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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.

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