a year ago
Admissions Advice

What does it mean to write a biographical sketch about yourself for a scholarship application?

I've been writing my response like a narrative-type Common App essay, but I just looked up "biographical sketch" and it seems like it might describe more formal writing (like listing my accomplishments.) How would you interpret this prompt? What is the scholarship committee looking for? I don't want to sound too informal or like I misread the prompt, but I also don't want to sound boring and void of personality. For context there are two other prompts "describe educational, professional, and other goals" and "list and/or describe participation in extracurricular and leadership activities" and they all have a 3000 character count.


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Accepted Answer
a year ago

Yeah, for scholarships, it’s definitely more cut and dry. It’s not a fun writing activity—I find it to be the worst writing task. It’s more so an opportunity to flaunt your resume—you aren’t trying to stand out beyond what you’ve done. I’ve written nice ones that say why I’m deserving with a story, then I’ve written ones that just are near bullet points of accomplishments/contributions. Got nothing for he first, but too many scholarships for the latter (I had to write them to reassign scholarships to someone else). I think when it’s reviewed they want to just side past successes you’ve had as a meter of potential investment worth in the future.

depending upon the scholarship type specifically I recommend adjusting your focus. So if it’s like a community scholarship focus and highlight most time on volunteer work and community involvement. If it’s related to education, obviously academic successes, gpa, test scores, awards, etc. Regardless, I always had what my end goals are here. Ex. How will a scholarship enable me in the future to build on my success in that area. School related would be degree and career, community based could be ideas of volunteer work you want to do, etc.

Hope this helps!

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