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Monday, 15 December 2014

How to Win a Scholarship: Boosting your Personal Statement

I have been a beneficiary of multiple scholarships and I thank God for His grace.

Many of us young people dream to win a scholarship to pursue higher education in our own countries or abroad. While there are many platforms for finding scholarship opportunities like ‘opportunitydesk.org’, scholarship application remains a ‘tough competition’ to many of us.  I will discuss a few tips to boost your Personal Statement when making scholarship application.

Boosting your Personal Statement

Many people confuse Personal Statement with Essay.

Check the difference below:
  • A personal statement, NOT ‘essay’, is a writing that relays autobiographical information about the applicant. Personal statement gives you the opportunity to describe a few aspects of your life to give the potential sponsor a picture of who you are as an individual who is different from all other competing applicants.
  • It’s an opportunity to highlight your strengths, talents and potential, and typically serves as a means of adding a personal touch to the application.

You can highlight your personal history, family background, your exposure to educational and cultural opportunities, and how these factors have shaped you as a person. Include your special interests and abilities, career plans, and life goals, extra-curricular participations, awards you have won, etc. But remember to write about positive side of your life or how you have turned challenges into opportunities, you know what I mean.

The personal statement should show a good command of the language used in application, as least errors as possible, brief or detailed and straight to the point depending with the required length but normally you will be given a maximum amount of words. In the last paragraph, give a good conclusion with a strong statement ‘re-requesting’ to be considered for the scholarship.

So, before you put down your pen, ask yourself the following questions;
  • Does your personal statement tell a story about you that make the selection committee members want to meet you?
  • Does your statement show that you are capable of doing great things given the opportunity?
  • Does it show that you care about other people?
  • Does it show how the scholarship program fits in with your personal and professional goals?
  • Does your statement show any significant accomplishment or contribution that you have made to your field or to your community?

Next >>> Boosting your Letter of recommendation >>> Boosting your Essay

Remember if you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to do so below this post. Share this with all the people in your network. you never can tell who needs it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Douglas Owino

Douglas holds a Bachelors in International Business Administration (Hons) from US International University (Kenya) and an MBA – International Business in South Korea. He is a Global Changemaker with British Council, Certified Youth Peer Educator, Peace Ambassador, Scholarship Adviser and a Mentor to high school pupils. He previously worked for I Choose Life-Africa (NGO) and Kenya Commercial Bank Group.

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