The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE students learn value of scholarship essay

By Martin Paredes/reporter

Students who want a scholarship should write an application essay that paints a picture as to where and to whom the scholarship money is going, SE students learned Sept. 11.

In her six-step Make it Write! presentation, Jacquelyn Minor, SE Achieving the Dream coordinator, said writing something along the lines of “these are my goals, and this is how I am going to get there” would be effective.

Essay readers “are not hunting for what you are going to do. You need to show them,” she said.

Minor’s six steps included shoes, Kleenex, a Mr. Potato Head (and other children’s games), skinny jeans, gardening seeds and coffee. These steps might seem more like an unorthodox shopping list, but she said they could help students write a great essay.

Step one is all about putting oneself in the reader of the essay’s shoes. Minor emphasized the importance of writing something that would stand out to someone who may have hundreds of papers to read.

With Kleenex, Minor said a good sob story would not be a good reason to award someone a scholarship. It would be better to “show how you’ve learned from your situation” and that you should “present a better future” in an essay instead of focusing on the past, she said.

In step three, she gave the example of the children’s game Simon Says, which eliminates someone who fails to follow even one instruction correctly. Even a great essay can be eliminated from contention if things like word limit, the correct point of view or subject matter do not fit the requirements.

Step four, skinny jeans, is basically the idea that one’s paper should be both realistic and give context. Minor said statements like, “I want to make a difference in the world” sound good in theory, but are a bit too broad for a scholarship essay.

Gardening, the fifth step, focuses on planting seeds in the reader’s mind. The essay should “plant memories, plant expectations, (and) plant a vision,” she said.

The final step, coffee, is more about attitude. Coffee, Red Bull and chocolate are all things that can get someone excited. Someone’s attitude comes across clearly in an essay, so it is imperative to avoid writing about things the author does not find interesting, Minor said.

Once her speech was over, Minor and Terrell Shaw, academic advisor and SE transfer center coordinator, were kind enough to field questions from the audience.

When asked if it was possible to apply for too many scholarships, Minor turned the question back on the audience, who responded with an emphatic “No!” She said the more scholarships one applies for the better it could potentially be for them.

SE transfer center coordinator Terrell Shaw said it helps if students talk with academic advisors when looking for scholarship. Shaw said seeking scholarships without the help of an advisor was like “going fishing in a lake you’ve never fished before.” Advisors could tell you, “No, the fish are not biting over there, or this is a good place to look,” he said.

 

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