2016 Unigo $10K Scholarship winner and tips

By Unigo
04/03/2017
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We're excited to announce the winner of the Unigo $10K Scholarship. The question was, “Weighing the expected investment and return, is college worth it for you? Why?” Check out the winning essay, followed by scholarship tips from our winner.

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Winning scholarship essay

“I've never seen people like you read for fun." Every time I heard this statement, my head throbbed and my motivation wavered with the emphasis of one devastating, degrading truth: it was not expected of me because of my background. It only got worse with the mention of college. As a first generation, low -income Hispanic woman, the weight of such low expectations seems to drag me down endlessly into the dark abyss of failure. How will I afford it? How will I travel there? Who honestly expects me to make it past freshman year? Is college really worth the effort?

Whenever I get home, my questions are answered. My mother leaps forward clutching yet another college acceptance letter. Her joy is palpable, and soon I am smiling along as well. She notices my reluctance and takes my face between her calloused hands. “In America, anybody can make it,” she assures me in broken English. Gazing into her adoring eyes, I realize that no amount of student debt or condescending comments can stop my mother from believing in my success. Not only would I have a career because of college, but she will also be proud. Her faith strengthens my resolve. Her joy encourages me to look past all the barriers.

Yes, I assure myself once again. College is worth the investment.

Scholarship tips from our winner

Maria V.

How to find scholarships

Attending college has always been a major goal of mine, but I knew that I would not be able to do so without scholarships. With that in mind, I made applying to scholarships a top priority. With the help of my academic advisors and the internet, I had access to thousands of scholarships, and never failed to apply to as many as I can. One of my peers actually recommended Unigo to me, and I have never turned back.

How to write a winning scholarship essay

My advice is to apply to scholarships that appeal to your personality and interests. Enjoy storytelling? There are scholarships dedicated to that. Interested in math and science? There are endless chances available to attain financial support for such aspirations. Unigo has proven to be a crucial resource that has matched me with countless scholarships and made my dreams of attending college a reality. When I write my scholarship essays, I focus on events that have molded me into the person I am today. If I am ever unsure of what to write, I think of the reasons that I want to obtain an education, and focus my determination and earnestness into my essay. Never hesitate to apply!

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