Tips for Scholarship Essays

Here are a few tips when writing college essays:

  1. Don’t plagiarize. Did you know there is computer software that can identify plagiarized work? Think about citing any sources or quotations.
  2. Think Differently. (Thank you Apple!) Even though there are only a few prompts, we like to read essays with a variety of ideas. So please, keep us interested!
  3. Structure your sentences. Sentences should have a subject and a verb whose tenses should also agree with each other.
  4. Follow up. Don’t just give a few ideas and hope the readers understand – explain it to us! Give us examples and some detail to back your statement up.
  5. Don’t write a résumé! We’re looking to get to know you, but we don’t just want a list of all of your volunteer activities. If it’s found somewhere else on your admission application, you might want to think about excluding your week in the Dominican reading books to school kids.
  6. Try not to overwrite. If your essay is 675 words long and you think it gets your ideas across appropriately, don’t just add fluff words.
  7. Help us get to know you. A college essay is meant to help us understand your character.
  8. Follow the rules. For example, say the institution to which you are submitting your essay asks your work to be submitted via an online submission form and limited to no more than 1,000 words, please do so – or run the risk of disqualifying your application.
  9. Proofread!! Since when did we stop capitalizing the word “i”? This is not a text to your friends, so please don’t write us a 500-word text! Also, watch the use of there and their… they’re not the same.
  10. Meet deadlines! You must submit your completed application packet (application, fee, transcripts and SAT/ACT scores) as well as your UNF Scholarship Application/Essay no later than 5:00pm on the posted deadline. Please go to the website for more information: www.unf.edu/admissions/scholarships/Scholarships_-_Freshman_Merit.aspx.

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