why do you deserve to win this scholarship essay
Scholarship essays are critical if you want to go to college, but canБt afford it. To win them, you usually need to write powerful and personal scholarship essays. (Yes,
applicants, this includes you! ) Scholarship essays are similar to the personal essays you write for college applications. Theyб need to give schools (or sponsors) a sense of who you are, what makes you tick and what you value. Scholarship essays, however, usually need to go one step further. Applicants need to also show and explain why they deserve б to win the scholarship. The best way to show your readers why you deserve scholarship funds is to help them see what obstacles/problems you have faced in your life so far, and how you handled them, and what you learned in the process. HereБs a Quick Sample Outline for Writing Your Scholarship Essays: Describe a real-life example (in the form of a mini-story, moment or incident)б ofб your main problem (These are called anecdotes). Explain how that made you feel, and the steps you took to deal with that obstacle, and others that relate to it Share how you thought about that problem, and what you learned by handling it This blog has many posts filled with ideas on how to write about a problemб and turn that into a compelling and meaningful essay. Start here by reading my Jumpstart Guideб or When Your Problem is a Good Thingб orб How to Show Your Grit. If you have faced problems in your life, chances are you can qualify for scholarship money. Is your family considered Бlow income,Б or would you be the first in your family to attend college, or are you somehow БunderprivilegedБ or Бat-riskБ or a minority?
If you have managed to rise above difficulties in your life despite any of these obstacles (problems), many colleges are looking for you, and want to find ways to help you attend their school. (See belowб for list of scholarship opportunities. ) You have had to take on an unusual amount of responsibility in your home (care for brothers or sisters; grandparent, ill parent, etc. ) One or both of your parents have been absent in your life for whatever reason (illness, abandonment, alcoholism, death, divorce, etc. ) Of course, many scholarships have different type of prompts they want you to write aboutБand read them carefully. But typically, they will ask about your background and these type of issues. The trick is to pick one of the main problems you have had to deal with, instead of trying to list all of themб orб showcasing only your good qualities or accomplishments. Share problems first; then go into what a good job you did at dealing with them! HIT TIP : To give your essay a sharp focus, look for your personal, real-lifeб stories of moments or times that would illustrate a larger problem you faced. Example: The time you had to eat tortillas and beans for two weeks in a rowБbecause your dad leftб and your mom was working two jobs. DonБt Hold Back in Your Scholarship Essays! These schools need to hear exactly how hard it has been for you. Including how you felt at your lowest point. That is the only way they can appreciate what you have gone through, and then learned and grown through the experience. If you only talk about how strong, independent or determined you are, it wonБt have the same impact.
They have to understand WHY you had to be that way. And to do that, you need to share your problems. DonБt worry. No one will think you are whining or complaining or weak because you write about how you had to care for three younger sisters because your mom was addicted to drugs, or how you struggled to learn English because you moved from Mexico during the middle of high school, or how you sometimes didnБt know where your next meal was coming from because your dad left when you were young and your mom struggled cleaning houses just to pay rent. It is worth spending time learning how to tell your story. There are literally millions of dollars out there just waiting to help you. Also, start collecting scholarships you could apply to. You can also continue searching by Googling Бcollege scholarships,Б and ask your teachers or counselors for ideas. Help is out there! You just need to ask. You've spent who-knows-how-long finding scholarships. You've searched through books and the Internet, you've contacted local organizations and spoken to your counselors. You have a list of awards that are perfect for you. Now it's time to actually win the money. To do so, you will need to fill out applications and more likely than not, write an essay. As with applying to college, the scholarship essay can either make or break your chances of winning. This guide outlines the steps you need to take to ensure that your essay gives you the best chance of winning. And winning the scholarship is, after all, what it's all about! Let's get started. Make sure your essay fits the theme. Let's say that you are applying for an award based on community service.
In the application, you list all of the community service groups that you belong to and service project awards that you've won. But in the essay you vent about your disgust for the homeless and how they should find jobs instead of blocking your passage on sidewalks. Your essay may be brilliantly conceived and written, but if its message is not in line with the rest of your application, it will create a conflicting message and keep you out of the winners' bracket. So how do you know what the theme of your essay should be? The answer is actually quite simple and goes back to why you decided to apply for the scholarship in the first place: The theme of your essay is almost always determined by the purpose of the award or why the organization is giving away the money. Once you know this, you can choose which aspect of your life to highlight in the essay. Answer the underlying question. Have you ever been asked one question but felt there was an underlying question that was really being asked? Maybe your mom asked you something like, "Tell me about your new friend Karen. " But what she really was asking is, "Tell me about your new friend Karen. Are her 12 earrings and tattoo-laden arms a sign that you shouldn't be spending so much time with her? " In most cases, the essay question is just a springboard for you to answer the real question the scholarship judges want addressed. An organization giving an award for students who plan to study business might ask, "Why do you want to study business? " But the underlying question they are asking is, "Why do you want to study business, and why are you the best future business person we should gift with our hard-earned money? " For every scholarship that you attempt to win, you will be competing with students who share similar backgrounds and goals.
If you are applying to an award that supports students who want to become doctors, you can bet that 99% of the students applying also want to become doctors. Therefore, the goal of every scholarship judge is to determine the best applicant out of a pool of applicants who at first glance look very similar. Use the essay question as a way to prove to the scholarship committee that you are the worthiest applicant for the award. Share a slice of life. As you are explaining why you deserve to win, it is important that you also reveal something about yourself. Obviously, in the short space of 500 to 1,000 words, you can't cover everything about you. This is why one of the most effective techniques is to share a "slice of your life. " In other words, don't try to explain everything. Just focus on one aspect of your life. If you are writing about your involvement in an activity, it may be tempting to summarize your involvement over the years and list numerous accomplishments. However, this would sound more like a resume (which by the way you should include with every application) and it would not tell the judges anything new. However, if you focus on just one aspect of an experience, you could spend some time going below the surface and share something about who you are, which would be far more memorable. In other words, you would be sharing a slice of your life. Want to know more about this topic?
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