Preparing Competitive Fellowship and Scholarship Applications. How to Stand Out from the Crowd. Standing Out from the Crowd! .
How to Stand Out from the Crowd
Writing techniques for “Who are you?” scholarship applications, or the personal statement for other types of scholarships. These are also good strategies for personal interviews.
These techniques are all about being MEMORABLE.
Typical questions might explore:
Record of hard work *
Participation in or strong appreciation of the arts and humanities*
Draw on your personal life and experiences to find truthful examples, anecdotes, feelings, and turning points that you can discuss with passion. Honesty and sincerity come through in your writing.
How do you think you are special, unusual, or distinctive as a person and/or student? Try to create opportunities for these qualities to come through in the application. (Show, don’t tell…)
It can be an effective technique to recount a personal story that does not necessarily show you in the best light, if you use it as a springboard into showing what you have learned or how an experience changed your direction and goals.
(But use this device only once within an application.)
Think strategically as you choose which questions you will answer and your word choices, anecdotes, and examples. Use every question to demonstrate a facet of how you meet the criteria for selection. Make your answers work for you on all possible levels.
Don’t overstate accomplishments, claim credit for what should be shared, or propose a student plan or ambitions only to conform to this scholarship.
Go for it, with great passion and a great deal of strategic thought.