Scholarship applications, application forms, and online examples of essays are crucial aids for anyone seeking financial relief at the college level. Billions of dollars in scholarships are awarded annually in the United States, but it’s up to you to find them and apply. To make your job easier, the following article presents a number of websites where these important materials can be found.
The main purpose of CollegeScholarships.com is to allow potential students to locate financial aid and apply online. Four sample scholarship essays are included under their “Resources” section, including both 500 and 1000-word responses.
The Saybrook College Blog
Ever wonder what a winning scholarship to U.C. Berkeley looks like? This example answers the question, providing an essay from a student who was awarded more than $17,000 in scholarship money. While you’re on the Saybrook College blog, you’ll also want to check out the post titled “Essay That Bombed,” as it provides a real-life scholarship essay that failed to measure up.
Essay Advantage is an online editing service. This means that they’ll look over your college essay and correct any mistakes for a fee. In addition to this service, they also have a number of free articles that can be useful to students. Tutorials on how to write a successful essay are included, as well as examples of writing for the SAT and college admission boards.
This website provides application forms for a number of open scholarships, including the Charley Wootan Grant Program, Best Buy Scholarship, AXA Achievement Scholarship, ING Unsung Heroes, and the James Beard Scholarship Program. The majority of the awards listed on Scholarship America are of the large variety, with one program offering a grand prize of $100,000 in tuition money.
If you don’t know where to start when searching for money for college, let me suggest Scholarships.com. Their scholarship search engine will hook you up with millions of scholarships offering billions of dollars in financial assistance. The site also provides a number of helpful articles such as “Scholarship Myths,” “Five Tips for Writing Winning Essays,” and “Scholarship Scams.” The latter article should be required reading for all students and parents on the hunt for college aid.
Three sample essays are included on the International Student website. These include a winning essay for a Crabiel Scholarship, a National Merit Scholar, and a Fulbright Scholarship. Once you’ve read over these, be sure to peruse their essay writing center for tips and techniques on improving your writing.
Another editing service for essay writers, Essay Edge shows the benefits of proofreading on every academic level. Sample essays are included for college, graduate, MBA, law, and medical school, and they also show the before and after results. Even if you’re still in high school and sweating over a difficult history report, Essay Edge has features that will provide assistance.
Tips for Writing Scholarship EssaysWhile finding scholarship applications, application forms, and online examples of essays can be helpful, the reality is that you’ll eventually need to buckle down and do some writing. This can be intimidating for most high school students, but we’ve whipped up a few tips that should make the process as painless as possible.
1. Understand the Organization – Before you start typing your essay, take time to read about the organization offering the scholarship. By gaining such insight, you’ll be able to sprinkle your essay with subtle references to the ideals that are important to them.
2. Create a List of Goals – Prior to writing your scholarship essay, create a brief list of goals for what you want to accomplish. This is a simplistic technique, but it will help keep you focused as you write.
3. Create a Theme – What is your essay going to be about? If you don’t know the answer, then it’s likely the judges won’t either. Always make sure that your writing is heading in a specific direction and not meandering.
4. Outline and Multiple Drafts – While you may be tempted to just start writing until you’ve completed the essay, your best bet is to begin with an outline. This will allow you to map out how the essay will unfold, and it will lend a sense of cohesion to your project. After the outline is complete, you can begin to write the first draft of the essay. It doesn’t have to be perfect at this stage, because you’ll also be writing a second and possibly third draft. Each of these will tighten up the writing from previous drafts until you’ve arrived at the finished product.
5. The Importance of Proofreading – Nothing will sink your chances faster than an essay filled with mistakes. While you’ll no doubt want to proofread your writing, I also suggest that you have at least two other people look it over (preferably individuals with a strong grasp of grammar and punctuation). For a fee, you can also have your essay read by one of many online editing services.
6. Keep It Simple – Since you’re applying for college, you may be tempted to include words that make you sound smart; resist this temptation. While there’s nothing wrong with using sophisticated language, you should always strive to make your essay as accessible as possible. If it looks like your essay was written with too much help from a thesaurus, then your chances of winning might be affected.
7. Be Humble – Some scholarship essays will ask you to talk about your accomplishments or how you’ve overcome adversity in the years leading up to college. While this is an invitation to talk about yourself, make sure the tone never makes you sound like a braggart. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of what you’ve accomplished, but you don’t want the individuals judging your essay to be put off by a perceived arrogant attitude.
Now that you know where to locate scholarship applications, application forms, and online examples of essays, you’re ready to undertake the task of writing in order to secure financing for higher education. While the level of competition can be disheartening to some, there’s no reason not to give it your best shot. With so many organizations willing to award money for college, the patient and dedicated student is sure to find some manner of financial assistance.