So You Want To Set Yourself Apart, Huh?


December 28, 2009
by Derrius Quarles
After you have created your list of scholarships and or colleges and identified the people you want to write your recommendations it is time to tackle the most important part of the application. The reason writing skills are apart of the foundation of the application is because they build up to the personal statement. The personal statement is just that; writing that makes a statement about who you are as a person. It does something that a grade point average, test score, or award cannot: it gives you the opportunity to creatively tell the scholarship or admissions review board (the people who will read and judge your application) how high school has affected you. It also provides the opportunity for the review board to gain an understanding of who you are when you leave school. The review board will be looking for students who are well rounded and that understand that school is more than just acquiring accolades and gaining a high GPA or test score. School is about growth and progression and the people who read your application will enjoy applicants who show that they understand this concept. The personal statement is your chance to show the review board that you understand, and in many instances it will be used to evaluate everything else included in your application.

After you have created your list of scholarships and or colleges and identified the people you want to write your recommendations it is time to tackle the most important part of the application. The reason writing skills are apart of the foundation of the application is because they build up to the personal statement. The personal statement is just that; writing that makes a statement about who you are as a person. It does something that a grade point average, test score, or award cannot: it gives you the opportunity to creatively tell the scholarship or admissions review board (the people who will read and judge your application) how high school has affected you. It also provides the opportunity for the review board to gain an understanding of who you are when you leave school. The review board will be looking for students who are well rounded and that understand that school is more than just acquiring accolades and gaining a high GPA or test score. School is about growth and progression and the people who read your application will enjoy applicants who show that they understand this concept. The personal statement is your chance to show the review board that you understand, and in many instances it will be used to evaluate everything else included in your application.

Now that you see why the personal statement is so important, it’s time to start writing. However, before you start writing, please check out my Top Five Don’ts When Writing a Personal Statement:

  1. Do not send in a personal statement with multiple grammar and punctuation mistakes. Be sure to have it proof-read and edited, revising until it is grammatically correct; this shows the review boards you are ready for college level writing and does not waste their time.
  2. The personal statement is not the time to tell a sob story that you believe will make the review board feel sorry for you. Everyone experiences adversity and the review boards hear hundreds if not thousands of sad stories. Instead show them how you got over your adversities.
  3. More does not necessarily mean better. If the application gives you a word limit or maximum for your personal statement, follow directions. One easy way to get your application tossed is not being able to follow simple directions.
  4. Do not start on the personal statement a week before the application is due. You will not have time to do the necessary revisions that make a great personal statement.
  5. Do not use the entire personal statement talking about your activities, honors, awards, and GPA because they are already listed in the rest of your application. It is a waste of an opportunity to create a story that says something about who you are.

Now that you have read the "Top Five Don’ts When Writing a Personal Statement", you should be more than ready to write a great personal statement for any college or scholarship. Just remember that the personal statement is about illustrating who you are as a person in and, more importantly, outside of school. You want to find something that other parts of your application do not say, start early, be concise, be creative, and revise, revise, revise. If you keep these points in mind you will definitely set yourself apart.

About the Author: Derrius L. Quarles is a 19-year-old freshman at Morehouse College. He hopes to go to medical school after he graduates with a degree in psychology and biology and a minor in public health, and to one day work on the public health policies of his hometown, Chicago, and beyond. To help him achieve those academic and career ambitions, Derrius has won more than $1.1 million in scholarships, including a full scholarship to attend Morehouse, since graduating from Chicago’s Kenwood Academy High School with a 4.2 GPA. Derrius was awarded a Gates Millennium scholarship and won a number of other highly competitive awards, many of which he found while searching for scholarships at Scholarships.com. He is the first in his family to attend college, and spent his childhood in the foster care system before becoming the “Million Dollar Scholar.” This is the third in a series of posts Derrius is writing for Scholarships.com on how he was able to fund his education, along with advice about the scholarship application process.

Getting more college financial aid doesn’t have to be a relentless search. Scholarships.com is totally free. Connect with our massive database of millions of college scholarships at any time by searching for awards in a variety of ways. Scholarships.com offers the quickest and easiest way to search for, apply to, and win college scholarships. Start making your college education affordable or perhaps even free, by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first 
Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon. The ESA Esports scholarship program is intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities who currently account for a very small percentage of Esports scholarship recipients. Therefore, in order to be eligible for the 
ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, you must either be a woman or minority and pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences. Current high school seniors, college freshman, sophomore and juniors who are U.S. citizens may apply for the ESA Esports scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four (4) year college or university in the upcoming fall semester in order to be considered. All scholarship applications are due March 2, 2020 at 11:59 PST. Applicants will receive results by mid-June and funds will be issued to scholarship winners by end of August.

Get Paid to Play in College with ESA Esports Scholarships

January 21, 2020 11:52 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon.

    When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships after investing a decent amount of time and effort into applying for scholarships. Even smaller scholarships worth $500 are enough to cover books and fees, even if they aren't enough to foot an entire semester’s college tuition bill.

Biggest / Largest Dollar Scholarships in 2020

January 16, 2020 9:41 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships

    High school graduation is right around the corner for high school seniors class of 2020 and - while many students may have already committed to their dream colleges - securing college financial aid is still a top-of-the-list priority in bringing that dream to fruition. Luckily, right now is the scholarship application peak season, with just enough time to apply for and win scholarships for college. Many 2020 scholarship deadlines are within the next several months, giving students like you sufficient time to conduct a free scholarship search and apply for those that best suit and interest you. Here's a sneak peek of the many scholarships for high school seniors class of 2020:

20 Scholarships for High School Seniors Class of 2020

January 8, 2020 3:18 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
High school graduation is right around the corner for high school seniors class of 2020 and - while many students may have already committed to their dream colleges - securing college financial
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering more than 150 college scholarships totaling almost $500,000 for college-bound high school students, current college and continuing education students living in Northern and Central California. The college scholarships being offered by PG&E include the employee resource group (ERG), engineering network group (ENG) and Better Together STEM scholarship programs.

PG&E Offers Over 150 Scholarships Totaling $500k

January 7, 2020 2:57 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering more than 150 college scholarships totaling almost $500,000 for college-bound high school students, current college and continuing education

    What better way to start off the New Year than by applying for and winning free college scholarships? Our New Year's Resolution is for you to attend and graduate college debt-free, so we've already compiled a list of top 2020 scholarships to help you achieve your college financial aid goals in the upcoming New Year.:

New Year, New You, New 2020 Scholarships

January 2, 2020 9:03 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
What better way to start off the New Year than by applying for and winning free college scholarships? Our New Year's Resolution is for you to attend and graduate college debt-free, so we've
If there is one thing upon which 2020 Presidential candidates and government officials agree, it is that something must be done to resolve the issue of college student debt, which has now outpaced credit card and auto debt. More than fifty percent of Americans believe that college student debt is a major problem, with the average college student currently graduating with $30,000 in student loan debt. Some of the proposed college debt plans - such as student loan forgiveness plans - would leave students debt-free, while others would offer new repayment and refinancing options. Here are some of the major changes that could take place in the near future:

Plans to Tackle Student Loan Debt in 2020

December 30, 2019 2:44 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
If there is one thing upon which 2020 Presidential candidates and government officials agree, it is that something must be done to resolve the issue of college student debt, which has now outpaced
While many students widely anticipate the moment they are able to go home for winter break and spend time with their family and friends, thousands of students dread the month-long campus shutdown as they have no home to which they can go.

Battling College Homelessness During the Holidays

December 24, 2019 10:45 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
While many students widely anticipate the moment they are able to go home for winter break and spend time with their family and friends, thousands of students dread the month-long campus shutdown as