Make Your Scholarship Essays Worth Remembering
Learning how to find scholarships is only a small part of the financial aid process. You also need to learn how to get accepted for those scholarships. One of the best things you can do to win scholarships consistently is to master the art of writing scholarship essays. If you know how to write a memorable scholarship essay, you can almost guarantee a full ride to college. Here are some tips to make your scholarship essay writing as effective as possible.
Read the Prompt More Than Once
Before you even begin to write a scholarship essay, you need to make sure that you know what you are supposed to be writing about. This requires you to read the prompt over and over again. It is really easy to transpose words if you rush into things, and that could lead you to writing a 500 word essay about something that doesn’t even respond to the question. Make sure you fully understand what you are being asked to discuss before you jump into the writing process. This will make a big difference in the success of your essays in the future.
Try to familiarize yourself with common essay questions to get a better idea of what you may be expected to write about in the future. Even if you have a set of scholarship essays prewritten though, you will need to read the prompt so you can modify your essay to fit your needs.
Make the Essay Personal
Scholarship committees want to connect with their applicants. They want to feel like they know whom their money is going to. You may not have a ton of personal tragedies to pull from when you write your essays, but you do need to try connecting the prompt to an event in your life. This is not a matter of telling the biggest sob story you can. The review board will know if you are just trying to get sympathy. However, you need to write from the heart enough for people to want you to get a good education. This is a balance that is difficult to master, but it is not impossible.
Write Everything at Once
Write your entire essay from beginning to end in one sitting. This will ensure that your ideas flow together nicely, and that you have a clear sense of where you are going with your work. If you come back to the same essay multiple times, you run the risk of making it sound choppy or forced. Just get all your thoughts on the page and edit when you’re finished.
Wait a Day to Edit
Some people jump into editing immediately after writing an essay, but that is counterproductive. At that point, you will just skip over all of the grammar and spelling errors because your brain will translate the information like you wanted it to sound, not necessarily how it comes across on the page. If you wait a day to do your editing, you will have a clear head and a fresh look at what you wrote. Then you can see the words as other people would see them and hopefully make some beneficial edits from there.
The last thing you can do to really make your application memorable is turn it in early. That will ensure that your essay is at the top of the pile, where the reviewers are more likely to take it all in. You basically want to make your essay the one that they compare every other essay to. If you can remain on top throughout this process, you should have a new scholarship to call your own in no time.