When it comes to scholarship essays there are several unanswered questions that all students face. Anywhere from what font to use, to is it single/double space, and etc. The questions are a long list but we wanted to sort out a few for you here.
Beforehand, always research what the scholarship foundation is and what their mission statement says. These qualities are a key hint at who they are looking for when selecting receipts for their scholarship award. If someone happens to write down the complete opposite of those values, then it’s easily suspected that, that person will be passed up in pursue of a student who shows more of what the foundation stands for.
If something seems to be unclear or if a student wants to add a different aspect to the essay, contact the email they always leave as “for additional information use this email to ask questions.” Because some scholarship foundations will ignore a scholarship essay if it doesn’t outright answer what they have presented as a question.
Question 1. What format do you use to write an essay?
It’s amazing how we can forget the essay format from high school so quickly, but that’s because a scholarship essay requires a bit more effort. Formats follow the traditional introduction, paragraph body, conclusion… although some essays call for a minimum word count that can easily become lost in the vast experience of writing an essay. So, do not forget about how many words are considered the minimum before turning in the essay.
The traditional essay format goes:
- standard 8.5 x 11-inch paper
- A header
- 1-inch margins all around
- Times New Roman, size 12 font
- Left Alignment
- Make indents
- Body of the essay
Depending on if there is a word limit, some students opt for 5 parts of an essay which is, introduction, 3 body essays, and the conclusion.
Always check if there is a word limit because if there is less than, then the application will be thrown out. But if there is more than the maximum number, students have a better chance at not having their application thrown out.
Question 2. What do you write about?
A lot of students who are applying for scholarships for the first time, have no idea what involves a scholarship essay. They immediately ask, “what do I write about?” It’s simple. The scholarship essay will give a brief call to action statement that the student will need to build upon afterward.
Try not to go too far out of bounds and write about something that doesn’t communicate or relate to the topic that the foundation has provided. Otherwise, the essay could be ignored and that student will be passed up and not receive the scholarship award.
Question 3. What have you contributed to your community?
Students are often asked in their scholarship essays to describe how they have volunteered or contributed to their community within the essay. This way the scholarship committee reviewing essays can see if the individual shows strong leadership skills.
Each applicant should state how they have helped their community in anyway, and why. What does community mean to the student who is applying. This type of teamwork building leadership goes a long way and the scholarship committee wants students to actively share how they intend to change the world by starting with the students on community.
List out everything that you have contributed to your community even if it’s something small. Everything counts.
Question 4. Why have you chosen the university you want to attend?
The big question is why has student chosen a specific university. What does this university hold that this student will gain and has worked so hard to achieve. Students need to explain in detail why the college they have chosen will impact their life and higher education.
Universities have a big pick on which scholarship awards they take and use, be sure that the scholarship you’re applying to, that the university will accept the award amount. Otherwise, shopping around for a different scholarship application will happen and no one wants to lose more time than they already have with researching.
Question 5. Why do you deserve this scholarship?
While students never think this question will be asked, it is. Scholarship committees want to know if a student is sure about receiving a lump sum of tuition funding, so to know that this student is serious. The committee wants to see a cautious student who knows exactly where everything is going to go budget wise. If a student gives off an ill requested answer, they most likely will not receive the scholarship. Be honest and wise with what you write out as a student.
There should be no boasting but only what this scholarship could do to improve your life. It’s not everyday someone wins a scholarship award and shown to exemplify what that foundation stands for. So be thoughtful and truth about how this scholarship award can change your life for the better.
Question 6. Tell a scholarship committee about yourself
Don’t shy away from details when it comes to talking about yourself. A scholarship essay is an opportunity to describe who you are and how, you know yourself. This shows strong character development as well as emotion intelligence.
Share your great and worst qualities, create an equal balance. For instance, quick thinking but naive, or strong willed but terrible at knowing when to slow down and take a breath. These attributes always have a positive and negative side, committees want to see that you’re human. Not a super charged academic who never sleeps.
Question 7. What will you do after graduating college?
A student that knows where they are headed is a great student, but students who give an honest answer about not being sure are equally great students. What you’ll find out is that, scholarship essays are the time to be most honest with yourself and the scholarship committee. They want to know who you are so they can adequately define if you are a fit for their scholarship. No lying or misinformation is allowed.
Being able to be informative but not exactly a concrete solid decision, this means always start off with a “where I want to be in ten years” venture sentence. This way the committee sees you have a vision for your future and a general understanding of where you would like to be in ten years.
Question 8. Why did you select this career?
Explaining why this was the career choice and the study field route a student has taken, can give great insight into what the student is capable of changing. For example, is a student talks about wanting to be a surgeon because he intends to save lives, this can be an indicator that this student could in the near future come up with a new medicine or medical device that ends up being used around the world. Scholarship committees are looking for students who will shape the world into something even better.
Describe your passion for this career field, why this field study has become your destined path. Because the more a student describes why the selected field; they have chosen is the reason for them going to college, the more they will be able to show others why it’s important them.
Question 9. What has been a difficult obstacle you have faced?
Sharing is caring, and when a student shares a difficult part of their life that makes them compatible with everyone else. No one has ever gone through a slick clean life. If student shares their struggles, they show tenacity and strength, which colleges look for in students.
Students who write about their obstacles in life so more problem-solving strengths and colleges in general love that side of human nature. It shows someone that they can go through a difficult time and still be able to come out of it alright.
Question 10. What will you do after receiving this scholarship?
How will a student change after receiving the scholarship they are applying for… more importantly, what will that scholarship gift them in return. A student who writes “money” will probably be turned down because the scholarship committee wants to know that their funding contribution will be put to good use.
Describe in length how to use the reward money to further your education. Even describe why your higher education is important to yourself, your family, and to your community.
Question 11. How will you change the career field institution that you’re studying towards?
This is one of the tougher questions students will face. They have to figure out a way if they haven’t already about how they will enter a career force and be able to change it. For example, if an engineer can effectively find more ways to work with climate change than against it… this is how an individual can change the career field institution they are studying for. Take some time to figure out a solution to contribute.
Also, another great example is that if you’re female and going into engineering. Engineering is not known to have a high female population, but female students have changed how engineering operates with new systematic machines and software programing in recent years.
Choosing a study field that can have a different point of view and evolve with the individual who has chosen that path, is equally a change in that career field for that person.
Question 12. Provide real world experience
Be humble and show who you are, this is what most world-renowned writers do. That’s also what students should do when it comes to scholarship essays. Real world experience can be from working, volunteering, family issues, society issues, mental health, emotional health, or physical health experience.
Only write about your own experience, writing about someone else’s or stealing someone else’s story will be found out and that application will be disregarded.
Question 13. Show compassion
Research online how to write passionately, because the type of adjectives used can completely change the way someone writes. One thing a lot of students don’t know is that committees routinely look for essay’s that are not just a straight forward essay. They want to see creativity and compassion in the writing.
If you’re unsure how to write with compassion, it means to show dignity in all areas of life. Don’t talk about something negatively or with hatred. Share how you would like to help improve the world with what your career field study has shown you in recent years.
Question 14. Show idealism
No student should shy away from writing out their dreams. Instead, write about your goals, ambitions, and ideas you have in the scholarship essay. This shows that the student is an intuitive thinker and problem solver who wishes to change an aspect in a certain career field for the better.
If the scholarship essay permits it, showcase an idea that could be used in the future. Whether it’s an invention, technique, a new study program idea… showing that the ideas you have can be used and you intend to use it… allows the committee to see an ideal thinker. Which ultimately is who they want to end up with the scholarship they are giving out.
Question 15. Show determination and skill
Providing a thorough look at who you are as a person and why you deserve this scholarship is the number one rule for a committee. As the committee goes through various scholarship essays looking for key specific identities that share their qualities, this becomes an ideal candidate for their scholarship. Research the qualities and missions the scholarship foundation has stated on their website, use that as the guideline. Because those are the qualities, they are looking in a recipient for their scholarship. Scholarship foundations will look for the one person who exemplifies the best vision of their own values.