The vast majority of students cannot afford college without winning some scholarships to help foot the bill. When it comes to applying for scholarships, most ask for some sort of essay to
judge your potential as a winner who will do the most with the money they give out. Without any sort of drive or a “hook”, it is hard to catch their eye and win a scholarship. Here are some tips to help you write a winning scholarship essay:
Answer the Underlying Question
Most questions are straightforward. Why do you feel you deserve this scholarship? Why do you want to attend this college? Why do you want to study this subject? These questions can all be summed up with single sentence answers, however, it’s what they’re not asking that really earns you a chance at winning. For each of these, the underlying question is, “what will you do to make the best use of this award?” Throw this in with your answer, and you’ll have a stronger argument than most.
Be Authentic with your Voice
Scholarship essays also exist to get you to verbalize who you are as a person. They don’t want a robotic recollection of your past and how it has influenced your present; they want a story told by you. They want to know there is an actual person behind the words with the drive to achieve exactly what they dream of doing.
Serve the Scholarship’s Mission
If you’re applying to a scholarship that seeks to benefit future political leaders, make sure that when you answer the question, you make it clear that one of your future goals is to obtain a political position. Scholarships give money with the intention of one day receiving money from you once you have become successful. They also want prestigious names to add to their roster much like any college or university. The more you play to the future desires of the scholarship, the better suited you are, in their eyes, to take the money and put it toward a future they want to fund.