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Writing College Essays: Five Myths You Need to Know

Writing College Essays: Five Myths You Need to Know

The college application process is stressful. From deciding on your dream school, prepping for the SAT or ACT, to finishing all those applications, the task can feel near impossible. It's not - and neither is writing a college essay that works. To help our college-bound high school seniors, let's debunk some myths surrounding writing a persuasive college essay.

Myth #1: "I have to write the greatest essay in the world."

Every student wants to stand out, but you don't have to write the Iliad or the Odyssey to do so. The college essay is your opportunity to showcase your achievements and contributions. However, what most people don't realize is that they overindulge and exaggerate when talking about themselves. Admissions offices can read right through self-praise - what they are looking for is authenticity. Emphasize achievements or lessons you have learned that highlight your best traits. Tell a story about your experiences. What have they taught you? The truth sounds a lot better than you think.

Myth #2: "I'm not creative."

You don't have to be creative to write a successful college essay; but you have to be personable. Don't regurgitate the same answers for every application. Admissions offices can tell when an application has been recycled. Add your own flair to each essay. Whether that be in your tone, content, or writing style, be sure to do something unique with each essay so that your reader remembers it.

Myth #3: "I should limit my number of applications because college applications are expensive."

You're right, applying to college gets expensive - but just like scholarships, there is money out there for applying to college too! If applying to college is out of your budget, contact the admissions office of the school you're applying to. They can give you forms to apply for a fee waiver. The process may seem cumbersome, but a free application will be worth it.

Myth #4: "I can wait until tomorrow."

Just do it now. Are you one of those people who writes something ingenious at the last minute? Your brain actually works better when you exercise it. That exercise will make your ingenuity a habit instead of something that saves you when you're under pressure. Your college essay does not have to be perfect the first time. Prioritize consistency over the grandiose last-minute essays and the result will be a well-written and concise articulation of why your dream school needs you.

Myth #5: "I have to know what I want to study."

No, you really don't. If you know what you want to study, good for you! However, having your mind made up about your future has no sway on your ability to write a persuasive college essay. A large part of college is figuring out what you want to do - that's why you're going. So when you write, talk about your interests and passions to showcase your potential. Try adding how you think the school will help you hone these interests. That way, your application will be unique and tailored to the school.

See? Writing college essays isn't as intimidating as it may seem. Keep these myth busters in mind the next time you're stressed about the college application process and you'll be good to go. Remember to always run your essays through a proofreading service like Scholly Editor for the finishing touches!

Need help paying for college after you get in? Get matched to scholarships instantly when you build a profile on Scholly.

Meet the Newest Addition to the Scholly Platform: Scholly Editor

Meet the Newest Addition to the Scholly Platform: Scholly Editor

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Scholly Editor is the latest product offering from the Scholly portfolio, making writing and editing your work easier than ever. Through AI technology, Scholly Editor allows users to have their writing checked for grammar, spelling, and style.

Scholly, an app created to connect and match students to thousands of scholarships and streamline their journey to pay for college was founded in 2013 and has now grown to be one of the hottest educational apps on the market. While the app and its scholarship service has garnered attention on a global level, we knew we wanted to take our service even further beyond scholarships. Founder Christopher Gray always intended for this app to be a comprehensive platform for students and individuals alike to access educational resources affordably, and thus Scholly Editor was developed. 


By logging onto their Scholly account via desktop, students in any grade level can use this software to have their written work reviewed, from college papers and class assignments to personal creative writing. While Scholly isn’t the first to do this, we’re doing it differently and better than the rest. Our platform is clean, easy to use and accurate, using technology designed to provide accuracy and precision. Best of all, it's affordable. We understand that many students cannot afford tutoring in writing or simply do not have access. Scholly Editor helps more students get writing assistance without a financial burden.

But it doesn't end at ease of use, we made sure the software looks great too. Through streamlined technology and a reliable step-by-step interface, Scholly Editor looks sleek and sophisticated, eliminating any confusion or clutter. We are committed to helping more students reach and maximize their potential. Scholly Editor, at its core, is a product for everyone, allowing us to live up to our mission: OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL.

Need to see it to believe it?

New Year, More Money.

New Year, More Money.

Happy New Year from Scholly! It’s 2018 which means new goals, new scholarships, and new free money. It’s our mission to help as many students as possible reach their potential - and that means having access to education. Our goal for this year to help even more students win scholarships. So keep reading for our tips on how to maximize those applications and get yourself some free money in 2018.

First thing’s first - check stuff out.

Log onto to Scholly ASAP and check out some new matches. We consistently update our database so that users have a range of scholarships to choose from. Save scholarships to which you would like to apply. Try to save a combination of scholarships for which you have high Scholly Scores and those offering large sums of money to prioritize your applications. 

Now plan your attack. 

Take note of due dates for your saved scholarships and make an application timetable for yourself. Be sure to set realistic goals by giving yourself enough time for each application. Some spring scholarship applications are due sooner than others, but a bulk of them tend to be due in March. So be sure to start early so that you’re not scrambling to finish by the time spring break roles around.

When in doubt, ask!

We understand that scholarship essays can be tricky. Some topics are very broad while others a rather specific, and deciphering what and what not to include can be daunting. Many scholarship programs have a ‘Past Winners’ section where you can see profiles and sometimes essays of previous winners. These sections can help you get an idea of the kind of applications the scholarship program is looking for. Scholly also has an in-app ’Resources’ section with examples of scholarship essays for some extra help.

Edit.

Ask teachers, friends, parents or anyone else in your life whose eyes you think would benefit your essays. Typos and other grammatical errors are the quickest way to sabotage your applications so be sure to get rid of them. Also, you would be surprised at how people close to you pick up on qualities you may even miss about yourself; they can also help you articulate those qualities that will prove helpful to your essays. 

Lastly, just be yourself.

Authenticity is your greatest asset. These scholarship programs are looking to get a feel for your voice, so make sure it feels and sounds like you and not someone you think they would like. They want to know about you and what you do. Even if they give you a specific question to answer, they will want to know how that relates to you, your interests, and your extracurricular activities. 

So Happy New Year, happy applying, and all the best for the year to come. '

End of Semester Tips

End of Semester Tips

Thanksgiving is over and the end of the semester is near. That means final papers, final exams, and scholarship deadlines. Some of you may still be enjoying your leftovers - lucky you. But while you’re indulging in the taste of home, you want to make sure you’re prepared for a strong finish to the semester. Here are our tips to help you get the results you want.

Make a study timetable.

It seems redundant, but you’ll thank yourself later. Especially if you’re a procrastinator, work schedules are a way of ensuring you get all your work done with the least amount of stress possible. Set realistic goals when allotting time slots for your work. To get the best out of your timetable, try to strike a balance between making your schedule flexible enough that you can make needed changes down the line, but rigid enough that you will adhere to it. 

Set up a reward system.

Getting to the end of an assignment, exam, or project is always more fun when you have something to look forward to. Whether it be dinner with friends, a mini Netflix binge, or a visit to your favorite art gallery, make sure your reward is something that will motivate you.

Break a sweat.

Exercise is an excellent stress reliever so what better time to relieve stress than during finals? These workouts do not have to be long. A twenty minute run, ab circuit, or jump-roping every morning can make a huge difference to how you feel both mentally and physically. Exercise also boosts your immune system. 

Take those vitamins.

As it gets colder and stress levels increase, you’ll be more susceptible to catching a cold. Any student will tell you no one has time to be sick. So whether you like vitamin C chewables, multivitamins, or even healthy amounts of fruit and vegetables, make sure your immune system is getting the support it needs. 

Sleep.

It’s important for both your productivity levels and your immune system. You’ll have more energy, be able to recall information faster, and manage your stress levels better. 

Apply for scholarships.

A number of fall scholarships close at the end of the year. Be sure to check Scholly regularly and make time for scholarship applications in your study timetable. You wouldn’t want to miss out on free money simply because you didn’t make time to apply for it. We know paying for school is a mission and a half; we’re here to help.

Good luck with the rest of the semester and those scholarship applications. Happy Holidays!

Some more scholarship winning tips ...

Some more scholarship winning tips ...

Fall is a great time to apply for scholarships. So in addition to becoming a Scholly member (obvi the best way to find them!) we wanted to share some other tips to help you find scholarship money.

Look in your backyard.

Your local community likely has college scholarships looking for you. Businesses and organizations in your hood want to support your success as a student, so look for them, and put in the work to apply.

Think out of your backyard.

Colleges often want to build geographic diversity. So consider applying to college scholarships to schools in another state.

Manage your online persona.

Your online presence is important to clean up, as it will most def be looked at. Schools consider their scholarship winners a reflection of themselves, so make sure you look buttoned up, ok, ok, at least reasonably presentable! ;)

 

4 Tips to a better Scholarship Essay

4 Tips to a better Scholarship Essay

Sure, everyone know that Scholly helps you find the scholarships looking for you, but that doesn't mean you can just phone in the essay. Here are 4 tips for writing a better scholarship essay:

1. Understand who you're writing it for.

Take some time to know the organization that's offering each scholarship. Review their website, and the company/organization’s vision and positioning — It could make a meaningful difference in what you choose to write about, and how you angle it. Write from your mind and heart, of course, but make sure it's done in a way that will resonate with your audience!

2. Don't start from scratch every time.

You probably already have essays you wrote to get into college. You can find some great starters in them, and can repurpose them into some substantial head starts for your scholarship essays.

3. Edit.

Most essays are short, but you will likely have a lot to say once you get going!  We suggest writing it out long form, and then go through again, highlighting the most critical pieces. Figure out how to make them fit together, and leave the rest on the cutting room floor. You'll be left with all killer and no filler.

4. Proof it, and proof it again!

But don't just take your word for it... send your scholarship essay to your parents and friends. A fresh set of eyes can catch grammar mistakes, typos, or just help make it better!

Hope that's helpful, and don't forget to join Scholly, to help make the search for scholarships easier.

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