If you are worried about paying for college and don’t qualify for any scholarships, you’re best bet is to apply for a college grant to help pay for your education. You may be able to receive a grant directly from the government, from your state, or from your employer. There are also private businesses that offer college grants for individuals who meet their specific criteria; call several large companies in the field in which you’d like to work and ask about their scholarship and grant programs. Once you've gotten applications for the grants you want to apply for, use the following steps to write a successful grant.
First, believe that you can find a college grant. It might sound silly, but finding a college grant is not an easy process, so you really have to believe in yourself in order to follow the process through. Be willing to work for it.
Read the requirements for the college grant very carefully. Do not think that you can sidestep any of them. If, for instance, there is an age requirement and you don’t meet it, don’t waste your time with the grant application and hope for the best. Find a grant that’s better suited to you.
Determine what your best qualities are. Make a list of your five best traits (friendly, intelligent, hard-working), then write a few ideas for each one about how you can show that you are that way. Remember: you don’t want to tell the grant committee that you are the right person for the grant; you need to show them with concrete examples that prove it.
Transform your worst quality into a positive attribute. If you are a perfectionist or procrastinate, say that you make sure things are done right and that you like working with a deadline. You want to be honest in your evaluation of yourself, which is why you should always mention a negative quality. But because everything you mention will be used to evaluate you, put a positive spin on your assessments.
Be original. This is not an easy thing to master, but it’s essential for your college grant success. Figure out what it is about you that makes you unique and capitalize on that. Your college grant essay must be memorable and stand out from the hundreds of other essays that the committee will undoubtedly be reading.
Be cautious. Be creative, but don’t be too wacky. This is a tough line, but you need to make sure you don’t cross from clever and unconventional into bizarre. Do mention your childhood growing up with a drag queen father; don’t mention your hobby of making art out of your dog's fur.
Organize your essay. Include an introduction, three strong paragraphs, and a conclusion. Be brutal with yourself when you edit and get rid of anything that isn’t quite right.
Check your work. Look up every possibly questionable word in the dictionary to be sure you don’t have any spelling mistakes. Check problematic grammar like there/their, hear/here, and who/whom. Use the Strunk book to be sure you haven’t made any grammatical errors. Check everything twice.
Get a second opinion. Hire an editor or visit your school’s writing center to have an expert look over your essay before you mail it. Listen to the advice of the expert, but follow your own heart above all.
Never, ever, plagiarize a college grant essay or buy one one - your essay needs to be original. Don't skip the editing process.
Based in Rhode Island, Moira Richardson has been working as a freelance writer full-time for two years. She has been published in print for Providence Monthly, Campus Connection, The Newport Mercury, Prime Time Magazine, and SO Rhode Island. She has a bachelor's Degree in English: Creative Writing and is almost finished her master's degree in same field.