How to Nail Scholarship Writing and Get More Money
For many students, the art of scholarship writing is something they either get good at, or are forced to forego school entirely. Government loans are not always enough to cover all expenses, and having a family that is able to back you up financially is a luxury not all of us are fortunate enough to have.
Scholarship writing is a necessity for some students
Thankfully, there are quite a lot of scholarships and grant money out there if you know what you are eligible for (i.e. what you are likely to receive), and know how to apply for it.
Writing a scholarship application requires skill and finesse, as well as an ability to sell yourself, your educational cause, and present yourself as the best, most qualified applicant. If you are a student considering applying for scholarships, and don’t know where to begin, then the below information is for you.
You have to search for it
According to the CEO of Scholarships Canada – a company which matches students up with applicable scholarships and bursaries – millions of dollars in available funds go unclaimed every year simply because students either don’t know about them, or can’t be bothered to apply for them. What’s more, in the company’s database of over $200 million dollars-worth of scholarships, 86 percent of them don’t even require marks to apply for. All you need is the time and the know-how to fill out and write the applications.
It might end up costing you a couple hours of your time to find scholarships for which you’re eligible, and fill them out, but the payoff could be thousands of dollars to put towards your education that you don’t have to borrow or come up with yourself. If you are really pressed for time, you can also consider one of the many services out there (such as the one mentioned) that match students with hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarship and bursary money.
Standardize your information
One of the most discouraging things about scholarship writing for most students is the thought of having to write dozens of application essays. If you are going to be relying on scholarships for a significant portion of your university funding, you definitely don’t want to just apply for one and hope you get it. You’re going to want to hedge your bets, meaning making and filling out multiple applications. Scholarship writing is basically the same concept as resume and cover letter writing. You want to tailor your applications to different scholarships, but they can absolutely be based off of a core piece of writing that you tweak and add to, or subtract from depending on the specific scholarship.
A good template is one that highlights all of your attributes, experiences, and makes a good case for needing the money, while at the same time is general enough that you can easily edit information and writing style to make it relevant. Think of the experiences in your life, or your good qualities that you would want to discuss, regardless of the scholarship being applied for, and make that the scaffolding of your writing.
Impeccable grammar and spelling
It’s a shame, but it’s a fact: most people are not their own best proofreader. Any time you are applying for something that could potentially have a large positive impact on your life (a loan, a scholarship, etc.), the spelling and grammar should be stellar. Many readers are immediately turned off by writing (whether it’s in a book, a newspaper article, or a scholarship application) if it is full of spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. It’s always a good idea to have someone with a good command of the English language read over your applications before sending them out.
This could be a trusted friend or relative, a teacher or professor, a professional editor, or a writing centre on campus. You’ll probably catch at least some of your mistakes, maybe even most, but it is unlikely you’re going to catch them all. The problem with self-editing is that you’ve already got the message in your head. You might have repeated a word in a sentence, but your brain doesn’t focus on it the way it would if you were reading someone else’s writing because it already knows what you’re trying to communicate. Let a third party lend a critical mind and eye to your writing.
Remind yourself of what’s at stake
It is understandable that people don’t enjoy applying for scholarships. It’s a bit like writing your resume: you know it’s good for you, but it is not overly stimulating – especially if you are writing and tailoring copy after copy. Don’t let boredom take over. Studies have shown that boredom begets carelessness, and carelessness means sloppy writing, improperly answered questions and, most commonly, failed applications.
Remind yourself of what’s at stake before sitting down to write scholarship applications. You could potentially be alleviating a lot of the financial pressure on yourself during the upcoming semester, maybe even throughout your entire education if the scholarship is big enough. Financial stress is awful to deal with, and you will be kicking yourself in the middle of the semester when you have to pick up more closing restaurant shifts in order to pay for rent, when you could have just spent an extra couple hours really polishing your scholarship applications.
At the end of the day, you want to make your university experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. If you talk to recent, even older graduates about their education, many will likely claim that the financial stress they dealt with definitely detracted from the experience. If you find yourself lost in a sea of potential scholarships and bursaries, or don’t know how to go about marketing and selling yourself as a potential candidate, get in touch with Homework Help Global and let us help guide you through the scholarship writing process.
(2018). “Top 10 Tips for Writing Effective Scholarship Essays.” Scholarships. Retrieved from: https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarship-application-strategies/top-10-tips-for-writing-effective-scholarship-essays/
Gregory, L. (2018). “Marks Don’t Matter: Canadian Students Missing Out on Millions in Unclaimed Scholarships.” Global News. Retrieved from: https://globalnews.ca/news/4184985/marks-dont-matter-canadian-students-missing-out-on-millions-in-unclaimed-scholarships/
San Pedro, M. el al. (2011). “The Relationship Between Carelessness and Affect in a Cognitive Tutor.” International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction: 306-315. Retrieved from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-24600-5_34Share: