Money website offers insider info for getting scholarships

October 31, 2012

These days, it's more important than ever to find some financial aid for college though college scholarship opportunities. Because of this, some grants for education can be very competitive. Luckily, the financial website InvestingAnswers put together a guide for students applying for a scholarship.

Contrary to popular wisdom, an expert told the online information provider that ending your high school career with your picture on every page of the yearbook due to participation in many extracurriculars might not help get a scholarship as much as some people assume.

"Admissions counselors can smell that 'I'm doing this to look good' from a mile away," Lisa Dubuque, a registrar at the Khabele School in Austin, Texas, told the information source. She encourages students to focus on extracurriculars they're especially interested in, as opposed to participating in as many clubs as they possibly can in order to impress administrators who might look over their scholarship applications.

In addition, students should be aware that scholarships are provided for attributes other than academic merit and athletics. Some leadership scholarships award students who have been active in student government. InvestingAnswers also points out that small scholarships, when combined, could equal the amount of money for college paid out by a large lump scholarship.

Hints for scribing scholarship essays
Of course, it's possible that all this advice could be ineffective if a student can't write a convincing essay, should the scholarship he or she is applying to require one.

First of all, strike a balance between a formal and conversational tone with your writing style. It couldn't hurt to engage the reader whose job it is to decide whether or not you'll receive financial aid for school. Keep your essay structured. For example, start with an introductory paragraph introducing yourself and explain why you deserve to receive this scholarship money more than the other applicants. What makes you special? After that, consider going into greater detail about your life experiences, and end with a brief summary paragraph.

Of course, tactics that could improve the quality of any essay apply just as much to scholarship essays. Don't limit proofreading to a quick glance over before printing the essay out and putting it in the mail. Print it out, read it over, use a pen to mark off grammar and spelling errors. Don't rely too heavily on spellcheck, for reasons you should be able to determine by reading this poem, found on the U.K. communications website Future Perfect. "I have a spelling chequer, It came with my pea sea, It plainly marks four my revue, Miss steaks eye kin knot sea."

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