Personal Statements and Other Essays
Below, you will find the following:
- General tips for writing your Personal Statements
- Four required Personal Statements
- Methods for creating your Four Required Personal Statements
- Other essays for individual scholarship programs
- Submitting your Personal Statements
Let your Personal Statements tell your story. Donors are looking for reasons why they should choose you for their scholarship award. Show the “unique you” in your Personal Statements and use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Don’t repeat information already included in your application, such as that your greatest accomplishment is your GPA. Focus on something unique about yourself! For all Personal Statements, pay attention to the topic and any length requirements.
Four Required Personal Statements:
Required Personal Statement #1: Explain your career aspirations and your educational plan to meet these goals.
Required Personal Statement #2: Explain how you have helped your family or made your community a better place to live. Please provide specific examples.
Required Personal Statement #3: Describe a personal accomplishment and the strengths and skills you used to achieve it.
Required Personal Statement #4: Describe a challenge or obstacle you faced in the last ten years. What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
Other Required Essays for Individual Scholarship Programs:
Review the eligibility requirements for each scholarship for which you apply. Some scholarships require an additional essay or other information/documentation. Click here to learn more.
The specific instructions for the Personal Statements (below) also apply to other required essays for individual scholarship programs with these exceptions:
- Each scholarship essay has length requirement that differs from essay to essay. Be sure to comply with the length of the essay.
- Use the Personal Statements section in the Scholarship App to create your four required Personal Statements.
- You can either type in the text directly, or cut and paste in the text from a word processing program such as Microsoft Word.
- 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.
- Be sure to check that each Personal Statement is formatted as you expect BEFORE you submit your Scholarship App. The Personal Statements will be printed on the fourth and fifth pages of the Scholarship App PDF file that is generated on the Scholarship App Home page (or the Status page, once you have submitted your eApp).
- For Personal Statements, the length is "no more than 150 words"; in the eApp, you also cannot exceed the limit of 1000 characters, including white space. The exact count is based on the 'Count Words' button in Scholarship App.
- When Scholarship App saves your Personal Statement, tab characters are converted to 4 spaces, so be sure to factor this in for the character count.
- If you do exceed the 1000-character limit for the Personal Statement, the Scholarship App will truncate your Personal Statement and it will not be complete.
- If you type a Personal Statement directly without copying from a word processing program:
- Be sure to save often.
- If your computer sits idle too long, Scholarship App will “time out” and you may lose any unsaved information.
- If you compose the Personal Statement in a word processing program:
- Check the word count in your word processing program. For Microsoft Word, you can check the word and character count by going to Tools on your menu bar and selecting Word Count.
- When satisfied, you can then cut/paste or copy the Personal Statement into your Scholarship App Personal Statement textbox.
- The Personal Statements are submitted online along with your application, Activities Chart, transcripts, and any scholarship-specific information.
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