I’ve read A LOT of scholarship essays. The winners all have something in common: They tell a story. However, it’s not just any kind of story. The stories that these students tell is captivating. From their initial sentence, they’re setting their audience up for a ride and experience.

Take a second to visualize the rides at any theme park. Most start with a little “action” in the beginning to build anticipation and momentum. To add, the rides with the longest lines are always easily seen from around the park. Why? Because they have really high points. Without these steep inclines, slopes, and drops, they would be mere carnival rides. They stand out because of their high and low points.

Apply this philosophy to your scholarship essays by using these two formulas:


If you start your readers at a high place or moment in your life, you’ve got to also bring them to a low moment. Show that you are human. By doing this, you’re creating a subconscious relationship with the individual reading your essay. However, do not leave the reader low. ALWAYS END YOUR SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY AT A HIGH PLACE. By doing this, you give them permission to really believe in you and your abilities.

The same applies to formula two. If you start them at a low and dismal place, bring them high, then low, and high again. It’s the exact same philosophy.

Try out these formulas on this week’s scholarships:

    1. Buildium’s Build U. Scholarship: Buildium’s Build U. Scholarship awards one scholarship each semester to the Product Design, Interaction Design, UX Design, Engineering, or Computer Science student who best explains how having a shared set of beliefs is important for building a great company.
      Award: $2,500 (4 Awards Given)
      Deadline: October 31st
    2. National Collegiate Cancer Foundation Legacy Scholarship: This scholarship is young adults who have lost a parent or guardian to cancer.
      Award: $1,000 (Multiple Awards)
      Deadline: October 15th
    3. The HotelsCheap General Scholarship for Higher Learning: Answer a few questions for your chance at this scholarship worth $1,500.
      Award: $1,500
      Deadline: October 15th
    4. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship: The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.
      Award: $4,000-8,000 (Hundreds of Awards Given)
      Deadline: October 7th

Keep up the hard work! Happy Tuition Tuesday ☺