions. So do not exceed the word limit and do not write more than you are asked to. If the requirements say 1,200 words, your essay should not be 987 or 1,350 words. Remember that you are asking for a big money, so following the instructions is the least you can do at this point.
You will not believe it, but the judges go through hundreds and even thousands scholarship essay. Be a merciful writer and do not make the reader struggle while looking for an answer to the topic question. The reader will not bother to read about your favorite dog if the task is to discuss healthcare issues.
An essay can never be successful if it does not have a thesis statement. The reader has to be able to understand your point right away. Let us say the essay question is, “When was the last time you acted courageously?” The thesis statement would be “The last time I demonstrated courage was when I jumped with a parachute to support my sister.” With the thesis statement in mind, it will be easier for you to discuss only related details further in the body paragraphs.
One thing that turns the reader off more than ignored instructions is careless attitude to writing. And you demonstrate such an attitude if you do not “corect gramar adn punktuation mistake.” Minor as spelling punctuation mistakes may seem, they can be a reason for scholarship denial. Really, the judges read thousands of essays; so they are looking for any reason to reject an application. Do not make their job easier, proofread. You can do it yourself or ask your friend to read the essay for you. Moreover, there are many free online spellcheckers. Just be sure to double check the validity of corrections they suggest to make.