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How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

Each year, an estimated 60% of college students graduate with student loans. Scholarships are one of your best defenses against this post college debt. About $3.3 billion in “gift aid” is awarded by private sources each year. Make applying for scholarships a priority right now!

Lori Hudson, who votes on our  West Community Scholarship Committee shares her tips on writing a winning essay: 

Know Your Audience
Think about who is giving the scholarship and try to personalize it towards the group. You may need to write different essays for different scholarship offers to appeal to the providing group/company/organization.

Take your time!
Make sure you follow the directions clearly. You want to appear polished. Before you begin, create an outline of the components asked for within the scholarship including when it’s due. Be concise in your responses and be sure they are clearly written.

Make It Personal
Convince the provider that you are the best fit by providing personalized details. Tell the story of who you are and why you deserve this honor? Do not just recite your resume!

Highlight Your Achievements
When filling out applications, you want to show yourself in your best light, focus in on details of volunteering, school involvement and what you are doing now to improve your chances of succeeding in college.

Review the Application Thoroughly
Make sure you have someone proof read your essay before submitting. The more eyes, the better. If you have mistakes, it looks like you do not care and your essay may not even be considered because of it.

Feeling inspired? There are tons of great resources online that can put you in touch with several scholarships like fastweb, scholarships.com or The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2016. Local scholarships might be a better bet as your competition is less fierce, so check with your school’s counseler for a list of scholarships in your community.

And don’t forget to apply for the West Community 2016 Scholarship! We’re giving out five $1,500 scholarships to high school seniors within our community. >> Download application now!

Related Links:
What you need to know about FAFSA
West Community 2016 Scholarship Application
Fill the Gap: West Community Student Loans

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