By UnigoWe’re excited to announce the winner of the Unigo Top Ten List Scholarship. The question was, “Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.” Check out the winning essay, followed by scholarship tips from our winner. Want to be a featured winner? Check Our Scholarships for a new scholarship every month. Winning scholarship essay #10I’ve never won any kind of monetary gift before! #9I was in a military family. The childhood friendships I experienced with the racially-diverse groups on the army bases where I lived, was a unique gift. #8My mother lost her battle with breast cancer at 44. I’ve outlived her by almost a decade. It makes me consider time. Have I used my time wisely? How much time do I have left? #7JROTC Girls’ drill team, Northwest High School, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1978-1981.We were amazing! Count the trophies and blue ribbons!*insert “snap salute” here* #6Christmas Day 2015, during a complex act of violence, the middle finger, down to the first joint of my left hand, was amputated by a steel security door. #5During the last two months, I’ve spent my evenings completing applications for 30+ scholarships, mostly while drinking heavily-spiked egg nog and binge watching Christmas movies on Netflix.Cheesy. Christmas. Movies.*hiccup* #4FAFSA guidelines make me wanna holla! Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh! #3If you choose me, you’ll be able to add the face of a mature non-traditional student to your winners’ page! *winkwink*Let my few gray hairs remind everyone to never give up on their dreams! #2Social sciences majorPolitical science minor4.0 GPA #1I want to be of service to a nonprofit agency focused on creating public policy and effecting social change, particularly within the criminal justice system. Scholarship tips from our winner How to find scholarships The first piece of advice I’d give someone who is starting on a scholarship hunt is to BE ORGANIZED and have all scholarship information in one place. Utilizing a separate email address for scholarship communications only makes life easier. Be sure to save each essay you write. You may be able to use them, or parts of them, for other applications. There are so many scholarships out there that it’s easy to duplicate your applications if you aren’t careful. Being organized means watching application deadlines as well! And in this day of smart phones (and I remember all too well the days of writing reminders on a calendar — YIKES!!), there is no excuse for missing deadlines! There are three scholarship search websites I use, and those are Unigo, Chegg, and Fastweb. I like these sites because they have scholarship matching, but Unigo is my favorite. I love the design of the site, the scholarship search categories, and unique essay topics that make the search fun! I usually check for new scholarships once a week. Don’t just focus on the “big money” scholarships, either. Apply for the smaller dollar amounts as well. It adds up! How to write a winning scholarship essay I don’t have specific tips on writing a scholarship essay, except to put your heart into it. I think people want to read about who we are as students, who we are as people, and that involves digging deep, and writing about issues or situations on a personal level that may be a little out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to step out and speak from the soul. All of us are beautifully flawed. And that’s OK. Embrace it!! At best, you’ll win a scholarship. If you don’t win, at least you’ve provided yourself a little therapy by speaking on it.Apply, apply, apply! Eventually, you’ll win one!