Higher education can be very expensive and beyond the reach of most students. However in order to make higher education accessible to deserving candidates, most colleges and educational institutions offer financial grants and scholarships. Students have to write many different types of essays in the course of their academic career, but few are as crucial as scholarship application essays. If you are an academically inclined student, you will have access to some kind of financial aid within your academic institution, from government grants for education or from philanthropic trusts that organize such programmes to help deserving students.
Why do you need to write a scholarship essay?
Once you know the program that you are applying for, you will need to compose a scholarship essay in order to demonstrate your requirement and eligibility for financial assistance. There is stiff competition for such scholarship grants and most scholarship committees are unable to interview every applicant at the first round. Your scholarship essay is of paramount importance because it is the only way to set yourself apart from a sea of applicants.
Try these 5 simple tips to compose an effective scholarship essay:
- Understand the purpose of the essay:
- For a scholarship essay, the purpose is more important than the topic. The main purpose of a scholarship essay is to showcase your academic qualifications and express your need for financial aid.
- Your essay must be impactful enough to prove that you are worthy of being considered for the scholarship grant and must give the scholarship committee an insight into your personality.
- It must demonstrate the nature of your circumstances and exhibit your qualities in a manner that sets you apart from the other candidates in the eyes of the committee members.
- Read the instructions and essay requirements carefully so that you understand exactly what kind of information the committee desires from you.
- No two scholarship programs are the same, and each program will come with its specific set of requirements. So pay attention and compose a different essay for each application.
- Remember to demonstrate your passionate interest and dedication to your subject in order to make your essay stronger.
- Ensure that you have your facts ready:
- A scholarship essay is not an opportunity for you to write fiction or display your creative abilities. You must be able to back up every claim you make in your scholarship essay with the help of official certificates, medals, accolades or letters of recommendation.
- Your essay should demonstrate the strength of your profile to the scholarship committee. It must give them an idea of your passions, your interests and your strengths.
- You will need certificates to prove your involvement in community development or social work. Think about leadership positions you have filled in your academic career whether as a member of the student’s council or by virtue of your position as the director of your drama club. Find ways to incorporate these details into your essay as they demonstrate your leadership capabilities.
- Think about the personal details you wish to include into your article, from health struggles, to financial need that you want the committee to know about because it demonstrates your need for the scholarship grant.
- Plan out your essay:
- Plan out your essay thoroughly before you sit down to write it. Keep in mind the word limit and think about the qualities and qualifications the scholarship committee is looking for before attempting to structure an essay about why you believe you are worthy of the aid.
- Brainstorm and plot your ideas. Be passionate and persuasive in the introduction and conclusion in order to make your scholarship essay stand out. It is your love for your subject and your drive to learn that you need to convey through the essay.
- You must also prove your ability to make the most of the financial grant. Include your facts in the body of the essay where you include the details of your achievements.
- Structure your essay into a clear five part structure with a strong introduction with a hook that immediately captivates your readers. Follow it up with a body in three parts where you can elaborate on your abilities and achievements, your interests and passions and your personal circumstances. End with a strong conclusion that focuses on your ability to adapt to your circumstances and refer back to your qualifications to cinch the essay.
- Be specific:
- Don’t be generic when writing your scholarship essay. Take the trouble to write out different essays for different scholarship programs.
- This essay must be both informative and demonstrative of your abilities as well as your personality.
- While you may want to include many details into your essay, keep an eye on the word limit and strike a balance between qualities that you can substantiate with the help of letters of recommendation or accolades and personal details like your circumstances, your motivation and interests.
- Include illustrative examples from personal experiences to help strengthen your case. If there are extenuating circumstances that you want the committee to know about, ensure that your claims are verifiable.
- Try to fill in any gaps in your education by talking about your reasons for being unable to study due to financial constraints or health problems. If you need help writing a term paper essay, try these tips on How to write an essay for your term paper.
- Review your essay:
- Proof read your essay multiple times before submitting it. Review it while you write by reading every paragraph before moving on to the next. This will help you maintain a continuous train of thought throughout the essay.
- Ensure that your essay is free from spelling and grammatical errors. Consult your teachers or your peers for a second opinion before you submit your scholarship essay as a fresh pair of eyes can help point out small errors that you may have otherwise missed.
- If you have a mentor, enlist her help so that you have a little extra guidance from an expert who can supervise your progress and steer you in the right direction.
- Re-read your scholarship essay to ensure that it is clear and concise. Get rid of any unnecessary detail that isn’t adding value to your essay.
- Ensure you have fulfilled the purpose of your scholarship essay and conveyed your passion onto paper and demonstrated your worthiness for the scholarship program you are applying for.
- Finally recheck the word count and go over the submission details carefully to ensure that you manage to submit it successfully.
So go ahead and use these 5 simple tips to help you compose an excellent scholarship essay to help you fulfill your dreams.