Skip to Main Content

Dual Enrollment Student and Faculty Resources: Scholarship & Application Writing

Dual Enrollment Support at Learning Resources

Why Scholarship & Application Essays Matter

Scholarship and application essays help universities and scholarships get to know the candidate on a more personal level and gives the candidates the opportunity to articulate their interests. The objective of these essays is to be granted acceptance or funding for your education, but there are some key factors to keep in mind when writing both. For example, when applying for a scholarship, make sure your goals/interests match the scholarship’s purpose/theme; they are looking for a candidate that shares their same values. College application essays require students to be introspective and focus on their long-term goals and ambitions. Even if prompts overlap, students should tailor the application to the university of interest as it gives them a chance to emphasize their knowledge of the campus and the academic and extracurricular programs schools offer.

Common Essay Prompts

Why this school?

​Research the school and show the many ways it can help you develop.

Who are you?

​Take a deep dive into an event or person who helped shape your story.

What inspires you?

​Don't be afraid to hold back and write about what truly inspires you even if you think others won't care--your passion and commitment will be manifested in your writing. 

Writing Cheat Sheet


  • Choose a prompt of interest to you.
  • Focus on impactful events and moments in your life.
  • Draw in the reader with strong memorable statements.
  • Answer and address all parts of the question.
  • Let your personality, creativity, and sense of humor come through.
  • Seek help from mentors and other peers who are familiar with the college application process.
  • Take a break if you are experiencing writer's block.


  • Assume the reader will know everything about your experience and make sure to explain in detail.
  • Treat this like a regular essay. 
  • Use cliches, preamble, pontificate, or over use quotes.
  • Repeat your academic experience; it is part of the application already.
  • Don't over edit.
  • Exceed word or page count.
Reading List