A Winning Attitude for Scholarships


Kenneth Chaney Have you ever wondered how to craft a winning scholarship essay? It can be frustrating to keep applying to program after program, never winning scholarship awards, especially when you don’t get a chance to see the winners’ submissions. Well, I’m going to give you the opportunity to read one of the winning entries from our CampusDiscovery.com scholarship program. The following response is from one of our 2011 scholarship winners, Kenneth Chaney of College Park, MD. “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”   -TS Eliot I always pushed myself to find my limit. Where was the edge, and what would I do when I got there? In college I found my answer. It didn’t come the way I imagined; in a final dramatic snap. Instead, it came quietly with a simple realization. While trying to learn the chemical structures of the amino acids I noticed something I had long been ignoring. I wasn’t enjoying myself. The game wasn’t fun anymore.  I knew I could push harder, I could still go on; but doing so would be pointless. This wasn’t learning, it was torture for the purpose of inflating my self-image. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to find the limit that I began to enjoy learning again. When new challenges arose I found satisfaction not in the struggle, but in the reward of the new knowledge I found through overcoming adversity. College showed me there was more to life than proving myself. The only way to truly learn is to ignore the self, and embrace the joy of each new discovery. As you can see, Kenneth was thinking creatively and used a great quote to start his short essay. This is a good way to instantly engage the scholarship committee graders and readers. Another positive aspect of this entry was the quick snapshot of what motivated the writer prior to college; he didn’t simply list what he liked or disliked, nor did he jump right into what he learned from college. By using a specific incident, he not only draws us into his world, but he provides the evidence for his evolution. The writing is to the point without being preachy and tells a story. Great job, Kenneth! Now that you have a great example of a winning scholarship essay to draw from, do you think you’re ready to give it another shot? Be sure to check out our newest CampusDiscovery.com scholarship competition today. Who knows, maybe yours will be the next featured winning essay!

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