4 Tips For Improving Your Native American Scholarship Application Essay

Posted on: 8 October 2021

Scholarships are the best chance for students today to get a college education without racking up thousands of dollars in student debt. Native American scholarships in particular are a fantastic way for Indigenous students to access college funds and avoid large amounts of future student debt. However, filling out a scholarship application can be a nerve-wracking process and for many, the worst part of all is the essay portion. If that includes you, here are a few tips to help you improve your scholarship essay.  

Be Authentic

The key to a successful scholarship essay should be the easiest: just be yourself. Let the essay readers know who you are and what is unique about you. Don't try to impress your readers with witticisms or flowery writing. Keep it simple and do your best to tell your own story in your own voice. There's nothing more interesting to an essay reader than a true and authentic written voice.  

Include Interesting Details

It's quite easy to forget what is special or unique about each person. When trying to decide which details to keep and which to cut, ask yourself if this is something that makes you who you are. What are your strengths and passions? Mention the ways you've served your community but don't try to embellish small acts of service into something bigger. The readers will know the difference. Be confident but self-aware.  

Follow the Guidelines

No matter how authentic and well-written your essay turns out, it could be disqualified if you don't follow the essay guidelines. To some, that sounds unfair and arbitrary, but following guidelines is a way to show that you know how to follow instructions and that's an essential part of demonstrating that you're a good student. Make sure that you're using the specified font, indentation, margins, and citation style if these are listed in the scholarship application.  

Use At Least Two Proofreaders

The best writers in the world still have typos and spelling errors. Even if you've read your essay multiple times, you can still miss errors. According to scientific studies, your brain is trained to gloss over component parts in favor of more complex problems, like how people can automatically turn letters into words without sounding out each letter once they've learned to read. As such, you need fresh eyes to look at your essay to see the problems. Therefore, ask at least two people you know with proven grammar skills to proofread your essay.

To learn more, contact an institute that offers things like scholarships for Native Americans.