Scholarship Tips

When it comes to Scholarship, we've been there, done that, now serving 201 tips in 22 categories ranging from Academic Achievement Scholarships to Writing Scholarships.

How can I come up with good things to say about myself in a scholarship application essay?

Toot Your Own Horn in Your Scholarship Application Essays

Before you actually start filling out your scholarship applications, you need to spend some time thinking about how to write a scholarship essay that will get the results that you want. For many people, the hardest part of writing a scholarship essay is getting comfortable singing their own praises. In order to convince the judges that you should receive the scholarship instead of the other applicants, you have to tell the judges what makes you a better candidate.

Therefore, one of the most important things you have to do when getting ready to write your college scholarship essays is to spend some time reflecting on just how wonderful you really are. When you write down all of the great things you have accomplished, it will be much easier for you to create an essay that conveys your strong points to the judges.

Tips for Getting Ready to Toot Your Own Horn:

1. Make a list of all your accomplishments.

2. Develop a list of your extracurricular activities.

3. Write down the three accomplishments of which you are the most proud.

4. Think of a problem that you have faced and write down how you were able to overcome it.

5. Put in writing your career goals, or your reason for wanting to attend college.

6. Pretend that you had to write a letter of recommendation for yourself. Write down the three most important things you would say.

Armed with this list of your best traits, accomplishments, and goals, you're on your way to writing a winning essay. Of course, you have to make sure that your essay is well written, on-topic, sounds sincere, and is free of typographical errors. No matter what you end up saying about yourself, be sure to proofread it very carefully. It's always a great idea to have someone else double check for spelling, grammar, and mechanical errors.

What kinds of questions am I going to have to write essays about for my college scholarship applications?

Common Scholarship Essay Questions

If you are planning to apply for several scholarships, be prepared to write answers to scholarship essay questions covering a wide variety of topics. Scholarship providers who require applicants write essays do so for several reasons. One of the main reasons for requiring an essay as part of a scholarship application package is to verify that the student is willing to commit the time and energy to putting together a thoughtful and well-written essay.

Another common reason for requiring an original writing sample is that the judges have a chance to get a better sense of who applicants really are from an essay than from a standard scholarship application form. Scholarship essay topics that focus on the applicant's background and career goals often have this objective.

Scholarship programs that award funding for related to special interest groups or for people with certain majors or career goals often require applicants to write essays that demonstrate their commitment to the organization's cause or reasons for wanting to gain employment in the field of study. In a sense, essays can give these types a scholarship providers as to whether or not an applicant is a “good investment.”

Examples of Real-life Scholarship Essay Questions include:

  • Describe one specific example of your leadership ability.
  • Describe why you wish to obtain a college education and why you are deserving of a scholarship.
  • Describe what influenced your decision to pursue Nursing as a career.
  • What personal information do you wish to share with the scholarship selection committees?

Is it a good idea to look at scholarship essay samples when I am working on my own essays?

Sample Scholarship Essays Can Be a Source of Inspiration

Reviewing scholarship essay samples can be very helpful when preparing to write scholarship application essays of your own. A great source of scholarship essay help can be learning from examples of successful essays. You can even get inspiration about what not to do in your own essays from poorly written sample documents. Looking at other essays can give you ideas about the best scholarship essay format to use for your own documents. It can also be reassuring to see proof that other students have been able to successfully complete the task of composing scholarship application essays!

Are there resources to identify scholarships for my particular minority group?

Identifying Sources for Minority Scholarships

There are many scholarship programs dedicated to providing college funding for minority students. Any future or current college student who is a member of a minority group should definitely conduct a minority scholarship search. By researching scholarship opportunities specific to your minority status, you are able to expand your potential resources for funding beyond just scholarship programs which are open to larger segments of the population. You are likely to come across some minority scholarship programs when researching general scholarship opportunities. However, when focusing on how to find scholarships specifically for minority groups, it is a good idea to conduct a specific minority scholarship search.

Various minority scholarships include:

  • Alaska Native scholarship opportunities
  • African American scholarship programs
  • Hispanic scholarship opportunities
  • American Indian scholarship fund
  • Programs for many different minority populations
  • Scholarship opportunities for African Americans

How can I be sure that scholarship opportunities I find are legitimate?

What to Avoid When Searching for Scholarship Opportunities

Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals and organizations who will take advantage of people who are conducting a college scholarship search . While it is true that you should thoroughly investigate every possible avenue for scholarship funding, it is also very important that you take care to avoid the pitfalls of falling for a scam during your scholarship search.

What to Avoid:

  • Do not trust a scholarship search service that guarantees funding.
  • Do not pay a fee to apply for a scholarship.
  • Do not give banking or credit card information to anyone claiming to be a scholarship provider.
  • Beware of unsolicited phone calls from people claiming to represent scholarship organizations. Scam artists attempt to get personal information for identity theft in this manner.
  • Do not assume that every organization with a legitimate sounding name really is legitimate.
  • Beware of solicitations from individuals and organizations claiming to represent the government. You have to apply for federal financial aid; the government isn't going to solicit you.

Are there any scholarship programs specifically for women over the age of 30?

Scholarships for Women Over 30

The Talbots Charitable Foundation funds $100,000 in scholarships each year to women who enroll in accredited undergraduate degree programs ten or more years following completion of their high school diploma or GED. This unique program primarily funds scholarships for women over 30, rewarding their determination to complete degrees as nontraditional students. Five Bachelor's degree candidates will receive $10,000 scholarships each year. Fifty additional women, who may be working toward Associate or Bachelor's degrees, will each receive $1,000 scholarships.

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Christina Chan