If you’re a high school senior or current college student, you’re probably wading through a ton of scholarship applications. Do a lot of them have essays? Whether it’s a personal statement, discussing a time you displayed leadership, arguing for or against a topic, there are certain strategies and tips you can utilize to make sure all your essays are the best they can be. Read on to discover 5 tips to help you write your best scholarship essay yet!
Read Past Winning Essays
This is a great starting point to help you get an understanding of scholarship essays. Take some time to search for winning scholarship essays, or see if the scholarships you’re applying for have published past winners. This will give you an idea on what the scholarship committee is looking for.
Make a List
Need to write a personal statement or essay focusing on yourself? Start off by making a list of any interesting hobbies, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, big life accomplishments and interests, skills and activities that set you apart. Making a list will help you get everything written down, then you can start to pick and choose what you should include.
Take Your Time
Whatever you do, don’t rush through writing your essay! You don’t need to spend months crafting the perfect sentences, but writing your essay in a few hours probably won’t help you win. If it’s still a while until deadlines hit, make yourself a schedule and stick with it. Give yourself about a week to work on ideas, an outline and the actual writing, another week to have someone proof read and edit, and a few days to make your final changes and submit.
Redstone is awarding 14 scholarships this year. Have you applied yet? Each scholarship is $4,650 and open to members who are high school seniors or current college students.
Skim Through a Dictionary
Feeling like you use the same words over and over? Take a moment to skim through a dictionary to pick up a few new words to sprinkle throughout your essay. You can also find great word replacements by using theseaurus.com to look up synonyms. This will help you expand your word usage and keep your essay fresh and diverse.
Walk Away for a Few Days
Sometimes you just get stuck. If you’re feeling uninspired or just can’t find the right words, walk away from your essay for a few days. Give your brain a break to let it refresh and get the creative juices flowing again. This can also help you between the writing and editing phase; you might see edits or changes you wouldn’t without a fresh mindset.
Ready to crush your scholarship essays now? Don’t forget to add Redstone’s scholarship to your list! Find out all the details on our Scholarship page. Now go forth and conquer!
Oh no, you spelled that word wrong! It happens all the time but mistakes like these and others can cost you free money aka scholarships. You wouldn’t want to miss out on $2,500 because you typed an “L” instead of a “Z” right? Well here are some common mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
Fulfill the Criteria
Make sure you read the scholarship application description and follow the guidelines. If the scholarship asks you to write about a time where you overcame a struggle, don’t write about how your aunt’s cat is the most adorable cat. Be careful with copying and pasting other scholarship essays that you wrote - this could be a huge blunder if you replace it with the wrong topic. If the scholarship application says there is a maximum of 500 words, keep it to 500 words. Unfortunately, you won’t get any extra credit here for going over the word count.
We mentioned it briefly in the introduction but this is a very easy way to mess up your scholarship essay. One or multiple misspelled words show the scholarship reviewers that you didn’t take the time to proofread. If you’re competing against others for scholarship money, taking the time to proofread shows that you actually care about getting the scholarship. We suggest getting a second pair of eyes on your scholarship essays to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, run-on sentences, and more.
Although scholarship essays ask you to talk about yourself, they are no place to brag and boast. In acknowledging your accomplishments you should always carry a strong sense of humility. Scholarship reviewers are here to help support you and it helps if you have stories that reflect on how others in your community have helped you to achieve your goals. We’re all in this together and it’s hard to want to stamp ‘won’ on essays where people think they’ve got it all figured out themselves.
If you’ve experienced hardship in your life and your scholarship essays ask you to write about that, make sure that you write in stride. Try to tell your story in a frame that doesn’t sound like you’re complaining about your situation. How people write about their experiences can be very telling about how they deal with those experiences and reviewers of scholarships want to ensure that the individuals they’re supporting will use their resources to continue growing to advance themselves out of their situation.