Help Your Scholarship Application Stand Out with These 5 Tips
Scholarships can be a great way to cut college costs while also adding to a student’s resume. There are thousands of scholarship options out there, but nearly all of them require some sort of written statement or essay.
Given the competitive nature of scholarship applications, it is important to craft a written response that will help you stand out from the pack. Keep reading for our top tips for composing one-of-a-kind scholarship applications.
Similar to the college application process, there are thousands of scholarship options out there and it is up to you to choose the ones that best align with your needs and goals. Instead of applying to every scholarship you can find, take the time to research each option and select a manageable number to apply to. Focusing on quality over quantity will enable you to give each application the time and attention needed in order to set yourself apart. Start by choosing 3-5 scholarships to apply for, work on each application thoroughly, and add on several more if you find you have additional time.
Understand Your Audience
Depending on what scholarships you are applying to, different qualities or achievements may carry more or less weight. Before penning your essay, gain a thorough understanding of the specific scholarship program and what it is designed to reward. Write an essay or application that is specific and tailored to the program you are applying for and the values or qualities they have emphasized. A one-size-fits-all essay rarely cuts it because many scholarships are nuanced and looking for students who can express a certain interest, passion or idea.
The same interests and passions that help define you as a college applicant can also set you apart in your scholarship search. Scholarship judges look for students who are eager to learn more and deepen their expertise in a specific field through higher education. Consequently, it is important to clearly articulate your commitment to your interests and passions throughout your application. Be sure to include specific examples that highlight your dedication to a certain craft or cause and your curiosity and desire to continue learning and growing.
Stay on Top of Deadlines
Starting the scholarship application process well in advance will provide students with ample time for editing and ensure you don’t miss any important deadlines. Before applying for a scholarship, have an understanding of due dates and the application process. Some scholarships may requisite additional materials, such as a letter of recommendation from a teacher or a portfolio of work, which is another reason why planning in advance is critical. Consider setting reminders on your phone or computer and writing the scholarship deadlines into your weekly calendar to make sure you stay on top of due dates.
Get A Second Set of Eyes
Even the most well written essays can benefit from editing by a peer, parent, or teacher. Once you are confident in your essay draft, consider sending it to someone you trust for review and feedback. Make sure to read carefully for grammar and punctuation errors; scholarship applications need to be carefully proofread and should be treated with the same level of care as college essays. A second set of eyes can help you catch any careless mistakes you might have overlooked.
Scholarship applications are a fantastic opportunity for students to hone their writing skills and reduce the cost of college tuition. If you are beginning your college search and looking for expert input, our team of admissions counselors can help guide you through every step of the process, including scholarship applications!