scholarship providers will request applicants to write either
an essay or personal statement. The essay/personal statement
is one of the most important parts of any scholarship application.
Without an essay/personal statement, every application will
look the same with the same basic information (i.e. grades,
financial need, extracurricular activities, etc.). The essay
is a key factor to whether an applicant is invited to an interview
or awarded the scholarship.
The essay/personal statement is a self-portrait of you.
It can tell the scholarship committee a great deal about
you that they would otherwise have not known. It offers
an insightful view of yourself (i.e. values, experiences,
dream, etc.), your method of thinking, ability to communicate,
and write effectively. It provides an added dimension to
the application. This is your opportunity to shine and sell
yourself. Your essay can make or break your application.
Scholarship essays often cover the same topics as college
application essays. You may be able to reuse or revise previous
essays written for college applications and scholarship
applications to use for new scholarship applications. This
does not mean that you should write one very general essay/personal
statement to use for every scholarship application. If you
reuse an essay that you wrote previously, you must revise
it and tailor it to each individual scholarship. You may
have to write a new essay to address the essay question
on a scholarship application. If you kept copies of all
previous essays written, you may have saved yourself a lot
Once applicants realize that an essay/personal statement
is required, most applicants never send in their application(s)
- thus eliminating themselves out of the competition. Here’s
something to think about: If you spend 10 hours writing
an essay (from beginning to end) for a $1000 scholarship
and you win it--that is $100 per hour and at your age, this
will be the best hourly wage ever!