Scholarship Tips

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When Applying to Scholarships:

• Don't say ... because I need the money
• Don't say ... to get a degree
• Don't misspell words
• Do say ... why this is important to you
• Do say ... what you're passionate about

4 Ways to Make your Scholarship Stand Out by Scholarship America

1. Know your audience: Although we're looking at scholarship essays as a whole, it's important to realize that every scholarship provider is looking for a specific student who meets unique criteria. When you get your application, look closely at the questions, the organization giving the scholarship, and any past recipients you can find.

2. Plan far in advance: You can also avoid the "one-size-fits-all" essay by getting an early start on each application. Begin your research and planning a week or so before you think you should, and you'll be able to take enough time to turn out something great.

3. Make it personal and passionate: When you do start writing, don't forget that the main purpose of your essay is to convince the scholarship provider that you're the student they've been looking for. Answer the questions you've set out in your outline, but make sure every point you make is illustrated with a specific detail that shows you care about the subject.

4. Find an editor: Last but not least, make sure you have time to run your essay by a good editor, whether it's a parent, teacher, or grammar-nerd friend. Even a well-researched and passionately written essay can be derailed by spelling mistakes or awkward sentences, and if you've spent a lot of time looking at your words, it's easy to miss basic mistakes.