Winning scholarships isn't easy, trust me I know! But I did it, and so can you. I'll be dropping some hints right here on our blog from time to time, suggesting ways to shift the odds in your favor. Below are five quick tips for writing your scholarship essays that I hope you find valuable... and don't forget to use Scholly to match you with the scholarships that fit you perfectly!
- KEEP IT CONCISE: Unless a scholarship application tells you so, keep your essays around 500 words. The general rule here is that you want to get your message across in the most effective and efficient way possible, without boring the reader.
- TELL A STORY: Try to avoid the “I’m awesome” essay, where you just go down a list of everything you have accomplished, reciting your resume (that they already saw in another part of your application.) Remember, the essays are sometimes the only way scholarship committees will be able to “meet” you. So, rather than giving them a laundry list of accolades, focus on a role or experience you had and tell that story. Let your character be shown throughout the essay.
- BE CREATIVE: Be different. I know some students who have answered the “Tell me about yourself” sort of essay prompts with a poem about themselves, or even a drawing! Be mindful that you are taking a risk by doing this, but the point is to think about ways to be memorable and stand out from the pile of essays the organizations have to read.
- DON'T BE REDUNDANT: Once you finish an entire scholarship application, the scholarship organization has a pretty good view of who you are. So, use every essay to show them something different. As I said earlier, do not use your essays to essentially repeat your resume. Use the opportunity as a time show them another side of you.
- PROOFREAD EVERYTHING: Make sure you proofread your essays for grammar, and make sure they portray you in the way you want to be seen. Also, get the opinions of others, especially your English teachers. Let them take a look and maybe they will give you another perspective or spot mistakes you may not have seen.