Winning Scholarships

Focus your interests/write your essay

Decide if you really want to apply for scholarships; 99.9% is in the effort of applying. Donors, committee members, and reviewers just want to know if the applicant is truly interested in winning scholarship funds. Of course, this will shine through in your essay. So, focus before you write. For example, choose a technique and write your first draft; write a short statement summarizing, what makes you unique? Read your essay aloud to a friend, ask if your essay sounds enthusiastic or does it sound forced?  What stands out because it sounds good to you, underline and keep it. Eliminate phrases that sound noncommittal; examine your use of the active and passive voice; consider your conclusion. Does it add substance to your essay or merely restate what has already been written? If your ending is weak, boring and unbelievable, revise it. 

Give your scholarship application a professional polish 

If your application is laden with misspellings and incomplete thoughts, it will create doubts about your ability to present yourself in a professional manner as a college student. Include all requested information.

Essay Writing

Don't be modest. Show a pattern of initiative; Prove your excellence, community service and leadership by mentioning all credentials, extra curricular activities and responsibilities. Committee members and reviewers consider past behavior the best indicator of future action. Finally, ask yourself how much information are you willing to disclose? 

Needs-Based Scholarships

Focus on the special aspects of your financial situation. Some SMC Scholarships are needs based. However, don't just say, "I need money!" Everybody does. Reviewers are influenced by a compelling narrative. They also take into consideration students who support themselves and their families on a limited income. Whatever the family situation, don't be afraid to state the need.

What's your goal?

This can make or break your application. Don't write about the overall picture of health care, the importance of a degree, or how education makes you well rounded and confident. Rather, say what you'll do with the degree; for example, explain your career goals, i.e., a businessperson, educator in the inner city, or a nurse because you believe that nurses provide cost-effective quality health care in a needy setting. Set that goal and go for it!

Letters of reference/recommendation

An ideal reference letter should testify to unique traits, and accomplishments that aren't easily apparent in your application. All letters of recommendation must be on letterhead of the agency, school, business, or community organization you have solicited.