Have you done something unique? Bring it up!

If there’s one theme of this book, it’s that scholarship applications these days are beset with sameness. By and large, there are tons of kids who sound exactly the same writing the same old stuff and claiming the same achievements. That’s a little depressing, so let’s turn it around: Uniqueness wins scholarships.

Are you an Eagle Scout? Did you climb Mt. McKinley? Are you state champion? A national champion? If you’re not, that’s OK – most people aren’t. But if you are, say so! Even if you’re a state champion at making buildings out of popsicle sticks, say so — don’t assume that whatever you’re excellent at is too small to mention.

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