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How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

how to write an essay for masters scholarship

As an admissions officer, I reviewed thousands of essays for students seeking admission and scholarships. The essay is one of the most important parts of the scholarship application process–a strong essay can go a long way. However, with so much competition, it is important for your scholarship essay to stand out. That’s why it’s important for you to start a scholarship essay off right!

There are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that your essay is engaging from the very first sentence. In fact, beginning your essay with an exciting opening is one of the most important things you can do, because it will immediately distinguish your essay from the others. 

Keep on reading to learn more about how you can nail the very first sentence and start your essay off right!

Engage the reader with the first sentence

No matter what type of essay you are writing, you will want to ensure that the very first line grabs the attention of the reader. One of the biggest mistakes that students make when starting their essay is simply restating the prompt. This is bland and boring. 

Now, you might be wondering, “how do I engage the reader with the very first line of my essay?”. The good news is that there are several ways that you can do this that are very simple to do. 

Begin with dialogue

First, you could begin your essay with conversation. This can be an interesting and unexpected way to start your scholarship essay. Maybe someone asked you an unexpected question? Perhaps you were having an interesting conversation with a friend or family member? Either way, dialogue can be a powerful tool to start your essay.

Put the reader in your shoes

Alternatively, you can choose to start your essay by placing the reader right in your shoes and show them something from your life. Appeal to the senses and show the reader what you see, hear, smell, or taste. These specific details will help your essay come to life and make it even more memorable. 

Also recommended: What’s the best scholarship essay format?

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Scholarship essay introduction example

Next,  we’ll look at a specific example of how you can open up your essay. Let’s say you are applying for the Questbridge scholarship program . One of the essays that you will be asked is:

We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most influenced you. How are they shaping your future aspirations?

You might be tempted to rephrase the question and start your essay with something like:

“I have grown up in a rural context and this has formed my aspirations and allowed me to accomplish academic success…”

This is generic and will not engage your reader at all. 

Instead, what if you started off your essay with something like this:

“I look outside my bedroom window and see Henry, my favorite chicken, pecking at something in the dirt.” 

Makes a big difference, right? As a reader, you are probably wondering: why does this person have chickens outside their bedroom window? Why did they name this particular chicken Henry?

See also: Here are our top writing & essay scholarships for students!

Keep the ending of your essay in mind as you write the opening

While crafting your opening, be open to ideas about how to close your essay. There is no need to stress about the ending now, but being mindful of effective ways to end an essay is always a good idea. Say you are opening your scholarship essay with Henry the chicken. Is there a way for Henry to make an impactful appearance at the end of the essay to close things out in a way that perfectly wraps everything up? The key is for the essay ending to be meaningful and memorable for the reader. 

Don’t miss: Our free scholarship search tool

If you can’t think of a “wow” scholarship essay beginning, keep writing!

Sometimes, we know what we want to say, point by point, but we are not ready to be creative when it comes to opening an essay. In that case, keep writing! There is always the option of going back and crafting an engaging opening after your essay is written. Simply write your main idea where the first paragraph would be to guide you as you write. After, go back when your creative juices are flowing, and craft the amazing opening (and closing) that your scholarship essay deserves!

Final thoughts

As shown, there are many questions that we as readers will have after reading an engaging essay opening such as the one just shared; We want to learn more about the student who is writing this essay. After all, as a writer trying to stand out in a pile of essays, that is our main goal. 

We hope that you have a better understanding of how to start a scholarship essay so you can maximize your chances of winning scholarships!

Additional resources

Scholarships360 is the go-to for all things college admissions and scholarships! Wondering how to write a 250 word essay and how to write a 500 word essay ? Curious how to write an essay about yourself ? Wow, do we have the resources to help! Additionally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help you finance your college education. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors! 

Key Takeaways

  • The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading 
  • Engage the reader by appealing to the senses
  • Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you
  • Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning

Frequently asked questions about how to start a scholarship essay

What is an essay hook, how long should my scholarship essay be, scholarships360 recommended.

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How to Write a Scholarship Essay: Crafting a Standout Narrative

how to write an essay for masters scholarship

With scholarship opportunities on the rise, it's surprising to learn that a significant percentage of applicants often overlook a crucial element: the scholarship essay. Many candidates focus solely on grades and achievements, unaware that a well-crafted essay can be the game-changer in securing financial aid.

In this article, our essay writing service experts will explore the often underestimated power of the scholarship essay, offering a comprehensive guide that covers everything from defining the essence of a compelling essay to providing practical tips, tricks, and real-world examples. Join us on this journey as we unlock the secrets to transform your essay into a compelling testimony of your unique journey and aspirations, ensuring it not only stands out but leaves a lasting impression on selection committees.

What Is a Scholarship Essay?

A scholarship essay is more than an academic piece—it serves as your personal gateway to funding opportunities, shaping the trajectory of your educational journey. It's an opportunity to weave your narrative, articulating dreams and aspirations that captivate and convince scholarship committees. Picture it as your own masterpiece, where vibrant strokes illustrate who you are, where you've traversed, and the path you aim to tread.

Instead of merely presenting a laundry list of achievements, infuse vitality into your essay by narrating a pivotal moment that ignited your passion. Lead the reader through your experiences, forging a personal connection with your journey. Keep in mind that a scholarship essay isn't just about highlighting accomplishments; it's about unveiling the person behind those achievements. It's the distinction between perusing a resume and immersing oneself in a compelling story that leaves an indelible mark.

Let's buckle up as our scholarship essay writing service explores the art of crafting essays that go beyond grades and accolades.

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Let's craft an essay that doesn't just open doors but kicks them wide open!

Scholarship Essay Format

When it comes to the scholarship essay writing process, paying meticulous attention to specific formatting requirements is crucial. Here's a breakdown of essential elements to consider:

1. Word Count and Page Limit:

Before you start writing, carefully review the scholarship guidelines for page and word limit. Adhering to these limits demonstrates your ability to follow instructions and ensures that your essay is concise and focused.

2. Font and Font Size:

Use a readable font that is commonly accepted, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Ensure that the font size is within the specified range. Typically, a 12-point font is standard, but check the guidelines to confirm.

3. Margins and Spacing:

Maintain consistent margins on all sides of the document, usually one inch. Follow the specified spacing guidelines, whether it's double-spacing or a different requirement. Consistent spacing enhances readability and gives your essay a polished appearance.

4. Title or Heading:

Check if the scholarship application requires a title or heading. If not specified, you can opt for a straightforward title centered at the top of the page, using a larger font size than the body of the essay. Alternatively, you may choose to omit a title and start directly with your essay.

5. File Format and Submission Instructions:

Confirm the preferred file format for submission, whether it's a PDF, Word document, or another format. Adhering to the specified file format ensures that your essay is easily accessible and viewable by the scholarship committee.

6. Headers and Footers:

If required, include a header with your name, page number, and any other specified information. Be consistent in formatting these details throughout the document. Headers and footers add a professional touch to your essay.

7. Citations and References:

If you need to include citations or references, follow a standard citation style (such as APA format example , MLA, or Chicago) as per the scholarship guidelines. Ensure that your citations are accurate and formatted correctly.

8. Language and Tone:

While not directly related to formatting, it's crucial to maintain a professional and respectful tone. Tailor your language to suit the formality expected by the scholarship committee. Avoid slang or overly casual language unless explicitly allowed or encouraged.

9. File Naming Conventions:

If you are submitting your essay electronically, adhere to any specific file naming conventions outlined in the scholarship guidelines. This ensures that your document is easily identifiable and organized within the application system.

10. Proofreading and Formatting Check:

Before submission, thoroughly proofread your scholarship essay format to catch any errors, typos, or inconsistencies. Ensure that your essay looks polished and adheres to all specified formatting requirements.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay Step-By-Step

Here is a detailed and example-rich breakdown of how to approach and execute each section of the scholarship essay from our dissertation service experts. Remember, the key is to weave a narrative that is not only unique to you but also aligns seamlessly with the scholarship's values and expectations.

how to write scholarship

  • Introduction

To better understand how to start a scholarship essay, consider beginning with a vivid scene or a personal anecdote that relates to your journey. For example, if you're applying for a scholarship in environmental science, start with a moment of realization about the impact of climate change during a particular experience. Additionally, refer to our article on strategies for writing an essay hook for valuable tips.

  • Thesis Statement

Craft a powerful thesis that not only outlines your career goals but also hints at the unique perspective you bring. For instance, 'Through my journey in community service, I have discovered a passion for social entrepreneurship, and this scholarship will be the catalyst for implementing sustainable solutions.'

  • Body Paragraphs

Example of Achievements : Provide specific examples of your achievements within the same essay. Instead of stating, 'I was the captain of the debate team,' share a defining moment like, 'Leading the debate team to victory in the regional competition not only honed my public speaking skills but also instilled in me the importance of collaboration and effective communication.'

Experiences and Impact : Elaborate on the impact of your experiences. For instance, 'My volunteer work at the local animal shelter not only taught me compassion but also sparked an interest in animal welfare. This experience, coupled with my academic achievements, drives my pursuit of a degree in veterinary medicine.'

  • Express Your Goals and Aspirations

Specificity in Goals : Instead of a generic statement, be specific. For example, 'I aspire to bridge the gap between technology and healthcare by specializing in medical informatics. This scholarship will enable me to pioneer innovations that enhance patient care and streamline medical processes.'

Link to Scholarship Values : Showcase a connection between your goals and the scholarship values. If the scholarship emphasizes community impact, explain how your ambitions align: 'My goal of establishing sustainable community health programs aligns seamlessly with the scholarship's commitment to fostering positive change.'

  • Address Any Challenges

Share a personal challenge and highlight your resilience. 'Overcoming financial hardships, I learned the value of resourcefulness. This scholarship represents more than financial aid; it symbolizes the triumph of perseverance and the pursuit of academic excellence against all odds.'

Revisit your thesis and express optimism about the future. 'As I embark on this academic journey, fueled by my experiences and aspirations, I am confident that the skills and insights gained will not only contribute to my personal growth but also bring positive change to the communities I aim to serve.'

  • Proofreading and Editing

Seek specific feedback from peers, asking questions like, 'Does the opening anecdote draw you in?' or 'Are my goals and aspirations clear throughout the essay?' Addressing these specifics enhances the quality of your essay. If your scholarship essay ideas revolve around history, consider utilizing the assistance of our history essay writer .

  • Formatting Guidelines

Pay meticulous attention to formatting details. If the scholarship application specifies a font size or page limit, adhere to it. This showcases your ability to follow instructions, an essential skill in academic and professional settings.

  • Personalization

Adjust your essay to align with the values of each scholarship provider. If a scholarship emphasizes leadership, emphasize leadership experiences and their impact on your goals. This customization demonstrates your commitment to the specific scholarship's mission.

Scholarship Essay Examples

Below are scholarship essay examples that follow the outlined format and incorporate elements of a compelling narrative. Meanwhile, if you're feeling stuck with your own narrative, hit that ' write a paper for me ' button. Let's bring your unique story to life.

Using our tips sets you on the right track. Still, having a good sample essay at hand is vital for success. So, to make the writing process for your scholarship essay even more smooth and amazing, enter the dissertation service to look at the following samples:

Scholarship Essay Prompts

Scholarship essay prompts are more than questions; they are gateways to showcasing your unique story and aspirations. Here are some distinctive and thought-provoking prompts to spark your creativity:

  • The Unwritten Chapter : Describe a pivotal moment in your life that feels like the beginning of an unwritten chapter. How has this moment shaped your goals and inspired your pursuit of a scholarship?
  • The Legacy of Words : If you could have a conversation with any historical figure, author, or fictional character, who would it be? How would this conversation influence your academic and career aspirations?
  • The Dream Project : Imagine receiving unlimited funding for a project that addresses a global challenge. What would your project be, and how would it impact the world?
  • The Personal Lexicon : If you had to choose five words that define your journey, what would they be, and why? How do these words encapsulate your aspirations and experiences?
  • The Alternative Universe : Transport yourself to an alternate universe where you pursue a completely different field of study. How has this imaginary journey influenced your perspective on your current academic path?
  • The Cultural Odyssey : Reflect on an aspect of your cultural background that has significantly shaped your identity. How does this influence your academic and career goals, and how will it contribute to a diverse academic community?
  • The Innovation Blueprint : If you were given the chance to revolutionize an industry through innovation, which field would you choose, and what groundbreaking idea would you bring to the table?
  • The Unexpected Mentor : Describe an unexpected mentor or role model in your life. How have their guidance and insights influenced your personal and academic growth?
  • The Traveler's Tale : Imagine embarking on a journey to three different countries. Share how each country's culture, values, or experiences would contribute to your personal and academic development.
  • The Legacy of Service: Discuss a community service project you initiated or participated in. How has this experience shaped your understanding of social responsibility and influenced your educational aspirations?

6 Scholarship Essay Tips

Here are a few more tips from our service to allow you to create a winning scholarship essay:

essay tips

  • Uncover Your Unique Angle : Identify what makes your story distinct while writing scholarship essays. Whether it's an unusual experience, a personal passion, or an innovative approach to problem-solving, emphasize the elements that set you apart from other applicants.
  • Create a Compelling Hook : Engage the reader immediately by starting with a compelling hook. This could be a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact, or a powerful quote that sets the tone for your narrative.
  • Quantify Your Impact : When discussing achievements, quantify your impact whenever possible. Instead of merely stating leadership roles, highlight specific results or improvements achieved under your guidance.
  • Highlight Transformative Moments : Share moments of personal growth or transformation. These could be challenges you've overcome, realizations that shaped your perspective, or experiences that fueled your passion for your chosen field.
  • Demonstrate Proactive Solutions : Showcase instances where you took the initiative or implemented solutions. Whether it's a community project, academic challenge, or personal goal, emphasize your proactive approach and problem-solving skills.
  • Balance Confidence with Humility : Project confidence in your abilities as a college student without overshadowing humility. Acknowledge areas for growth, expressing a willingness to learn and a commitment to continuous improvement.

Creating scholarship essays can be challenging, particularly when time and skills are limited. Yet, a compelling essay plays a crucial role in securing the desired scholarship. If you're short on time or uncertain about your abilities, explore the option of seeking help from professional essay writers. Submit a ' help me with my homework ' request to receive a high-quality scholarship essay or even a Pride and Prejudice short summary , enhancing your chances of success!

Ready to Turn Your Academic Journey into a Blockbuster Story?

Let's script your success with a tailor-made essay that'll have scholarship committees giving you a standing ovation!

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5 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

When writing a scholarship essay, follow these tips to win the most money for college.

Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

Writing a scholarship essay isn't like writing an essay for a high school class, experts warn.

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(Getty Images)

Students hoping to earn scholarships, a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid, often must compete with hundreds of other applicants and sometimes for a very limited number of awards.

Free financial aid plays a significant role in helping students in the U.S. pay for college. According to the 2019 How America Pays for College report from Sallie Mae, 31% of college costs in 2018-2019 were paid for with money that does not need to be repaid; three-fifths of that were scholarships and two-fifths were grants.

To get the most of this highly desirable aid, students can take advantage of a few expert-recommended strategies to make their application stand out. Below are a few tips for writing scholarship essays that pack a punch.

Get Personal and Be Specific

The key to a successful scholarship essay is making it personal, experts say, and including impactful details. An essay that feels genuine and offers insights into who the applicant is on a deeper level will stand out in a crowd of academic essays that may be boring for readers who review hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications.

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Scholarships awarded by the Pride Foundation, for example, require an application that involves multiple essays in which students are asked to describe themselves, what they plan to study and the kinds of work they hope to do. The social justice-focused philanthropic foundation aims to support the LGBTQ community in the Northwest region and awards more than 60 scholarships for any accredited postsecondary school or program, according to its website.

College scholarships had an average award amount of about $5,000 to $8,000 last year, says Katelen Kellogg, the foundation's communications and outreach manager. She says the scholarships are for LGBTQ or strongly LGBTQ-allied students who are residents of the Pacific Northwest.

Kellogg, who helps read essays from applicants each year, says the scholarship essays that stand out to her include "details that paint the picture of their lives." She says the most successful essays are "less about something you do and more about who you are as a person."

Eden Shore, a volunteer manager at the Pride Foundation who also has experience reading hundreds of scholarship essays, says the writing process should be meaningful for students – and that comes across in the essay.

"Your essay can be an opportunity for you to make sense of something yourself," Shore says. "Illustrate you can thoughtfully reflect."

Tell a Story

A standout essay hooks the reader from the first sentence, says Monica Matthews, author of the scholarship guide, "How to Win College Scholarships."

Think about the structure of the essay, and how the reader can be drawn in by it, experts say. The story should feel real and true to the student's life.

"Students need to begin with a hook and share personal and tangible details about their life," Matthews wrote in an email. "Simply stating that they have helped others, for example, does not let the judges see the kind of person that they really are. Writing about specific experiences with real-life situations using interesting details makes compelling and memorable essays."

Tailor the Scholarship Essay to the Prompt

In some cases, it may be acceptable and even smart to repurpose an essay the student has already written and use it for another application. But experts say students should exercise caution.

"Many times, students try to re-purpose essays from the admissions process for scholarship essays, and the result ends up being so-so," Colleen Paparella Ganjian, an independent educational consultant and founder of DC College Counseling in Virginia, wrote in an email.

Instead, essays should be on topic and specific to the unique question being asked and the organization to which students are applying.

A typical scholarship essay topic will likely ask students about their career goals and their plan to achieve those goals, Matthews says. Other essay prompts might ask students what they've done to make their community a better place or to describe a personal achievement and how they overcame challenges to reach it.

Don't Tailor Yourself to the Reader

Students often feel they need to project a certain image or side of themselves in scholarship applications and essays. This isn't always necessary.

"The only person an applicant has to be is themselves," Shore says of applicants to the Pride Foundation Scholarship.

The trap of tailoring themselves can be particularly tempting for students who are nontraditional or have an international background, says Mandee Heller Adler, founder and president of International College Counselors based in Florida.

"Don't shy away from talking about your culture, traditions, and experiences. If you're an international applicant , a minority, or non-traditional student, don't try to 'Americanize' or 'mainstream' your application," Heller Adler wrote in an email. "Scholarship committees like diversity, and the goal is to stand out and not appear to be like all the other applicants. Don't be afraid to expand on details about your culture that are meaningful to you and essential to understanding who you are."

Follow Directions

The greatest frustration in reading scholarship application essays, Shore says, is when students fail to follow directions. This means taking note of any formatting specifications, length restrictions and answering the question posed.

"Make sure you're answering the question that has been asked and stay within the word limit you're given," Shore says. "Longer doesn't necessarily mean better. If students are bored by the essay they write, the reader will be too."

Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for College center.

12 Ways to Win a Scholarship

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By submitting my email address. i certify that i am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from the princeton review, and agree to terms of use., writing a winning college scholarship essay.

If you need more money to pay for college, chances are you will be applying for several college scholarships . A great scholarship essay helps the scholarship provider understand the real person behind the application and can be the key to winning the award (assuming you meet the other scholarship criteria).

Student writing scholarship essay

Scholarship Essays vs. College Essays

Scholarship essays are very similar to your college application essays in terms of strategy. Many scholarship hopefuls will share the same grades, test scores, and ambitions: the essay is your chance to shine (and grow that dream college fund!).

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

When you’re drafting your scholarship essay, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Start the essay writing process early.

Leave yourself plenty of time to produce a well thought-out entry. Take the time to brainstorm your ideas, create an outline, and edit your entry as you would for any essay writing assignment for your English class.

Read More: How to Craft an Unforgettable College Essay

2. Understand the scholarship provider’s overall mission and purpose.

Each scholarship provider is looking for students who meet certain criteria. Consider writing about an experience or interest that highlights your strong ties to the organization’s mission. Genuine passion and enthusiasm for your topic will show through in your essay writing.

3. Follow the scholarship essay instructions.

Make sure to follow all of the necessary steps and review them before submitting your scholarship essay. Trust us, some of the brightest students have missed out on the chance to earn scholarships dollars all because they neglected to follow instructions. You don’t want to fall into that category!

4. Steer clear from essay topics that focus on negativity or pessimism.

Scholarship committees would rather see how you overcame hardships and succeeded despite the obstacles in your path (or what you learned from the times you failed).

Read More: 200 Colleges That Pay You Back

5. Don’t be afraid to get personal.

Share something about who you are. This is your chance to elaborate on elsewhere on your application you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so. Telling your story makes an essay genuine and ultimately more memorable to the scholarship committee.

6. Seek out writing advice and feedback.

Asking teachers, counselors, family members, or trustworthy friends for feedback on your essay will result in a better final product.

7. Yes, spelling and grammar matter.

Scholarship committees do notice grammar mistakes . Eveny tiny errors can distract a reader from your overall message. Before you submit your application make sure you take the time to proofread your essay from beginning to end.

8. Don’t give up!

When you’re tired, take a break, but don’t throw in the towel! Our online essay writing tutors are here for you anytime you get discouraged. We can help with everything from brainstorming and outlining to revising the final draft.

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Frequently asked questions

What should i write in a scholarship essay.

A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.

After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.

Frequently asked questions: College admissions essays

When writing your Common App essay , choose a prompt that sparks your interest and that you can connect to a unique personal story.

No matter which prompt you choose, admissions officers are more interested in your ability to demonstrate personal development , insight, or motivation for a certain area of study.

The Common App essay is your primary writing sample within the Common Application, a college application portal accepted by more than 900 schools. All your prospective schools that accept the Common App will read this essay to understand your character, background, and value as a potential student.

Since this essay is read by many colleges, avoid mentioning any college names or programs; instead, save tailored answers for the supplementary school-specific essays within the Common App.

Most importantly, your essay should be about you , not another person or thing. An insightful college admissions essay requires deep self-reflection, authenticity, and a balance between confidence and vulnerability.

Your essay shouldn’t be a résumé of your experiences but instead should tell a story that demonstrates your most important values and qualities.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding your message and content. Then, check for flow, tone, style , and clarity. Finally, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors .

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

If you’ve got to write your college essay fast , don’t panic. First, set yourself deadlines: you should spend about 10% of your remaining time on brainstorming, 10% on outlining, 40% writing, 30% revising, and 10% taking breaks in between stages.

Second, brainstorm stories and values based on your essay prompt.

Third, outline your essay based on the montage or narrative essay structure .

Fourth, write specific, personal, and unique stories that would be hard for other students to replicate.

Fifth, revise your essay and make sure it’s clearly written.

Last, if possible, get feedback from an essay coach . Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.

Avoid swearing in a college essay , since admissions officers’ opinions of profanity will vary. In some cases, it might be okay to use a vulgar word, such as in dialogue or quotes that make an important point in your essay. However, it’s safest to try to make the same point without swearing.

If you have bad grades on your transcript, you may want to use your college admissions essay to explain the challenging circumstances that led to them. Make sure to avoid dwelling on the negative aspects and highlight how you overcame the situation or learned an important lesson.

However, some college applications offer an additional information section where you can explain your bad grades, allowing you to choose another meaningful topic for your college essay.

Here’s a brief list of college essay topics that may be considered cliché:

  • Extracurriculars, especially sports
  • Role models
  • Dealing with a personal tragedy or death in the family
  • Struggling with new life situations (immigrant stories, moving homes, parents’ divorce)
  • Becoming a better person after community service, traveling, or summer camp
  • Overcoming a difficult class
  • Using a common object as an extended metaphor

It’s easier to write a standout essay with a unique topic. However, it’s possible to make a common topic compelling with interesting story arcs, uncommon connections, and an advanced writing style.

Yes. The college application essay is less formal than other academic writing —though of course it’s not mandatory to use contractions in your essay.

In a college essay , you can be creative with your language . When writing about the past, you can use the present tense to make the reader feel as if they were there in the moment with you. But make sure to maintain consistency and when in doubt, default to the correct verb tense according to the time you’re writing about.

The college admissions essay gives admissions officers a different perspective on you beyond your academic achievements, test scores, and extracurriculars. It’s your chance to stand out from other applicants with similar academic profiles by telling a unique, personal, and specific story.

Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial to avoid distracting the reader from your college essay’s content.

A college application essay is less formal than most academic writing . Instead of citing sources formally with in-text citations and a reference list, you can cite them informally in your text.

For example, “In her research paper on genetics, Quinn Roberts explores …”

There is no set number of paragraphs in a college admissions essay . College admissions essays can diverge from the traditional five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in English class. Just make sure to stay under the specified word count .

Most topics are acceptable for college essays if you can use them to demonstrate personal growth or a lesson learned. However, there are a few difficult topics for college essays that should be avoided. Avoid topics that are:

  • Overly personal (e.g. graphic details of illness or injury, romantic or sexual relationships)
  • Not personal enough (e.g. broad solutions to world problems, inspiring people or things)
  • Too negative (e.g. an in-depth look at your flaws, put-downs of others, criticizing the need for a college essay)
  • Too boring (e.g. a resume of your academic achievements and extracurriculars)
  • Inappropriate for a college essay (e.g. illegal activities, offensive humor, false accounts of yourself, bragging about privilege)

To write an effective diversity essay , include vulnerable, authentic stories about your unique identity, background, or perspective. Provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your outlook, activities, and goals. If relevant, you should also mention how your background has led you to apply for this university and why you’re a good fit.

Many universities believe a student body composed of different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.

Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community, which is why they assign a diversity essay .

In addition to your main college essay , some schools and scholarships may ask for a supplementary essay focused on an aspect of your identity or background. This is sometimes called a diversity essay .

You can use humor in a college essay , but carefully consider its purpose and use it wisely. An effective use of humor involves unexpected, keen observations of the everyday, or speaks to a deeper theme. Humor shouldn’t be the main focus of the essay, but rather a tool to improve your storytelling.

Get a second opinion from a teacher, counselor, or essay coach on whether your essay’s humor is appropriate.

Though admissions officers are interested in hearing your story, they’re also interested in how you tell it. An exceptionally written essay will differentiate you from other applicants, meaning that admissions officers will spend more time reading it.

You can use literary devices to catch your reader’s attention and enrich your storytelling; however, focus on using just a few devices well, rather than trying to use as many as possible.

To decide on a good college essay topic , spend time thoughtfully answering brainstorming questions. If you still have trouble identifying topics, try the following two strategies:

  • Identify your qualities → Brainstorm stories that demonstrate these qualities
  • Identify memorable stories → Connect your qualities to these stories

You can also ask family, friends, or mentors to help you brainstorm topics, give feedback on your potential essay topics, or recall key stories that showcase your qualities.

Yes—admissions officers don’t expect everyone to have a totally unique college essay topic . But you must differentiate your essay from others by having a surprising story arc, an interesting insight, and/or an advanced writing style .

There are no foolproof college essay topics —whatever your topic, the key is to write about it effectively. However, a good topic

  • Is meaningful, specific, and personal to you
  • Focuses on you and your experiences
  • Reveals something beyond your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars
  • Is creative and original

Unlike a five-paragraph essay, your admissions essay should not end by summarizing the points you’ve already made. It’s better to be creative and aim for a strong final impression.

You should also avoid stating the obvious (for example, saying that you hope to be accepted).

There are a few strategies you can use for a memorable ending to your college essay :

  • Return to the beginning with a “full circle” structure
  • Reveal the main point or insight in your story
  • Look to the future
  • End on an action

The best technique will depend on your topic choice, essay outline, and writing style. You can write several endings using different techniques to see which works best.

College deadlines vary depending on the schools you’re applying to and your application plan:

  • For early action applications and the first round of early decision applications, the deadline is on November 1 or 15. Decisions are released by mid-December.
  • For the second round of early decision applications, the deadline is January 1 or 15. Decisions are released in January or February.
  • Regular decision deadlines usually fall between late November and mid-March, and decisions are released in March or April.
  • Rolling admission deadlines run from July to April, and decisions are released around four to eight weeks after submission.

Depending on your prospective schools’ requirements, you may need to submit scores for the SAT or ACT as part of your college application .

Some schools now no longer require students to submit test scores; however, you should still take the SAT or ACT and aim to get a high score to strengthen your application package.

Aim to take the SAT or ACT in the spring of your junior year to give yourself enough time to retake it in the fall of your senior year if necessary.

Apply early for federal student aid and application fee waivers. You can also look for scholarships from schools, corporations, and charitable foundations.

To maximize your options, you should aim to apply to about eight schools:

  • Two reach schools that might be difficult to get into
  • Four match schools that you have a good chance of getting into
  • Two safety schools that you feel confident you’ll get into

The college admissions essay accounts for roughly 25% of the weight of your application .

At highly selective schools, there are four qualified candidates for every spot. While your academic achievements are important, your college admissions essay can help you stand out from other applicants with similar profiles.

In general, for your college application you will need to submit all of the following:

  • Your personal information
  • List of extracurriculars and awards
  • College application essays
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores
  • Recommendation letters.

Different colleges may have specific requirements, so make sure you check exactly what’s expected in the application guidance.

You should start thinking about your college applications the summer before your junior year to give you sufficient time for college visits, taking standardized tests, applying for financial aid , writing essays, and collecting application material.

Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.

If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .

You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.

Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.

You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.

A standout college essay has several key ingredients:

  • A unique, personally meaningful topic
  • A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook
  • Specific stories and language that show instead of telling
  • Vulnerability that’s authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy
  • Clear writing in an appropriate style and tone
  • A conclusion that offers deep insight or a creative ending

While timelines will differ depending on the student, plan on spending at least 1–3 weeks brainstorming and writing the first draft of your college admissions essay , and at least 2–4 weeks revising across multiple drafts. Don’t forget to save enough time for breaks between each writing and editing stage.

You should already begin thinking about your essay the summer before your senior year so that you have plenty of time to try out different topics and get feedback on what works.

Your college essay accounts for about 25% of your application’s weight. It may be the deciding factor in whether you’re accepted, especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurricular track records.

In most cases, quoting other people isn’t a good way to start your college essay . Admissions officers want to hear your thoughts about yourself, and quotes often don’t achieve that. Unless a quote truly adds something important to your essay that it otherwise wouldn’t have, you probably shouldn’t include it.

Cliché openers in a college essay introduction are usually general and applicable to many students and situations. Most successful introductions are specific: they only work for the unique essay that follows.

The key to a strong college essay introduction is not to give too much away. Try to start with a surprising statement or image that raises questions and compels the reader to find out more.

The introduction of your college essay is the first thing admissions officers will read and therefore your most important opportunity to stand out. An excellent introduction will keep admissions officers reading, allowing you to tell them what you want them to know.

You can speed up this process by shortening and smoothing your writing with a paraphrasing tool . After that, you can use the summarizer to shorten it even more.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit to write a developed and thoughtful essay.

You should aim to stay under the specified word count limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, don’t write too little, as it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a detailed and insightful narrative about yourself.

If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.

In your application essay , admissions officers are looking for particular features : they want to see context on your background, positive traits that you could bring to campus, and examples of you demonstrating those qualities.

Colleges want to be able to differentiate students who seem similar on paper. In the college application essay , they’re looking for a way to understand each applicant’s unique personality and experiences.

You don’t need a title for your college admissions essay , but you can include one if you think it adds something important.

Your college essay’s format should be as simple as possible:

  • Use a standard, readable font
  • Use 1.5 or double spacing
  • If attaching a file, save it as a PDF
  • Stick to the word count
  • Avoid unusual formatting and unnecessary decorative touches

There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:

  • A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
  • A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.

Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.

Campus visits are always helpful, but if you can’t make it in person, the college website will have plenty of information for you to explore. You should look through the course catalog and even reach out to current faculty with any questions about the school.

Colleges set a “Why this college?” essay because they want to see that you’ve done your research. You must prove that you know what makes the school unique and can connect that to your own personal goals and academic interests.

Depending on your writing, you may go through several rounds of revision . Make sure to put aside your essay for a little while after each editing stage to return with a fresh perspective.

Teachers and guidance counselors can help you check your language, tone, and content . Ask for their help at least one to two months before the submission deadline, as many other students will also want their help.

Friends and family are a good resource to check for authenticity. It’s best to seek help from family members with a strong writing or English educational background, or from older siblings and cousins who have been through the college admissions process.

If possible, get help from an essay coach or editor ; they’ll have specialized knowledge of college admissions essays and be able to give objective expert feedback.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding message, flow, tone, style , and clarity. Then, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.

Include specific, personal details and use your authentic voice to shed a new perspective on a common human experience.

Through specific stories, you can weave your achievements and qualities into your essay so that it doesn’t seem like you’re bragging from a resume.

When writing about yourself , including difficult experiences or failures can be a great way to show vulnerability and authenticity, but be careful not to overshare, and focus on showing how you matured from the experience.

First, spend time reflecting on your core values and character . You can start with these questions:

  • What are three words your friends or family would use to describe you, and why would they choose them?
  • Whom do you admire most and why?
  • What are you most proud of? Ashamed of?

However, you should do a comprehensive brainstorming session to fully understand your values. Also consider how your values and goals match your prospective university’s program and culture. Then, brainstorm stories that illustrate the fit between the two.

In a college application essay , you can occasionally bend grammatical rules if doing so adds value to the storytelling process and the essay maintains clarity.

However, use standard language rules if your stylistic choices would otherwise distract the reader from your overall narrative or could be easily interpreted as unintentional errors.

Write concisely and use the active voice to maintain a quick pace throughout your essay and make sure it’s the right length . Avoid adding definitions unless they provide necessary explanation.

Use first-person “I” statements to speak from your perspective . Use appropriate word choices that show off your vocabulary but don’t sound like you used a thesaurus. Avoid using idioms or cliché expressions by rewriting them in a creative, original way.

If you’re an international student applying to a US college and you’re comfortable using American idioms or cultural references , you can. But instead of potentially using them incorrectly, don’t be afraid to write in detail about yourself within your own culture.

Provide context for any words, customs, or places that an American admissions officer might be unfamiliar with.

College application essays are less formal than other kinds of academic writing . Use a conversational yet respectful tone , as if speaking with a teacher or mentor. Be vulnerable about your feelings, thoughts, and experiences to connect with the reader.

Aim to write in your authentic voice , with a style that sounds natural and genuine. You can be creative with your word choice, but don’t use elaborate vocabulary to impress admissions officers.

Admissions officers use college admissions essays to evaluate your character, writing skills , and ability to self-reflect . The essay is your chance to show what you will add to the academic community.

The college essay may be the deciding factor in your application , especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurriculars.

Some colleges also require supplemental essays about specific topics, such as why you chose that specific college . Scholarship essays are often required to obtain financial aid .

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Home / Blog

How To Write a Scholarship Essay

February 15, 2019 

how to write an essay for masters scholarship

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Paying for college is a top concern for many students in America today. Even just a generation ago, a student’s primary concern was more about getting into the college they preferred, instead of about being able to afford college at all. Now, young students are trying their best to budget and save up in order to afford a college education, and are planning ahead for how they will pay off their student loans.

As important as FAFSA is for most students , there are other options available to help students pay for their college education: mainly scholarships and grants. The best thing about these options? They don’t require repayment plans.

Debt.org notes on scholarships for students: “Each year, an estimated $46 billion in grants and scholarship money is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and the nation’s colleges and universities. In addition, about $3.3 billion in gift aid is awarded by private sources, including individuals, foundations, corporations, churches, nonprofit groups, civic societies, veterans groups, professional groups, service clubs, unions, chambers of commerce, associations and many other organizations.”

But how can you take advantage of this $49.3 billion dollar (and growing) pool of grants and scholarships? Scholarships require either proof of academic excellence or that students meet a financial threshold, as well as completion of an application and, usually, a scholarship essay. Just as some colleges and universities require an entrance essay to apply, many scholarships also require an essay along with the application.

Writing an essay for school is one thing, but writing an essay to help you pay for college is another. Financial stability is on the line when it comes to scholarship applications, so writing a winning essay is key to impressing those granting the scholarships you’re applying for. Here are some tips to help you better prepare for your scholarship application and essay.

What Is a Scholarship Essay?

Scholarships are a form of student financial aid that do not require repayment, as long as you meet the terms of the award and use it as directed. They are often gifted based on merit, either through academic excellence, financial need (also known as “need-based” aid), or by meeting specific requirements set by the organization awarding the scholarship; such as specific scholarships or grants for women .

Aid may come from federal scholarship funds, state or local scholarship funds, or private organizations, such as churches, nonprofit groups, and more. Additionally, almost every scholarship will require an accompanying essay along with the application.

The scholarship essay varies depending on the requests of the organization granting the essay. It may require a specific word count, or be based on a prompt. Whatever the requirements are, it is essential to follow the guidelines presented in order to qualify for the scholarship. Preparing your essay is like writing a resume for financial aid, and depending on which scholarship you’re applying for, the competition may be anywhere from minimal to fierce. It’s important to write an essay that can stand out amongst the crowd of applicants.

Grant vs Scholarship

Although the terms “grant” and “scholarship” often refer to a similar idea — student financial aid that doesn’t require repayment — they are two fundamentally different awards. The key difference lies in how they are awarded, and where the funds are originating from.

Grants , such as Pell Grants, are typically awarded by the federal government and are generally awarded based on need rather than merit. There may be minimum requirements that recipients are required to live up to, such as family financial status limits, but these are often less specific than scholarship requirements are. Additionally, colleges and state agencies may also award grants based on need.

Scholarships on the other hand are often awarded based on merit. They may require that students meet (and sustain) a specific GPA in school, or that students with athletic excellence join the college’s sports team. Most scholarships will have rules that recipients are required to follow in order to continue to qualify for that scholarship. Many scholarships are funded by colleges, private organizations or donors, and some state or local programs.

Both grants and scholarships may require an accompanying essay with the application, although there are some rare cases of scholarships and grants that don’t require essays and are easier to obtain. Be cautious of fraudulent scholarships or online scams associated with “easy to obtain scholarships”, as they are becoming increasingly common online.

Steps for Writing a Scholarship Essay

Just as when applying to colleges, scholarship applications may require that you to send in your grades, academic achievements, test scores, and ambitions for the future. As such,  scholarship essays offer you the chance to speak to these accomplishments and ambitions. Here you can shine and win over the organization granting the scholarship.

Once you’ve found a scholarship that you qualify for or that interests you, it’s important to read over the instructions thoroughly to understand what is expected of you. Then, follow these steps to write the perfect application essay for the scholarship of your choosing:

The prompts can be anywhere from basic — “What was a challenging experience you faced in high school and how did you overcome it?” — to more complex or specific — “How has coffee helped you study for your SAT or ACT test?”

The prompt should help you start to formulate ideas on how you want to construct your essay. Be sure to fully understand what is expected of you by reading the instructions, and do your best to not stray from the topic being covered. Some essays may have a word or page count, while others may only request you answer the prompt.

Brainstorming is an important step to ensure your idea fits with the prompt and properly expresses what you are trying to communicate through your essay. You also want to make sure that you express what is meaningful and relevant about yourself that can help your essay stand out from all the others.

One of the best ways to start constructing and organizing an essay is to create a comprehensive outline. They serve as an essential tool to help you avoid structural mistakes, repetition, and to help you cover all your bases and ideas without rambling.

Your outline should read like a barebones argument for why you deserve this scholarship and how your idea relates to the prompt given. Once you start writing the essay in full, you can fill in more of the details needed to explain your point, or to describe yourself and your situation.

Scholarship Essay Formatting

Additionally, outlines can help you properly format your scholarship essay. Here are some essential tips for your scholarship essay format:

  • Introduction that ends with a thesis or idea
  • Explanation that supports and proves your thesis
  • Conclusion that reiterates your argument and thesis
  • 12 point font
  • Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, Helvetica, or Georgia font (whatever is standard on your preferred writing system, nothing too stylized)
  • Double spaced
  • 1 inch to 1 ½ inch margins
  • If there is no required word or page count, as a general rule, aim for ¾ to 1 full page in length.
  • Be sure to include your name and the name of the scholarship you are applying for near the top of the page (either as a header or simply above the optional title).

Once you’ve brainstormed and outlined your article, you can officially start writing the piece. Be sure to follow your outline and cover all of the key ideas that you came up with while brainstorming. Be concise, avoid rambling, and ensure your point is clearly stated. Also ensure you’ve formatted your essay correctly and stay true to the word or page count, if applicable.

Take a Break

Once you’ve completed your first draft, you should take a break from writing. Go outside and take a walk, or spend some time cleaning — anything to help you get your mind off the essay so that you can return later with fresh eyes. If you find it hard not to think about the essay, wait a day (or even a few days) before coming back to reread it.

In general, spending time away from your work can help you clear your mind. When you do come back, you may be more likely to notice mistakes or see gaps which require elaboration. For any essay you write, this is always a helpful tip.

As you return to your essay, go through and nitpick your work. Use your fresh mind to rewrite sections or include more (or less) context, as needed. Ask yourself if the core idea that you came up with during your brainstorm is still apparent in the article. Are you communicating your ideas clearly?

Additionally, keep an eye out for grammatical mistakes, such as missing or too many commas, misspellings, or other typos. If you notice repetitive words, utilize a thesaurus to find acceptable replacements. Once you’ve gone through your essay, you can submit it as is, or you can follow the optional next step.

Peer Review

For many people, it can be hard for them to revise their own work because they hold biases about their writing or are unaware of personal mistakes. Asking another person to review your work may help you refine your essay even more. Additionally, having another person read over your essay can help you determine the clarity of your point: do they understand the flow of your piece, or are they confused by any information? Does the context you provide make sense to the overall idea, or does the reader still have questions?

If you have a friend, relative, mentor, or peer that has editing experience — or that is simply a voracious reader — ask them if they can take a moment to look over your piece and make comments or suggestions. You may be surprised at what they find that you missed!

Scholarship Essay Tips

Your scholarship essay is going to be your primary (and sometimes sole) form of communication with the organization granting the scholarship. That’s why it’s so important to communicate directly and clearly through your essay in order to attract their attention and garner their support. Here are some additional tips to help you better communicate your intentions through your scholarship essay:

How To Start a Scholarship Essay

First impressions matter, and your introductory paragraph will serve as your first impression to the scholarship organization. Refer back to your brainstorm to help identify your message and consider how to attract the attention of the reader through your introductory paragraph. For some people, it may also help to construct or outline the body of the essay before you construct the introduction, so as to better understand how to concisely get your message across.

Once you’ve properly outlined the entirety of your essay, you can start writing. In your introductory paragraph you’ll want to state in clear and succinct language who you are, why you are interested in college and this scholarship (or your hopeful direction), and what the reader will find in your essay.

Be Personal

Another important point to keep in mind while you’re writing is that this essay isn’t a book report (unless otherwise stated in the prompt); this essay is about you. Don’t write impersonally, but take a personal tone: use “I, me, myself” or other personal pronouns and avoid general statements unless they relate to your situation.

Through your writing you should also be revealing some of your motivations pertaining to why you’re going to school and why you’re seeking out this scholarship. Discuss how you will become an effective student in the coming years, and how you’ll make good use of the money you may be awarded. You may have more freedom to write about yourself in detail for some scholarship prompts, and less of the same freedom for others. Use your discretion.

Stay Focused

When you originally brainstormed your essay topic, you should have been able to narrow down your topic to just a few key points that you could communicate and cover in detail. As you fully flesh out your essay, you should ensure that you stay focused on these core ideas. Try not to ramble or get side tracked. Every sentence in your essay should be related in some way to one of your core ideas. If it’s not, delete it or rewrite the sentence so that it does relate.

Be Succinct

It’s important to keep in mind that your essay most likely won’t be more than a page, double spaced. Since you don’t have a lot of room for fluff or non-essential information, it’s important to stay focused, to the point, and brief.

Additionally, the organization that is awarding the scholarship is most likely going to be reading hundreds (sometimes thousands) of scholarship applications and essays. Everyone will most likely be working off the same prompt, so you’ll want to ensure that your essay stands out, gets straight to the point, and doesn’t waste any of the reader’s time.

Follow Instructions

Finally, the most important tip is to simply read and reread the instructions multiple times to ensure you understand the prompt, what is expected of you, and all of the other essential guidelines pertaining to your essay.

While you should be sure to do this before you start writing, you should also do this after you’ve written the piece. Simply double check your work against the requirements set by the scholarship organization, and make sure you’re following the instructions to the letter. Essays that don’t follow instructions will most likely be thrown out first, and you don’t want your hard work to go to waste simply because you forgot something in the instructions.

Scholarship Essays for Online Students

If you’ve decided to pursue your education through an online bachelor’s degree or master’s degree program , it can be even more important to communicate effectively through your scholarship essay. It is entirely possible that you will never meet your collegiate benefactors or professors in person, and will only communicate with them via your writing online.

Luckily, there are some unique scholarships out there that are aimed just for online or “distance learning” students. Keep in mind, even some of the smaller scholarships (such as those for $50-$500) can still help you pay for books, online texts or subscriptions, or other essential learning materials.

Writing an imaginative and thoughtful scholarship essay can help you pay for online schooling for either a bachelors or masters degree program. It can also get you started on the right foot to have a solid financial aid foundation to pursue your college dreams.

Whether you’re writing one scholarship essay or many, these tips will help you make a solid first impression, and hopefully will win over whichever scholarship organization you’re targeting.

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Scholarship Essay Writing

Scholarship Essay Format

Cathy A.

Scholarship Essay Format - Samples & Writing Tips

10 min read

Published on: Mar 10, 2019

Last updated on: Nov 1, 2023

scholarship essay format

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Are you not sure what is the perfect scholarship essay format?

We know that applying for college takes a lot of effort. All applicants are required to complete a variety of documents, must pass exams, etc. 

However, what is even more difficult is to apply for a scholarship and win it with flying colors! If you are applying for a scholarship, you have to write a compelling scholarship essay , and having the format right is even more critical.   

Thoroughly read this blog to know how you can write a winning introduction, body, and conclusion. Also, we’ve included a list of some brilliant scholarship essay format samples. 

So, without wasting a second more, let’s help you get your scholarship essay formatting right!

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What is a Scholarship Essay Format?

A scholarship essay format is a set of rules and guidelines that you need to follow to organize your accurately.

Formatting plays an important role in scholarship essays and other types of essays and academic papers. 

If you get the formatting right, it will show the committee members that you can understand and follow the required instructions.

A well-formatted scholarship essay can help you stand out. It will give the committee a sense of who you are, your career goals, and what makes you deserve financial aid.

Keep in mind that the scholarship essay is about yourself and not about someone else. So it’s essential to take a different approach to writing a scholarship essay, so you can present your views in an organized manner. 

Now, let's see how you should format your scholarship essay!

How To Format A Winning Scholarship Essay?

If you’re not sure what format should you follow for a scholarship essay, don’t worry, we have got your back!

Well, most scholarship applications have the same guidelines for the scholarship application essay format. However, if you are working on an application that does not specify the format for your essay, the following format is good to follow. 

Essential Scholarship Essay Format Guidelines

Here are the guidelines that you need to follow for formatting your scholarship essay.

  • Double-space your text or use 1.5-spacing.
  • Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana font is appropriate to use
  • If not specified, a font size between 10 and 12 points should be used
  • 1-inch margin on all sides of the paper
  • Insert a blank line in each body paragraph or indent every paragraph
  • Include your last name and page number on the left side of the paper
  • Titles are optional, but they might be provided to you by the committee

Don’t forget to follow the instructed word count by the scholarship committee. Scholarship committee members don’t read essays longer than ¾ of a page in length.

How Long Should a Scholarship Essay Be? 

The ideal word count for a winning scholarship essay varies depending on the specific scholarship program's guidelines and requirements. Having said that, the usual length revolves around 500 words or fewer. 

Following the word count limit is critical for a scholarship essay. Let’s say, you are asked to write a 300-word scholarship essay, then it’s appropriate to end your essay with 295 – 305 words. 

Here is how you can structure your scholarship essay. 

The Optimal Scholarship Essay Structure

There is no one way to structure a scholarship essay. But the most commonly used structure is the 5 paragraph format. However, the structure of the scholarship essay partially depends on the topic and your writing style.

Let’s see how to start a scholarship essay!

Always Start With a Captivating Introduction

To draw the reader’s attention, you should start with a well-written introduction. At first glance, the essay’s introduction should be able to hook the reader. 

The introduction should always be related to the scholarship essay prompt . Include a strong thesis statement , and introduce the key points that you will be discussing in the body section of your essay.

Try to wrap up your introduction in a single paragraph.

Here is an example of a well-crafted scholarship essay introduction: 

Use Clear and Concise Body Paragraphs 

In the body of your essay, expand your main points, and back up your information with facts, statistics, quotes, and examples. Every single body paragraph should support your opinion. 

To improve the readability, you should write 3 body paragraphs and keep the word limit requirements in check.

Take a look at a well-written example of a scholarship essay body: 

End With An Impactful Conclusion 

The conclusion paragraph holds prime importance in a scholarship essay. This part of your essay decides whether the committee forwards your application or adds it to the pile of papers!

Restate the main points from the essay in your essay conclusion . Always make use of strong and impactful words in the conclusion. Don’t forget to emphasize how the scholarship will help you fulfill your educational goals. 

Here is a brilliant example of a scholarship essay conclusion: 

Here is a summary of an optimal scholarship essay format:

Scholarship Essay Format Examples

For a better understanding of the scholarship essay format, take a look at some examples. The following samples will clear any doubts you might have regarding the formatting. 

To get started with your scholarship essay format needs, here are some samples: 

Scholarship Essay Format Template

College Scholarship Essay Format

Scholarship Essay Format for University

Scholarship Essay Format For High School

Scholarship Essay Heading

APA Format for Scholarship Essay

Scholarship Essay Letter Format

Scholarship Sample About Why I Deserve the Scholarship

Scholarship Essay Format Tips

When there is no specific guidance, it is common to struggle with certain formatting choices. Here are some expert tips for you to help you navigate the correct formatting of a scholarship essay.

  • Always read the instructions carefully before you start writing
  • Follow a clear and concise essay structure
  • No need to include the essay question at the top as committee members know what the prompt is
  • To start a new paragraph, either indent a new line or add an extra blank, but you shouldn’t do both.
  • Personalize your paper as much as you can
  • Always promote yourself but stick to the truth!
  • You can make your essay more compelling by adding a unique story about yourself
  • Keep a similar size for all paragraphs for coherency
  • Be consistent with citation style (such as APA, MLA Chicago, etc.)
  • Always double-check your scholarship essay for spelling or grammar mistakes
  • You can ask an instructor or a counselor to assess your work

Refer to the above formatting guide every time you write a scholarship essay. Always start writing your essay as early as possible to have enough time to review your essay.

Hopefully, you will write a perfect scholarship essay with the help of the above scholarship essay guidelines and tips.

To wrap it up , scholarships are a great opportunity for students to receive money for studies and forget their financial issues. However, thousands of students apply for these scholarships, and only a few students get aid.

But, you can hire a reputable scholarship essay writing service such as MyPerfectWords.com to maximize your chances!  

Our expert writers will make sure you submit a high-quality scholarship essay written and formatted according to the required guidelines.   

So, if you need someone to “ write my essay for me online ” MyPerfectWords.com is your solution!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should my scholarship essay be single-spaced or double-spaced.

Follow the scholarship provider's instructions. If none are given, use double-spacing for clarity. Adjust to single spacing if necessary to meet word/page limits.

How do you write a 500 word scholarship essay?

Here are four steps to write a 500-Word essay. 

  • Create a Thesis. 
  • Write the Introduction 
  • Write the Body Paragraphs 
  • Wrap It Up with a Conclusion 

Are page numbers mandatory for scholarship essays?

Follow the scholarship's guidelines, as requirements vary. Comply with their instructions to ensure your essay aligns with their criteria.

What citation style should I use in my scholarship essay if I need to reference sources?

When referencing sources in a scholarship essay, follow the citation style specified in the guidelines. If not specified, use APA, MLA, or Chicago style consistently. 

Can I reuse one scholarship essay for multiple applications?

You can reuse elements of your essay, but it's crucial to tailor each essay to the specific scholarship's requirements and criteria.

Is it acceptable to use a formal tone in a scholarship essay?

Yes, a formal tone is typically preferred in scholarship essays to convey professionalism and seriousness.

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Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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How to write a compelling scholarship essay

How to write a compelling scholarship essay

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You’ve made the decision that you’re going to business school and found you’re eligible for a scholarship. Next up–how do I actually write a compelling scholarship essay? Transmitting your achievement, inspirations, and not to mention that je nais se quoi –French for a uniquely distinctive and attractive quality–into paper can seem daunting. However, once you know the rules of the game, this can be easily tackled.

Originality will always be the key to what sets you apart from other applicants. But the first thing you’ll need in order to be awarded financial support is to understand the scholarship criteria and themes. Is there a specific topic to talk about? Are there particular traits you can draw from the school’s ethos? Is there an exact number of words to fulfill? And crucially–when are the deadlines?

After you’ve taken some time to absorb the above, you’ll naturally start developing a plan of attack for your scholarship essay. When you’re ready to start writing, a good structure will help you strengthen your case of why you should be awarded the scholarship.

To write a compelling scholarship essay, the structure you should follow is:

1. Stick to a subject that fits your profile:

Depending on the school that you’re applying to, you are usually able to work on either an open subject scholarship essay or nominated profile that fits with the school’s “DNA”.

The following scholarships and awards are available to undergraduate applicants:

Global Generation Scholarship:  

For applicants who bring a unique global perspective to our school community through their international experiences or multilingualism.

Entrepreneurial Impact Scholarship:

For budding candidates who have a true entrepreneurial spirit and put ideas into action.

Growth Mindset Scholarship :

For forward-thinking individuals that demonstrate a growth mindset, personal development, and achievement in the face of adversity.

Future Leader Scholarship :

For aspiring business leaders who have the desire and potential to achieve significant success as future leaders in any industry.

Technology & Innovation Scholarship :

For creative applicants who have a strong desire to learn about the technology and innovative ideas that will shape tomorrow’s world.

DECA Scholarship :

For DECA member students from around the world who are emerging as the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders.

The Social Impact Award :

For socially conscious individuals who have a strong passion for social entrepreneurship and have demonstrated the ability to implement solutions to benefit society.

Visionary Women Award :

For female students who have outstanding drive, talent, and vision.

Academic Excellence Award:

Exceptionally strong candidates will be automatically selected for this award based on their pre-undergraduate results.

The following scholarships are available to graduate applicants:

Social Impact:

For applicants who have had and will have a positive impact in making the world a better place.

Academic Excellence:

For candidates that have excelled in their studies, earning an outstanding GPA.

Global Professional:

For aspiring business leaders who have worked full time for a minimum of one year in a large global corporation.

Entrepreneurial Impact:

For professionals that have had an internship or volunteering experience and have demonstrated involvement, leadership, or had a role in the outcome of an entrepreneurial project.

Women in Business:

For female applicants who have work or internship experience or have led a team in an international environment.

Future Leader (masters only):

For students who have demonstrated enthusiasm and a natural aptitude to lead.

Senior Leader (MBA and Executive MBA only) :

For students who have demonstrated leadership of high-performing teams in an international arena.

how to write an essay for masters scholarship

2. Organize your examples: Find linkages

Hult’s scholarship essay requires you to point out examples of how you link to the subject or embody the attributes of the profile you chose. It could be referring to work experiences and talking about a particular role, academic achievements, or extra-curricular activities and projects.

Once having the above details, you need to keep in mind that you have a word limit, otherwise the application will be rejected. So be sure to pick the best of!

3. Know your audience: Be human

Before you type a single word, remember that the Admissions Committee takes time to read each one of the applications received in order to make their decision. Be humble and personable, and adding authentic gratitude to the reader, is a good way of acknowledging your audience.

4. Plan an essay structure: Introduce your story, a body of examples, and reinforce

For any essay, a clear structure is vital. It will ensure your thoughts have an organized flow and allows readers to follow your story. Start by engaging the Committee with your story–who you are and your journey–then develop the body with any examples of challenges and obstacles you encountered. Don’t forget to include what you learned from the experience or how you persevered, and most importantly how this shows your eligibility.

5. Are you a Hult fit?

The Admissions Committee is looking for a specific candidate. Again, be sure you know what that is and constantly reinforce throughout your essay how that candidate is you. At Hult, we look for students who are bold, have a global mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, and seek to challenge the status quo. So, what are you bringing to the classroom? What about your challenges and experiences makes you different? What are your ambitions and how will a Hult degree help you get there?

6. Close strongly

The closing is the reinforcement of why this all matters. Bring your story together and emphasize key points in the essay. They’re your final words so talk from the heart and be honest about your needs.

7. Review it and ask someone to proof

Don’t let spelling mistakes get in the way of a strong scholarship essay. Ensure it reads well. Review your essay and read it out loud so you can feel the flow of your words. Finally, do a test run and ask a teacher, colleague, or family member to proofread and give feedback.

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how to write an essay for masters scholarship

Sample Scholarship Essays for your University or Master’s Application

            When you think of preparing your application to graduate school, you’ll inevitably think of the personal statement, CV, reference letters, and supporting documents. But for many people, an equally important part of the application is the scholarship essay.

Especially in the West, universities can be incredibly expensive, often prohibitively so. This may discourage many people from even applying in the first place.

The good news is, most schools offer several scholarships for students they deem worthy. In addition, there are many private scholarships that you can apply for.

If you are in financial need, taking the time to apply for these scholarships can be time very well spent. You should craft a general scholarship essay that can be adapted to different applications, and you can “tweak” these essays based on the requirements of each school or private scholarship.

Our sample scholarship letters are a good place to start. It’s important to add your own experiences, skills, and personal details to your letter. If you need help with this, contact our SOP Writing Service , and we can help you write an essay that just might give you an edge—and a lot of free money for school!

how to write an essay for masters scholarship

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Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples 2023

Jennifer Finetti Aug 3, 2022

Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples 2023

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One of the most popular scholarship essay questions is “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” Answering such a question can be difficult because you don’t want to sound too needy or greedy. Your essay must stand out from the competition while still being humble and appreciative. Check out these essay writing tips, along with a scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship.

Tips for writing a “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” essay

Your essay will be unique to your experiences, but there are some general guidelines you should follow. Here are tips for writing a “why I’m deserving scholarship” essay:

  • Explain how the scholarship money would contribute to your long-term goals. You’re asking the scholarship committee to invest in your future. They want to ensure their investment goes to a worthy cause. Explain how your education will play a role in your career and overall goals after graduation.
  • Focus on the purpose of the scholarship. While writing your essay, keep in mind what the scholarship is for and where it comes from. Tailor your response to the scholarship so it resonates with the review committee.
  • Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. This may be your only chance to tell the committee about your achievements. Showing your past success will instill confidence about your future success.
  • Use a thesis statement, just like you would with any other essay. You should refer back to the thesis throughout the essay and tie it into the conclusion. If you have trouble creating the thesis at the beginning, write the rest of the essay first. Read through, see what stands out the most, and then write an intro with a cohesive thesis.
  • When explaining obstacles in your life, focus on how you overcame them. Show that you’re a problem solver, able to persevere through any situation. You can mention difficulties from your past, but turn the attention to what you did as a result of them.
  • Avoid generalizations. Generic statements like “I deserve this because I am a hard worker” aren’t enough. Every applicant is a hard worker, has ‘good grades,’ etc. What makes you different, special and memorable? That should be the topic of your scholarship essay.
  • Support your statements with examples. Instead of saying, “I’m a hard worker,” say, “I upheld two jobs while I was in high school to support my family, and I still maintained a 3.75 GPA.” This is no longer a generalization. It is an achievement specific to your life and upbringing.
  • Use positive language. Phrases like ‘well-prepared,’ ‘qualified candidate’ and ‘specialized training’ showcase achievements in a positive light. Even in a negative situation, show the positive way you got through it.
  • Avoid words like ‘very’ and ‘really.’ You can typically find a one-word substitute that sounds more professional. Very hard turns into difficult. Very good becomes exceptional. Here is an excellent guide for modifiers that replace very .
  • Take a one-day break before you edit. Once you have a solid draft written, do not jump straight into editing. Wait a day before looking over your essay. This will let you read the essay with fresh eyes so you can catch inconsistencies, grammar mistakes, and more.

Student preparing for college and writing essays

Example 1: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (100 words)

With a 100 word scholarship essay, you need to jump into the thesis as quickly as possible. There is not enough space for a lengthy introduction. Use concise language, and showcase your biggest achievements/goals. You should have enough sentences to break into two small paragraphs, though one may only be two to three sentences.

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I believe I deserve this scholarship because I am an innovative problem solver. As the student council president, I helped re-organize my school library to better accommodate students’ needs. I worked with staff to categorize books to better reflect current school subjects.  I will use the same leadership mindset to obtain my business degree with a focus on project management. My goal is to work in construction management to increase efficiency in low-income housing development. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I will receive, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems within my community.

Word Count: 98

Example 2: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (250 words)

A 250-word scholarship essay usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs. The introduction can have a short lead-in, but it should arrive at the thesis quickly. The body paragraphs should support the assertion made in the first paragraph (the reason you deserve the scholarship). The conclusion should summarize the essay collectively, and it may include a statement of appreciation.

One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Nurse practitioners often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. With this scholarship, I could continue my training to become a nurse practitioner and provide attainable medical services to underserved communities. Growing up in a small Montana farming town, the closest hospital was 45 minutes away. The only local family doctor charged whatever he wanted because he was the sole provider. My parents relied on home remedies to treat any ailment my brother and I developed. This is when my passion for medicine first took form. Minimal medical care was not a concern until my father went to the hospital for severe stomach problems. These were the result of Crohn’s disease, a condition that can be managed with treatment. Because my father had not been to the doctor in years, the flare up was highly aggressive. It took months to get it under control and get him on preventative medication. I decided to go to college to help people like my father. As a nurse practitioner I can practice medicine without charging a fortune for my services. I plan to serve in rural communities where hospitals and doctors are limited or non-existent. I am grateful to be considered for this scholarship opportunity, and should I be selected, I will use it to advance my medical education.

Word Count: 248

how to write an essay for masters scholarship

Example 3: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (500 words)

With a 500-word scholarship essay, you have room to tell your story and create an experience for the reader. Use several introductory sentences to lead into your thesis and set the tone for the essay. The body paragraph should flow in a logical manner, most often chronologically. Then the conclusion should re-emphasize the thesis and leave the scholarship committee with something to remember.

Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” And while I never define my obstacles as ‘failures,’ I mark my success by my repeated perseverance through adversity. I have faced several challenges over the years, from dyslexia to homelessness; yet I continued to earn exemplary grades and graduate at the top of my class. I deserve this scholarship because I have the strength and determination to achieve my goals, no matter what hurdles I have to overcome. I was not born a gifted student. Testing and assignments were always difficult for me, whether I studied or not. In second grade, my parents had me tested for learning disabilities. The psychologist said that I had a hyperactivity disorder and prescribed medication to suppress my energy. After two years abiding by that treatment, I was re-evaluated and diagnosed with dyslexia. This helped me get the treatment I needed, and I finally made progress in school. Shortly after I learned how to study with dyslexia, my father lost his job. He was the sole breadwinner for the household, and I was soon on the street with my mother and two younger siblings. I got a job in newspaper delivery, one of the few fields that will hire a 12-year-old. My father found odd jobs to bring money to the family, and together we were eventually able to pay for a two-bedroom apartment to live in. I was valedictorian that school year, and I maintained a perfect attendance record. Like my father, I knew I had to do whatever was necessary to succeed and thrive. In high school, I developed an interest for psychology. I noticed patterns in behaviors, both in myself and in the people around me. I asked my child therapist, the one who officially diagnosed me with dyslexia, if I could work at his clinic over the summers. He allowed me to intern at his counseling center my junior and senior year, and I gained valuable insight into the business side of psychology. I am now entering the second year of my psychology degree. I plan to complete my bachelor’s degree and earn a Doctorate of Neuropsychology in the years that follow. My focus is on psychological testing, specifically for children with autism or learning disabilities. I spent years struggling in school because of a preventable misdiagnosis.  I want to ensure that other children do not face the same struggles in their future. Why do I deserve this scholarship? Because I have the passion and determination to become a trusted member of the psychological community. With my education, I can help children get the treatment they need at an early age, giving the best chance at finding their own success. You’re not just helping me get through college. You’re improving the quality of life for countless families to come. I appreciate your consideration, and I look forward to building a lasting relationship with your organization.

Word Count: 492

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  • Scholarship Essay

Jennifer Finetti

Jennifer Finetti

As a parent who recently helped her own kids embark on their college journeys, Jennifer approaches the transition from high school to college from a unique perspective. She truly enjoys engaging with students – helping them to build the confidence, knowledge, and insight needed to pursue their educational and career goals, while also empowering them with the strategies and skills needed to access scholarships and financial aid that can help limit college costs. She understands the importance of ensuring access to the edtech tools and resources that can make this process easier and more equitable - this drive to support underserved populations is what drew her to ScholarshipOwl. Jennifer has coached students from around the world, as well as in-person with local students in her own community. Her areas of focus include career exploration, major selection, college search and selection, college application assistance, financial aid and scholarship consultation, essay review and feedback, and more. She works with students who are at the top of their class, as well as those who are struggling. She firmly believes that all students, regardless of their circumstances, can succeed if they stay focused and work hard in school. Jennifer earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from National University, and her BA in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Scholarship Essay Writing

Scholarship Essay Format

Barbara P

Scholarship Essay Format - A Complete Guide

11 min read

Published on: Apr 6, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 20, 2023

scholarship essay format

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Scholarship Essay - A Complete Writing Guide

Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Students: Tips Included

Most Popular Scholarship Essay Prompts & Questions

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You know that feeling of being overwhelmed by a blank page, trying to find the perfect words to showcase your achievements and ambitions?

Getting a scholarship for a college education is a dream of every bright student. Apart from remarkable grades and admission tests, the financial aid you want to achieve requires an impressive  scholarship essay .

A scholarship essay is a form of document drafted for the committee to present your need for financial assistance. This essay persuades the decision-makers to grant you a scholarship to study further.

This essay type is often submitted along with the scholarship application. Like all other formal writings, this essay is written following a proper structure. Depending on the guidelines of the authorities, it is essential to follow a scholarship essay format.

If you have no clue about the format and formation of a scholarship essay, continue reading the blog.

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What is a Scholarship Essay Format?

Every piece of writing needs to be structured to be effective. Similarly, the scholarship essay also requires a writer to present content in a systematized manner.

A scholarship essay format is a set of guidelines that the writer must follow in drafting a structured document. This format organizes the information and makes it understandable for the scholarship committee.

Writing an essay in a proper format can be beneficial for both the applicant and the committee member.  Committee members read and review the essays of different students. However, a formatted piece helps them analyze each essay in a better way.

Students often underestimate the importance of correct formatting. Just as essential it is to draft good content for your essay, it is equally important to get the format right.

When writing a scholarship, go through the guidelines provided and understand them thoroughly. It is to make sure that the format used is what is required and preferred by the committee.

The following section will be talking about the elements involved in the formatting of the winning scholarship essay.

How to Format a Scholarship Essay

Wondering what format should I use for a scholarship essay?

Every scholarship application provides a set of instructions that clearly states the formatting details. However, If you are not provided with any specifications, use the proper way to format scholarship essays. 

According to the basic design, the following requirements should be fulfilled to make the scholarship essay well written and structured.

  • The content should be double spaced
  • Use a simple and easy-to-read font style, such as Times New Roman font
  • Keep the font size between 10 to 12 pt.
  • Align your content leaving a one-inch margin on all sides of the page
  • Present your last name and page number on the left side of the paper.
  • Titles can also be given. This is something optional and depends on the writer’s preference.

Other requirements, such as the word count and indented paragraphs, are mentioned in the guidelines. The average word count of a scholarship essay is around 300 words. The jury finds more extended essays monotonous that can risk your chances of getting the scholarship.

Moreover, the essay should be outlined appropriately, as well. All the content present in your essay should be divided into three sections; introduction, body, and conclusion. It will allow the committee to understand your document better.

Here's an example table for an overview of the format of a scholarship essay:

Again, this is just an example and your scholarship essay may require different formatting guidelines based on the prompt and the scholarship program.

How long Should a Scholarship Essay Be?

Some scholarships may require a very short essay, such as 250 words or less. Others may allow for a longer essay of 500-1000 words or more. 

It is important to carefully read and follow the instructions to ensure that your essay meets their requirements.

If there is no specific word count requirement, it is still important to keep the essay concise and focused on the topic provided. 

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

Outlining the essay is one of the most important steps that you should take before starting your writing. A scholarship essay outline helps organize thoughts and ensure that each paragraph presents an idea or point relevant to the essay topic.  

How to Start a Scholarship Essay?

The introduction of your scholarship essay should be written in an interesting way. It should also be able to capture the attention of the reader at first glance. The introduction must convince your reader and establish an emotional connection with them.  

You can start writing by introducing yourself, or you can start by introducing the topic of the essay. Introducing oneself is a great way to make a scholarship essay memorable, as it allows readers to connect with you on an emotional level. 

How to Write Body Paragraphs for a Scholarship Essay? 

The body of your essay should include all the arguments and points that support the essay topic. Each point should be discussed in a separate paragraph and presented with relevant examples, quotes, statistics, or facts. 

The body must also state how each argument supports your opinion. This will make it easier for readers to understand your point of view. 

Make sure to keep each body paragraph under 250 words. Writing longer paragraphs can make them monotonous and might lead the reader to lose interest. 

How to Conclude a Scholarship Essay? 

In the conclusion, you should restate the main points that you discussed in the essay. You should also emphasize how the scholarship can help you achieve your academic goals. 

The conclusion must be written in a powerful way and leave an impact on the reader’s mind. You can also provide some advice, tips, or personal insight that will motivate readers to take action. 

Scholarship Essay Format Examples

To understand the scholarship essay formatting better, go through some examples. Written samples will help you evaluate the writing process and the structure in a better way.

Here are some sample essays that might help to get you started

Below are some more scholarship essay samples and how they should be formatted. 

Scholarship Essay Format Template

High School Scholarship Essay Example

Scholarship Essay Sample About Why I Deserve the Scholarship?

500 Words Scholarship Essay Examples

Scholarship Essay Format Heading

Tips for Scholarship Essay Format

Whether you are given the instructions to follow or not, it can be challenging to meet all the requirements. Even when formatting your essay, you will have to make choices to come up with the right option correctly.

To help you write the most structured scholarship application essay, the following are some tips from experts for you:

  • The first and foremost step is to read and understand the guidelines provided.
  • If not given, use the basic formatting where the font size is 10 to 12pt. And the word count is 300 to 350 words.
  • Understand the essay prompt carefully and stick to it.
  • If the instructions require you to write a one-page essay, avoid using double spacing.
  • Either use a blank line or a paragraph indent but never both.
  • To make the essay readable, use 1.5 or double spacing between the lines.
  • Your scholarship essay does not require you to add an essay question in the beginning so just provide answers.
  • Always proofread your essay, as it is extremely important to submit a perfect piece. Check for mistakes and errors and fix them before handing them over to the jury. Essay read again and again until you make it perfect.

Following these tips is essential to draft a high-quality and well-formatted essay. Whether you are a high school or a college student, you must know the basics to format all your essays.

Scholarship Essay Tips

The scholarship is an excellent opportunity to fulfill a dream of studying in a reputable institute. These scholarships require students to achieve their academic goals in the best possible way.

Impressing the committee with your writing skills is both important and challenging. However, if your essay does not portray the best of you, the chance of getting the aid might be a risk.

To avoid this situation, you can always get a professional’s help in your scholarship essay.  CollegeEssay.org is a writing company that assists students in drafting their academic assignments. You can also give our AI writing tool a try to get quality essays!

Whether it is a simple college essay or a complicated essay, expert writers can help you by providing professional essay writing service.

Simply place your order to hire a qualified writer today.

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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How To Start a Scholarship Essay: Catch Reader’s Attention Fast

EssayEdge > Blog > How To Start a Scholarship Essay: Catch Reader’s Attention Fast

Without any doubt, we can say that the most challenging part of doing something decisive and essential for your life is the beginning. You have so much to think over and put together before you decide on how to start a scholarship essay . Therefore, we prepared some amazing tips and scholarship essay examples to support your goal of getting the scholarship. 

Table of Contents:

How to begin a scholarship essay writing process to get an excellent result?

Take a break for a minute and recollect the moment when you had to make a crucial decision in your life. Maybe, you had to decide on the educational institution you want to apply to or the specialization you desire to choose. It all had taken so much time to make up your thoughts before you began doing something. However, you had to start the process to achieve the result. The same regards the issue of how to begin a scholarship essay writing process and get the best essay as a result.  First of all, you have to understand why exactly you have to get the scholarship allowance and how it is supposed to change your life.

Of course, you have to read attentively the requirements and think about the strategy on how to write a scholarship essay . These little steps will help you to understand what the scholarship committee wants to see in your essay. Moreover, you can look through the scholarship essay tips to make it easier for you to begin the writing process. It would be good for you to read some blogs and articles about starting the scholarship essay to understand the pattern of the work that has to be done.

We highly recommend you allocate several days only for the writing process. Take a pause and think closely about the ideas for your essay. Pretend to be a reader and try to understand from another perspective what you want to write about. It may help you decide about the fact that must be mentioned in the scholarship essay introduction to make it gripping. Moreover, it may help you improve your scholarship personal statement on the whole. You will understand the pattern of the reader’s thinking.

Brandon D.

One more good advice for you is that you should create a plan for the writing process. You will have a list of the points you have to do. Once you have done something, you can cross off it from the list. Therefore, you will be able to see the progress and that will bring more motivation for you to move on.

Another good method is to ask people who have already received the allowance about their success stories. Ask them about their experience on how to open a scholarship essay.

Finally, all you have to do is just to start the process. Yes, it sounds easy. However, as we mentioned above, it is a really important and decisive step. Some people postpone the moment of commencement and struggle with the number of tasks that must be done before the application deadline.

Writing introduction for scholarship essay that catches the attention

If you are struggling with the issue of how to begin a scholarship essay and make the reader interested in you, we have found some tips for you to support your scholarship application process. So, we are to help you deal with the point of how you should write your scholarship essay intro to grab the attention of the reader.

Think closely about the facts that you want to write about. Your scholarship essay introduction has to start the whole story that you want to narrate. It is like the beginning of that red thread that is supposed to go through the whole essay till the concluding paragraph. You aim to choose the fact that is the most significant one to impress the reader from the first sentence. Therefore your introduction for scholarship essay has to be:

  • Engaging.  You have to involve the scholarship tutor in reading from the first sentence. Tell something unexpected and uncommon. Therefore, you increase your chances of having a positive feeling after the moment the reader finishes perusing your text.
  • Intriguing.  Don’t disclose the upshot in the first paragraph. Leave it for the main body. You aim to catch the attention and force the reader to keep reading your essay. If you still decide on how to start an essay for scholarship, write a list of the most intriguing facts from your life and choose the one that is worth mentioning.
  • Well-written.  Regarding the fact that scholarship tutors read a great bunch of essays every day, they can easily detect whether you can manage to write everything clearly from the first sentence. In case you are not sure about some details, you can ask for help and refer to college editing service . Professional readers will highlight the points that must be changed and the issues that must be resolved.

Need help? Check out EssayEdge editing services:

You shouldn’t write a mutual for every student information. You should be unique. Being that one person who stands out from the crowd of applicants will increase your chances immediately.  So, here is the guideline on how to start an essay for scholarship.

  • Write a catchy first sentence
  • Move on telling the reader about the motives you apply for the scholarship
  • Conclude the introduction with the thesis statement of the body paragraph

The goal of your intro as a matter of fact is to introduce yourself to the reader. Therefore, you have to keep in mind that you have to show your best sides from the first words.

Scholarship essay introduction examples: how to use them properly

It is not a secret that if you want to get a good result, it is better to go through the process in the state of being inspired. And we can’t leave away the fact that the best way both to improve your essay and find inspiration is to use scholarship essay introduction examples. It is very useful to look through a bunch of samples and take some notes to review them further. While reading examples, you can understand the pattern and the strategies of successful essays. Therefore, you may think about implicating such ideas in your essay.

Moreover, reading examples may force you to decide on how to start a scholarship essay. As a rule, when people have spent enough time thinking about any issue and analyzing the strategies for resolving something, it becomes easier to go into the process.

Last but not least is the fact that you can find some essential information that is somehow related to your personal background. Hence, you can understand how to narrate your story in the right way. Having read several essays may help you to make your thoughts up, realize what information should be mentioned, and what better to get rid of.

Furthermore, there are cases when sampling essays change people’s outlook. You can get so impressed by someone’s story so that you can rethink your essay. There will come new suggestions and ideas. So, don’t be afraid to use examples to aid your intentions on writing introduction for scholarship essay.

Additionally, you can understand some extra features of the essay: what font to use, how to space it, and what to include in each paragraph.

If you are struggling with the issue of how to start a scholarship essay and how to transform it into a masterpiece, you can refer to the EssayEdge blog; we know how to make your essay a winning one.

Robin W. - professional essay editor and proofreader

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Bill gates: ai is about to completely change how you use computers, applying for the educator’s professional master’s program scholarship essay sample, example.

Johannes Helmold

With this essay, I would like to apply for the Educator’s Professional Master’s Program Scholarship. Having already acquired a preliminary B.A. in Education, I now aim to continue my studies and successfully achieve my career goal—becoming a university adviser and student counselor.

The choice to work in education was not random. Having joined the masses of college entrants four years ago, unlike most of my future colleagues at the University of Maine, I already knew what I wanted to study and who I wanted to become as a result. When I think of what influenced my choice of a future profession, I picture a particular person: my high school guidance counselor. This person transformed my life, with no exaggeration. When I was a high school freshman, my life seemed like a meaningless mess of obstacles. I realize that most teenagers probably face the same troubles at this particular stage in life. But my situation was made worse by the bitter event that completely shook my world—the death of my father. It was a terrible shock for the whole family. My mother seemed to have entered an endless phase of depression; my older sister left the family house to live with her boyfriend in another state; and I felt completely alone, abandoned, and helpless. Of course, my high school friends felt sorry and tried to support me at first. But as the weeks passed by, I remained numb to the world around me, so they are not to blame for having eventually given up on me as well.

At the time, I remember thinking that no one could understand what I was going through; my faith in a better future was shaken completely. The only person who supported me then was my guidance counselor. Miss Sibersky was the only person I could talk to and the only person with whom I could sit silently. She helped me get through this life-blow; she helped me become more assertive and discover a new me—someone that could keep living to the fullest, even a fuller life than before; someone that was not afraid to succeed and not afraid to fail. I started studying much harder, my grades went up, I joined the varsity tennis team, and I saw how my high school achievements brought back the smile to my mother’s face. When I introspect about those four years, I realize that they were the turning point in my life. This was when I knew that what I wanted the most was to help students change their lives, like my guidance counselor helped me to change mine.

When I received my high school diploma, I did not have a tough choice deciding where my future was going. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I am more than ever positive that the choice I made was the right one. I want to help young people like myself to enter adult life, to form their personal opinions, to believe in themselves, and to find the right path in life. That is what the profession of a university adviser or counselor is about to me. However, in light of the recent financial hardships in my family, my mother is no longer able to help me finance my education. My mother is already doing her best, and I can see how stressed she is with the fact that she is not able to give me more than she already does. Unfortunately, a master’s level education in our country is extremely costly, but I believe it should not come in the way of achieving my goal. Therefore, I hope to receive financial aid from the Board of Graduate Education of the University of Maine and, with trepidation, am asking you to consider my candidacy for the Educator’s Professional Master’s Program Scholarship.

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Hamas Must Go

The terror group has proved again and again that it will sabotage any efforts to forge a lasting peace.

The charred interior of an Israeli home that Hamas attacked on October 7

O ne morning in November 2012, I knocked on the door of President Barack Obama’s suite in the Raffles Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, so early that he was barely out of bed. I had an urgent question that could not wait for the president to finish his morning coffee: Should we try to broker a cease-fire in Gaza? Then, like now, the extreme Islamist terror group Hamas had sparked a crisis by indiscriminately attacking Israeli civilians. Israel had responded with air strikes, and a ground invasion of Gaza appeared imminent.

The president and I debated whether I should leave Asia, fly to the Middle East, and try to negotiate a halt to the fighting before the situation escalated further. The reason to go was clear: Stopping the violence would save lives and prevent the conflict from spiraling into a wider regional war.

The reasons not to go were more nuanced but also compelling. President Obama and I were both wary of suggesting that Israel did not have a right and a responsibility to defend itself against terrorists. If Hamas did not face consequences for its attacks, it would be emboldened to carry out more. We also knew Hamas had a history of breaking agreements and could not be trusted. For that matter, neither side seemed ready to pull back from the brink. Diplomacy is all about leverage and timing. If I tried and failed to negotiate a cease-fire, it would reduce America’s credibility in the region and lower the likelihood that we could reengage successfully later.

Ned Lazarus: I don’t see a better way out

In the end, we decided the risks were worth it. I headed to the region and began intense shuttle diplomacy among Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Late into the night in Cairo, I went line by line through a proposal I’d worked out with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. The Egyptians were on the phone with Hamas leaders in Gaza. Finally, I was able to announce that all parties had agreed to a truce.

On the long plane ride home, I asked my aide Jake Sullivan, who is now President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, if Hamas was abiding by the agreement we’d just struck. So far, he told me, the answer was yes. I was relieved that we’d prevented further bloodshed, but I worried that all we’d really managed to do was put a lid on a simmering cauldron that would likely boil over again in the future.

Unfortunately, that fear proved correct. In 2014, Hamas violated the cease-fire and started another war by abducting Israeli hostages and launching rocket attacks against civilians. Israel responded forcefully, but Hamas remained in control of Gaza. The terrorists re-armed, and the pattern repeated itself in 2021, with more civilians killed. This all culminated in the horrific massacre of Israeli civilians last month, the worst mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust.

This history suggests three insights for the current crisis and the future of this complex and volatile region. First, October 7 made clear that this bloody cycle must end and that Hamas cannot be allowed to once again retrench, re-arm, and launch new attacks—while continuing to use people in Gaza as expendable human shields. Second, a full cease-fire that leaves Hamas in power would be a mistake. For now, pursuing more limited humanitarian pauses that allow aid to get in and civilians and hostages to get out is a wiser course. Third, Israel’s long policy of containment has failed—it needs a new strategy and new leadership.

For me, Israel and Gaza are not just names on a map. I have grieved with Israeli families whose loved ones were abducted or killed in terrorist attacks. I have held the hands of the wounded in their hospital beds. In Jerusalem, I visited a bombed-out pizzeria and will never forget it.

I have also been to Gaza. I have talked with Palestinians who have suffered greatly from the conflicts of the past decades and dream of peace and a state of their own. Before Hamas seized power, I met women using microloans from the United States to start new businesses and become breadwinners for their families, including a dressmaker who—because she was finally able to buy a sewing machine—could send her two daughters to school. My decades of experience in the region taught me that Palestinian and Israeli parents may say different prayers at worship but they share the same hopes for their kids—just like Americans, just like parents everywhere.

That is why I am convinced Hamas must go. On October 7, these terrorists killed babies, raped women, and kidnapped innocent civilians. They continue to hold more than 200 hostages. They have proved again and again that they will not abide by cease-fires, will sabotage any efforts to forge a lasting peace, and will never stop attacking Israel.

Hamas does not speak for the Palestinian people. Hamas deliberately places military installations in and below hospitals and refugee camps because it is trying to maximize, not minimize, the impact on Palestinian civilians for its own propaganda purposes. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is heartbreaking—and every death means more blood on Hamas’s hands.

So the Biden administration is correct not to seek a full cease-fire at this moment, which would give Hamas a chance to re-arm and perpetuate the cycle of violence. Hamas would claim that it had won and it would remain a key part of Iran’s so-called axis of resistance.

Cease-fires freeze conflicts rather than resolve them. In 1999, the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milošević called for a cease-fire in Kosovo, where NATO air strikes were trying to stop his brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing. It was a cynical attempt to preserve Serbia’s control of Kosovo, and the Clinton administration continued bombing until Milošević’s forces withdrew. Today, global allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin call for a cease-fire in Ukraine because they know freezing the conflict will leave Russia in control of large swaths of Ukrainian territory that it seized illegally. Putin could reinforce his troops and then resume the conflict at a time of his choosing.

In 2012, freezing the conflict in Gaza was an outcome we and the Israelis were willing to accept. But Israel’s policy since 2009 of containing rather than destroying Hamas has failed. A cease-fire now that restored the pre–October 7 status quo ante would leave the people of Gaza living in a besieged enclave under the domination of terrorists and leave Israelis vulnerable to continued attacks. It would also consign hundreds of hostages to continued captivity.

Cease-fires can make it possible to pursue negotiations aimed at achieving a lasting peace, but only when the timing and balance of forces are right. Bosnia in the 1990s saw 34 failed cease-fires before the Clinton administration’s military intervention prompted all sides to stop fighting and finally negotiate a peace agreement. It is possible that if Israel dismantles Hamas’s infrastructure and military capacity and demonstrates that terrorism is a dead end, a new peace process could begin in the Middle East. But a cease-fire that leaves Hamas in power and eager to strike Israel will make this harder, if not impossible. For decades, Hamas has undermined every serious attempt at peace by launching new attacks, including the October 7 massacre that seems to have been designed, at least in part, to disrupt progress toward normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia. (Those negotiations also aimed to bring important benefits for Palestinians.)

By contrast, the humanitarian pauses advocated by the Biden administration and tentatively accepted by the Israelis can save lives without rewarding Hamas. There is precedent: During previous wars in Gaza, Israel and Hamas agreed to a number of pauses so that relief could get into the area. Recent conflicts in Yemen and Sudan have also undergone brief humanitarian pauses. Whether for hours or days, breaks in the fighting can provide safety to aid workers and refugees. They could also help facilitate hostage negotiations, which is an urgent priority right now.

Rejecting a premature cease-fire does not mean defending all of Israel’s tactics, nor does it lessen Israel’s responsibility to comply with the laws of war. Minimizing civilian casualties is legally and morally necessary. It is also a strategic imperative. Israel’s long-term security depends on its achieving peaceful coexistence with neighbors who are prepared to accept its existence and its need for security. The disaster of October 7 has discredited the theory that Israel can contain Hamas, ignore the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, and freeze Israeli control over Palestinians forever.

Yair Rosenberg: The day after Netanyahu

Going forward, Israel needs a new strategy and new leadership. Instead of the current ultra-right-wing government, it will need a government of national unity that’s rooted in the center of Israeli politics and can make the hard choices ahead. At home, it will have to reaffirm Israeli democracy after a tumultuous period. In Gaza, it should resist the urge to reoccupy the territory after the war, accept an internationally mandated interim administration for governing the Strip, and support regional efforts to reform and revive the Palestinian Authority so it has the credibility and the means to reassume control of Gaza. In the West Bank, it must clamp down on the violence perpetrated by extremist Israeli settlers and stop building new settlements that make it harder to imagine a future Palestinian state. Ultimately, the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a secure, democratic, Jewish state is by achieving two states for two peoples. And in the region, Israel should resume serious negotiations with Saudi Arabia and others to normalize relations and build a broad coalition to counter Iran.

For now, Israel should focus on freeing the hostages, increasing humanitarian aid, protecting civilians, and ensuring that Hamas terrorists can no longer murder families, abduct children, exploit civilians as human shields, or start new wars. But when the guns fall silent, the hard work of peace building must begin. There is no other choice.


  1. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

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    Preparing your essay is like writing a resume for financial aid, and depending on which scholarship you're applying for, the competition may be anywhere from minimal to fierce. It's important to write an essay that can stand out amongst the crowd of applicants. Grant vs Scholarship

  14. Scholarship Essay Format

    Here are the guidelines that you need to follow for formatting your scholarship essay. Double-space your text or use 1.5-spacing. Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana font is appropriate to use. If not specified, a font size between 10 and 12 points should be used. 1-inch margin on all sides of the paper.

  15. How to write a compelling scholarship essay

    Bring your story together and emphasize key points in the essay. They're your final words so talk from the heart and be honest about your needs. 7. Review it and ask someone to proof. Don't let spelling mistakes get in the way of a strong scholarship essay. Ensure it reads well.

  16. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    1. Start Sooner than You Think You Need To You will most likely need to submit your scholarship application by a specific deadline. Avoid waiting until a few days before this deadline to prepare and write your essay, so you do not rush through it.

  17. 14 Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Thousands 2023

    One solution for how to write a scholarship essay for many topics at once: Pick topics that have overlapping subject matter and write an essay or two that fit lots of these essays at once. Below, we've given some more information about how to successfully earn scholarship opportunities with this technique and how to end a scholarship essay.

  18. Sample Scholarship Essays for your University or Master's Application

    Our sample scholarship letters are a good place to start. It's important to add your own experiences, skills, and personal details to your letter. If you need help with this, contact our SOP Writing Service, and we can help you write an essay that just might give you an edge—and a lot of free money for school! 0. Author.

  19. 16 Scholarship Essay Examples to Help You Win Scholarship

    1. Scholarship Essay Examples Financial Need 2. Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself 3. Scholarship Essay Examples for Nursing 4. Scholarship Essay Examples About Career Goals 5. Scholarship Essay Examples About Leadership 6. Scholarship Essay Examples About Community Service 7. High School Scholarship Essay Examples 8.

  20. Why You Deserve This Scholarship Essay (3 Sample Answers)

    Here are tips for writing a "why I'm deserving scholarship" essay: Explain how the scholarship money would contribute to your long-term goals. You're asking the scholarship committee to invest in your future. They want to ensure their investment goes to a worthy cause. Explain how your education will play a role in your career and ...

  21. Scholarship Essay Format

    To help you write the most structured scholarship application essay, the following are some tips from experts for you: The first and foremost step is to read and understand the guidelines provided. If not given, use the basic formatting where the font size is 10 to 12pt. And the word count is 300 to 350 words.

  22. How To Start a Scholarship Essay: Catch Reader's Attention Fast

    Don't disclose the upshot in the first paragraph. Leave it for the main body. You aim to catch the attention and force the reader to keep reading your essay. If you still decide on how to start an essay for scholarship, write a list of the most intriguing facts from your life and choose the one that is worth mentioning.

  23. Professional Masters Program: Free Scholarship Essay Sample

    With this essay, I would like to apply for the Educator's Professional Master's Program Scholarship. Having already acquired a preliminary B.A. in Education, I now aim to continue my studies and successfully achieve my career goal—becoming a university adviser and student counselor. One-stop solution for all your homework needs. Get the ...

  24. 5 Ways Students Can Boost Their College Application Profile ...

    3. 10th and 11th: Research colleges and plan college visits. The best time for students to tour colleges on their list tends to be in the spring, so as students narrow their college list, they ...

  25. Car Covers Scholarship Program

    This $1000 scholarship is open for submissions beginning March 1, 2021. My Cart Help Track Order. 800-385-3603 ... Any student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in Fall or Spring at any accredited American college, university or trade school. ... How: Applicants must submit an essay of 1,000 words minimum. Awards: A $1,000 ...

  26. Hamas Must Go

    First, October 7 made clear that this bloody cycle must end and that Hamas cannot be allowed to once again retrench, re-arm, and launch new attacks—while continuing to use people in Gaza as ...