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09/04/2019

writing scholarship essays?

QUESTION
writing scholarship essays?
Is it really important to write one… do you write them to the schools your interested in? Do you need to write them to be accepted? When is a good time to write them.. senior year of high school or earlier?? I know its alot but i need some answers! Also what should i include?

ANSWER
Yes, for most scholarships it is very important to write one because this is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the scholarship committee and to say something that makes you stand out from all the other applicants.

As for whether you have to write one to be accepted, that depends on the scholarship. If the requirements include an essay, then you must provide it or your application won’ t be accepted.

Senior year of high school is the best time because many scholarships are limited to graduating seniors. But, there are many that are open to students of all ages. In general, if you’re serious about winning scholarships, you will be writing essays all through your college career.

As for what to include, that depends on what the application asks for. The most common question is “What are your goals and how will this scholarship achieve them?” For that one, you would talk about what you want to study and why, what you’ve done so far to work toward your goals, why you want to attend the college you’ve chosen, and what you intend to do after their money helps you graduate. For example, if your goal is to be a nurse, you could start with a short anecdote about how you became interested in nursing after seeing the care that a nurse gave to your grandfather when he was dying. You could then talk about activities you’ve participated in that led you to beleive that nursing was the right career for you. (You volunteered at a hospital, you organized your school’s fitness challenge program, you worked with kids with disabilities…..). You could then talk about choosing XYZ college because it has an excellent nursing program and a relationship with a particular hospital where you would like to do your clinical studies. And then finish with how their money will help you help others: you want to work with children as a pediatric nurse, or you plan to be a hospice nurse, or join the Peace Corps, etc.

Think of the essay as a sales pitch, and you’re the product you want the scholarship committee to buy. Why is your brand of student better than the others who have applied? Why should they spend their money on you?

There are lots of scholarship guides that you can read. It pays to invest in a couple of them because they have lots of tips that can increase your chances of winning. A good one to start with is Ben Kaplan’s “How to Go to College Almost for Free”

Good Luck!