College scholarships provide you with financial aid as well as the reassuring knowledge that someone believes in your future. If you are lucky enough to win, a scholarship can boost your savings as well as your self-esteem. Applying for scholarships takes time, and each application can have different requirements. In addition to meeting the basic conditions, you may have to prepare a personal essay that helps reviewers understand you. Knowing what this introduction should include may increase your chances of receiving college funding.
The individual or committee reviewing your application will appreciate hearing about volunteer work you do in your community. If you spend time helping in a soup kitchen or reading to seniors in a nursing home, describe your experiences. What you do on your own time, without expecting payment, says a lot about who you are. Scholarship foundations often look for students who will impact the lives of others, so most reviewers will value your willingness to help.
If you served in the military, consider sharing your experiences with the readers. Do not feel obligated to talk about very emotional events. Instead, offer a little information that illustrates how military service has shaped you and your goals. Sharing an anecdote or powerful moment gives the committee insight into your internal strength and commitment to succeed.
Personal details are the key to making your application stand out. Reviewers want to know about your challenges, how they shaped you and how you plan to overcome them with the help of a postsecondary education. For example, if you are the only high school graduate in your family and you explain what education means to you, the committee may connect with your experience. People naturally want to help students who want to improve their lives. If you want to use your education to improve the lives of others – even better. That being said, stay honest. Exaggerating your commitments can work against you.
Discuss your short-term and long-term goals, and talk about how you intend to achieve them. Include information about academic and career objectives. This will give the readers an idea of the social investment they will be making by awarding you the scholarship. Remember to be comprehensive. Clearly explain the steps you will take to reach your milestones, and, when possible, show the relationship between your goals and personal experiences.
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.