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Writing the Essay for College and Scholarship Applications
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Writing the Essay for College and Scholarship Applications
Most scholarship applications and colleges/universities require your child to submit an essay or personal statement along with the other required materials (ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts, letters of recommendations, etc.) as one way to decide between students with similar scores. Most students do not enjoy this part of the application process; but this is a way for your child to set himself or herself apart from the rest of the applicants.

Mom and Daughter writing an essayThe college or scholarship application may ask your child to reflect on different questions or scenarios. This essay is not about being smarter than the rest of the candidates, but allows your child to reflect on what they have experienced, what they have learned, and what they are passionate about. Keep in mind the admissions staff members have read numerous essays; so encourage your child to keep their essay simple and remain true to who they are. Below are some points to keep in mind as you help your child prepare to write their personal statement.

  • Start working on the essays early. Don’t wait until the last minute to write one, because this essay is your child’s best opportunity to share who they are with the people who are making decisions for admissions and scholarships. You do not want submit an essay that has grammar mistakes or misspellings.
  • Encourage your child to have several people review their essay. Suggest that they get someone who has experience reviewing essays. (i.e. guidance counselor, teacher, mentor, etc.)
  • Be sure to encourage them to fully answer the question asked on the application, but to keep to their key points and not to ramble on.
  • Work with your child to keep in mind who the target audience is. Make sure the choice of language is appropriate for the audience.
  • Encourage your child to share about what makes them special and sets them apart from the rest of the applicants.
  • Be sure to submit the college application and essay before the deadline date. There is nothing worse then putting a lot of time and effort into an application that will not be considered because it is past the deadline.

Check out these websites for more information about writing the college essay/personal statement.

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