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Scholarship Essay Cheat Sheet for Students

This scholarship essay cheat sheet for students will quickly let them know if they have done everything they can to write a winning essay!

[Updated for 2021]

Scholarship Essay Cheat Sheet for Students - Winning Tips!

As I’m going through the scholarship process for the third time with my youngest son, I am keenly aware of the differences between my three boys and what exactly motivates each of them.

Follow us on Facebook for college scholarship notificationsFor my current high school junior, I am finding out that what worked for his older brothers does not work for him. He has his own way of doing things and that’s fine, as long as those scholarship essays get written to be submitted before the due dates!

I recently created a short scholarship essay cheat sheet that I placed on his desk and asked him to review before, during, and after each essay that he writes.

Having this cheat sheet allows him to take charge of his essays, with my winning suggestions front and center, but without having to remind him of what scholarship judges like and don’t like.

From my years of experience in helping parents and their students in the college scholarship process, I have learned that nagging does not work!

All my winning scholarship secrets are revealed right here >>

Use this list for your own student because we are all in this together and feel free to contact me anytime with your scholarship questions. ~ Monica Matthews

$10,000 Scholarship from CollegeXpress

To download and print, click this button: 

Scholarship Essay Cheat Sheet

Scholarship Essay Cheat Sheet details:

Start with a Hook – Begin the essay with a hook, or something that draws the reader in and inspires them to WANT to read the rest of the essay. The hook could be a surprising fact, an interesting quote, an eye-opening statistic, or something personal and unusual that grabs the reader’s attention. 

Scholarship judges have hundreds and even thousands of essays to read, start yours off with a BANG and impress them right from the beginning! 

Tell a True Story – Everyone loves to read true stories and college scholarship judges are no different. Writing the required essay into story form with interesting and personal details is a great way to get the judges’ attention from the beginning and keep it until the end.

One scholarship judge that I interviewed shared, “The ones I pay attention to are AUTHENTIC. The quality of the work reflects original thoughts; they avoid broad generalizations and make their point by telling a specific story to demonstrate their point.”

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You may also like to read:  10 Epic Tips Straight from a College Scholarship Judge

Fully Answer the Question – When writing scholarship essays, always make sure the question asked is fully answered. This may seem like a simple college scholarship tip, but it is one that is all too often ignored by many scholarship seeking students. As the essay is being written, students can keep referring back to the original question and make sure they are not getting off the subject. 

Heed Word Count – College scholarship applications that come with essay requirements usually have word limits. These limits keep students from rambling on and on, they save time in the judging process, and they show if a student is following directions by sticking to the required number of words.

Use this tip to avoid a HUGE college scholarship essay mistake!

Proofread and Share – Material that is read several times by the writer becomes very familiar. Our brains begin to fill in missing details because we know what is supposed to be there, but may not catch that it actually isn’t. Students should ALWAYS have at least two pairs of trusted eyes review their work.

2021 UPDATE: My youngest son is now a junior in college and has won enough scholarships to cover all four years of school. I worked together with all three of my boys and as a result, my husband and I did not need to take out any parent loans for any of them. Do the scholarship applying strategies found in How to Win College Scholarships work? YES!!!

What are parents and students saying about the How to Win College Scholarships ebooks?

This! ⬇️

“I have used the guidelines from Monica Matthews’ ebook. This was such a great starting point…definitely my “go to” on how to start the process of scholarship applications. In addition, I have purchased Monica’s scholarship tracker…which is a great way to organize materials and monitor deadlines (rather than notes written all over the place). The ebook provides you with guidelines and tips that are best practices.

Our school’s guidance office only provided a minimal list of scholarships. Monica is tremendous in offering potential scholarship information or answering any questions I may have (that is worth her weight in gold). My son had success winning 15 scholarships (local and national). He was a good student, but nothing like some of stats I have read from other parents. So it is possible…keep applying!”  D.E., Indiana

Students, use this scholarship essay cheat sheet to write a stronger essay and impress the judges! Click To Tweet

Scholarship Essay Cheat Sheet for Students - FREE Printable

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