Hi Brian, unique experiences absolutely make a difference in the scholarship decision process! Each scholarship is unique, however, and students need to use each experience to align as closely as possible to each one. For example, a student who has many years of quality volunteering (with the same organization) should concentrate on scholarships that focus on community service. They should then share in detail about their volunteer experiences (in an interesting and detailed story-form) in their essays. When choosing a letter of recommendation writer, the student can then ask a leader in that organization to write a letter with examples and personal details about how that student has made a difference in his or her own community. In my scholarship guide, How to Win College Scholarships, I show students and their parents exactly how to impress scholarship judges by highlighting personal experience and leadership skills, which are both highly valued by college scholarship judges. I hope that helps answer your question. Feel free to contact me again anytime.