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Critical Aspects of Any Scholarship Essay

Things to Remember to Keep Your Essay Focused and Relevant

The dreaded scholarship essay does not have to be a confusing experience to navigate.  Once you understand what exactly scholarship donors are looking for, the process becomes much simpler, even formulaic.  With university tuition sometimes reaching $60,000 per semester, it is no wonder scholarships are of such heavy concern to students.  Here are things you must include in your scholarship essay if you want a chance at funding your education.

Tactful Honesty

It is important that you remain honest in your essay. Do not exaggerate the truth, and certainly do not make up sob stories that simply did not happen.

However, this does not mean that you are obligated to pour out every flaw, every struggle, and every gruesome detail of your past and character flaws.

In a scholarship essay, it is important to tell the truth in a way that is relevant and provocative. To keep it relevant, only focus on the struggles or problems you have had which relate to the potential scholarship provider's goals and values. If you are writing a scholarship essay for an organization, which works towards the treatment of mental illness or disability for example, you might write about your battle with depression. However, if you are entering a scholarship contest from an environmental organization, this is probably not the best time to talk about your emotionally abusive parents and battle with mental illness.

Humility

In a scholarship essay, it is important to maintain a balance between appearing confident and appearing humble. You do not want to come off as sheepish, undeserving, or unmotivated; but you also want to avoid coming off as entitled or self-important.

Speak of how much the scholarship would assist you in your educational and career goals, both of which you should outline in your writing. Show that you are grateful for the potential funding, while also proving that you deserve it.

Show the reader that you are committed to your education and your goals.

Talk about your degree, what you love about it, the sacrifices you might have to make in order to attain it, and the career you hope to begin after college. Why do you want to work in this field? What do you plan to do with your income and your job?

Be sure to mention these goals in your essay, so that your aim and the purpose of the money is apparent.

Ambition

Talk about your degree, what you love about it, the sacrifices you might have to make in order to attain it, and the career you hope to begin after college. Why do you want to work in this field? What do you plan to do with your income and your job?

Be sure to mention these goals in your essay, so that your aim and the purpose of the money is apparent.

Research

Some scholarships require you to write about a specific topic. Be sure to research these topics and not to write simply off the top of your head. Look for legitimate and peer-reviewed studies for facts and statistics.

Further, delve into your own life for research. Perhaps you are acquainted with or related to someone whose career or personal experiences are relevant to the scholarship provider's goal. Take advantage of this! Interview this person and include their anecdotes in your essay. Use some of your own, too, if you have them. People love reading about others' firsthand experiences. 

A Well-Rounded Persona

Do not only focus on one aspect of yourself or one hobby. Instead, demonstrate to the reader that you are a well-rounded person with many interests and goals, while simultaneously keeping the content relevant to the organization's focus.

Perhaps one aspect of your personality assists with the more relevant one. Write about this!

So, with these pointers in mind, write your essay with purpose and passion rather than a heavy sigh and a sense of obligation. You might enjoy the process, and just maybe, you will be able to more comfortably pay for your education.

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