A scholarship essay is a personal means through which an applicant for a scholarship communicates directly with the selection committee. The aim of the essay is to give the committee the opportunity to know the person behind the grades, scores, and the application. Most scholarship programs have different requirements and vary with the programs and the institutions offering them.
Before beginning to write your essay, know your audience. Various scholarship programs are looking for students who meet certain requirements. That is why you should start your application process in time, go through the questions, requirements and the scholarship providers. You should also look for past beneficiaries you can find and ask them how they went about writing the essays. Not all scholarship programs are looking for top academic performers; others are looking for experience in a given field. It is, therefore, advisable that you do not prepare one scholarship essay to use it in all your applications.
Giving yourself time gives you the opportunity to plan in advance and be thorough with your essay. Get the points you would want to tackle in response to the essay questions and make an outline. You can then write your first draft and have it read by different people. Best documents are not written at one sitting and forwarded for consideration; yours is likely to end up just as many other ordinary ones received.
Use simple and clear language throughout your essay. Simple language makes any piece of writing interesting. Avoid the use of jargons and complex sentences as much as possible. Make your explanations vivid and make your readers enjoy reading your story.
Avoid generalizations in your essay. Expand your points in a precise manner devoid of vagueness. Show the selection committee how you have ideas and can present them cogently. While explaining your points, give realistic details and examples.
A scholarship essay is a personal essay, add passion to it. Take the opportunity to convince the selection panel why you are the best fit to get the scholarship. As you answer the essay questions, give specific details clearly demonstrating how you care about your course of choice and how the scholarship can help you achieve your objectives. Be unique in your story and let it invite the readers to know more about you. However, ensure you are honest in your narration.
Once your first draft is ready, give it to at least three people you trust to read and give you feedback. They will raise issues that you may have overlooked and which could cost you the chance. You can also read your essay aloud to yourself. Make corrections and read your work one more time.
In conclusion, to put together a winning scholarship essay you should do the following:
- Follow instructions.
- Start the application process early.
- Avoid generalizations.
- Be personal and honest.
- Use simple and clear language.
- Have people proofread your essay.