What Is a Scholarship Essay?

Scholarship essay is a type of essay that helps students get extra funding to cover their tuition fees. Scholarships can be need based or merit based, and whatever the case it is called to ease up the financial strain associated with your prospective studies. In order to receive a scholarship, you will need to persuade the committee that you are worth it, that you really deserve it and that you are better than other applicants. This is normally done via a scholarship essay – very rarely do prospective students receive scholarships simply based on their academic record or recommendations.

Why Are Scholarship Essays Important?

College scholarship essay competitions actually serve to level out players from different backgrounds and accomplishment levels. Therefore 99% of all scholarship awarding institutions will require applicants to submit a well thought-out and substantially written essay.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay?

Experts in the field of writing scholarship essays are unanimous in saying several criteria that are important for successful essay writing:

  • Before even starting to write make sure you understand what you are expected to write in your essay. There can’t be a one-essay-fits-all approach where you write one essay and email it over to all the institutions, expecting it to win everywhere, you are wrong. Every institution you apply to will set its own requirements to your essay. Make sure you understand requirements and write to meet them fully. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can have a draft that can further be transformed into a full-scale essay tailored to answer a specific question.
  • Thorough preparation. One should not underestimate the importance of essay writing. Treating scholarship essays as a formality is a fatal approach to getting a scholarship. This type of assignment is different from other essays you have written during your school years – you’ve got to show what makes you special and why you should be given this money. If you turn things around a little bit, you could say that you are writing for money, and if it’s done properly, you will be paid for writing your essay!  Experts agree that normally 2-3 weeks are required to collect ideas and structure them properly.
  • Use the pre-writing-writing-post-writing approach. This approach means that you should create a draft first, and then keep working on to improve it further. Once you see or think that you are ready with a paper, leave it for a week or two and then come back to it to polish it further. You will sure have something to add. Check for spelling and grammar errors, pay close attention to the style and the way the paper flows.
  • Your scholarship essay should emanate enthusiasm and passion about the subject. If you are not enthusiastic about what you are writing, chances are – your essay is not going to make it. In this way, the essay you are working on is different from all other essays that were a formality. You will have hundreds of other essays to beat, so make sure yours really stands out.
  • How does your paper reflect your personality? Remember, you will have hundreds of essays to beat, so simply enumerating the classes you took and the extracurricular activities you participated in won’t help. Tell your reader what events have impacted your personality and contributed to who you are now. Show that you care for the future of the world, you are not indifferent to people around you, tell what inspires you and what makes you enthusiastic.
  • Limit your paper to 300-500 words, unless instructed otherwise by the funding institution. Typically, though, the essay should be a brief description of who you are as opposed to a resume (which should be included in your documents separately).

In your scholarship essay, you will need to keep a balance of telling the committee about yourself and showing your experience. The task is not to oversell yourself while showing a variety of your personal, social and academic interests. Good GPA would be a good starting point; however, your extracurricular activities, like active social work and participation in sports/art teams of your high school will increase the odds for a congratulations letter from the scholarship committee.

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