A major factor in a student’s scholarship application process is to craft compelling essays that demonstrate their unique skills, interests, and achievements. Knowing how to craft an effective essay is one of the keys to giving students the best chance at earning scholarships.
Before a student’s essay review, here are a few questions they should ask themselves:
- Is it original? No two applications are alike and scholarship boards will recognize immediately if it does not fit their requirements. Make sure each essay follows the guidelines for each individual application.
- Did you answer the question? Many applications will ask you to answer a question in your essay. Make sure your writing answers the question. If the question has more than one part, be sure to address all components.
- Are you passionate about the topic? Choosing a topic that is meaningful to you helps give passion to your writing. Your objective is to convince someone else that they should invest their scholarship in you – be passionate.
- Is your essay memorable? Scholarship boards receive hundreds of applications – what stands out about yours? Does it emphasize what’s unique about you?
- Check and double-check your grammar and spelling. There is nothing worse than spending the time to write a well-crafted essay and have a few spelling errors ruin its merit. Don’t just use spell-check to review your essay. Print it out, read it backwards for spelling errors and have a respected critic review your writing.
For more tips on creating effective essays, download this Checklist for Submitting Applications and Essays.
Thinking About Going to College? It’s Time To Get Serious!
ASPIRE Gives Tips for Planning, Selecting the Right School, and Paying
Planning on attending college in the fall? Now is the perfect time to make sure you are on the road to success.
Here are a few things to keep you on-track this month:
Seek out scholarships. Your ASPIRE mentor will help you determine which scholarships will best benefit your situation including identifying those specific to your interests, career and education goals, background, and school of choice. Scholarship deadlines vary, so make sure to keep on top of deadlines for each.
Create an academic plan. This month, your ASPIRE mentor will help you create an academic plan. When colleges or universities consider your admission, they look at your experience as a whole picture – including your interpersonal and leadership skills, GPA, awards, volunteering, and other accomplishments. One of the best ways to increase your chances is to work toward these goals, whether that means increasing your grades or joining extracurricular activities, your ASPIRE mentor will help you identify key goals to pursue.
Make a decision. Selecting a college or university is a big decision. Your ASPIRE mentor can help you with each of the steps below to help narrow down your choices:
- Schedule a campus visit
- Use ASPIRE tools to compare and contrast schools
- Compare financial aid packages and award letters
Your ASPIRE mentor will provide you with the tools and resources to make the best decision for your future.
Downloadable college comparison charts are available, here: http://www.OregonStudentAid.gov/aspire-students-final-selection.aspx.