Scholarships are a great way to finance your college career, but getting them can be tricky. Thousands of other high school students are vying for the same scholarships and grants, which reduces your chances of getting selected. Many scholarships require you to write an essay before being selected. It seems easy enough until you start writing and critiquing your own work. What does it take to make your essay win? For one, it needs to stand out in a good way.
If you’re trying to get a scholarship to pay for Washington State’s online MBA or another program, then use the following tips to help make your essay stand out.
Write an Outline
You don’t want to just write your essay without any sense of direction. You need a road map to help guide your thoughts, arguments and facts. So before you begin writing anything for your essay, you need to draw out an outline. You can use software, apps or just a plain sheet of paper. Make sure all of your points have been included, along with your evidence to back it up. This will ensure your essay is organized and well thought out.
Make Your Intro Compelling
The introduction is the first thing readers see, so make sure it captures their attention. You can do this by stating an outrageous but true fact, asking a thought-provoking question or making a statement that pokes at the emotions of people. You want the introduction to be intriguing enough to make the reader continue reading. This is why they call the title and first paragraph the hook.
Don’t Go Off Topic
Your essay needs to be very concise. You don’t want to come off like a third grader who’s rambling on off topic. Make sure everything you say in your essay is relevant and moves it forward to whatever point you’re trying to get across. Also, your sentences should be short and to the point. Like they say keep it simple stupid.
Make Sure to Edit
After you have written your essay, take time to reread it and make changes as needed. Ensure there are no spelling, grammar or syntax errors, especially if you are a foreigner with English as your second language. If anything sounds a bit weird, then reword it. You should also allow someone else you trust to read your essay once you can’t find anything else wrong with it. This can be a teacher, guidance counselor, friend or family member.
Research the Organization Behind the Scholarship
It would be a big mistake to write about your love of hunting deer if the organization sponsoring the scholarship represents saving animals and combating senseless killing. It’s always important to consider the audience of your essays before you begin writing. Find out what they stand for and if there is a particular tone or theme you should use.
Getting awarded a scholarship is a big feat. The key to winning one is to nail your essay. Use these tips to help make yours stand out in the best way possible!