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Scholarship Essays

Your personal essay is critical to winning a scholarship because it lets the selection committee get to know you beyond grades and test scores listed on your scholarship application.

Many committees are looking for well-rounded students who can not only show their excellence in academics, but also in athletics, extra-curricular activities, and community service. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to write a compelling scholarship essay that conveys your background, your experiences, your ambitions, and your personality. It’s your opportunity to make a strong and lasting impression.

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Scholarship essay tips

The scholarship essay is your opportunity to show colleges what sets you apart from the other applicants. Your responses to essay questions help scholarship providers understand what you’re motivated by and where your interests lie. That's why it’s important to start writing your essays as early as possible.

Quick tips to remember when writing your essay

  • Make an outline to organize your thoughts.
  • Pay attention to creating a strong introduction, supporting arguments, and an appropriate conclusion. Every story (including yours) should have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Ask others for their feedback. But don't ask them to write it.
  • Proofread the final version. Wait 24 hours.
  • Proofread it again before sending it.

What makes a good scholarship essay

  • It’s original.
  • It states clearly why you deserve to win the scholarship.
  • It avoids meaningless information.
  • It’s inspirational and positive in tone.
  • It’s honest.

What’s next

Now that you know how to write a compelling essay, learn what else you need to complete the scholarship application process. And continue to consider other ways to help pay for college, including grants and other forms of financial aid.

Tips on filling out scholarship applications

Applying for grants

Learn more about financial aid

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