What do you say when you don't know what to say . . . like when a scholarship application asks you to state your financial need?
If you're clueless about how to reply, you're not alone. Thankfully, other people have figured out a response . . .
Best Value Schools recommends that you briefly introduce yourself and then describe:
- how you are paying for college now,
- the difficulties you face meeting your needs, and
- how a scholarship would help.
They say to paint a clear picture of your situation, while keeping a respectful, matter-of-fact tone.
Five Paragraphs, Five Thousand Dollars
Here’s an example from an actual scholarship application essay that ultimately netted the student a $5,000 award from a private foundation. It's brief, clear and reader-friendly:
It will cost about $3,000 more for me to continue my college education next fall than it did when I was a freshman. My income for next year (from campus employment, family contributions and known scholarships) falls about $5,000 short of expected expenses.
I have already applied my savings to previous years’ tuition, room and board.
I graduated early from high school so that I could work to earn money for college. I supplemented my daytime job with regular babysitting jobs in the evenings, plus house- and pet-sitting. I also took the ACT® test three times to raise my score to qualify for a specific scholarship that my college offered.
I plan to go into guidance counseling and work in public schools. The college I attend is known for its education programs. To meet its rigorous requirements, I have logged in more than 70 hours observing in classrooms. I have also shadowed guidance counselors at two high schools, one in a small town and the other in inner city East St. Louis.
My tuition, room, board and required student fees currently total $25,520. Because the cost of attending college has increased nearly $1,000 in each of my previous three years, I must realistically plan on it increasing again next fall.
There's no need to dread stating your financial need if you first assemble facts that help you tell a story about clear focus, responsibility and commitment.
Do the math. Five paragraphs, $5,000—it’s worth the effort.
96% of Greenville University Students Receive Financial Aid
|Meet recent graduate Janesha Pealer, recipient of four Greenville University scholarships. Janesha made Panther history as captain of the volleyball team for three successive years. As co-leader of the MOSAIC Diversity Group, she helped mentor inner-city high school students and talk with them about learning. "The most important thing we want to show students at these forums is that anything is possible, including continuing their education," she says.|