Record Keeping In Nursing Essay For Scholarship

Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay


Writing a scholarship essay can be very difficult – especially if you want to do it well. Your essay will need to wow the reader, and speak directly to the goals of that organization, as well as the objectives of that award. If done properly, you will very rarely be able to submit the same application to multiple awards – it is not a one-size-fits-all; most essays will need to be tweaked or completely altered to show the reader that you are deserving of the award above and beyond any of the other participant who also applied.

Read on to find eight steps to help you write a better scholarship essay so that you can get the money you need to fund your international education.

Step 1: Read the Essay Prompt Thoroughly

Many schools and other organizations that give out scholarships will give you a "prompt" or a question which the essay is supposed to address. Read the question or prompt carefully and try to "read between the lines." For example, the prompt you are to answer might be, "Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why?" Ask yourself, "Are they really interested in my literary preferences or is there something more to this question?" More than likely, they want to get a better idea of who you are—not only what types of books you like but also what motivates you and what sorts of stories or topics interest you. They may also be interested in getting a sense for how promising a student you are based on the type of book you choose and what you have to say about it.

Tip: Always keep in mind that any scholarship essay question, no matter the topic, should demonstrate your interests, your background, and most importantly, highlight the experiences you've had that fit with the goals and mission of the funding organization.

Instead of being given a prompt, you might be asked to write an essay on the topic of your choosing. Although challenging, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate your creativity. Finally, if anything about the directions aren't clear, don't be afraid to contact someone at the funding organization and ask for clarification.

Step 2: Make a List of Important Points and Keywords to Include

Looking for sample essays?
Check out our Sample Essay section where you can see scholarship essays, admissions essays, and more!

Regardless of the essay prompt, you will want to make sure to include the important and relevant information about your experiences and background that makes you an ideal candidate for the scholarship award. To complete this step, it can be helpful to first research the organization to which you're applying and try to find their mission statement on their website. Circle a few key words from the mission statement and make sure to include those buzzwords in your essay.

Scholarship committees are not only looking for good students, they are often looking for a person that fits their organizational goals. You should gather your other application materials such as transcripts and resumes so you can review your qualifications as well as make note of what is missing in these materials that needs to be included in the essay.

For example, if you're applying for a general academic scholarship, you might want to talk about a specific class you took that really piqued your interest or inspired your current academic and career goals. The committee will see the list of the classes that you took on your transcript but they won't know how a particular class inspired you unless you tell them. The essay is the best place to do this. Your list of important points to make might also include:

  • Any academic awards or other honors you've won.
  • Any AP or college-level courses you took in high school.
  • Any outside courses, internships, or other academic experiences that won't necessarily appear on your transcript.
  • Why your experience and the mission of the funding organization match.
  • What you plan to major in during college and how you think that major will be useful to your future career goals.
  • Any special training or knowledge you have, or a project you completed in school or as an extracurricular activity.
  • An example of how you overcame a challenge.
  • Your financial circumstances that makes it necessary for you to finance your studies through scholarship money.

The challenge now is to integrate those points that you want the committee to know with an essay that answers the prompt. You can see our example scholarship essays to get a better idea of how to do this.

Step 3: Write an Outline or a Rough Draft

Not everyone likes to make an outline before they begin writing, but in this case it can be very helpful. You can start with your list of important points to begin writing the outline. For many, telling a story is the easiest and most effective way to write a scholarship essay. You can tell the story of how you found your favorite book, and how it has changed and inspired you. Start with large headings in your outline that describes the basic storyline. For example:

  1. High school composition teacher recommended book
  2. Read it over one weekend
  3. Made me see the world around me differently
  4. Inspired me to pursue a career in social justice

Now you can start filling in the subheadings with points from your previous list:

  1. High school composition teacher recommended book
    1. Favorite class in high school
    2. Class opened my eyes to new ways of thinking
    3. Teacher noticed my enthusiasm—recommended outside reading
  2. Read it over one weekend
    1. Was the first time I was so drawn in by a book, I read it very quickly
    2. I realized my academic potential beyond getting good grades
  3. Made me see the world around me differently
    1. Started to look for jobs in social justice
    2. Interned for a summer at a law firm doing pro bono work for the poor
    3. This was a big challenge because I realized you can't help everyone and resources are limited
    4. Overcame this challenge by knowing that small change can be big, and working hard in a field you are passionate about will inspire you everyday
  4. Inspired me to pursue a career in social justice
    1. The book is a constant source of inspiration and will keep me motivated as I pursue my career
    2. The book will always remind me how people with limited financial resources can still make a huge difference in others' lives

Step 4: Write a Strong Statement that Summarizes Your Points

You will want to include one strong thesis statement that summarizes all the major points you will make in your essay. It is often easy to start writing with this simple statement. Your essay doesn't have to begin or end with the thesis statement, but it should appear somewhere in order to tie all the individual sections together.

For example, your thesis statement might be, "You will find that various experiences from both my academic career and my personal life align very well with your organization's mission: shaping community leaders who are working towards a more just and sustainable world." Starting with this sentence can help you organize your thoughts and main points, and provide you with a direction for your essay. When you've finished your essay, be sure to reflect back on your thesis statement and ask yourself, "Does this essay further explain and support my thesis statement?"

Step 5: Fill in the Missing Parts

Now that you have a thesis statement, an outline, and a list of important points to include, you can begin to fill in the missing parts of your story. The first sentence is particularly important: it should capture the attention of the reader, and motivate him or her to continue reading. We recommend starting your story by painting a vivid picture of an experience about which you will be talking in the essay.

For example: "It is 6 am on a hot day in July, I've already showered and I'm eating breakfast. My classmates are all sleeping in and the sun has yet to awaken, but I'm ready to seize the day, as I couldn't imagine spending my summer any other way but interning at a local law firm that specializes in representing the poor. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and nothing has made me happier. But I wouldn't be here if it weren't for one particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class."

Step 6: Rewrite, Revise, Rewrite

A good writer rewrites and revises his or her work many, many times. After getting a first draft on paper, take a day or two away from the essay and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Make appropriate edits for content, and pay attention to proper spelling and grammar. If need be, you might want to write an entirely new draft and then integrate the best of both into a final draft. Writing a new draft can inspire you to think of new ideas or a better way to tell your story. Some other tips to think about as you rewrite and revise:

  • Make sure it sounds like your voice. You want the scholarship committee to feel like they are getting to know you. If you don't sound authentic, the committee will know. It is better to be yourself than to say what you think the committee wants to hear.
  • Strike a balance between modesty and arrogance. You should be proud of your accomplishments, but you don't want to sound arrogant. Don't exaggerate a story; instead be clear about what you did and the impact it had and let that speak for itself.
  • Check to make sure you are answering the prompt and fulfilling all other requirements of the essay as directed by the committee, such as font preference and word count limits.
  • Don't just list your accomplishments; describe them in detail and also tell the reader how you felt during these experiences.
  • A scholarship essay is not a dissertation. You don't need to impress the committee with big words, especially if you're not completely clear if you're using them correctly. Simplicity and clarity should be the goals.
  • Make sure your essay will be read from the beginning to the end. Committee members won't dedicate much time to reading the essay, so you need to make sure they are given motivation to read the entire thing. If you are telling a story, don't reveal the end of the story until the end.
  • Check to make sure the buzzwords from the mission statement appear. It is easy to forget the scholarship committee's goals as you write. Return to their mission statement and look for spots to place keywords from the statement. Be sure, however, that you're not copying the mission statement word-for-word.

Step 7: Have someone else read your essay

Ideally, you could give your essay to a teacher or college admissions counselor who is familiar with scholarship essays and the college admission process. If such a person is not available, virtually anyone with good reading and writing skills can help make your essay better. When your editor is done reading and you've looked over his or her notes, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Was the story interesting and did it hold your attention?
  • Were there any parts that were confusing?
  • Did you find any spelling or grammar errors?
  • Does the essay sound like my voice?
  • Does the essay respond appropriately to the prompt?
  • Is there anything you would have done differently or something you thought was missing?

After having an editor (or two or three) look over your draft, it is time again to revise and rewrite.

Step 8: Refine the Final Draft

Once you feel satisfied with the draft, review it one more time and pay particular attention to structure, spelling, grammar, and whether you fulfilled all the required points dictated by the committee. If you are over the required word count, you will need to make edits so that you are within the limit. If you are significantly under the word count, consider adding a supporting paragraph.

Essay Writing Center

Related Content:

Misconception: No one actually reads your scholarship essay! – Wrong!

Fact: Your essay is the key to your scholarship application. It is an opportunity to demonstrate to the selection committee that you are a well-rounded individual, that you are more than your GPA, that you are a strong writer, and it gives you a chance to talk about your experiences and qualifications in greater detail than what appears on your resume or transcripts.

Total: 50   Sorted by title. Showing 25 per page.


Academic Standing Reports

Number:  0472-06-001

Description:  This series documents student academic standing, including academic deficiency and the status changes of academically deficient students. Records may include: reports containing student names, grade point averages (GPA), grade point deficiencies, and numbers of previous suspensions and probations; student petitions for re-evaluation; report of student progress toward academic readmission/removal of probation status at other institutions; and academic honors and awards.

Retention:  5 years.


Admission Program Records

Number:  0472-06-002

Description:  This series provides summary information relating to student admission programs that may be used for control, planning, or review.

Retention:  Final reports: PERMANENT; All other records: 5 years.


Alumni and Alumni Associations Records

Number:  0472-06-003

Description:  This series documents the activities of alumni and alumni groups.

Retention:  Programs, agendas, minutes, bylaws, and reports: PERMANENT; mailing lists, data cards and files for individual alumni, and membership directories: Until superseded; All other records: 5 years.


Athletic Scholarship and Grant-in-Aid Award Records

Number:  0472-06-004

Description:  This series is used to provide athletic departments with information pertaining to player eligibility and receipt of financial aid in the form of scholarships to monitor accounts, and to assist in complying with NCAA, NAIA, and conference rules and regulations. These records include: squad lists; conference eligibility reports; team roster update sheets; scholarship count sheets; applications; nominee lists; eligibility questionnaires; eligibility reports; and credit voucher request sheets.

Retention:  NCAA records: 10 years; All other records: 5 years.


Class Gift Records

Number:  0472-06-005

Description:  This series provides a record of gifts given to the institution by classes.

Retention:  PERMANENT.


College Department Student Files

Number:  0472-06-006

Description:  This file contains documents related to the college's process of graduation certification. Included are checklist for graduation, grade reports, student academic records, official change of grade forms, official request forms for permission to change colleges within the university system, and letters of reference.

Retention:  5 years after graduation or date of last enrollment.


Commencement Records

Number:  0472-06-007

Description:  This series documents commencement program planning and implementation at the institution.

Retention:  1 Commencement Program: PERMANENT; All other records: Useful life.


Course and Class Records

Number:  0472-06-008

Description:  This series provides instructional units with an official record of students enrolled in courses taught and documents test scores and semester end grades of each student.

Retention:  Permanent.


Credit Bureau Reports

Number:  0472-06-009

Description:  This series documents holders of student loans that have been reported to credit bureaus.

Retention:  2 years after collected or deemed uncollectible.


Diploma Mailing Verification Records

Number:  0472-06-010

Description:  This series documents students' requests to have diplomas and other graduation records distributed to specific addresses.

Retention:  1 year.


Enrollment Reports

Number:  0472-06-011

Description:  This series is used to provide the President's office with a record of enrollments which may be used for planning and research. Information contained in the reports includes student names and levels, grade point averages, demographic data, and academic majors.

Retention:  Final reports: PERMANENT; All other records: 2 years.


Examinations, Tests, Term Papers, Homework Records, and Grade Books

Number:  0472-06-012

Description:  This series documents student subject mastery in institution courses. Records may include but are not limited to: examinations and answers; quizzes and answers; homework assignments; course papers; term papers; essay assignments; and grade books. This series does not include graduate student qualifying or comprehensive examinations.

Retention:  Uncontested grade results: 1 term after completion; Contested grade results: Until resolved, whichever is longer.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Documents

Number:  0472-06-013

Description:  This series documents the process of student information release requests and consent authorizations or denials in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Records may include but are not limited to: requests for formal hearings; requests for release of personally identifiable information; records of disclosures made to third parties; student statements regarding hearing panel decisions; written decisions of the hearing panel; written consent of the student to disclose records; and waivers for rights of access.

Retention:  Life of the affected record.


Federal Title IV Institutional Records

Number:  0472-06-014

Description:  Records document an institution's eligibility to participate in and its administration of Federal Title IV programs, including Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), Direct Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, and Nursing Loan. Records include: Institutional Program Participation Agreement; recertification; education program eligibility; accreditation reviews and reports; state agency reports; audits and program reviews and consortia agreements between and among schools.

Retention:  7 years after expiration of agreement.


Federal Title IV Student Loan Records

Number:  0472-06-015

Description:  This series document student eligibility for and administration of individual student loans under the Federal Title IV Aid Programs, including Federal Family Loan (FFEL), Direct Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, and Nursing Loan. Records may include but are not limited to: eligibility records (student and/or parent); applications; disbursement records; promissory notes; Student Status Confirmation Reports (SSCR); repayment schedules; statements of rights and responsibilities; documentation of all professional judgments decisions; financial aid history information; documentation of student's satisfactory academic progress.

Retention:  Records relating to a borrower's eligibility: 5 years after the end of the award year in which the student last attended the institution; Records relating to administration of the loan: 5 years after the end of the award year in which aid was awarded and dispersed; Fiscal Operations Report, Application to Participate and supporting documentation: 5 years after the end of the award year in which the FISAP is submitted. Borrower's Loan Records: 5 years after loan repayment, debt cancellation, or assignment to the U.S. Department of Education. All other records: 5 years after the end of the award year in which the records are submitted.


Fraternity and Sorority Membership Records

Number:  0476-06-016

Description:  This series documents personal information on each organization member.

Retention:  5 years after last enrollment.


Grade Change Reports

Number:  0472-06-017

Description:  This series documents grade changes submitted by instructors through the academic departments to the registrar.

Retention:  5 years after record creation.


Graduate Student Tuition Remission Records

Number:  0472-06-018

Description:  This series documents the remission of tuition for courses taken by eligible graduate students, such as research and/or teaching assistants.

Retention:  8 years.


Graduate Students Denied Admission/No Show Records

Number:  0472-06-019

Description:  This series documents the application and evaluation process for students applying to enter an instructional unit's academic graduate program who are denied admission or who were admitted but failed to enroll or withdrew. Records may include but are not limited to: applications for admission to graduate school forms; departmental action forms; standardized examination reports; foreign student financial documentation; departmental or college supplemental application forms; departmental or college student application status reports; letters of recommendation; resumes; and transcripts.

Retention:  3 years after application term


International Student Records

Number:  0472-06-020

Description:  This series documents institution assistance to international students who have applied for admission to academic programs. These records primarily concern institution admissions, immigration issues, and other non-academic matters. Records may include but are not limited to: letters of inquiry from prospective students; official replies to inquiries; copies of visas; scholarship information; institution admissions forms; graduate school applications; transcripts of previous college work; grade reports of prior college work; grade reports from institutional courses; international student advisors' notes; degree completion certificates; explanations for student withdrawals; and recommendations and evaluations of students.

Retention:  5 years after graduation or date of last attendance but at least 1 year after final notice to Immigration and Naturalization Service; Non-admitted applicant records: 2 years.


Internship Program Records

Number:  0472-06-021

Description:  This series is used to provide a record of the administration of student internship, practicum, and cooperative education programs. Records may include but are not limited to: applications for internships internal and external to the institution; agreements with departments; postings/notices; student resumes; transcripts; copies of contracts; and proposed institution listings.

Retention:  5 years.


Minority Scholars Program Records

Number:  0472-06-022

Description:  This series documents the application, selection, and progress of students belonging to various minority groups who apply for minority scholarships. This series may contain but is not limited to: applications; candidate selection information; academic and personal information about applicants; notifications of award; notifications of denial of award; applicants letters of decline; and notifications of transfer to another institution.

Retention:  5 years after award notification.


Month-to-Month Transaction Reports

Number:  0472-06-023

Description:  This series documents student loan activity on a monthly basis by transaction type.

Retention:  2 years.


National Testing Records

Number:  0472-06-024

Description:  This series provides a record of the services rendered to clients by administering tests required of students seeking admission to various programs or seeking to substitute already acquired knowledge for formal college courses. Records may include but are not limited to: testing rules and regulations; rosters of test takers; seating charts; supervisors' reports; and vouchers for payment of testing. This series does not include test scores.

Retention:  3 years after testing date.


Pell Grant Reports

Number:  0472-06-025

Description:  This series consists of copies of summary reports submitted to the Pell Grant Scholarship program on a routine basis. Reports summarize money awarded, received and disbursed, the balance remaining, and dates.

Retention:  5 years after audit.

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