Everyone knows that education is expensive, so it’s great that there are so many scholarship opportunities available for students like you. When you are awarded a scholarship, it not only provides you with financial support to help make getting your education easier; it also signals to your peers and to your future employers that you achieved something extraordinary.
There is, however, a major hurdle you’ll need to pass en route to a scholarship: the application essay. Many students applying for a scholarship have difficulty developing a strong personal statement that showcases them in the most flattering way possible. In this article, we’ll look at scholarship application essays and offer some tips to help you create a great personal statement.
Step 1: Thoroughly review the application question
The first and most important step when writing a scholarship essay is to read the application essay question carefully and think about the type of essay you are writing. While this might seem like a common-sense step, far too many applicants have their applications rejected because they have written a generic essay and did not fully consider the essay prompt and what was required.
The scholarship administrators will want to see that you are able to follow directions, so you want to be able to demonstrate that you have carefully considered the essay prompt and have responded thoughtfully with what they want to know. This is an important way of showing how seriously you take the scholarship application process.
Step 2: Consider what your audience needs to know
When you plan your response to your scholarship essay prompt, you need to think about what you want the scholarship administrators to know about you. Try to avoid the temptation to use your essay to restate your résumé or CV and deliver a laundry list of qualifications for the scholarship.
First of all, the scholarship administrators already have this information. Second, a list of qualifications isn’t going to tell them who you are as a person, a student, and a leader. You should try to imagine what someone in their position would want to know about you and what makes you different from all the other people who are applying for the same scholarship.
The goal is to set yourself apart and to humanize yourself.
Step 3: Avoid puffing yourself up too much
Certainly, you want your scholarship application essay to make you look good. After all, you need to prove that you deserve the money. But you shouldn’t come across as too full of yourself.
Your essay shouldn’t be an endless string of brags, which can give the impression that you are arrogant or conceited rather than confident. It can be a good idea to temper the puffery with some concessions toward humility and vulnerability.
For example, you can often benefit from showing scholarship administrators that you understand your own shortcomings, recognize areas where you need to grow, and know that you are only human. Try to show that you are human and not a machine.
Step 4: Add some emotion to your essay
A dry list of facts isn’t as memorable as a compelling story, and when you write a scholarship application essay, you need the scholarship administrators to remember you.
To create a compelling story for your essay, you need to find a deep emotional hook that you can use to capture attention. For example, you can wrestle a lot of emotion from discussing a major milestone in your life, a time when you overcame adversity, or when you discovered something new about yourself, particularly your identity.
When you discuss an emotional moment that you experienced, your readers will be more likely to form an emotional connection to you and your writing and to remember you when considering awards.
Step 5: Open your essay with an attention-grabber
If your essay opens on a dull, generic note, your essay is more likely to be placed in the circular file rather than considered for a monetary award.
The first sentence of your essay will shape how the scholarship administrators think about you and your essay, which is why you need to grab their attention with a compelling opening right from the start. While the opening strategy you choose will likely depend on the exact essay question and the type of scholarship you are applying for, there are a few strategies that tend to work well in a variety of formats.
Opening with a dramatic quotation or a shocking statistic can be effective, but in a personal statement, starting with an anecdote from your life or a surprising moment of transformation in your life can grab the audience attention and hold it.
Step 6: Think about using professional help
You are never alone when you are writing an essay, even a personal statement. There are professional writers standing by at an online service like WriteMyPpaerHub to help free you from the purpose of writing your personal statement.
All you need to do is contact service and say, “I want to pay someone to write my essay for me!” Once you do, you’ll be matched with a writer who can provide you with a model essay full of high-quality writing and compelling insight that will set you apart from the competition and give you an advantage as you work to secure the scholarships you need to pay for your education.