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Home » Student Services » Scholarships » Scholarships » Financial Aid & Scholarships » Scholarship Essay Resources

Scholarship Essay Resources

The essay is NO LONGER just a significant part of the APPLICATION PACKAGE.

It is a separate scholarship COMPETITION.

A well-written essay must NOT BE EXTEMPORANEOUSLY WRITTEN.

A ❝QUALITY❞ well written essay is the ONLY answer! When writing your essay, every EFFORT must made to ensure your ❝written work❞ is part of the 10 - 15% that is ❝IN❞ the scholarship/essay competition.

HASTE makes WASTE!  DO NOT be just another applicant who puts in an application.

  • The essay must be guided by the question(s) and crafted with the details required by the individual sponsor.
  • Use the following ❝Basic Writing Rules❞ to start your personal statement/essay
  • The ❝Online Writing Tools❞ to help FOCUS your efforts.
  • Read the Do's and Do not's, so no unforeseen mistakes are made.


Basic Writing Rules

I. ALWAYS follow the sponsor's directions/guidelines, READ ALL "Terms and Conditions" for the scholarship or Essay Contest. Then review the entire application or webpage requirements, this includes all questions and ALL requirements & special instructions. If the sponsor's guidelines are not clear seek assistance from the "Scholarship Specialist" to ensure you understand the instructions, rules or  "Terms and Conditions" from the sponsor.

II. BEFORE YOUR WRITING STARTS, FOCUS on the sponsor's essay/personal statement instructions/requirements! If you are unsure, contact the "Scholarship Office" for an appointment to review the application materials.

III. WRITING THE ESSAY/PERSONAL STATEMENT, Use basic steps and guidelines to start your paper. Begin with the correct format, either set by the sponsor or writing and correct the basic grammar of your paper.  Before you start writing determine what you need to do or how your paper needs to be setup before you start writing your essay/personal statement.

First - Use the sponsor's stated writing format and guidelines (if given) when writing the Essay/Personal Statement.  If none are provided, at a minimum use the following guidelines:

Second - WRITING - GRAMMAR BASICS, Follow correct writing guidelines, ensure the essay is broken down into paragraphs; use transition sentences between each thought or paragraph.  Review your paper with a spelling and grammar checker, ensure punctuation, vocabulary, and style are corrected with each draft; check essay flow by reading "your paper" out loud

    • Use the Writing Resources provided below. Never guess at what is or is not correct.
    • Use a "Proof Reader" Example: Writing Center, Scholarship Specialist, Professor or Counselor. Regardless of PERSONAL feelings DO NOT use friends as proof readers. It is best not to place your friends in a position to suggest corrections (that may or may not be correct) your friends may be uncomfortable and not tell you.
    • Your Essay should be UP LOADED as a "PDF" unless otherwise directed, this will ensure your essay is received the same way it was written.


Online Writing Tools

IV. WRITING TOOLS, The online writing resources below are available to help all essay needs applicants may use them to develop, organize, prepare, their essay.  These writing tools are recommended for use when writing your personal statements or essays.

Resources - The Writing Center - Cuyamaca College

Resources - OWL English - Purdue University Writing Lab

Resources - OWL English - Purdue University ESL Students Writing Lab

Resources - MLA Example - University of Maryland University

Resources - APA Example - University of Maryland University

Resources - A Research Guide



What To and Not to Do

V. SCHOLARSHIP WRITING, DO's and DON'TS: Need to be read before you write your essay or personal statement. Not doing so can mean the difference between clarity and guessing what you need to do to be SUCCESSFUL.


  • DO: Use the Scholarship Process webpage
  • DO: Create an outline, to organize your writing around the questions.
  • DO: Use examples when writing to support your answers and clarify your points of interest.
  • DO: Answer all questions or SELECT the BEST QUESTION if given a CHOICE.
  • DO: Review EACH draft, ensure the draft is reviewed for correct format, grammar, spelling, and punctuation; this will mean only minor corrections are done on the final review. 
  • DO: Have someone (an Instructor, English Lab Tutor, or Scholarship Specialist, etc...) review your ❝Final Draft❞for punctuation, grammar, style, neatness, flow, and clarity. Ensure your paper addresses all the questions being asked.
  • DO: Print Final Paper, make sure it looks perfect, use a ❝SCHOLARSHIP ONLY CARTRIDGE❞ (meaning a new printer cartridge saved for the scholarship process only). It is your GOAL to make the ❝PERFECT❞ impression. Remember all aspects of the application package are scored; YOU want to receive the maximum point possible.
  • DO: Save the essay on your computer in a specific file for use again later, along with the sponsors questions, as the questions may be asked similarly in another scholarship and you can use the answer for a base to a new/revised answer.


  • DO NOT: Write more pages or words than are required.  This will cause you to be eliminated or receive less points when scored.
  • DO NOT: Write your essay/personal statement using slang, testing, or inappropriate language.  Sponsors expect college level language, prose.
  • DO NOT: Handwrite your essay/personal statement
  • DO NOT: Elaborate on how ❝broke❞ you are, or how ❝badly❞ you need to pay rent, or that you need to get your car fixed....etc. First - Scholarships are normally for college expenses ONLY.  Second - If you are not asked about those things, you are complaining and sponsors ONLY want to have their questions answered.
  • DO NOT: Discuss how you are receiving social assistance (unless specifically asked by the sponsor)



Make an appointment or discuss your essay with the Writing Center.

Contact Us

For further assistance and guidance in applying for scholarships, please contact the Scholarship Office. We are located in the Financial Aid Office (Building 300) at the Student Services Center. To make an appointment please email or call (619) 660-4537 provide  your Student ID number, please provide your best date and time that you are available.  Walk-in appointments are welcome.

Ernest Williams
Scholarship Specialist
Financial Aid Office
(619) 660-4537

*Cuyamaca College Financial Aid Office does not guarantee the accuracy of translated text through Google Translate. If the information you are translating is not clear, please return to the home page of Cuyamaca College Financial Aid & Scholarships, click "Contact Us," and call for assistance, or email your question to the appropriate Advisor. Cuyamaca College Financial Aid Office disclaims and will not accept any liability for any problems caused by the use of the Google Translate feature.

Last Updated: 06/21/2018
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District