Personal Statements and Scholarship-Specific Essays

General Tips

  • You can either type in the text directly, or cut and paste from a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or Note Pad.
  • Use plain text only (no formatting, such as different size fonts, boldface, italics, or underlining).
  • Only line-space (use a single 'Enter' or 'Return') between paragraphs.
  • Check the word count. In Microsoft Word, you can check the word and character count by going to Tools on your menu bar and selecting Word Count.
  • Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Don’t repeat information already included in your application, such as that your greatest accomplishment is your GPA.

Personal Statements

  • Let your Personal Statements tell your story. Donors are looking for reasons why they should choose you for their scholarship award. Focus on something unique about yourself!
  • Word Limit: 1,000 character limit for each statement (including spaces). Statements exceeding this limit will be truncated.

Personal Statement questions:

  1. What are your specific educational plans and career goals and why? What inspires you to achieve them?
  2. What have you done for your family or community that you care about the most and why?
  3. Describe a personal accomplishment and the strengths and skills you used to achieve it.
  4. Describe a significant change or experience that has occurred in your life. How did you respond and what did you learn about yourself?

Other Essays for Individual Scholarship Programs

  • Do not include URLs when citing essay sources, as it may cause an error in the application.
  • Each scholarship essay has a length requirement that differs from essay to essay. Be sure to comply with this requirement.

Experience in Diverse Environments

Some scholarships which require an extra essay about living or working in diverse environments. Such factors may include:

  • socioeconomic or educational disadvantage;
  • demonstrated experience with or commitment to serving or working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations, such as members of minority communities;
  • being in the first generation of a family to attend college;
  • geographic diversity, including students from rural or inner-city areas that might be underrepresented on campus.