Well, there is one good thing we can say about COVID – it has certainly given you lots of good material for writing those college application essays! Those essays may not only help you get into the college of your dreams; some of the topics and ideas might also be helpful for scholarships that want you to write an essay, too.
Just think about it. Scholarships that ask you to write about how you overcame challenges, or even those that ask you to describe time with your family, were made for times like these. You won’t even have to think much about your topic. Just start writing and be sure to follow these essay tips for scholarship success:
• Read The Directions! If you’re in a state like California that is cutting back on reopening, you might just have a little more time on your hands. So use it wisely to really read and understand those scholarship essay directions. Follow formatting and length requirements, and think about why they want you to write on that particular topic.
• Be Honest: You don’t have to exaggerate your accomplishments if you can explain them creatively. Provide background information so the review committee will understand why something was a challenge for you, and let them see why you should be rewarded for coming up with a unique solution.
• Don’t Plagiarize Others or Yourself: You never know who is on the scholarship committee, how many students will submit applications, or what steps the committee will take to look for plagiarism, so it is imperative to respond in your own voice. You can certainly say why a quote inspires you, but don’t borrow heavily from other content. And don’t use the same essay for every scholarship application. Make sure each one speaks to the reason the sponsor is offering a scholarship.
• Check Your Grammar: You’re writing an essay for a scholarship that is supposed to help you pay for college, so the least you can do is show that you are educated and careful enough to proceed to the next step on the education ladder. Check your work, or have someone else do it for you so you can put your best foot forward.
• Save Your Essay: Even though you don’t want to copy your own essays word for word, you do want to save them as resources for other scholarship applications. Look at parts that you think you wrote particularly well, and work on paragraphs that you think might be a bit weak.
As always, watch your deadlines and look for any communication from the scholarship committee that may require you to provide additional information.
Some scholarships have thousands of applicants. Leave plenty of time to write something that really represents who you are and makes your application stand out. The three-month CFAA Scholarship Program can help you locate scholarship opportunities that are personalized to your background and capabilities, so you will have lots of places to submit those fabulous essays!