Statement of Purpose for Scholarship
Every school has different application requirements, while some demand a set of essay questions to be answered, others seek a Statement of Purpose from their applicants. This is done to get deep insights into the applicant’s profile, knowing which, provides them a stronger base for selecting the best of candidates.
WHAT IS AN SOP?
A statement of purpose is dedicated towards describing ‘your purpose’ of opting for a particular degree at a particular school. In other words, an SOP is aimed towards describing your life story and events that have led you to culminate at the need for further upgrading your skills and knowledge via higher education.
Basically, a statement of purpose is an essay that covers every aspect of your profile – what you did, why you did, how you did, your goals and means to achieve them.
It is also one of the most important documents, on the basis of which, your selection chances could rise up by 30%. So, drafting this essay in the right way should definitely be stressed upon.
Difference between SOP and A Statement of Purpose for SCHOLARSHIP
The first big difference between both these similar-familied statements is the perspective of the document. While a normal SOP is inclined towards convincing the ad-coms that the candidate is a good fit for the school, a scholarship essay is aimed at persuading the school on why the candidate is worthy of availing a scholarship. Needless to say, the pitch in both these essays would definitely vary.
A Statement of Purpose for Scholarship is generally written when your application has already been considered, i.e., your chances of admittance is almost 90% if you’ve been bestowed with the privilege of drafting this SOP.
A general SOP draws attention towards the capabilities, talents and future of the candidate, whereas a scholarship SOP focuses on the requirement for a scholarship and in most cases are given to those who are in dire need of it and comply with the basic requirements of the scholarship.
Lastly, a statement of purpose for scholarship has different categories with different formats as there are different kinds of scholarships one could opt for. Few of them include need, merit, minority and athletic scholarships. On the other hand, there are no specific kinds of SOPs in general, all that varies is the storyline as different individuals have different backgrounds and goals, which means that the format in this case remains constant.
TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIP SOPs
Have a look at the list below to learn more:
These scholarships are regarded to be the esteemed ones. Not the reason that they are offered to people of reputable backgrounds; they are offered to students who have a GPA of 4.0 without any exception. Scholarships are often given to students who present the university with a brilliant application and abide by all the prerequisites. Moreover, these scholarships are presented as national awards and the like.
Average Performance Scholarships
These scholarships are offered to all types of students; nevertheless, they are ideally given to certain students, i.e., those exhibiting average performances and skills. Primarily given to students who were not the finest in their schools but marked their presence via achievements in varying disciplines or extracurriculars. These scholarships emphasize on the personal skills of the applicant.
Athletic scholarships, as the name implies, are mostly offered to students with the ability to indulge in exceptional physical and athletic acts. If such students have adequate physical capabilities to outshine in the future, they are undoubtedly on the list of prospects to avail of athletic scholarships. These scholarships mark the gateway for those students whose excellence in sports and physical activities surpass academic accomplishments.
These scholarships are explicitly aimed at helping women who face financial, social, or employment challenges, and are not in a state to study well. With either of these scholarships, a woman may continue pursuing her academic life without much financial burden. These scholarships are available in all existing disciplines.
Scholarship for Minorities
This scholarship category is granted to minority students but more specifically to students who are known to be quite small minorities in a particular region. Based on the ethnic, cultural or religious beliefs of students, this scholarship may vary. However, it can prove to be a glorious opportunity to secure money and ultimately be able to study.
Community Service Scholarships
These scholarships are specifically devised for students who voluntarily relish contributing to their communities. If you’re a student who has a passion for volunteering for your community and ultimately got engaged in major events for your community’s well-being, you can apply for these scholarships and would likely be accepted.
If you are a person having creative pursuits, creative scholarships could be your opportunity to study at a top university. From scholarships for painters, dancers, musicians, or just about any form of artistic field, universities have a place for creative students to get a scholarship and higher education, without any hassle.
Unusual scholarships are often given to students who figure out a way to request scholarships and eventually being deserving. For instance, this type of scholarship can be offered to people who are left-handed or even those who are great at organizing prom parties. However, these rare and unusual scholarships are, generally, granted away secretly.
So how does one bag a scholarship they’re most in need of? The answer is simple! Scholarships are given on the basis of scholarship SOPs, so the only chance you have at it is creating an SOP that is compelling enough to drag the attention of the committee towards why you deserve availing this benefit. Just as the saying goes- wants are unlimited but resources scarce, similarly, there are tons of applicants that are aiming to bag the scholarship you’ve been eyeing, but limited places to fill the spot, so it is important that you put forth your needs in a differentiated, unique and goal oriented manner.
Looking for tips on how to go about creating an SOP that is powerful enough to grab the scholarship you deserve? Read along the article to get fantastic tips for the same
TIPS TO DRAFT THE PERFECT SOP FOR SCHOLARSHIP
1.Begin with a bang
When you start writing your statement of purpose, ensure that you begin by adding an element of interest. Just like doing one task constantly would result in losing concentration, reading tons of essays that go about the same lines is without any doubt a mind-boggling task for the committee. In such cases, what will surely get a hold of their attention is an interesting and gripping start to an SOP. So, always begin your SOP with a bang!
2.Keep up the presentation
Apart from using a formal tone in the essay and drafting the perfect storyline, it is vital that you pay heed to the style of presentation and always adhere to the word limit. Presentation matters because what looks appealing to the eyes, instantly develops a biased behaviour towards the same. Having a neatly presented essay with the use of an appropriate professional font acts as the first stirring glance into your profile, making it your first impression. Also, ensure that your SOP is free of grammatical errors. You can run your content through Grammarly for a good grammar check.
3.State your reason for college selection
This is the part where you talk about how the school is the right fit for you. Well everyone maybe doing this, so how to stand apart from your competition? The trick is to showcase a focused outlook here and to portray the same, you must do your research thoroughly. Dig out the features of the school that are in line with your goals and mention them in the SOP. Doing so, paints a picture of you being ‘a man with a plan’, which increases your credibility and thus makes you an ideal and right choice for awarding a scholarship.
4.Highlight the reason you deserve a scholarship
Bringing to light the reason of why you are well deserving to avail the benefit of a scholarship is the most important aspect of a scholarship essay. Why? Because the sole purpose of drafting this SOP is to convince the committee about why you are the right fit for the same. Since there are different kinds of scholarship SOPs, your deserving reason would vary according to the type of scholarship you’re on the lookout for. For example: if you’re opting for a merit-based scholarship, you must highlight your exceptional grades and the knowledge you possess. Additionally, every scholarship has a certain criterion of eligibility. Highlighting the fulfilling criterions of your profile in the best possible manner should do the job for you.
5.Pick the best from your past experiences
You may have tons of experiences but it wouldn’t really matter if they are not in sync with what you plan to do since, past experiences are a proof of your capabilities and strengths that would play a major role in your future endeavours. So, it is very important to choose examples of your past experiences that are in line with your goals and plans laid out. This will form the base of the story you wish to tell, so make sure you pick the right elements to highlight.
6.Display your passion for the field
The one thing that will instantly grab the attention and make mark on the committee is your passion for the respective field. Showcasing constant efforts to hone your knowledge in the field is a clear sign of your eagerness and seriousness to learn. Admitting students who are dedicated towards bringing out the best in themselves are most appreciated by any committee out there. So, brushing through your passion should be the essence of your scholarship SOP.
7.List your goals in a clear manner
Whenever you’re asked about your goals, always and every time answer by listing the company and role or exact plan of beginning your entrepreneurial venture as it puts across a focused attitude and speaks volumes about yourself in general. Having your goals sorted ensures that you will put in all your efforts and will be self-driven towards achieving the same.
P.S: There is no deadlier combination than hard work and self-motivation!
8.Mention Future contributions
Just like you wish to gain from the school, the school wishes to gain from you. It is a simple give and take relationship. Apart from this, schools are looking to admit students who will actively participate in the activities of the school and work towards creating an impactful change in the campus. So, while convincing the committee about your apt candidacy, make sure to talk about how you will give back to the school. However, make sure that the pitch you make should be in line with your past contributions and extracurriculars to make your claims seem legit.
9.Plan in advance
No matter what people may say, drafting an apt scholarship SOP is not a one day’s task, so always begin way ahead in time to avoid rushing through the process. Having ample time to prep for the essay gives birth to new ideas that’ll improve the quality of your SOP and also ensures that you never miss out on a deadline.
10.Reread your essay
Lastly, once your Statement of purpose for Scholarship is ready, get it read by as many people as you can. This will help you identify any mistakes or scope for improvements, rectifying which will eventually lead to a pitch perfect scholarship SOP!
Hope this was helpful!
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