Applying for colleges is a lot of work. One needs to complete university applications, financial aid applications, college admission essays, and, believe it or not, even an essay or two for basic different types of scholarships.
OK, scratch that one or two-part; you really need to apply for over one hundred scholarships if you are serious about being proactive in tackling that college debt. Yes, you read it right. Scholarship applications do require that you write an essay, but it can be of a different type. Not all scholarships will ask you to write the same kind of essay.
Basic Different Types of Scholarships
We will take a quick look at some of the college scholarships with essays and what kind of writing is expected from the aspirants.
College scholarships with essays about yourself
Many scholarships would ask you to write a college essay about yourself that is also known as a personal statement. The scholarship committee can ask you to write an essay that will demonstrate who you are and why you deserve to be considered for that particular scholarship.
It is worth noting that these kinds of essays actually give the committee a sense of your personality and goals that are hard to determine just from your high school transcripts. This essay aims to show people what kind of a person you are outside all those grades and test scores that most students are so obsessed about.
College scholarships with short essays
Some of the college scholarships will only ask you to write a short essay to check your thoughts, writing prowess, and how you think as a person. They ask for short pieces of 300 words or less. This length is equivalent to a long email and 1 page double spaced as per any word processing software.
Since these are short essays, you need to grab the attention of the reader right from the 1st line. The introduction should be persuasive, and you must hit the topic in the first paragraph itself. Short essays should ideally have three sections, and each paragraph should not exceed 80 to 100 words.
Scholarships with essays for college students
The scholarship essays for college students are usually 500 words in length unless otherwise specified in the application. Different scholarships ask for different kinds of writings. For example, Bachus & Schanker LLC Scholarship is a $2000 award for which students need to write a short essay of about 800 words on a topic related to the 7th amendment.
Sometimes the question can be straightforward – why you deserve this scholarship? It depends on the scholarship committee, but it should not take more than 90 min to finish a college scholarship essay.
Scholarships with essays for high school seniors
The senior year is the prime time when it comes to searching for college scholarships. If you have just started the searching process, then it is good to be informed that the essay forms an integral part of scholarships for high school seniors.
The scholarships are usually awarded based on academics and/or performance in some contests. For example, in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition, they need to write and record an audio essay on a patriotic theme.
The theme in 2019-20 was “What makes America great?”. Students of Grades 11 to 12 are generally eligible for the bulk of high school scholarships. The scholarship amount for some contests can go up to as much as $30,000.
Scholarships with essays for high school juniors
It is never too soon to begin the search for a scholarship, and many students start searching from their junior in high school. The high school junior scholarships vary from small and school-specific awards to national competitions and contests that give away significant money in the form of scholarships.
The high school junior scholarships can be very competitive. So students will have to spend a decent amount of time perfecting the applications and writing the all-important scholarship essay. Most of the scholarship essays at this level are easier when you compare them to essays for high school juniors and college students. Still, students need to roll up their sleeves and do well to snatch one of the many scholarships on offer.
Different types of scholarships without essays
Many students do not like the idea of entering essay competitions as they do not feel comfortable writing essays. Thankfully, some of the organizations have responded to this call and created promotional scholarships that do not require any essays at all.
The no essay scholarships are relatively easy to enter as they do not need a lot of work from the students. But having said that, these are harder to win because many students put in their names as there is no essay. There are many types of no essay scholarships, and we will take a look at some of these.
It is no surprise that social media scholarships are the most popular ones when it comes to essay-free awards. It is a fun alternative to the essay-based scholarships which are more traditional. For example, the Picture Keeper Scholarship is unique as students are encouraged to submit a photo on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PictureKeeper.
They need to write a short 200-word paragraph on what they are doing to follow their dream and how this picture portrays it. The 1st place winner gets around USD 1500. There are also other scholarships where the student needs to write about their favorite teacher in less than 250 words.
Yet another fun one where the student is asked to take a picture of the heart of his/her hometown and then provide a brief explanation as to why this is special.
The no-essay scholarships are different as they ask the students to showcase their talent in an alternate field. Amazingly there are poetry scholarships too, and these are for those students who enjoy creative writing and poetry.
The poetry scholarships nurture young poets and encourage them to pursue higher education. This is basically a forum for creative students to showcase their poetry. When you win the award, your poetry also gets published.
There are also other types of no-essay scholarships where you may have to submit a quiz, outline your plans on how you can contribute to the college in the field of sports, or you may have to learn something new in an online course and show your mettle to win that coveted scholarship.
Although we have discussed scholarships broadly with essays and those without, it goes without saying that scholarships with essays are comparatively easier to get with less competition. (Fewer students apply for it)
Add in the fact that some of the biggest and most well-known colleges and organizations offer scholarships with essays only? So, make an informed choice at the time of applying for your awards to prevent being disappointed in the end!
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