It’s difficult to put a price on learning but pursuing a university education can still set you back, financially. Fortunately, scholarships offer prospective students a way to offset these costs with much-needed financial aid.
But in order to receive these scholarships, you will usually have to write an essay that details why you deserve to be awarded the funding. This essay needs to be able to depict everything from your assets to your future goals, to your personal and academic achievements. While crafting this essay can seem like a tall order, it’s certainly possible to write one that is as effective as it is well-written. Read on to learn more.
1. Familiarise yourself with the guidelines
The first thing you need to do before you start writing your essay is read all the guidelines provided. Once you’re done with that, reread it and take the appropriate notes to ensure that you haven’t missed anything. You may even ask a teacher or a peer to explain the rules to you if you feel even the slightest hint of confusion. Failure to comply with the guidelines may result in your entire essay getting binned – regardless of the calibre of its contents.
2. Do your research
Before you apply for a scholarship, make sure that you’ve done adequate research into where the funding is coming from. Check to see if the provider of the scholarship has stated their mission statement or if they favour any particular causes or demographic of students. Think about how you can present yourself in a light that would be more in line with what your audience is looking for. Obtaining this information and incorporating it into your essay can be just what you need for it to be truly exemplary.
3. Go all out
Oftentimes, you’ll find essay prompts vague enough to give you the space and freedom to write about almost anything. Use this to your advantage and make your essay about something you’re passionate about and that paints you in a favourable light.
For instance, you may be prompted to describe what you are proudest of accomplishing, which would give you free rein to write about a vast range of topics. You could discuss your volunteer experiences or even a personal project that has brought you joy. Many admissions committees are on the lookout for well-rounded individuals who are able to balance their personal lives and academic pursuits.
However, if you are in a difficult familial or personal situation, discussing that in your essay can offset the lack of extracurriculars or volunteerism since it offers a clearer view of your circumstances. Overall, an essay offers you a chance to put yourself down on the page and showcase different the various aspects of your life.
4. Be both practical and personal
Every scholarship essay ultimately boils down to this question: Why do you deserve this scholarship over everyone else?
This isn’t a question that is easy to form a response to, especially if the scholarship is a need-based one. You may wonder how candid you should be or how much you should share regarding sensitive matters like finance or domestic issues. That is entirely your choice.
The most vital thing to remember is that you cannot wilfully mislead someone in your essay. Be honest about what you want the award for and how it can help you to achieve your goals. Always come from a place of specificity rather than generalisation so your audience believes in your authenticity and can form a personal connection with you.
Scholarship essays are notorious for stumping students. They can be intimidating since they are often one of the most important documents a student will ever write. No one can write your scholarship essay for you. While this is undeniably true, these tips will go a long way in getting you started.
Fortunately, BrightSparks remains a great source of useful tips and resources for those looking to apply for scholarships. Click here and learn more today!