Do you plan to apply for a scholarship? Learn to write a good essay for a scholarship application.
Whether for financial aid in college or to fulfill your dream of studying abroad, writing an essay that argues why you deserve the scholarship can be decisive when it comes to defining whether you will be one of the chosen ones. It is for this reason that you must ensure that the text conveys your abilities and merits in the best way. Ken and Gen Tanabe, authors of advice books for university students, write in Super College some tips on how to write an essay to get a scholarship.
Tips to Write a Scholarship Essay:
1. Write an essay aligned with the objectives of the scholarship
Some scholarships are intended for “leaders of the future”, leading scientists or people dedicated to community service. For this reason, you should make sure that what you write is closely linked to this vision, which shows that you are exactly what the organization is looking for. You must choose which aspects of your life are relevant to those who grant the financing. No matter how well written the text is if you convey otherwise it is very unlikely that you will get the scholarship.
2. Answer the underlying question
The objective of the essay is to convince the organization that you are the best choice for the scholarship. So, if the essay question is, for example, “Why do you want to study medicine?”, What you really want to know is “Why will you be the best doctor and why should we give you our money?”
Remember that many people with similar contexts and objectives as yours are likely to run. Therefore, saying why you want to be a doctor is not enough, since everyone will say the same. What you should do is stand out from the rest of the candidates and prove that you are the most deserving of the prize.
3. Present a central argument
Your essay must have a central argument, that is, express a clear idea to the reader. If you are not sure about whether your essay has it, try to summarize it in one sentence. There should be something like “Growing up in the countryside taught me to be an independent person” or “The treatment of addictions is the only way to win the war on drugs.” If you cannot condense your essay into a central idea, your text may not be entirely clear or simply lack the main argument.
4. Show a part of your life
In addition to listing the reasons why you deserve the scholarship, you should also expose some part of your life. It is important that you focus on one aspect and not on all facets of your person, since otherwise your essay will lose impact. This text should not be like a resume or detail all your achievements. By focusing on just one aspect, you can provide more depth and provide valuable information about who you are.
5. Transmit your passion
This essay is not like any of the ones you wrote as a student since it is about showing what you are passionate about and why you do it. Make sure that the subject of your essay really excites you and let your words reflect that enthusiasm.
6. Be concrete
Instead of using phrases as broad and impersonal as “education is the key to success,” define the influence of education on specific aspects of your life. If you are writing about your desire to be a writer, explain that it originated after listening to the stories your grandmother told you at age four. In this way the reader can feel identified with your experiences and will not forget your essay in five minutes.
7. Develop your achievements
Surely you have specified your qualifications and merits in detail in the application form, so it is not recommended that you repeat everything in your essay. Instead, take the opportunity to delve into one or two achievements that have really marked you, put them in context and share the true meaning they had in your life.
8. Save yourself the melodramatic story
Delving into your personal tragedies in order to move the jury will hardly make you get the scholarship. Your central argument cannot be “I deserve the scholarship because I have suffered so much in life”, since you will only be focusing on the problem and not on the solution. Focus on transmitting what you have achieved despite your difficult circumstances, how you have overcome yourself. Remember that many candidates are likely to try to appeal to emotion and perhaps several of them have gone through situations that are the same or more painful than you. Emphasize how you managed to overcome those obstacles to differentiate yourself from the rest.
9. Show a positive view
Prevent your essay from having a pessimistic, cynical, antagonistic or overly critical atmosphere. The organization wants to give the scholarship to a person excited about the future and what they can achieve. This does not mean that you should pretend that everything is good and happy, but that whenever you present a problem
10. Get a second opinion
You cannot do this alone. If you want to achieve an excellent essay, it is essential that people of your confidence read it. People who can express their opinion sincerely about what you have written. Teachers, counselors, academics, family and friends, all can provide valuable input to improve the quality of your text, both in terms of form and content.