Home > Financial Aid > College Scholarships > Scholarship Application Strategies > Tips for Formatting Scholarship Application Essays

Tips for Formatting Scholarship Application Essays

When you are preparing a scholarship application essay, make sure to pay as much attention to the scholarship essay format as you do to the content. Individuals who judge college scholarship essay contests look very closely at the essays they receive and evaluate them based on content, writing style, adherence to instructions and format. The first thing they notice is the format. As you know, you never get a second chance to make a first impression so be sure the format of your essay is both professional and visually appealing.

Scholarship Essay Formatting Tips:

  • The most important tip is to be certain that you follow all formatting instructions specified for the scholarship contest.
  • Print your essay on high quality paper. Most applicants will use standard copy paper and your essay will stand out if it is on a better type of paper.
  • Use a font that is professional in appearance and easy to read. Recommended fonts include: Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, Times New Roman and Verdana. Do not use a script or “cute” style font.
  • Do not use a font that is too small or too large. If a font size is not specified in the instructions, use a size between 10 and 12 points for the body of your essay and 14 points for the heading.
  • If your printer is running low on ink, replace the toner or ink jet before printing your final copy.
  • Make sure there are no smudges or unnecessary creases on the paper.
  • Do not fold the essay or application form. Use an envelope large enough to hold all documents without folding them unless the instructions specify a smaller envelope.
  • Make sure your essay is free of typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
  • Even if you have proofread your essay several times, get someone else to proofread it before you send it in.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Should White Boys Be Heard? Dickenson Student Says No

February 19, 2019

by Susan Dutca

A Dickinson College senior did not foresee her essay in the student paper titled "Should White Boys Still Be Allowed to Talk?" going viral online or appearing on national organizations' websites. In her guest editorial, Leda Fisher argues that white, male students are taking over discussions of feminism, LGBTQ and race that she "feels are better voiced by women and minority students." [...]

Insta Influencers Involved with Student FAFSA?

February 12, 2019

by Susan Dutca

Despite the possibility of earning free money for college, some current and prospective college students do not complete the FAFSA - perhaps because the form is "confusing and lengthy." Instagram influencers and college bloggers are stepping in and have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Education to encourage more students to fill out their FAFSA with the hashtag #ButFirstFAFSA. [...]

Fall in Love with February 2019 Scholarships

February 7, 2019

by Susan Dutca

Scholarships.com has the scholarships your heart (and wallet) desire this month and we are sharing the love, beginning with this list of featured February 2019 college scholarships. Focus on scholarship love and worry less about how you’ll pay for college this upcoming semester. [...]