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College Scholarship Essays: 3 Tips to Write Better

Apr 2, 2008
College scholarship essays seem impossible the first time you write one. Here you will learn why scholarships require these essays and pointers on how to improve your writing. You'll have more vivid examples of how you have overcome, learned, and grown. Let's get started.

Why do I have to write a Scholarship Essay?
The foundations, committees, universities, some grant giving agencies and so on need you to write college scholarship essays for three reasons. Once you see the reasons, I think you will feel better about writing. And you'll find ways to make your writing better as well:

1. You demonstrate capability. By writing a sample for to win a scholarship award, you prove you can write well. Always write the essays yourself, as this keeps the essay unique, shows integrity, and avoids plagiarism. Even if you have a company evaluate your writing and offer suggestions for improvement of an essay, you created the idea and the details in it. This small essay example provides a window into your academic abilities, and lets the scholarship committee see that you value education and will finish the degree or program you plan to attend.

2. Your goals match the goals of the scholarship giver. Do a little research on the scholarship you want to receive. What does it stand for? Can you find a mission statement or purpose? Perhaps you can read old press releases or news stories, too. Many groups, especially businesses and foundations, give away scholarship money or a grant to further their own purposes. They want to award the money to a person with similar principles.

3. Your essays speak for you. In any scholarship essay, you will provide some detail or experience from your own life. Reviewers see you through these details, and decide if they want you to represent their mission. Once you have received the scholarship, you can reflect on them for better or worse. Of course, you can see that you will want to present the best of your life. Not a rosy picture, but the real you, when you overcame, learned an important principle, or succeeded in spite of the odds against you. Or even a failure that taught you how to be a better person.

Your essays will present a small portion of you and what you have learned during the course of your life college scholarship essays. The essay provides the scholarship committee reassurance that you will be a good recipient and utilize the scholarship award to further their purposes and finish your studies to become a contributor to society.

For example, you usually won't find the beef council giving scholarships to vegetarians, or Wal-Mart handing out money for essays that talk about limiting urban sprawl. Their values and future plans don't go with these applicants.

After you have written a few scholarship essays, they will become easier. Plan on spending some time brainstorming. Make sure you stick to the guidelines in the application, such as for length. Always have some one proofread your article for mistakes, style, and flow. If possible, your proofreader should be a better writer than you, perhaps an English teacher, teacher assistant, or a professional writer.

Keep a copy of every essay you write, in case you can use it again. Also, you may be able to use a class essay for a scholarship application, or vice versa. When you have a topic assigned on an application, you may have to do some research before you can start writing. Spending a little time on this step will help your writing immensely. Some scholarships only require a personal statement, others want a full blown essay. In either case, reviewers will read your essay and either award you money or not, so make it great.

For your best chance to win more awards, apply for as many as possible. Don't quit. If you can pass high school English, you can write one of these essays and win some money for college, but you have to apply!
About the Author
Need more tips on scholarship programs? Come to my scholarship essay information page and download my free grant program ebook here
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