That’s a great question. The short answer is, no, you don’t. But, like it or not, the selection criteria for scholarship programs isn’t always straightforward. Ultimately, if you don’t know who you’re writing for (and, more importantly, what they’re looking for), you can end up wasting a lot of time and energy.
Furthermore, while students who have taken either advanced placement or college-level English courses likely possess solid foundations in the basics (e.g., grammar, format, and citation styles), a quick scan of the award-winning essays published online reveals an unfortunate truth: technical proficiency only gets you so far. When used in the wrong context, the rigidity of academic writing can be outshined by a simple, concise essay that emotes feeling. Scholarship judges are often obligated to read hundreds of personal statements and essays, many of which are full of recycled clichés that are as unconvincing as they are boring. Experienced in the art of persuasive writing, our writing coaches teach students how to use phrasing, creativity, and perspective to connect with judges and get noticed.