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Scholarship Essay Tips
The scholarship essay is a critical part of the scholarship application. Assuming you meet the eligibility criteria, your essay should be written to convince the selection committee that you are the right student to win the specific scholarship award. Here are a few tips:
Research the topic & sponsoring organization.
Many sponsoring organizations have an image of their ideal candidate. It is often not the most needy, deserving or academically accomplished student. It is often a person who encompasses the organization's values or culture. You may get a feel for this by talking to members or employees of the sponsoring organization, by reading the website or by learning about past winners. That insight or perspective can give you an advantage. When composing your essay, focus on the topic and yourself along with the organizational insight and perspective you gained in your research.
Answer the question.
Some students try to save time by recycling application essays. That strategy can lead to unhappy results if your essay doesn't answer the question being asked, or if you don't direct your answer to the audience.
Most sponsoring organizations have little tolerance for candidates who stretch the truth. They also know what nobody is perfect. Be honest and sincere and show them why you are the right candidate to receive the scholarship.
Scholarships essays are designed so judges from the sponsoring organization can learn about you. Resist the temptation to use the insight and perspective you gained researching the sponsoring organization to make yourself into what you think the selection committee wants to hear. Instead, use the insight and perspective to help express yourself.
Be professional. Proofread. Follow Directions.
Many admissions officers and scholarship judges can entertain you with stories about amusing mistakes. Application and essay errors are common and almost always easily avoidable. Avoid the kiss of death by carefully proofreading your essay and application.