Everyone jumps at the opportunity of receiving free money, but as soon as we see that an essay is required, we immediately put it off. I know I’m guilty of this. But this past week, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on how to write scholarship essays. During the workshop, I learned a lot and decided that it’d be great to share some tips with fellow students.
- Personalize your essay- The readers want to know who you are. A good way to do this is to tell a story.
- “Challenge” or “Obstacle”- When the prompt includes one of these words, write a story about how you overcame a challenge or obstacle. Mention how you “grew” from that. Correlate it with your education or finances.
- Talk about your “goals” and “vision”- The people giving away the money like to know that their money will be put to good use. Talking about your career goals is a great way to make that valid.
- Be specific – Tell them what you want to do with your life. Why you’re pursuing a higher education. Why you need the money etc.
- Imagine your audience – Your reader is a real person with a life and personality of their own. Talk to them as if they’re a friend. You will more than likely relate to them.
- Be memorable – Tell them things that make you unique. Use emotions that will leave them crying, angry, frustrated. Usually heartfelt stories make these marks.
- Don’t be formal – You are telling a story, you don’t need to be overly proper. You often times don’t even need an intro for essays like this, just begin telling your story.
- Use imagery – Describe emotions, settings, details etc.
- Follow the word count – Try not to go over the word limit but do not go drastically under. (Ex: if it’s 300 words, don’t go under 250)
- Read your essay and then read it AGAIN and then have someone else read it!
To apply for the Alamo Colleges and Northwest Vista College scholarships, go here.
By NVC Student Haneen Rafati