Scholarship Essays

Written by Tara Peris
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Just about every scholarship application you complete will require some form of essay or personal statement. Rather than viewing this writing sample as a tedious exercise in selling yourself to the scholarship review board, consider it an opportunity to express who you really are. Your grades and test scores provide one piece of the puzzle, but the essay is your chance to really shine.

The great thing about scholarship essays is that you have time to work on them. You can work on a few drafts and explore different formats before deciding what is best for you. Unlike so many other aspects of your application (i.e., ethnicity, grades), the essay is not set in stone. You can modify it as needed right up until the due date. Let this liberate you. Experiment with different writing styles and formats and try to have some fun.

Finding Your Voice

The best way to begin is to just start writing. Don't inhibit yourself, but rather, put as much down on paper as you can. Consider unique experiences, your family upbringing, and special accomplishments that make you who you are. What would your friends say about you if they were writing on your behalf? How about your family?

It's a really good opportunity to reflect and to think about which aspects of your character are most important to you. What are you passionate about? What are your goals for the future? You can focus on a host of interesting questions that will help you to tell your story in a unique and compelling way.

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