A scholarship essay is an essay in which a candidate for studies talks about why he wants to study at a specific university in a specific specialty. The task is to convince the admissions committee to choose you among other candidates. A scholarship essay or a statement of purpose is usually required for admission to some postgraduate programs (master’s, doctoral), and is included in the package of documents for a grant or scholarship. An essay is written in the language in which the education will take place.
How to write a scholarship essay: 5 tips
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The essay should be individual for each individual situation. It is impossible to write one scholarship essay for several educational institutions. The emphasis in it should change depending on which university and program you are writing for to enter.
Find out the requirements for a personal statement of a specific university
There is no standard form of a scholarship essay. The maximum length is limited to 500-1000 words. Common structure: introduction, body, conclusion. But the requirements of a particular university for a scholarship essay need to be clarified with the admissions committee or with an education consultant. . It is possible to freewrite one scholarship essay for several educational institutions.
Do not use template phrases. You can use samples of scholarship essays, but only in order to understand the logic of composing the text. A scholarship essay to the university should reflect your educational and professional experience, your beliefs and achievements.
Do not forget about the consistency of information presentation
While you need to fit a lot of information into a relatively small piece of text, remember that it shouldn’t be a list of facts about you. This should be a consistent presentation.
Have someone read your scholarship essay
At least – someone to check if there are any mistakes in the text. No matter how well you speak the language, you can skip them, because the author usually reads his text from memory and simply does not see typos. Ideally, the scholarship essay is best shown to a professional consultant. He will tell you what to change in the structure of the text, where to add specifics, change the description, etc. And, besides, when you hire a specialist, you can be sure that he is the one who has seen hundreds of scholarship essays and easily finds standard, stereotyped and therefore meaningless phrases in the text.
What to include in scholarship essay
This list is not an essay structure, but a list of questions that will help you decide what to write about.
Why did you choose this course?
- Why are you interested in this area?
- What influenced your choice?
- Are there specific people who influenced your choice?
- What have you done to learn more about this course?
How does your education compare to your chosen field?
- Do you have any knowledge of the subject obtained during previous studies, preparation of a scientific work or project?
- What was your academic performance in this area?
- Have you received any scholarships?
- Do you have the skills you will need to study for your chosen program?
What non-academic experience do you have for your chosen specialty?
- Have you had professional or volunteer experience in this area?
- Do you have a personal interest in this subject, and how did it come about?
- Do you have hobbies, do you attend extracurricular activities that are related to your chosen specialty? (e.g. work in a student newspaper for journalism applicants).
What personal qualities would you like to highlight?
The list of qualities to be mentioned depends on the area chosen. It is important not just to list the qualities, but to provide evidence. Confirm them with facts: participation in research projects, publications in scientific literature, victories in professional competitions, startups, volunteering.
There are also universal qualities that are valued in postgraduate students. Among them are:
- Ability to work independently;
- Communication skills – spoken and written;
- Ability to manage your time;
- Determination and persistence.
Why did you choose this particular university?
- Are there specific teachers you would like to work with?
- Do they specialize in the areas that interest you?
- What attracts you to the structure of the course?
- What, in your opinion, distinguishes this university from others? (outstanding research, teaching quality, internships with international companies, etc.).
Important: do not repeat here what you read on the university website.
What are your career goals?
You don’t have to have a step-by-step plan. But it is important to show that you have a vision for your future career and that you understand how the course will advance you towards those goals.
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