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Monday, June 18, 2012

Fighting Aliens with Your Scholarship Essay Opener

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Imagine you’re a scholarship provider for a moment. You have a stack of 106 essays in front of you, you’ve gone through 48, and it’s 11 p.m. You pick one up:

I want this scholarship because…


My name is Sally Jones and…

Yeah, whatever.

If I get this scholarship, I will…


Fighting aliens with lightsabers changed me into Jason Bourne.


Never underestimate the power of a wild, fascinating scholarship essay opener. Make it you. Use a story, movie reference, bizarre quote, radical statement. Be professional, but be risky—playing it safe does not get you scholarships.

Go on. Fight some aliens.

So say something radical. The boring things have all been said too many times, anyway. Besides, if you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space. (And you won’t fund college through scholarships.)