Advice & Articles

Is Your Financial Aid Enough?

June 18, 2013

Let me introduce to you Shelby, who is planning on going to her dream school, but doesn’t know if it’s going to work out. Let’s hear her story….. // // // // ]]> Hey Judge Josh. It is with a puffy, tear swollen eyes that I must ask you for your advice. I got accepted [...]

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Make your introduction creative.

March 26, 2008

So many essay introductions are poorly done (see the next item) that the rare creative introduction stands out a great deal. Challenge yourself to start your essay in a way that grabs the attention of a committee member who has been shuffling through more than 100 essays before looking at yours.

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Discuss your social organizations in terms of the work they do.

March 26, 2008

This is more applicable to college students than high school students, since there’s really no high school equivalent of the Greek system of social fraternities and sororities. Simply put, social fraternities and sororities are primarily social organizations, but they also do a lot of charity work. Socializing is fine and dandy — everyone needs to [...]

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When possible, use detail.

March 26, 2008

Have I said this before? I believe I have. Most scholarship essays have word limits of some kind, but when possible, don’t summarize the most telling parts of your story. Instead, give details. Don’t simply say that “I work three jobs to get by.” That doesn’t tell me what type of work you’re doing, how [...]

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Example A: Length of essay.

March 26, 2008

We’ll start with the length of your essay because it’s commonly abused. While I’ve never met a scholarship judge who actually sat down and counted every word to ensure that an applicant didn’t go over the limit, you still must stick to that limit. If an essay calls for 750 words or less and you [...]

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Example B: Sending your essay the wrong way, in the wrong format, to the wrong person, etc.

March 26, 2008

Back in the days when we required our scholarship applicants to send in paper applications (we now do it all via email), we posted a very clear statement in the instructions: “Please do not send your essay via signature-required delivery.” By signature-required delivery, we simply mean when places like FedEx, UPS, DHL and the U.S [...]

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Example C: Sending too much info.

March 26, 2008

This one is less clear to the layperson, so I’m going to lay down the law for you right here and now, so there’s no confusion. If you aren’t asked or invited to include additional information with your application such as transcripts, photos, newspaper clippings, artwork, CDs, letters of recommendation, trinkets you’ve whittled out of [...]

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