Sensational Financial Aid Essay Guide

August 17, 2012

For some financial aid, you really have to put more of an effort into the application, including a long essay portion. Even on shorter essays, you need to be eloquent but also informative, providing intimate details about your desires, inspirations, life story and future goals. How do you do this without sounding like the next applicant, and what are some other ways to avoid completely botching the application? These are some of the things that this guide can help you with when you write these pivotal scholarship essays.

Thorough Understanding

Before you write anything, you need to have a firm grasp of what the scholarship application is trying to achieve. What is the awarding organization or foundation's history when selecting a winner? What does the foundation do? What is the history of the foundation and what are their core objectives? In addition, what does the prompt ask for you to do? After reading through the prompt, pick out three key things that the prompt and directions are asking for. If the prompt is requesting something specific about how you feel towards an event, person or idea, then develop examples to show how you've treated this issue similarly in the past. If the prompt is more technical, be very specific and use technical vocabulary and theories to explain your answer. If the prompt is more literary, look for different ways to use the quote or excerpt, developing a deep understanding of the question and the literary piece.

Working with Themes

When an essay is extremely open-ended, then you should come up with your own theme to base the article upon. For example, if you want to become a lawyer, what kind of lawyer do you want to be and why? Think hard about this and write down the images that come to mind when you picture yourself in the future practicing law. You can develop a theme based on two reasons why you will do well as a lawyer. What specific moment or event led you to want to practice law? Include achievements, activities and volunteering moments that developed from your theme to enhance the idea of your dedication and inspiration for this goal.

Personal Moments and Creating a Story

In other essays, they simply want to know about challenges and why you need financial aid. That means deciding on a main idea that relates to your personal story as well as to the prompt, trying the two together in an intricate yet easily comprehensible way. You want to be clear about your goals as a college student but not say the same thing as everyone else. Focus on the moments in your life that were the toughest or how you overcame a real challenge, something that isn't experienced by an average person. Your essay should give very personal moments that develop into a vivid picture of who you are, where you came from and what drives you to be the person you are today.

Formatting, Spelling and Grammar Count

Most essays will denote what you need to do for formatting, whether you need a specific font and how it's supposed to be spaced. If not, use 12 point Times New Roman, double-spaced as a traditional format. In some cases, other fonts are also appropriate, but be sure to use fonts that won't triple your page count and will be easy to read. Also, pay attention to word counts. Never write to the minimum or maximum. If the essay asks for 500 words maximum, then it's okay to write to the maximum, but if 2,500 words is the maximum, you rarely need to use all of this space unless you have an incredibly in depth story that will hold the reader's attention for 10 minutes continuously. Spelling and grammar are going to essential to impressing judges. Spell check catches most things, but reading aloud and having others read your essay will allow you to smooth out awkward phrasing and find odd mistakes. Consult online grammar definitions and use interesting vocabulary when you can.

EducationGrants for school

Whether you’re on your way to school for the first time or thinking about finishing up a degree you should explore your options when it comes to obtaining Grants for School.

Use our FREE Custom Search Tool & see what you qualify for:

Latest News

Knowing What Grants are Available to You

Mar 06, 2014

As a student who is entering college or university in the United States, it is important to understand the various types of assistance programs that have been developed to help you cover the cost of your most crucial years in school.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Mar 04, 2014

This program was designed to help graduate students find and obtain employment outside of the U.S. as teaching assistants.

What Help Can I get to Help Pay for School Costs

Feb 19, 2014

Raising children is tough and expensive. Years at school are mean to be your children’s’ “time of their lives”. This may well be true, but the truth of the matter is that it is often not the parents’ time of their lives.

Requirements for Applying for an Education Grant

Jan 09, 2013

If you need help with paying for your college education you have a variety of resources, including loans, grants, scholarships and Federal student aid