A college education can be expensive, and costs for most institutions continue to rise each year. Obtaining a scholarship helps reduce the expense of going to college. Some scholarships require applicants to write an essay or proposal to illustrate their ability or why they should receive the money. Competition may be fierce for scholarships, and a strong proposal will show your experience, philosophy and ability to communicate effectively.
Answering the Prompt
The first step requires reading the scholarship proposal prompt closely. Your response must respond to the question with specific details. For instance, if asked to describe your leadership experience, you should write examples that focus on that single quality. If the scholarship requires an essay but does not give you a clear topic, use the body of the paper to explain why you are the best candidate for the scholarship. You might discuss how you came to choose your major, what your future plans are, why you need the scholarship to continue your education, what you have achieved in school and work, obstacles you have overcome or how you got to this point in your life.
Brainstorm to decide what ideas you want to include, then organize your proposal so you have an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction should start with an idea that draws in the reader, such as a brief personal experience not reflected on your other application materials. End the introduction with a thesis statement, a single sentence explaining your point, such as, "My work in the tutoring center and in FFA gave me effective leadership experience." Create a body paragraph for each major point you want to cover, giving specific examples that relate to the prompt. Write a concluding paragraph that summarizes the ideas, creating a sense of closure. Spell check and proofread to create the most professional and easy-to-read proposal possible.
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- Michigan State University: Fulbright Proposal Writing Guide
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- Western Nevada College: 4 Steps to an Effective Scholarship Essay
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