Whether you're pursuing a college degree, flight training, or both, your wallet will surely feel the financial burden. Scholarships are a great option for students to alleviate the cost of schooling. Although pilot hiring in the aviation industry has slowed due to COVID-19, it won't be long until the pilot shortage surfaces once again. The pilot shortage prior to the pandemic had several casual factors. One of the prominent factors was the expense of initial flight training. The aviation industry has many generous donors who provide funding for struggling students through scholarships. Here are five ways to make your scholarship essay stand out.
1. Did you follow the directions?
Many applicants can disqualify themselves for not thoroughly following the directions. This can be as simple as not submitting an official transcript, an essay that doesn't meet the length requirement, or the omission of other requirements.
2. Do you qualify for the scholarship?
This goes hand-in-hand with not following the directions. Some scholarships are directed towards applicants with certain characteristics. These characteristics could be a certain grade point average, area of study, grade in school, gender, and other demographics.
3. Tell the scholarship community how YOU are different from other applicants.
The best place in the application to do this is in the essay. The essay is the place to make the scholarship committee remember you. This is the ultimate goal of the application. Many applicants have a similar essay on how they work several jobs and can't afford their flight training/schooling. Instead, focus on writing an essay that explains how you are different from everyone else. Explain what you are doing to better someone else, describe your volunteer experience, express your hobbies, etc.
4. Double and even triple check for grammar and spelling errors.
A good place to be remembered (for the wrong reason) is in an essay with grammatical mistakes. Find a friend or family member to read through your essay after you triple checked it for flaws.
5. Do your research on the organization/individual offering the scholarship.
Explain in your application why you are honored to receive their scholarship. Include their mission and goals in your explanation. Show the scholarship committee that you have done your research.
Filling out scholarship applications can be timely, however, it will always be worth your while. You will get better at applying for scholarships with trial and error. A great scholarship opportunity for anyone interested in aviation is the annual GlobalAir.com Scholarship. The application window is open until August 15th, 2020. Follow the tips above and make sure to get your application in!