7 Do’s and Don’ts for Writing a Scholarship Essay

scholarship essay scholarshipowlGetting a scholarship is easy to do if you have a good application to turn in. However, it is not simple to separate your application from the many. The scholarship essay is your best shot to stand out and showcase why you should receive the award. You can’t change the way the scholarship committee reviews your application, but there are seven “do’s” and “don’ts” that will help to create a better scholarship essay.


DO: Know Your Audience

It is important to understand that every scholarship committee is looking for specific students to meet their criteria. Understand the true purpose of the organization and their goals to better respond to the questions at hand.



DO: Make It Personal

Although it is important to write in an academic and professional manner, that does not mean your essay must be rigid and formal. Make the committee connect to you on a personal level by illustrating personal stories and accomplishments.


3Do NOT: Get Sappy

If writing your personal story, don’t assume that a sad story will make the committee sympathize with you. Write your essay in a way that demonstrated your strength through struggle. Committees admire perseverance and determination than grief and sorrow.


4DO: Think Outside-the-Box

Catch the scholarship committee’s attention with a unique application. Devise a way to make your story stand out and you will get a better reception.


5DO: Record Your Answer Out Loud

Do you struggle with writing? Consider recording your responses then transcribing it. Save time by using speech-to-text technology. Make sure to review the spelling and grammar since AutoCorrect can sometimes have a mind of its own!


6Do NOT: Miss Deadlines

Plan far in advance and make sure you get your application in on time. Give yourself enough time to craft an outline and write your essay. Most scholarship committees will not accept an application once the deadline has passed.


9DO: Edit and Review

Prior to submitting your application, have a teacher, parent, or a friend review your essay. A few minutes of proofreading by a trusted editor can make a huge difference.

Not sure where to start with finding scholarships? We have tips on where to look!