Over the holidays I was admitted to an AWESOME master's program in the UK. Woohoo me. Unfortunately the only way I can actually attend said program is if I get financial aid of some sort. A by "some sort," I mean "all of the financial aid ever because I have no money" sort. I applied and got rejected for the Fulbright fellowship and really have no other options other than applying for financial aid directly through the school.
The application is simple, I just have to report my income, report my undergraduate debt, and then write an 8,000 character essay stating why I need financial aid and why I deserve it. The short answer is: I'm researching how the identities of black women are constructed for consumption by the public via social media and pop culture and that shit is important so I deserve money. But I need to find a way to stay this that sounds a) convincing b) genuine and c) will actually work because if I don't get this money I can't go. I keep starting and then getting discouraged because everyone is going to say that their research is important and they deserve money. Without knowing exactly what criteria the financial aid board is using, I don't know how to write a good essay.
Anyone written a financial aid application essay before? Can you offer help on what works?