You have your results slip, CCA records, testimonials and certificates, all well-documented (and safely uploaded in the BrightSparks portal). Looking over these documents, you feel a sense of achievement as appreciate the many years of hard work they represent. You pat yourself on the back, your scholarship application is nearly done!
But don’t start celebrating yet. The scholarship essay is a requirement of almost all scholarship applications, and a very integral requirement at that.
Scholarship review committees go through hundreds of submissions a year, vetting applications. Unless you are able to grab their attention quickly, and keep it, your application is very likely to fail.
Hence, a winning scholarship essay is vital if you want to stand out from the crowd, and impress the sponsoring organisation with not just your stellar credentials but your unique personality as well. In many ways, this will be the first time the scholarship reviewer gets to see who you are as a person beyond your accolades and awards.
The first step is to showcase yourself. While it is a good idea to reference essay guides and read some model answers, your essay should ultimately be about your own reflections and experiences. Focus on factual data, answering questions in detail, and giving thought-provoking and intelligent responses. These are the things that will leave a good impression on the scholarship board.
Remember to highlight your unique qualities and how these will fit with the organisation as you progress. Did you learn classical Chinese music as a child, which led to your interest in the National Heritage Board Scholarship? In your essay, you may wish to elaborate on how studying the precise techniques of ancient musical instruments fostered a deep appreciation for our arts and culture.
As you describe your individual experiences and achievements, the reviewer reading your essay will get to know more about you. In this way, the essay is vital to their decision as to whether you will “fit” their organisation or not.
Write with Passion
Another important sign of “fit” is whether or not you are passionate about what the organisation stands for. Do you like working with planes, feeling a rush of excitement when they take off into the sky? In your application for the CAAS Undergraduate Scholarship, describe that love for aviation and how you wish to pursue it further.
Have you read a story so thrilling, you feel transported into that person’s world, excited about what they see and discover? A good scholarship essay should do the same. You don’t need to force yourself to use big words or write convoluted sentences; it is far more important to communicate your enthusiasm and dedication through the page.
Check the Fundamentals
But with all this talk of passion and sincerity, it is easy to slip and forget the fundamentals. Don’t get careless; proper spelling, good grammar, and clear writing are a must for a good essay.
Finish your draft a few days before the deadline and proofread it extensively, hopefully with the help of family and friends. Check that the basics are covered, and go over more intricate phrases and concepts to see if you have communicated your points clearly. Don’t be afraid to rewrite, it ensures that the sponsoring organisation meets the best possible “you” through your essay!
We wish you a happy (well-edited) writing, and the best of luck in your application!