Do you have something you want to say, or experiences which have shaped your views that you really want to share with others? You can do this with your college and scholarship application essays. Each will require you to express your thoughts on a certain topic to demonstrate your background and character, so they can decide whether to reward you with admission or money.
While some admissions and scholarship applications may require you to create something and others have very specific topics they want you to write about, most essays fall into some very general areas. Take a look at these, think about your experiences, and then start jotting down your ideas:
• Your Field of Study: Some scholarships are awarded by trade associations or industry groups that want to help young talent succeed in their field. This is your opportunity to tell them why you are so interested in this particular topic. For this essay, think about why your field is important or needs improvement, why you are interested, and what you hope to achieve by studying it further. In which area do you hope to make specific contributions?
• Our World: With everything going on in our world today, you should have plenty of fodder to answer any current event essays. Here you want to think about the big issues, how they are being handled correctly, what bothers you most, and how you might make things better. How would your college studies help you diminish the problem or create a solution?
• Let’s Talk About You: Some scholarships ask you to talk about your background so they can gain some insight into your character. Even if you consider your life to be pretty “ordinary,” you can probably look to some events that helped make you the person you are today. Were there times when you took the lead on a project or helped someone else in need? Did something happen that made you really think you wanted to study an issue further and make it your life’s work? It can be hard to talk about yourself, but you do want them to see the real you.
• The Future: Sometimes it can be good to be a dreamer. What do you see in the future – good and bad? How would your studies increase the good and decrease the bad?
• Money: Even worse than talking about your goals sometimes is talking about money. Look at this as a way to show how you and your family have overcome challenges and persevered despite obstacles.
Of course there are always those random topics you cannot foresee, but take the same approach to thinking, jotting down ideas, and beginning your outline. Now that you’ve got the skills to write better essays, use them to apply for more scholarships. 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!