The Scholarship & College Essay Planning KitThe following are five easy tips to help you write college and scholarship essays. These tips are based on sections from The Scholarship & College Essay Planning Kit  and Winning Scholarships for College.

Tip #1 – Do Not Ramble

When you’re writing an essay, it’s easy to ramble. When you finish your first draft, go back and reread the question to make sure you’ve answered it.

Tip #2 – Do not give a laundry list of activities but make sure you write about them!   

An essay is where you can really shine and tell those who read the essay how you feel about a particular activity. In fact, incorporating your activities, how they have helped to make you into the student or person you are, and how those activities may have helped others, are important features to include in an essay and make its content come alive for the readers.

Tip #3 – Always try to answer these questions when writing about an activity.

  • What is the activity and why are you involved?
  • Who does the activity benefit?
  • How does this activity benefit you or others?

Tip #4 – Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!

Typos and spelling or grammatical errors will not make a good first impression. Don’t rely on your computer’s spell check. Reread your essays several times; then ask someone else to read your essays for errors as well. After you’ve proofread your essay several times and corrected errors, ask yourself, “Could anything I’ve written be written by any other student.” For example, you may write, “I want to change the world. I want to make a difference.” That’s wonderful, but you need to be specific with your plans to change the world or make a difference. Otherwise, your essay does not truly reflect you. If you need help learning how to do this, attend a webinar on essay writing or take our online learning course,  How to Write Amazing Scholarship and College Essays.

Tip #5 – If applicable, include your answers to these questions in your essay.

  • Have you faced any challenges?
  • Have you overcome obstacles or hardships?
  • What makes you unique? For example, a girl on a high school football team would be different.
  • Have your achievements had an incredible impact on others or yourself?
  • Have you significantly changed your life in some way? For example, you transformed from an extremely poor student to a great student.
  • How has your commitment and service to others changed your life or that of another person?

If you need help writing essays, review The Scholarship and College Essay Planning Kit, Winning Scholarships for College or if you need step by step guidance, attend  The Scholarship and College Essay Writing Boot Camp or take our online learning course, How to Write Amazing Scholarship and College Essays.


March 1, 2020 – 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm ET 
If you can’t attend, consider The Scholarship Success Toolkit.
February 25, 2020 – 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm ET 
February 26, 2020 – 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm ET 
March 3, 2020 – 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm ET. If you can’t attend this live session, consider our new comprehensive online learning course, How to Write Amazing Scholarship and College Essays.

* Webinar attendees become eligible for the Ragins/Braswell National Scholarship.
Note: If you’re an educational institution interested in using a PO, please send an e-mail to

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines in February

For College Students and/or High School Students

February 1 – Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship (up to $30,000 open to high school seniors.) 

February 14 – Wayne V. Black Memorial Scholarship (up to $5000 for current college students in the U.S. or Canada)

February 1 – Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship (up to $30,000 open to high school seniors.)

To get more upcoming deadlines, see The Scholarship Monthly Planner

Learn How to Write College and Scholarship Essays ANYTIME With Our NEW Online Learning Course

This online learning course teaches and guides you through the essential steps of creating standout essays to help you win scholarships and get into your dream college or university. See this page to get started today.

Black History Month Scholarships and Awards


Start looking immediately for scholarship essay contests in your area celebrating Black History Month, prominent African Americans in history and/or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. See this page for an example in Virginia. Complete an advanced Internet search explained in Winning Scholarships for College to find a local scholarship essay contest.

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Winning Scholarships for College 

– Everything you need to know about winning NOT just finding scholarships.
The Scholarship Monthly Planner  – Helps students get organized to find scholarships and stay on track to apply for scholarships.

The Scholarship and College Essay Planning Kit –

Helps slow starters get their essays started AND finished.
Senior Year Head Start – Get started BEFORE senior year winning scholarships and awards.
Last Minute College Financing Guide – Helps you find college money late in your high school senior year and beyond.


College Survival & Success Skills 101 – Helps students get off to a fast start in college, avoid pitfalls, and do well the 1st year and beyond.


Pay for College Using the Internet and Social Media – Helps you use the Internet and social media effectively to find scholarships and financial aid online to shrink your tuition bill.
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