Fourteen Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Thousands 2023
Winning a big scholarship can be life-changing, particularly for those with financial need.
BUT people often forget that winning lots of small scholarship applications can be life-changing too. The scholarship essay examples (and our strategy) below can take you from planning your college plans and career goals to living them.
A common problem soon-to-be college students face: Paying for college. They qualify for many scholarships but are daunted by the task of writing five to ten to fifteen (or more) essays. It can be a struggle to even start writing, particularly for those “why I deserve the scholarship” prompts.
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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Kang Foundation and Legal Scholarship
- New York University Scholarship
- North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship
- Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship 1
- Questbridge Scholarship
- Change a Life Foundation
- Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship 1
- Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship 2
- Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship 3
- Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship 4
- National Association of University Women Scholarship 1
- National Association of University Women Scholarship 2
- Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship 2
- Local School District Scholarship
What Makes These Examples So Great
These scholarship winners earned thousands in financial aid from writing these essays.
The key to many of these essays is that they describe a story or an aspect of the student’s life in a way that is dynamic: It reflects many of their values, strengths, interests, volunteer work, and life experiences.
Many of these essays also demonstrate vulnerability. Scholarship committees reading your responses will want to know who this money will benefit and why it’s important that you receive this money. In other words, they want to better understand how your values, qualities, and skills will flourish in college--and how good your writing skills are. In fact, we’ve written a guide to what colleges look for that can help you skillfully write vulnerable scholarship essays.
Whether it’s a scholarship essay about yourself , a creative writing scholarship, or an essay about why you deserve the scholarship, the sample scholarship essays below can help you better understand what can result from following a scholarship essay format or applying tips for how to write a scholarship essay.
But first! If you’re an international student (not from the United States) applying to scholarships, don’t forget to consider some common mistakes international students make when applying to college .
How to Save Time By Combining Essays
Want to save a lot of time during the process?
Write a great college essay and re-use it when writing scholarship essays for similar prompts. Why? Combining essay prompts will not only save you time, it’ll actually result in a better essay.
We sometimes like to call these “Super Essays” because the added benefit of writing a multi-purpose essay is that it makes the essay stronger overall. We have a whole guide for how to do that here .
This makes scholarship essays similar to supplemental essays because many supplemental essays also overlap. We know many students will be writing both types of essays at once! To help, we’ve put together a supplemental essays course on how to tackle the daunting supplemental essays, including many skills that help with writing those “Super” scholarship essays too.
Scholarship Essay Example #1
Kang Foundation Scholarship ($1000), Kingdom Dreamer Scholarship Fund Scholarship through Sarang Church ($2000), and the national contest from the Lamber Goodnow legal team ($1000) by Peter Kang.
Prompt: Open topic.
Fedora? Check. Apron? Check. Tires pumped? Check. Biking the thirty-five minutes each evening to the cafe and back to work a six-hour shift was exhausting, but my family’s encouragement and gratitude for the extra income was worth it. A few years earlier, my family of nine had been evicted from the home we had been living in for the past ten years. With nowhere else to go, we moved into our church’s back room for three months, where I shamefully tried to hide our toothbrushes and extra shoes from other church members. Right then I made a commitment to my family to contribute financially in whatever way I could. My sacrifice translated to a closer bond with my siblings and deeper conversations with my parents, helping me understand the true meaning of a unified family and the valuable part I play in that. With the financial stability that my part-time jobs provided my mother could stay home to raise seven children, my learning-disabled older sister could attend college, my younger sister could go on a mission trip to Korea, and my twin siblings could compete in national math competitions. I’ve seen that even as a high school student, I have so much potential to impact my family and beyond -- how one small act can go a long way. Through the successes of my efforts, I also realized that poverty was just a societal limitation. I was low-income, not poor. I was still flourishing in school, leading faith-based activities and taking an active role in community service. My low-income status was not a barrier but a launching pad to motivate and propel my success. To additionally earn more money as a young teen, I began flipping bicycles for profit on craigslist. Small adjustments in the brake and gears, plus a wash, could be the difference between a $50 piece of trash and a $200 steal. Seeing how a single inch could disarrange the lining of gears not only taught me the importance of detail but also sparked my fascination with fixing things. When I was sixteen I moved on to a larger project: my clunker of a car. I had purchased my 2002 Elantra with my own savings, but it was long past its prime. With some instruction from a mechanic, I began to learn the components of an engine motor and the engineering behind it. I repaired my brake light, replaced my battery, and made adjustments to the power-steering hose. Engineering was no longer just a nerdy pursuit of robotics kids; it was a medium to a solution. It could be a way to a career, doing the things I love. I was inspired to learn more. Last summer, to continue exploring my interest in engineering, I interned at Boeing. Although I spent long hours researching and working in the lab for the inertial navigation of submarines, I learned most from the little things. From the way my mentors and I began working two hours earlier than required to meet deadlines, I learned that engineering is the commitment of long hours. From the respect and humility embodied within our team, I learned the value of unity at the workplace. Like my own family at home, our unity and communal commitment to working led to excellent results for everyone and a closer connection within the group. What most intrigues me about engineering is not just the math or the technology, but the practical application. It is through engineering that I can fix up my car... and facilitate submarine navigation. Engineering, in fact, is a lifestyle -- instead of lingering over hardships, I work to solve them and learn from them. Whether the challenge is naval defense or family finances or even just a flat tire on my bike before another night shift, I will be solving these problems and will always be looking to keep rolling on. Success is triumphing over hardships -- willing yourself over anything and everything to achieve the best for yourself and your family. With this scholarship, I will use it to continue focusing on my studies in math and engineering, instead of worrying about making money and sending more back home. It will be an investment into myself for my family.
Scholarship Essay Example #2
New York University College of Arts and Science $39,500 Scholarship by Ana
Prompt: Explain something that made a big impact in your life.
“If you can’t live off of it, it is useless.” My parents were talking about ice skating: my passion. I started skating as a ten-year-old in Spain, admiring how difficulty and grace intertwine to create beautiful programs, but no one imagined I would still be on the ice seven years and one country later. Even more unimaginable was the thought that ice skating might become one of the most useful parts of my life. I was born in Mexico to two Spanish speakers; thus, Spanish was my first language. We then moved to Spain when I was six, before finally arriving in California around my thirteenth birthday. Each change introduced countless challenges, but the hardest part of moving to America, for me, was learning English. Laminated index cards, color-coded and full of vocabulary, became part of my daily life. As someone who loves to engage in a conversation, it was very hard to feel as if my tongue was cut off. Only at the ice rink could I be myself; the feeling of the cold rink breeze embracing me, the ripping sound of blades touching the ice, even the occasional ice burning my skin as I fell—these were my few constants. I did not need to worry about mispronouncing “axel” as “aksal.” Rather, I just needed to glide and deliver the jump. From its good-natured bruise-counting competitions to its culture of hard work and perseverance, ice skating provided the nurturing environment that made my other challenges worthwhile. Knowing that each moment on the ice represented a financial sacrifice for my family, I cherished every second I got. Often this meant waking up every morning at 4 a.m. to practice what I had learned in my few precious minutes of coaching. It meant assisting in group lessons to earn extra skating time and taking my conditioning off-ice by joining my high school varsity running teams. Even as I began to make friends and lose my fear of speaking, the rink was my sanctuary. Eventually, however, the only way to keep improving was to pay for more coaching, which my family could not afford. And so I started tutoring Spanish. Now, the biggest passion of my life is supported by my most natural ability. I have had over thirty Spanish students, ranging in age from three to forty and spanning many ethnic backgrounds. I currently work with fifteen students each week, each with different needs and ways of learning. Drawing on my own experiences as both a second language-learner and a figure skater, I assign personal, interactive exercises, make jokes to keep my students’ mindset positive, and never give away right answers. When I first started learning my axel jump, my coach told me I would have to fall at least 500 times (about a year of falls!) in order to land it. Likewise, I have my students embrace every detail of a mistake until they can begin to recognize new errors when they see them. I encourage them to expand their horizons and take pride in preparing them for new interactions and opportunities. Although I agree that I will never live off of ice skating, the education and skills I have gained from it have opened countless doors. Ice skating has given me the resilience, work ethic, and inspiration to develop as a teacher and an English speaker. It has improved my academic performance by teaching me rhythm, health, and routine. It also reminds me that a passion does not have to produce money in order for it to hold immense value. Ceramics, for instance, challenges me to experiment with the messy and unexpected. While painting reminds me to be adventurous and patient with my forms of self-expression. I don’t know yet what I will live off of from day to day as I mature; however, the skills my passions have provided me are life-long and irreplaceable.
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Scholarship Essay Example #3
North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship for $1000 by Christine Fung
As a child of immigrant parents, I learned to take responsibilities for my family and myself at a very young age. Although my parents spoke English, they constantly worked in order to financially support my little brother and I. Meanwhile, my grandparents barely knew English so I became their translator for medical appointments and in every single interaction with English speakers. Even until now, I still translate for them and I teach my grandparents conversational English. The more involved I became with my family, the more I knew what I wanted to be in the future. Since I was five, my parents pushed me to value education because they were born in Vietnam and had limited education. Because of this disadvantage, I learned to take everything I do seriously and to put in all of my effort to complete tasks such as becoming the founder of my school’s Badminton Club in my sophomore year and Red Cross Club this year. Before creating these clubs, I created a vision for these clubs so I can organize my responsibilities better as a leader. The more involved I became, the more I learned as a leader and as a person. As a leader, I carried the same behavior I portrayed towards my younger cousins and sibling. My family members stressed the importance of being a good influence; as I adapted this behavior, I utilized this in my leadership positions. I learned to become a good role model by teaching my younger family members proper manners and guiding them in their academics so that they can do well. In school, I guide my peers in organizing team uniform designs and in networking with a nonprofit organization for service events. Asides from my values, I’m truly passionate in the medical field. I always wanted to be a pediatrician since I was fourteen. My strong interest in the medical field allowed me to open up my shell in certain situations— when I became sociable to patients in the hospital as a volunteer, when I became friendly and approachable to children in my job at Kumon Math and Reading Center, and when I portrayed compassion and empathy towards my teammates in the badminton team. However, when I participated in the 2017 Kaiser Summer Volunteer Program at Richmond Medical Center, I realized that I didn’t only want to be a pediatrician. This program opened my eye to numerous opportunities in different fields of medicine and in different approaches in working in the medicine industry. While I may have a strong love for the medical field, my interest in business immensely grew as I soon discovered that I didn’t only have to take the practical approach in the medical field. With this interest, I plan to also become a part of a medical facility management team. In the future, I hope to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor by attaining an MD, and to double major in Managerial Economics. I intend to study at UC Davis as a Biological Sciences major, where I anticipate to become extremely involved with the student community. After graduation, I plan to develop a strong network relationship with Kaiser Permanente as I’ve started last year in my internship. By developing a network with them, I hope to work in one of their facilities some day. Based on my values, interests, and planned future, I’m applying for the NCS Foundation scholarship because not only will it financially help me, but it can give motivation for me to academically push myself. I hope to use this scholarship in applying for a study abroad program, where I can learn about other cultures’ customs while conducting research there.
Scholarship Essay Example #4
Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship $7,500 by Steven Fisher
Prompt: The Fund for Education Abroad is committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad. Please describe how you and/or your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.
“Oh well look at that one,” my uncle leans over and says about my brother-in-law in the living room wearing a dress. “I’d always had my suspicions about him,” he jokes with a disapproving sneer and leans back in his chair, a plate of Southern-style Christmas dinner in his hand. I was hurt. Why would my own uncle say that like it’s such a terrible thing that my brother-in-law is wearing a dress? That it was the worst thing in the world if my brother-in-law were gay or effeminite. “I think he looks beautiful,” my oldest brother Ethan chimes in. At that moment, I wish I could have hugged Ethan. No, not because he was defending my brother-in-law (who actually isn’t gay, as my uncle was suggesting), but because Ethan was defending me. My uncle has no idea that I recognized earlier this past year that heterosexuality wasn’t meeting all of my needs for intimacy with other people and that I’ve come to define myself as queer. It all started when I took a hard look at how my upbringing in Miami had taught me that the only way that boys are supposed to connect with others is by having sex with “beautiful” girls – that intimacy with other guys or “ugly” girls isn’t as meaningful. After freeing up that block in my brain that told me that I shouldn’t look at guys in a certain way, I could embraced the fact that I’m attracted to men (and people in general) in a lot of different, new ways. My growth as a person was exponential. I rewrote so many areas of my life where I didn’t do things I wanted because of social conditioning. Within two months, my world expanded to include polyamory. I looked back on my past relationship with my girlfriend and realized that I wasn’t jealous (angry, yes. hurt, yes. But not jealous) when she cheated on me. I realized that people’s needs — whether they are for sex, someone to talk to, someone to engage intellectually — don’t necessarily all have to be met with one person. It can be easier sometimes with one person, absolutely. But that’s not the only way. As someone who is both polyamorus and queer, I feel like parts of my family and large parts of my community marginalize me for being different because society has told them to. I want to change that. Since I will be studying for an entire year in Prague, I will have the opportunity to attend the annual Mezipatra, an international film festival in November that screens around a hundred top-ranking films on lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and queer themes. I feel really connected to going to this event because I crave being in an environment of like-minded people who strive to do that same thing I want to: balance the images of people typically portrayed through cliché and stereotype. When I came out to my sister-in-law, she told me that people who are really set in their ways are more likely to be tolerant to different kinds of people after having relationships with these people. If my uncle can learn to love me, to learn to love one queer/poly person, he can learn to love them all. If I can be an example to my family, I can be an example to my classmates. If I can get the opportunity to travel abroad, I can be an example to the world. Not just through my relationships, but through my art. Give me a camera and a screen and I will carry the message of tolerance from the audiences of Mezipatra in Prague to my parent’s living room. Fade in: Two men with thick beards kiss – maybe for once they aren’t wearing colorful flamboyant clothing. Fade in: A woman leaves her house to go to her male best friend’s house and her husband honestly tells her to enjoy herself. Fade in: A college student wanting to study abroad tells his conservative parents the truth…
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Get help from my free guide, scholarship essay example #5.
Questbridge Finalist essay earning $3,000 in application waivers plus $3000 in local scholarships by Jordan Sanchez
Prompt: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Recall the most cherished memory with your father figure. For some it may be when he taught you how to ride a bike, for others it may be memories of him taking you out for pizza when mom said the family has to eat healthy, for others it’s the ability to confide in somebody that won’t judge or stop loving you because of the mistakes you have made. When a child is born, he or she is given a birth certificate, which provides information such as name, date and place of birth, but most importantly it provides the names of the parents of the child. On my birth certificate I have the name the name of my beloved mother Lurvin, but right above her name is an empty space where my father’s name should be. As a child I would often compare my life to my peers; I would often go through all of these hypothetical scenarios in my mind thinking, “If my dad were around I could be like all of the other boys.” As the years went by I always had a sense of optimism that one day I would meet him and he would tell me “I love you and I’ll never leave your side again.” But when the time came and I met him on January 2014 I learned that a man can reject his only son not once, but twice. My father left when I was one year old and I will soon be turning 17; I did the math and found that for about 5900 days he has neglected me. He was able to sleep 5900 nights without knowing whether or not I was dead or alive. Even though he’s been gone for 5900 days, my life did not get put on hold. In those 5900 days I learned how to walk, talk, and I became a strong young man without the provider of my Y Chromosome because he is nothing more to me than that. In the past I believed that my father was necessary to rise but instead I found that false hope was an unnecessary accessory and now I refuse to let the fact that I am fatherless define the limits of the great things that I can accomplish. It’s said that boys learn to be a man from their fathers, that they learn what it means to be a man that has values and can stand up for what’s right. I, however, have found that grit can come from anywhere. When I was in middle school I was overweight and many other boys would call me names, and even after going to administration several times nothing changed and for several years I kept myself at bay because if I had done anything in return I would be no better than those guys who bullied me. I previously had this perception that somebody else would come to my rescue, that somebody else would provide the mental strength to combat the hardships that were sent my way. But as time passed I grew tired of waiting for help that was never going to come so I had to become my own hero. Since making that decision I have been liberated from the labels that previously confined me and I took back control of my own life. My ability to be self motivated has assisted me in becoming a leader in several of my extracurricular activities. I was one of the 4 male students of my school district that was selected as a delegate by the American Legion to participate at the Boy’s State program and I am also the captain of my group in the Young Senator's Leadership Program that is run by California Senator Tony Mendoza. I also developed skills on the wrestling mat. On one occasion I wrestled the person who was ranked the 9th best wrestler in the state and although I did not win there was not a single second that I was afraid to fail because I knew I gave it my all. Similarly I have put the same effort into becoming a successful. My father’s name is not on my birth certificate, but it is MY birth certificate. My origins are not the brightest but I was given a life that is mine to live and because “Life is made of two dates and a dash..” I have to “...Make most of the dash.” I am not going to live forever but if I were to leave this world today I would feel content with the person I see in the mirror. I know the difficulty that latinos face in this day and age I can envision assisting other young latinos achieving their dreams. I believe the most valuable thing in this world is opportunity because sometimes all it takes for someone to be successful is a chance to do so. Consequently I would like to be part of that chance that can foster the growth of future success.
Scholarship Essay Example #6
Change a Life Foundation Scholarship Essay Examples by Isabella Mendez-Figueroa
Prompt: Please explain a personal hardship or catastrophic life event that you have experienced. How did you manage to overcome this obstacle? What did you learn and how did you grow from it? This answer is critical to your application as Change a Life Foundation’s vision is to assist individuals who have persevered and overcome a hardship/catastrophic life event.
Filling out this application, and my college applications, has forced me to face head on the realities that I've grown up in. Looking back and describing my life I see all the ways in which I am disadvantaged due to my socioeconomic status. But I think it's important to note that I wasn't fully aware of any of it growing up. I knew that my parents couldn't buy me everything, but I also knew that they hardly ever said no. I was a very normal child, asking for chicken nuggets and looking at mom and dad any time I was scared or unsure of something. As I've grown I've learned to fight my own monsters but I now also battle the ones that frighten my parents, the monsters of a world that they weren't born into. Monsters of doubt and disadvantage that try to keep them stuck in a cycle of poverty; thriving in a world that casts them to the side and a society that, with its current political climate, doesn't welcome them with the warmest hello. The baby sitter, the house keeper, the driver, it's taken my dad 10+ years of night shifts to attain financial stability, and become an asset to his workplace. He's been one of the millions of people who has been laid off in the last couple of decades and has had to start over multiple times. But each time he's re-built himself with more resilience. I've grown up living in section 8 housing because my parents often found themselves living paycheck to paycheck, not by choice, but by circumstance. They've endured bankruptcy over credit card debt, have never owned a home, or been given access to resources that allow them to save. Every time we've readapted, we get struck by a new change. I currently live in Manchester Square, a ghost town, byproduct of the Los Angeles Airport expansion project. The 16 steps I have always known, soon to be demolished. My neighbors are empty lots, enclosed by fences. Homeless people’s pitch tents, under the roar of airplanes. My home is soon to become an accommodation to an airport, soon to be nonexistent. Knowing that my family has to relocate as I'm applying to college makes me feel a tad guilty, because of my lack of resources, I fear it will become a barrier into my transition to college. My parents finances are not a secret, I know their struggles as I hear about them day after day. My parents now deal with the burden of relocating, no longer having subsidized housing and again, struck by yet another need to readjust and reassemble. Relocating a family of 5 in an area plagued by gentrification of stadiums and demolition is no simple task as rent prices are as high as mortgages. It's odd they don't want me to stress or have it become my problem but I know it is, and I want to do whatever I can to help. My older sister is the first in my family to go to college. I was always the shyer one. She's taught me through her efforts that the only limits you have are the ones you place on yourself. With my sister's example I have followed in the footsteps of never letting money become a reason why I can't or won't do something. If my sister can do it, I can do it. I see the leadership characteristic is genetic and it runs in my entire family. I witness my parents be leaders everyday as they tackle cultural obstacles in a country that wasn't the one they were born into, speaking a language that is not their own, and raising children to succeed in a system of higher education; one they never had the privilege to be part of. My family and I are one. We stack our efforts, and obstacles on top of each other to further our successes as a whole. When I think back to my family's story I'm amazed to think that my grandpa came to the US in the midst of WW2, a bracero, leaving his family to help feed millions of Americans in time of war. My grandpa, a man of the fields, paved the way so I could defy the odds with my prosperity. At home, the teacher role often switches within my family. I am responsible for translating documents to my parents and explaining procedures and concepts as I, myself, am learning them. I have had the responsibility of helping assist my younger sister who has a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. Due to her pre-existing condition, she is a slow learner. I have dedicated a lot of time this past year, helping her with her transition from elementary to middle school and helping her adapt to such a drastic change. Sometimes, I only sleep 4 hours as I wake up and rush out the door in order to make it on time to 6am tutoring. Having to manage my schoolwork and home responsibilities has been difficult but I've managed to maintain high academic achievement by managing my time correctly and being persistent. If I truly want something, I need to go after it, and I will get it done. Sometimes being tired isn't an option.
Scholarship Essay Example #7
Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship and $3,500 in Outside Scholarship Essay Examples by Famyrah Lafortune
Prompt: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela. Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way. * (No more than 400 words)
Nothing is more important to me than ending racial inequality and discrimination in America, as I do not want my younger siblings to face the discrimination Black people continue to face in our present society. After winning our fight to freedom and provoking the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, why do Black teens face higher poverty rates than Whites and are still four times more likely to be incarcerated? “That was such a long time ago. You really need to get over it,” my White peers say when referring to racial inequalities. But, why then, in 7th grade, after winning Nazareth Academy’s Spelling Bee competition, did my fellow White classmate state with a heavy dose of surprise, “You know…when I first saw you, I didn’t think you were going to be smart?” I hope to contribute to ending racial discrimination by utilizing our present interconnectivity and running a social media campaign titled #It’sNotOver. #It’sNotOver aims to oppose the widespread misconception that, because racial inequality was legally outlawed, de facto racial inequality does not still persist in our society. Our recent presidential election may have brought life to a ‘Divided America,’ but it also exposed how influential social media is. By raising awareness of racial disparities that occur everywhere, I might encourage a new wave of change in our country like that of the present Time’s Up movement. Furthermore, if I can access the influence of celebrities in my #It’sNotOver campaign, like that of Time’s Up, I might similarly capture the attention of millions of people and inspire action against this issue across the globe. I know that social media can only do so much in addressing these issues as not everyone can afford the luxury of having internet access. However, I hope that my campaign can inspire all those who do have access to take it upon themselves to be the change by being inspired by the fact that we are globally united in this issue. Although I expect negativity and criticism from people who either do not believe that this issue exists or do not believe in our cause, I am willing to encounter it if it means our society as a whole irrevocably can grow to accept each other’s differences.
Scholarship Essay Example #8
Prompt: “It is very important to know who you are. To make decisions. To show who you are.” – Malala Yousafzai. Tell us three things that are important to you. How did you arrive at this list? Will these things be important to you in ten years? Why? * (No more than 400 words)
The three things that are important to me are my family, being successful, and leaving a legacy. As a result of my past, I keep these three crucial things at the forefront of my mind every day to help myself be successful. Above all, my family is the most important thing in my life. The meaning of family may differ for everyone, but for me, my family is life. I almost died in the 2010 Haitian earthquake, as Jacmel was one of the worst damaged areas, had it not been for my grandmother and my mom. Later, if it was not for my uncle, my mom would not have been able to come to America to give me a better life. Without my family, I wouldn’t be here. I am forever indebted to their sacrifices, and I am so grateful that I have their eternal love and support. Success is also very important to me. I hope to accomplish many things in my life, but most importantly, I would like to make my family proud so that they know that all of their sacrifices were worth it. Success to me is having a career that I love and allows me to help my family members financially. I hope to no longer experience hardships such as homelessness, poverty, and economic difficulties, as I had in my young life. Ultimately, however, I would like to grow into someone who is loved and remembered by people who aren’t my immediate family members and my friends. I do not wish to be glorified, but I want to be more than a nonentity in this big, vast world. I hope that if I can inspire the change that I want to make, I can leave a legacy that continues to influence and shape the landscape that follows me. After coming to the epiphany that if I died today, nothing would change except for the lives of those extremely close to me, I find myself unwilling to be just another Jane Doe. I want to leave a part of myself behind, whether it is a building or a popular hashtag, that is meaningful and permanent once I die.
ANOTHER GREAT READ: HOW TO COMBINE YOUR COLLEGE ESSAY PROMPTS (TO SAVE 20+ WRITING HOURS)
Scholarship essay example #9.
Prompt: “Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” - Cesar Chavez. What does it mean to you to be part of a minority community? What challenges has it brought and how have you overcome them? What are the benefits? * (No more than 400 words)
Being part of a minority is very conflicting for me as I feel both empowered as a part of a Haitian minority community but also disconnected from my non-immigrant peers. Coming from a background of poverty in Haiti, I knew that, even at a very young age, I had to be a good student in order to succeed. This work ethic--found throughout my Haitian community--has been very beneficial in my life as we all came here to pave ourselves a better future. As my mom held two jobs, went to college, and was temporarily homeless just to secure me a better future, I feel invigorated to be part of such an indefatigable community. And, it is because of this strong work ethic, central to my community’s core values, that I am now the salutatorian of a class of 679 students. As I was so young when I came to the US, I didn’t know how American society functioned, specifically elementary school. I was the only immigrant in a class of forty, barely spoke English, and had no friends because of these limitations. Every day of those first few years, I felt an almost physical divide between my peers and myself. I never experienced a sense of belonging, despite my efforts. Already a double minority as a woman and a Black person, I tried to relinquish my language and culture in favor of American language and values to better fit in the crowd. By doing this, however, I almost completely lost my cultural identity as both a Haitian and an immigrant, and also my language. It was in the halls of my first high school, International Studies Charter High School, that I realized the enormity of what I had lost. Where my peers retained their cultural identities and language, I had almost lost mine. It was there, I learned to embrace a part of me that was virtually buried inside, as I was encouraged to be more open: speaking Creole with my Haitian math teacher and peers. As a senior, I now volunteer weekly helping Haitian ESOL students with their homework. I am both a teacher and a student in that small classroom as I help them with their homework, and, in return, they help me in perfecting my use of Creole. They are my daily reminder of what unites us as Haitians—our ability to triumph in the face of adversity.
Scholarship Essay Example #10
Prompt: “The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.” - Wilma Mankiller. Tell us about a time when you failed at something. What were the circumstances? How did you respond to failure? What lessons did you learn? * (No more than 400 words)
I’ve danced ballet since I was seven-years-old. But, even after almost eight years, I could still barely extend my legs as high as my peers nor could do as many pirouettes as them. My flexibility was incredibly subpar and I easily wore out my Pointe shoes, making them unwearable after a couple of months. Where the average lifespans of my peers’ pointe shoes extended into months, mine could barely last ten classes. I was the weakling of my class at Ballet Etudes, and I was too absorbed in my insecurities to do anything to better myself to become the dancer I aspired to be. After a humiliating recital, wherein my pointe shoe ribbons untied in the middle of our group performance, I all but gave up on dance. I was in the middle of doing a Changement de Pieds (Change of feet jumping step) when I glanced down in horror to see my beautiful ribbons untied as I forgot to tape them with clear tape as I usually did before my performances. Glancing to my right, I saw that my ballet teacher backstage had also taken note and was rushing me to get off the stage, her hands beckoning me in a frantic manner. After berating me for not having properly tied my laces, I was not allowed to finish my part. Later, I could barely get back on stage that evening for our final performance as I didn’t want to fail myself and my team again. But, because of my move to Port Saint Lucie in the summer before sophomore year, I was able to rekindle my passion for ballet and pointe at South Florida Dance Company. South Florida Dance Company was my saving grace, a place where I was able to restart my experiences in dance and renew the joy I once felt in my art. It was an incredible feeling regaining my confidence and surety in my abilities, as a result of the additional help that I received from my dance teacher, Ms. Amanda. Presently, I always remind myself to be the best that I can be and to positively use my dance role models, like Misty Copeland, as encouragement to be a better dancer. From this experience, I learned that to overcome personal failures, I needed to move forward and think positively because change doesn’t happen when you sit still.
Scholarship Essay Example #11
National Association of University Women Scholarship Essay Examples by Isabella Mendez-Figueroa
Prompt: Please explain how your experience volunteering and participating in community service has shaped your perspective on humanity. Elaborate on how these experiences have influenced your future ambitions and career choice.
I didn’t really understand my community until I was forced to see it from the outside; sort of like when you see a picture of yourself someone else took that you weren’t aware of. It took a 3,000 mile flight for me to gain a different perspective of the world, of my world. When I landed in Maine it was nothing like the place I called home. There was no traffic, there were lots of trees, and absolutely no spanish to be heard anywhere. I missed my people, my home, and my community the most as I saw the ways in which other communities fostered creativity, advocacy, and community involvement. I talked about my community every chance I got, writing a public backlash to Donald Trump and reading out to the group of parents to show them my unique struggle. The election of Donald Trump has forced me to come to terms with the harsh realities of this world. The lack of respect he has for women, minority groups, and factual evidence are alarming. This presidency makes me want to prove wrong all of his perceptions of people like me, the poor, the immigrant, the woman. I left people in awe, leaving me empowered. I had people come up to me and explain that they can relate to my poem about not fitting in, being Mexican American and not feeling like you can consider yourself American or Mexican because you’re both. I emphasized that I, like many others, am in between and we have the same platform that anyone else does to succeed. I explained that many of us, hold this pressure of first generation children of immigrants to prove that we are the proof that our parents sacrifices of restarting in a new country was worth it. I was the visible representation of a first generation child of immigrants, branching out into a new environment despite where I had come from and shocking everyone with my prosperity. If I was the only visible representation available, I was going to use my voice to echo the feelings of my entire community and make it known that we are all here-- all of our struggles, our efforts, and our passions, are not absent from places where we are not seen. Maine helped me branch out in my own community now as a Student Ambassador. From this experience, I’ve learned that I can represent my high school and have the responsibility to assist staff at events for prospective students and organize presentations for parents. I spend a lot of time interpreting for parents at meetings and explaining the current events that are ongoing and new educational opportunities that students should take advantage of. I have had the privilege to work alongside office staff and the Principal, where I get to positively dedicate my time to parents who have general questions regarding the schools upcoming events. By dedicating my time as a Student Ambassador, I have allowed myself to excel at communicating with others and improving my customer service skills. I want my education to change the negative stigmas surrounding my community, by showing that it's possible to expand your access to the world and allow you to leave, by choice, through receiving a post-secondary education. I am someone who has grown up in an area with limited resources fostering limited mindsets. My neighborhood has 4 elementary schools, 2 high schools, and a strip club feet away from a library. What message does that send to children? It's normal in my community to have pregnant classmates in high school. People aren't aware of the world outside, they aren't encouraged to ever leave. Through my experience as a volunteer that communicates a lot with parents, I have learned that the American Dream does not simply belong to first generation students like myself. I have found that our accomplishments are stacked upon the sacrifices of our parents. I used to think that growing up was like the passing of a baton where you’re the next runner and it’s your turn to run your best race, but I now see that this is a team effort, as you expand your horizons your family also gets to experience the benefits. I want to demonstrate to my community that there can be a female, bilingual, Latina doctor. I want to showcase that one's zip code, doesn't determines one's success. One of the most common questions I get at these parent meetings is “what’s better college or university”? This question didn’t make sense to me at first then I realized that parents wanted to know the difference between community college and a four year. Concepts like financial aid, grants, loans, are all foreign concepts as most of our parents never went to college. They want to be able to help but do not know where to begin. As a student ambassador I helped bridge that gap. We often held meetings where we explained to parents within our community what resources were out there and available and what the difference were among the different options for each student. Being the student face for Animo, I’ve learned that I as a student and daughter, can provide assistance to my own community through the knowledge that I have gained. I am the communication that is needed in my community that’s necessary for further successes by using my personal knowledge and experience to help uplift and educate others in similar situations.
Scholarship Essay Example #12
Prompt: Discuss in your essay any challenges or obstacles you have dealt with and overcome in life and how this will help you succeed in college and beyond. Describe how volunteer, community service or extra-curricular activities have shaped who you are today and what it has taught you. May also include future educational plans and career goals. [250-500 Words]
I have encountered an emotional barrier making it difficult to manage my schoolwork, extracurricular activities and family responsibilities. I have had to deal with being viciously raped by a peer during my sophomore year, resulting in severe depression. I am no longer allowed to be alone for a long period of time, as I’ve attempted to commit suicide twice, but I do not regard those as true attempts to end my life. I just wanted someone to know how I felt and how much I needed help. My past has only made me more resilient, as I choose to prove to myself and those around me that I am more than the barriers I’ve encountered–but overcome. It took a 3,000- mile flight for me to gain a different perspective of my world. Landing in Maine was nothing like home. There was no traffic, lots of trees, and absolutely no Spanish to be heard anywhere. I was a 10th grader when I found myself at Coastal Studies for Girls, a marine science and leadership school; I would be there for a whole semester. I was surrounded by strangers who looked different, sounded different, and could recite tide pool specifics in casual conversation. I was the visible representation of a first-generation child of immigrants, branching out into a new environment. An environment where I wanted to prove wrong all perceptions of people like me, the poor, the immigrant, the brown woman. I used my voice to echo my community and make it known that, we, are here–all of our struggles, our efforts, and our passions, are not absent from places where we are not seen. Returning home, I had the privilege to work alongside school administrators as a student ambassador. I got to positively dedicate my time to parents who have general questions regarding the school and help translate information. I have learned that the American Dream does not simply belong to first generation students like myself, but I now see it is a team effort, as you expand, your family also gets to experience the benefits. One of the most common questions at parent meetings is “what’s better college or university”? This question did not make sense to me, I then realized that parents want to know the difference between community college and a four year. Concepts like financial aid, grants, loans, are all foreign concepts as most of our parents never went to college. As a student ambassador, I help bridge that gap. We often hold meetings where we explained resources available and different options for each student. I have learned, that as a student, I can provide assistance to my own community through my knowledge. I am the communication necessary for further successes, using my personal knowledge and experience to help uplift and educate others in similar situations. My pursuit is to not only go to college but thrive and come back ready and able to help students like myself that have to fight for their seat in the lecture hall.
Scholarship Essay Example #13
Prompt: The Rainbow Scholarship is awarded to a deserving LGBTQ student who aims to participate in a high-quality, rigorous education abroad program. If you would like to be considered, please explain why you would be a strong candidate for the Rainbow Scholarship. What will this scholarship enable you to achieve for yourself and your LGBTQ community?
It is my life goal to make films that will change the way society see groups of people typically defined by stereotype and cliché. By immersing myself in Prague’s culture through the American Institute of Foreign Study year-long program, I will gain the cinematic and philosophic tools to create films that will help others to better understand the LGBTQ community. I’ve been making movies since I was old enough to hold a camera, but now I’d like to take it a step further. While abroad, I’ll visit the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague. The Hollywood Reporter puts FAMU at the top of the list of best film schools in Europe. I put it at the top of my list of prospective graduate schools because it was the center of Czech filmmakers’ during communist rule in the 1960s. FAMU was where rebellious film makers broke the bonds of censorship by creating films that depicted the perspectives of marginalized people. I want to do the same thing today. I ask: What can the Czechoslovak New Wave filmmakers and their struggle for social equality teach me about making films that will help to free the LGBTQ members in my own community? I will find my answers here: In November, the international film festival held in Prague called the Mezipatra will screen around a hundred top-ranking films on lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and queer themes. What better place for a queer filmmaker obsessed with Czech New Wave film to meet people to learn and collaborate with? I’d also like to volunteer to work on a photography project at the Lobkowicz Palace and Nelahozeves Castle, 15km from Prague, where I will find one of the world’s largest private collections of world-famous artworks, artifacts, and a library of over 65,000 volumes. I hope to hone my skills with a camera and take a zoomed-in look at the Prague history. I’m going to wear my Canon t2i like a glove. And finally, I hope to better understand Czech culture as it pertains to film making by studying at Charles University and taking classes like “Central European Film: Search for Identity” and “Hollywood and Europe”. I will get more in touch with the performance and character elements of film by taking the theater class “Prague Theater Scene: Performance Analysis.” Finally, I’ll learn to better listen to what my community in Prague has to say (literally and figuratively) by taking Czech language classes in a two-week intensive course that includes two language-focused events where students engage with the local area. Through traveling abroad in Prague, I give myself to a new perspective and open myself up to influence. I want to use my experience to create films that will convince others to do the same—as a representative of the LGBTQ community, I want to send the message of acceptance and tolerance to the world, from the screens of Mezipatra in Prague to my conservative parents’ television sets.
Scholarship Essay Example #14
$1,000 local school district scholarship by Amani Davis.
Last February, I partook in a Divas in Defense workshop. Within this class, our group met a woman who was a survivor of domestic violence. She was also close to becoming a victim of sex trafficking. From this I learned that intimate partner violence is the leading cause of female homicide and injury-related deaths during pregnancy. Although it is not a common hot topic, many people go through it everyday. These people are not only women but men and children, too. Therefore, domestic violence is an issue that is under-discussed, yet extremely important. Every 1 in 4 women will be a victim of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. This means our mothers, sisters, grandmothers or even daughters can be victims of domestic violence. We have to be the ones willing to initiate the conversation because many victims are scared. Everyday more people are speaking up about their own stories. Celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Rihanna, and Halle Berry have spoke about their personal accounts with domestic violence. Through these views, people are seeing domestic violence as a bigger issue and an issue that needs to be opened up about. All in all, domestic violence is all around us. Additionally, abuse can hurt people physically, mentally, and financially. Physical abuse results in injuries that cost money in order to be fixed. Many remain in or return to an abusive relationship because they lack the financial resources to live on their own. Also, children who grow up around domestic violence are 15 times more likely to be physically and/or sexually abused than the national average. In short, abuse can have various effects on those involved. To surmise, domestic violence is often kept quiet within minority communities. As a whole, we have to be proactive and reactive in order to fight the current problem with abuse. Nevertheless, we have to be the change we want to see.Ultimately, domestic violence is not an issue that can be completely rid of, but we can make a true difference through education and prevention. Some issues have to be dealt with in house before we see a major turn around.
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- How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example
How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example
Published on October 11, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on May 31, 2023.
A good scholarship essay demonstrates the scholarship organization’s values while directly addressing the prompt. If you plan ahead , you can save time by writing one essay for multiple prompts with similar questions.
Table of contents
Apply for a wide variety of scholarships, make a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, tailor your essay to the organization and the prompt, write a focused and relevant personal story, scholarship essay example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.
Scholarships are a type of student financial aid that don’t require repayment. They are awarded based on various factors, including academic merit, financial need, intended major, personal background, or activities and interests.
Like college applications, scholarship applications often require students to submit their grades, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay.
A scholarship essay shares your values and qualities in the context of a specific question, such as “How does technology affect your daily life?” or “Who has had the greatest impact on your life?”
Be wary of scholarship scams
While some applications may not require an essay, be wary of scholarship scams that do the following:
- Guarantee you scholarship money for a fee
- Claim scholarship information is exclusive to their company
- Ask for your bank or credit card information to hold the scholarship
Some legitimate companies do charge for releasing comprehensive scholarship lists or creating a tailored list of scholarship opportunities based on your profile.
However, you can always discover scholarship opportunities for free through your school counselor, community network, or an online search.
Many students focus on well-known, large scholarship opportunities, which are usually very competitive. To maximize your chance of success, invest time in applying for a wide variety of scholarships: national and local, as well as big and small award amounts. There are also scholarships for international students .
In addition to charitable foundation and corporate scholarships, you should consider applying for institutional scholarships at your prospective universities, which can award money based on your application’s strength, your financial situation, and your demonstrated interest in the school.
Check with your guidance counselor, local organizations, community network, or prospective schools’ financial aid offices for scholarship opportunities. It’s a good idea to start applying as early as your junior year and continue throughout your senior year.
Choose the right scholarships for you
Choose scholarships with missions and essay topics that match your background, experiences, and interests. If the scholarship topic is meaningful to you, it will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay.
Don’t shy away from applying for local scholarships with small dollar amounts. Even a few hundred dollars can help you pay for books.
Local scholarships may be more tailored to your community, background, and activities, so they’re likely more relevant to you. Fewer students apply for these scholarships, so you have less competition and a higher chance of success.
Some places to look for local scholarships include
- Civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc.
- Your church, mosque, synagogue, or place of worship
- Community groups, such as the YMCA
- Ethnicity-based organizations
- Your local library or local small businesses
- Organizations related to your intended major
- Your city or town
- Your school district
- Unions, such as SEIU, the Teamsters, CWA, etc.
- Your employer or your parents’ employers
- Banks, credit unions, and local financial institutions
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
While researching scholarship opportunities, create a scholarship tracker spreadsheet to keep track of the following:
- Scholarship amounts
- Required application materials
You can use our free Google Sheets template to track your scholarship applications.
Scholarship application tracker template
You can also include scholarship essay prompts in your college essay tracker sheet . By grouping or color-code overlapping essay prompts, you can plan to write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can also reuse or adapt your main college essay .
Even if you’re adapting another essay, it’s important to make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, stays within the word count limit , and demonstrates the organization’s values. The scholarship committee will be able to tell if you reuse an essay that doesn’t quite respond to the prompt, so be sure to tailor it to the questions asked.
Research each organization
Before writing, research the scholarship organization’s mission and reason for awarding the scholarship. Learning more about the organization can help you select an appropriate topic and relevant story.
While you should tailor your essay to the organization’s values, maintain your authentic voice. Never use false or exaggerated stories. If the organization’s values don’t align with yours or you can’t brainstorm a relevant story for the scholarship, continue searching for other scholarship opportunities to find a more appropriate one for you.
After researching the organization, identify a specific personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies why you will be a successful student.
Choose a story with the following criteria:
- Responds to the prompt
- Demonstrates the organization’s values
- Includes an authentic story
- Focuses on you and your experience, not someone else’s
A good scholarship essay is not
- A resume of your achievements
- A lengthy opinion piece about the essay topic
- An essay featuring a negative tone that puts down others
If appropriate, you can briefly address how the scholarship money will help you achieve your educational goals. You should also end with a brief thank-you.
Take a look at the full essay example below. Hover over the underlined parts to read explanations of why they work.
Prompt: Describe how working for Chelsea’s Chicken restaurant has developed leadership skills that will help you succeed in college. Give specific examples of leadership characteristics that you have exhibited during your employment with us.
As a nervous 16-year-old, I walked into Chelsea’s Chicken for my first day of work determined to make enough money to put gas in my car and buy pizza on the weekends. My only previous job was mowing my neighbors’ lawns when they were on vacation, so I had no idea what to expect. I was a bit intimidated by my new responsibilities, especially handling money and helping disgruntled customers.
However, it didn’t take me long to learn my way around the cash register and successfully address customer complaints. One day, Roger, the store manager, asked me if I wanted to join Chelsea’s Chicken Leadership Training Initiative. He said he saw leadership potential in me because of my attitude with the customers and my enthusiasm for learning new job responsibilities. It surprised me because I had never thought of myself as a leader, but I quickly agreed, and Roger handed me a three-ring binder that was thicker than my math and science textbooks put together! He told me to take it home and read over it during the following week.
In that binder, I discovered that being a leader means taking the initiative, especially when the job is undesirable. One week later, I got to practice that idea when a little kid threw up in the bathroom and missed the toilet. It smelled terrible, but I stepped forward and told Roger that I would clean it up. My coworkers thought I was crazy, but I started to believe in my leadership potential.
That night as we closed the store, Roger pulled me aside in the parking lot and told me that he could tell that I had been studying the manual. He wanted to give me more responsibility, along with a dollar-per-hour pay raise. I was surprised because I had been working there for only a couple of months, but his encouragement helped me make a connection: good leadership helps other people, and it often is rewarded. I was determined to experience more of both.
Within a month, I was ready to take the Team Leader exam, which mattered because I would receive a promotion and a much bigger raise if I passed. But, when I got to work, two of the scheduled team members had called in sick. We were noticeably short-handed, and our customers weren’t happy about it.
I walked back to the lockers, put on my vest and hat, and took my place behind an open register. Customers immediately moved into my line to place their orders. Roger looked at me with surprise and asked, “Did you forget that you’re testing tonight?” I responded, “No, sir—but what’s the use of taking a leadership test if you aren’t going to lead in real life?” Roger smiled at me and nodded.
He stayed late that night after we closed so that I could leave early and still take the test. I noticed that Roger was always staying late, helping employees learn new skills. His example taught me that leaders take the initiative to develop other leaders. He gave me a clear picture of what shared leadership looks like, making room for others to grow and excel. When I asked him where he learned to do that, he said, “From the same leadership manual I gave you!”
Chelsea’s Chicken has offered me so much more than a paycheck. Because of Roger’s example, I have learned to take the initiative to care for my family and friends, such as being the first to do the dishes without my mom asking or volunteering to pick up my friend for our SAT prep course. Now, as I prepare to enter college, I have confidence in my leadership ability. I know I’m signing up for a challenging major—Biology, Pre-Med—yet I also know that Chelsea’s Chicken has helped me to develop the perseverance required to complete my studies successfully.
If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Writing process
- Transition words
- Passive voice
- How to end an email
- Ms, mrs, miss
- How to start an email
- I hope this email finds you well
- Hope you are doing well
Parts of speech
- Personal pronouns
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.
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.
You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.
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 .
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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).
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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How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay (with example)
Scholarship essays are an inevitable part of most scholarship applications. Sadly, many qualified students see an essay requirement, think, “I’m not a good writer,” and decide not to apply. Don’t fall into that trap! Learn how to write a winning scholarship essay today!
As a former writing instructor, I know firsthand that anyone can write a winning scholarship essay if they devote the time and effort. Follow the steps below to write an excellent scholarship essay and dramatically increase your chances of winning scholarships!
Take your time
For most people, it’s not possible to write a stellar essay ten minutes before the application deadline. We recommend giving yourself a few hours to write the first draft of your scholarship essay. Ask a friend to read it over or just take some time away, then take another hour to proofread your essay, ideally the next day.
Start with structure
Remember, the reader is not in your head. A solid essay structure is needed to convey your ideas effectively. Before you begin writing:
Create an outline to map out your idea
Clear topic sentences
Plan for multiple paragraphs, with each paragraph headed by a clear topic sentence for that paragraph’s main point
Use a transitional sentence or phrase at the end of each paragraph to connect one idea to the next
Answer the prompt
Nothing will set you back like not responding to the prompt provided. It screams “this person didn’t bother to fully read the directions,” or worse, “this person doesn’t care about what we are asking.”
Read the prompt, and then read it again. This is where giving yourself plenty of time to write comes in handy. Rather than immediately starting to write:
- Let the prompt sit with you awhile so that you come up with the best response
- Think of the prompt as a question to be answered
- Consider your audience while being your authentic self
Related: How to answer scholarship essay questions about your career goals
Start with a hook
Your writing teachers were not joking about the importance of the introductory hook. There are a number of ways to hook the reader, including:
- Using startling statistics
- Opening with a moving sentence
- Making a strong statement
For an example of an engaging hook, say you are writing an essay about social media distraction. Perhaps you could open with:
It might sound odd, but I love my flip phone. In fact, I feel nothing but disdain for that moment stealing villain, the iPhone .
See how you’re already interested in reading on? Effective writing is all about telling an engaging story, and a strong hook is the first step!
Go Deeper: How to start a scholarship essay (with examples)
Don’t forget formatting
Be mindful of any required formatting. This might include a word count or page limit. The application may also specify single or double sentence spacing, using certain fonts, or using a certain format, such as MLA or APA.
Related: What’s the best scholarship essay format?
Show, don’t tell
Finally, no matter what, do your best to tell an engaging story! If given the opportunity, focus on a specific challenge you’ve faced or goal you’ve achieved. As you tell your story, the qualities that make you a great scholarship applicant–your drive, your passion, and your personality–will shine through!
Speaking of conclusions, don’t end your scholarship application essay with “in conclusion,” which sounds robotic on the page. Instead, think about why what you wrote matters, and remind the reader of just that.
An effective way to bring cohesion to your essay is to refer back to your hook in the closing. For example, if you used that flip phone introduction, your closing might say:
So while some people have 100s of pictures of “experiences” that they were not truly present for, I have lifelong memories stored in my own mind, no extra cloud space required.
Notice how that ending wows? It wraps up your “story” and leaves the reader with a lasting impression of who you are as a person.
- Having to write an essay may feel intimidating, but we promise that you are more than capable of completing this step of your application
- Give yourself plenty of time to sit with the essay prompts and then draft your response
- Once you’ve written your essay, ask friends or family to read your work
- Most importantly remember to take time to read all the directions about the essay and answer the questions that they are asking you
For more in-depth instructions on how to conclude your scholarship essay, you can consult our guide on how to end scholarship essays . If you are looking for additional scholarship opportunities, check out our list of top writing & essay scholarships .
Remember, writing scholarship essays is an opportunity to show who you are in a way that test scores and rankings never can. Don’t miss out on winning scholarship awards that you qualify for. Happy writing, all, and don’t forget to apply for all the scholarships you qualify for!
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How to Write a Scholarship Essay and Win BIG [2022 Edition]
With a new school year here, now’s the perfect time to get serious about searching for and winning scholarships to pay for college!
Since many applications for scholarships require an essay, you’ll want to know how to write one that persuades the scholarship program board that you’re the right person to receive the money available!
If done right, your scholarship essay is a window into your world. Similar to your personal statement for college applications, these essays should give the readers a sense of you as a dimensional person—beyond what your high school GPA and test scores alone can reflect.
At Scholly, we’ve collectively written and read TONS of scholarship essays. And, in this post, we’re sharing our favorite tips and strategies to help you write winning scholarship essays and drastically improve your chances of graduating debt free !
Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover:
- 18 tips for writing a winning essay for scholarship applications
- 10 things to leave out of your scholarship essays
- An outline to help you format your essay
- 3 winning scholarship essay examples
Feel free to jump ahead to the section that interests you most or follow along as we begin with…
18 Tips for Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay
#1 adhere to the principles of writing any strong essay.
Like any other essay you write for school, you’ll want to format your scholarship essays in a way that makes it easy for the reader to consume and digest the content. In other words, a winning essay will have a good “flow.”
Here are some effective essay writing skills that will help you develop an effective scholarship essay format:
- Have a strong opening sentence to the essay, sometimes called a “hook.” This is a great overview of types of essay hooks , but remember, stay true to your own voice and tone (more on this later).
For example, you may want to come out of the gates strong with a snapshot of where you see yourself in 10 years, after getting the education of your dreams: “Diving deep into the mysterious reaches of the ocean daily may not be everyone’s central goal in life, but I can’t wait to search for and protect endangered aquatic life for a living.”
- Stick to the tried-and-true introduction, body, and conclusion structure. Even if the essay prompt seems relatively loose, you’ll want your essay to have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
- Start new paragraphs for new ideas. It’s MUCH better to have more short paragraphs than whopping paragraphs that are hard to read!
- Make sure to wrap up your essay neatly and don’t just dead-end it. You can round it out, for example, with a declaration of why you wish to pursue post secondary education: “Ultimately, I want to be a strong role model for other young women who may have been afraid to use their voices.” You may not have time for a whole conclusion paragraph, but a quick “bow” on the end is nice.
And because sometimes the hardest part is starting when writing a scholarships essay or personal statement, here’s a video that will give you some ideas on how to write an intriguing first line:
#2 Familiarize yourself with the essay prompt… and stick to it!
Read the prompt several times and be totally clear about what it’s asking. Many scholarship programs have similar themes for the essay prompts, such as how you’ve demonstrated leadership qualities or how greater financial freedom will impact your life as a college student.
If the prompt doesn’t seem to have a question in it (e.g. “Reflect on the state of the environment and your role in helping it”) then we highly recommend that you re-frame the essay prompt as a question. So for example, ask yourself: “What is the overall state of the world’s natural environment and how am I directly impacting it?”
And it may sound obvious, but do NOT deviate from the prompt. Your ability to address a highly specific topic is part of what scholarship committees will assess. It can be easy for your thoughts to meander, but stick directly to the prompt.
#3 Choose a topic that you genuinely enjoy
You’ll want to stick to the essay prompt. But in some cases, you may have some freedom to choose the topic, or at least the central focus. Write about a subject, event, or value that means something to you. You’ll produce better work and come across more authentically if you care about what you’re writing. This goes a long way in improving your scholarship essays without creating more hard work for yourself.
Here’s what we mean. Let’s say a prompt asks you to describe a time that you were proud of yourself. Several instances may come to mind. Maybe it was when you dove off the high diving board the first time. Or maybe it was when you returned a wallet you found with $100 inside.
Don’t choose which instance you think the scholarship essay readers want to hear . Choose the one that feels most resonant to you . It may sound cheesy, but when you write earnestly from the heart, your writing will be much stronger.
#4 Do a little research on the scholarship provider
Who is the company or organization running the scholarship program? Read up a bit about them on their website’s home page. Get familiar with their mission and their motivation for giving this scholarship. When you’re better informed about the scholarship committee, you’re better able to tailor your essay to them.
Many scholarship providers also feature previous scholarship winners on their website, sometimes with the essay (or an excerpt from it) that won. Study what the scholarship provider says about those previous winners to get an idea of which of your qualities to highlight in your essay.
#5 Know the word/character limit
Most scholarship essays have a word or character limit for your essay. If you’re not used to being mindful of these parameters, it can be hard to gauge what “250 words” actually looks like. As a rule of thumb, 250 words is equivalent to one typed page, double-spaced. (And therefore 500 words = 2 typed, double-spaced pages, and so on).
We suggest that you take an essay of yours (or any piece of written work, really) and run a word/character count on it so that you can get a feel for various lengths. Microsoft Word and Google Docs have functions for this, but you can also use a letter counter like this one .
Once you know the word or character length, stick to it! If you have to write a 500 word essay , don’t write 501 words. You can be disqualified for going over. And while you don’t necessarily have to write an essay that hits the limit, it’s a good rule of thumb to come as close as possible.
#6 Brainstorm and plan
We can’t stress this one enough. The entire essay writing process will go much more smoothly if you have a road map for where you’re going. The very first step is to get some organic ideas circulating so that you end up choosing an essay focus that makes the most sense for you. Here are some awesome essay brainstorming techniques .
After you have a clear sense of your essay’s focus, you can begin to outline. Some students like to skip the outline. But an outline actually makes the drafting process much faster. That’s why we’ve shared an essay outline you can use later in this post!
Depending on the length and depth of the essay, you can even just lay out the details you’ll want to include in your introduction, body, and conclusion. It can be as simple as that, but you don’t want to skip the planning process.
#7 Appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos
Uh, what-os? If you haven’t learned about ethos, pathos, and logos yet, let’s give you a quick primer. Ethos, pathos, and logos are modes of persuading your reader. In other words, they’re techniques to make your work more powerful and convincing.
Here is a great overview of ethos, pathos, and logos , but in short, here’s what each refers to:
Ethos = how you establish your own credibility, reliability, or authority on the subject matter (hint: you’ll be relying largely on your own life experiences in your scholarship essays).
For example, you might discuss how your experience working a part-time job has influenced your thoughts on minimum wage laws.
Pathos = how you use emotional appeal (including creativity, imagination, etc.) to tell your story or make your case.
For example, you might paint a picture of all of the wildlife lost in massive brush fires.
Logos = how you use logic or ration to convey your point.
For example, you may use statistics to convey how reliant high school students are on their cell phones.
Here’s a graphic that breaks down ethos, pathos, and logos clearly:
Basically, in the ideal essay, you’ll use all three types of support to make your essay as earnest and persuasive as possible.
#8 Be honest
Your life and experiences are interesting and important! You do not need to embellish or make up details to try to seem more deserving of the scholarship money. Nothing is more powerful than your authenticity. And trust us, it’s much easier for readers to spot baloney in an essay than you may think.
Here’s a simple example. If you’re a tutor, you may be inclined to say something a bit dramatic, like, “over the last 4 years, I’ve had the privilege of helping shape thousands of lives.”
Hmmm…have you really tutored thousands of students? Likely not—you’re busy! We get it. It’s easy to embellish.
Instead, you could say something to the effect of: “After 4 years of tutoring nearly 150 individuals in math and science, I feel my own math and material science skills have improved substantially.”
Trust us—your unexaggerated accomplishments are impressive!
#9 Show, don’t tell
This is the cardinal rule for creative writing. Try to paint a vivid picture for your reader instead of just explaining everything. For example, don’t just say that you’re stressed out by juggling work and high school. Illustrate what that stress looks like in your life. (Are you pulling all-nighters and pounding coffee? Doing homework on your breaks between work, school activities, and community service?) Create a picture, and provide specific, believable examples.
Here’s an example of something you might write if you’re asked to discuss a challenge you’ve faced:
Instead of saying “In middle school, I tore my ACL playing ice hockey,” you can be more vivid.
Try something like: “It was like an anvil had smashed down on my knee. In searing pain, I laid on the ice as the crowd fell silent. Something was very wrong.”
Notice how we immediately FEEL the impact of the injury in the latter example!
Here’s a video from Reedsy that shares some more creative writing tips to help you do more showing than telling when you start writing your scholarships essays:
#10 Be specific and concise
While we encourage you to be evocative in your language, we also want to stress that you should get to the point. Typically, the simplest, most direct word choices are the most effective. Avoid generalizations in favor of specific examples. Likewise, avoid flowery language in favor of more succinct sentences.
Let’s demonstrate. The following sentiment feels overly general and wordy:
“I love nature because nature is beautiful. Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing I don’t like to do in nature. Really, it’s been my favorite place to be since a young age and any activity that involves being outside is just good for my soul.”
This rewrite expresses the same idea in a much more succinct way:
“Whether I’m hiking, wading in the ocean, or planting seasonal flowers in the garden, I am rejuvenated by being in nature.”
#11 Use exclamation points sparingly
We all know that exclamation marks indicate excitement! Right?!
Truthfully, we love exclamation points! And while winning financial aid in the form of scholarships IS very exciting, too many exclamation marks can be overkill.
So as a rule of thumb, don’t use more than a couple of exclamation marks throughout your scholarship essay. Also make sure they’re appropriate to the prompt. We’ve seen some pretty creative scholarship essay prompts in our day (like one that asks to share a funny story or joke). In this case, you can use exclamation marks more freely.
Many people falsely believe that an exclamation mark will make a sentence more powerful. But the truth is, empowering statements pack a punch without one.
For example, “I’m looking forward to becoming a lawyer as a means of creating a more just and egalitarian world” is a powerful statement. You don’t need to throw an exclamation point on the end to make it more resonant.
#12 Emphasize your resilience
Scholarship prompts often ask you about a hardship you’ve overcome. We love this type of question because it gives the reader a chance to understand a student’s resilience and ability to problem solve. These characteristics are huge on a scholarship essay.
The mistake many students make on this question is to write 100% about the hardships they’ve faced without acknowledging or discussing how they overcame them. Essay readers are not simply looking for the hardest story when selecting a winner, but rather a complete narrative that includes how the student has worked to overcome the challenge.
In addition, we recommend focusing on a central event or experience — which tends to read as more powerful, especially when faced with a word or character limit. You may have faced several hardships in your life, but your essay will be more focused if you choose one that you’ve overcome.
#13 Be professional… but also be yourself
While you’ll want to avoid swearing and overly colloquial or conversational language, you DO want to be yourself. That means writing in your own voice and tone. So long as you keep it professional, readers want you to sound like YOU. You don’t have to write a stuffy essay for it to be good! Keep it clean and clear, but also keep it real!
Here’s a great piece on the difference between voice and tone , and how you can improve your writing skills to stand out.
#14 Sell yourself… but also be humble
Is this the definition of a humble brag? Maybe. Your scholarship essay is a great place to share your accomplishments. But don’t just list all of your best qualities and accomplishments as a rationale for why you deserve the scholarship award. It’s important to strike a fine balance.
For example, the following sounds a bit like a brag “pile on:”
“As a straight-A student who is always the first to get the answers in my classes, the captain of my debate team, and a proud volunteer at the homeless shelter, I truly believe I deserve this scholarship.”
Instead, you can simply say something like, “The discipline I bring to my academics and volunteer work reflects how hard I intend to work in my college courses, and I would be grateful for the financial assistance to attend.”
#15 Be brief with your “thank you”
Your character, dedication, and integrity should come through naturally in your writing. You don’t need to add a long-winded “Thank you for reading this essay” paragraph at the end of your essay.
Most scholarship essays are fairly short, so avoid bloating your essay with gratitude and praise for the opportunity. Use your character and words allotments to answer the prompt thoroughly instead!
If you have space, a brief thank you is thoughtful and appropriate. But you’ll want to be as succinct as possible. For example, at the very end of your essay, you can simply say something like, “Thank you for this opportunity and for taking the time to read this essay.” Bam. Polite but to the point.
If you can’t fit your thanks in the essay due to the word count, you can also wait to write a thank you letter after you’ve received the scholarship.
#16 Pause, proofread, and revise
The author Robert Graves said, “There’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting,” and it’s true; nothing comes out perfect the first time. So revise, revise, revise!
In the revision process, we’re HUGE fans of taking breaks. Walk away from your work to clear your mind and then come back to it. You’ll see your essay with fresh eyes which will help you take it to the next level.
If you feel comfortable doing so, it’s also a good idea to hand off your work to someone else for feedback. Choose a trusted teacher, peer, or friend, and be open to their suggestions for improvement.
#17 Give yourself enough time
Like any written assignment, you’ll want to give yourself enough time to think about the prompt, plan, draft, and revise. A well-planned essay has a much higher chance of winning than one you crank out last minute.
We recommend giving yourself at least 2 weeks before the deadline of an essay to brainstorm, draft, and revise your essay. Ideally, you should leave a couple of days between each of these stages of the essay writing process. This break will help you avoid essay writing burnout. It’ll also give you a better chance to edit errors, typos, and places for improvement.
#18 Reuse your scholarships essays
Sometimes you don’t even need to write a new scholarship essay. If the essay prompts and directions are nearly identical between one scholarship application and another, you can reuse the essay. If you’re a high school senior, you might even be able to reuse the personal statement you write for college applications. And this will save you a ton of time!
For example, let’s say one scholarship asks you to write an essay addressing a prompt that says something like “Why should you receive this scholarship?” and another gives you a prompt like “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”. Your answer to both prompts is probably going to be the same, right?
Write the essay for one application. Then, reuse and adapt that same essay to fit the word count, directions, etc. of the second application.
Just make sure of one thing: if you mention the scholarship provider’s name (e.g. Coca Cola Foundation) in your essay, remember to change the name when reusing the essay for another scholarship application!
10 Things to Leave Out of Your Scholarship Essay
Now that you have a sense of how to attack your scholarship essay, let’s take a look at what to leave out of it.
Keep in mind that these rules aren’t written in stone, of course, but they’re guidelines that will help you write the most unique and compelling scholarship essay possible.
Okay, so here’s what you’ll typically want to avoid…
#1 Inspirational quotes
Who doesn’t love an inspirational quote?! We sure do. Whether you find them scrolling Instagram or keep them tacked up above your desk, a great quote can be super empowering. But when it comes to scholarship essays, it’s better to leave them out.
DON’T drop in famous quotes, many of which are overused. For example: “Mahatma Gandhi said to ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ which is why I’m applying for this scholarship award. I want to attend college so I can become a nurse and change the world.”
Here’s the thing: wanting to be a nurse is incredibly admirable in its own right! It doesn’t have to be attached to anyone else’s sweeping statements about life or humanity. This essay is about you , so famous quotes are just a distraction.
DO include meaningful advice or wisdom you’ve received directly from the important people in your life. This is much more personal and will provide a unique account of who you are and what you’re all about.
For example: “My mother, a registered nurse for 20 years, has always encouraged me to help care for others as a means of making the world a better place. This is why I’m planning to follow in her footsteps and go to nursing school.”
#2 Overly general phrases and platitudes
The name of the game for winning scholarships is standing out from the mix. This means you don’t want to say the exact same thing as hundreds of other applicants.
Platitudes are common, overly simplified statements that people use all the time. For example, “Good things come to those who wait.” These are okay phrases to say, but refrain from using them in your scholarship essays to avoid sounding like every other high school student.
DON’T discuss the scholarship opportunity in platitudes like, “It would mean the world to me to win this money” or “Winning this scholarship would be life-changing.” These statements may be true, but they don’t really tell us much about you.
DO illustrate specifically how things will change if you win the scholarship money. For example, “This scholarship award would enable me to have only one part-time job instead of two, providing me more time to focus on my college courses.”
#3 Cliche stories or themes
Many scholarship essay prompts ask you to discuss how winning a scholarship would impact you. And this is often where cliches creep in.
Cliches are phrases, stories, or themes that are overused to the point that they lose their power and meaning. And they’ll definitely weaken your scholarship essay.
The most common example of a cliche theme in scholarship essays is the “Cinderella” or “underdog” storyline (think: Cinderella getting her glass slipper, only the scholarship is the glass slipper). Many cliches involve a person who, with a little help, turns it all around and prevails.
In real life, we LOVE a Cinderella story as much as anyone. But you can imagine why this type of story ends up in scholarship essays a lot!
DON’T simply share a story about yourself that paints you as a down-on-your-luck student who could have it all if ONLY you won this scholarship money. Here’s what this might look like: “I’ve never really won anything in life: no contests, giveaways, or competitions. But if I win this scholarship and save money on college, I’ll be able to focus 100% on my academic performance and become the youngest Supreme Court Justice in American history.”
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about dreaming BIG! But when it comes to scholarship essays, we want to help you to avoid falling into cliche narratives that dampen the power of your story and hurt your chances of winning.
DO be realistic and specific when talking about yourself, your background, your career goals, your leadership qualities, and your aspirations. Focus on one primary goal that you’ll be better able to attain if you win the scholarship money. For example: “As a Spanish double major, I would love the opportunity to study abroad as an international student in Madrid to immerse myself in the culture and become fluent in Spanish. Winning this scholarship money would help fund my semester overseas.”
Here’s another one that probably seems WAY obvious. You’d never swear in a scholarship essay, right? But you may be surprised at how many people do!
DON’T use any profanity or curse words, even if they’re part of common phrases that we hear all the time on TV and in the real world.
For example, try not to say things like: “I’ve worked my ass off for 18 years and now I am ready to apply myself even further in this rigorous pre-med program.”
Will you actually offend anyone with that kind of conversational tone? Probably not. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, we know you can be more creative than that!
DO stress your excitement, perseverance, and preparedness for this next chapter without the curse words. You can always use a thesaurus to look up new and exciting ways to say things or use imagery to paint a picture of your experiences.
For example: “Being a college student has been a marathon and at times I’ve worried I may not cross the finish line. But now that I’ve graduated, I know what I’m capable of and I’m thrilled to be starting this graduate program.”
#5 “Text speak”
We realize that texting is the way of the world. And we’re all pretty accustomed to abbreviating words and using acronyms daily (smdh and lol-ing about how common this language is now). But keep your “text speak” in your group chats and out of your scholarship essays.
Your scholarship essay is a great place to showcase your eloquence and professionalism, so (unless directed otherwise), write as you would for a teacher or a boss.
DON’T use statements like, “College should be free for everyone IMO, but because it’s not, I need this scholarship 2 help fund my education.” It looks hilarious taken out of context, right? This kind of thing is super common and distracting for the reader.
DO remove any and all “text speak” in favor of your own unique voice and tone. You can still use mild humor and even talk like you , but keep it academic and professional.
#6 Controversial topics
Unless the essay prompt explicitly asks you to address a currently trending, controversial topic and take a stance on it, don’t. These essays are about you.
Based on the prompt and your personal experiences, perhaps you’ll discuss a “hot topic,” but don’t do so just to make your essay stand out. You’ll risk alienating your reader(s).
We definitely encourage you to be yourself, and to be open and honest about your life experiences, but “hot takes” are better left for Twitter than used in scholarship essays.
DON’T treat your scholarship essay like a platform to tackle a trending topic. A thoughtful essay reads 100 times better than your stance on a popular topic of the moment.
DO take firm stances on causes that you believe in and articulate how winning this scholarship will help you advocate for them. For example, you can certainly discuss your commitment to advocating for gender equality or against wage inequality.
To be clear: we’re NOT suggesting that you sanitize your beliefs or your writing, or dampen your beliefs to cater to specific readers. The key is to be mindful of the prompt and to avoid unnecessary detours or tangents that tread into hot take territory unrelated to the prompt.
#7 Emojis, photos, and funky fonts
We love emojis too, but they shouldn’t make their way into your scholarship essay (and, yes, we’ve seen it happen plenty of times). Unless for any reason you’re asked to creatively use an emoji in your response, just resist the urge.
The same goes for photos, fun fonts, or anything that isn’t straightforward typeface. Unless, again, you’re given the green light.
DON’T turn your scholarship essay into an art project. It may seem like a good idea, but keep it professional. More importantly, you want your essay to be as easy to read as possible, without overwhelming the readers.
DO stick to the standard: Times New Roman font, size 12 if you’re attaching your essay as a Google or Word document. If you’re pasting your essay into the text box on a website, this will format your content automatically.
And of course, read the directions carefully so you know how to format your scholarship essay when it comes to things like single vs double spacing, margins, headers/footers, etc.
#8 Extreme declarations
It’s almost always a good idea to avoid extreme, either-or perspectives. And this is definitely true when it comes to scholarship essays. An extreme declaration involves only seeing one side of a situation (often the negative side) and presenting it as fact.
DON’T make fatalistic declarations about the future and take unnecessarily strong stances on topics.
For example: “If I don’t get this scholarship, I won’t have enough financial aid to attend college and I’ll never get a good job to support myself.”
Or, “The education system in the United States is entirely broken and there’s no way to turn it around.”
See how both of these statements can give the reader a feeling that the writer is not seeing the full picture?
DO replace extreme declarations with hopeful and open-minded approaches to the future. This is not to say that you can’t take a firm and realistic stance on a topic. But try to reflect a generally optimistic and proactive mindset.
For example, if the prompt asks you about an issue facing the world today, you may say something like: “While there has undeniably been immense damage done to the planet, I’m excited to pursue a double major in environmental science and computer science as a means of taking action to reverse these toxic effects of climate change.”
Much more dynamic and compelling, right?
#9 Put-downs of other applicants
Speaking ill of anyone or saying why other students are less deserving of scholarship money isn’t a good look. You can absolutely articulate why you’re deserving without putting anyone else down!
DON’T speak unkindly about anyone, especially hypothetical applicants who you see yourself as more deserving than. This may be well-intentioned, but it’s sure to come across as distasteful no matter how well it’s written.
DO “stay in your own lane,” as they say, and don’t let the essay wander to focus on and nitpick others. Feel free to provide compelling reasons for why you’re a great candidate to receive scholarship money without bringing others into it!
#10 Your autobiography
As discussed, most scholarships require a pretty tight word or character limits, so you won’t have a lot of room to tell your whole life story. When talking about yourself, it can be easy to get on a roll and include more details than necessary. But try to stay focused.
DON’T write a complete autobiography of your life. It can be easy to believe that going beyond the word limit will come across as working harder or putting in more of an effort. In reality, scholarship committees actually put a lot of weight into your ability to follow directions. So while your autobiography may be incredible, it’s unlikely you’ll do it justice in 500 words or less (or whatever the requirement is).
DO choose and focus on a central incident, challenge, personality trait, hobby, or aspiration. For example, discuss only your love of animals, your passion for community service, your memory of the day your younger sister was born, etc.
Scholarship Essay Outline Example
We know there’s a lot of information packed in the tips we just shared. And it’d probably be a challenge to remember everything when you start writing. So, here’s an outline you can use to easily format your scholarship essays!
- Hook Introduction : Open the essay with an intriguing excerpt of the story you’ll share to address the writing prompt.
- 1-3 Body Paragraphs : Continue to share relevant details of the story, explaining how it relates to the prompt and makes you a good candidate for the specific scholarship. Be sure to highlight things scholarship committees are looking for, like leadership skills in school activities, your academic and career goals, why you’re specifically applying for this scholarship, etc.
- Conclusion : Wrap up your essay by restating your interest in the scholarship and showing how the story you’ve shared demonstrates your readiness for college.
Winning Scholarship Essay Examples
So far, we’ve shared a lot of tips and strategies to help you write the best scholarship essay possible. But what does all that look like in practice?
Here are 3 videos with scholarship essay examples from now college students who knew to apply many, if not all, of the tips we’ve shared in this blog post!
This student’s scholarship essay helped him win over $100,000 in scholarships to attend the University of Maryland, College Park!
This student’s scholarship essay helped her win a full-tuition scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University!
This student’s scholarship essay helped her win $60,000 in scholarships to attend an Ivy League university!
Want More Scholarship Opportunities?
There are tons of scholarships that you can apply for and win. So, don’t just focus on the scholarship program you’re currently writing an essay for. Apply for as many scholarships as you can!
To easily find them, download Scholly Search , the #1 scholarship app that instantly matches you with hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in scholarships based on your interests, accomplishments, and traits!
You can also check out the rest of our blog where we share tips on topics, like how to find jobs with tuition reimbursement programs, understand and apply for FAFSA , and win scholarships like the National Merit Scholarship .
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A Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay
A winning scholarship essay is the pinnacle of your application. It’s your chance to make a case for why the sponsor should fund your college education. However, writing a winning scholarship essay may be very daunting for you. You may be challenged by one of the four issues I hear from students all the time, like:
- “I don’t like to write.”
- “I don’t know what to write about.”
- “I don’t know how to develop your story to make an impact.”
- “I am exhausted from all the writing.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? My goal is to help you move past these common roadblocks that students have when writing scholarship essays. Keep reading to learn about:
- The five most common essay types that scholarship sponsors ask students to write about
- How to write a winning scholarship essay for each one of these essay types
- How to get past roadblocks that may stump you in your writing or ability to convince the sponsor of your worthiness.
We have also included sample scholarship essays that you can use as a guide to inspire your writing. By following these strategies, you’ll walk away with tools and shortcuts to reduce the time it takes to write a winning scholarship essay that meets what the scholarship sponsor is looking for.
- A scholarship essay is an important part of an application for college funding.
- A winning scholarship essay expresses your passions and interests in detail to create a compelling story.
- The dos and don’ts of writing a winning scholarship essay.
- Sample winning scholarship essays are included in this post.
Table of Contents
What is a scholarship.
A scholarship is a financial award given to a student to help pay for educational expenses . Scholarships are typically awarded based on academic or athletic merit or personal attributes such as community service, leadership, or financial need.
Why is the Scholarship Essay Important?
The scholarship essay your write is essential because it gives you a chance to demonstrate to the selection committee what makes you the best candidate for the scholarship. It allows you to showcase your academic achievements, personal strengths, and any extracurricular activities or volunteer work you have participated in. It also allows you to explain your unique circumstances or hardships and how they have shaped you. Ultimately, a well-written and thoughtful essay can help you stand out from the competition and make a positive impression on the selection committee.
Private sources award 1.7M scholarships, with a total value of $7.4B annually. National Center for Education Statistics
Is the Scholarship Essay the Same as a College Essay?
A scholarship essay is different from a college essay. You would write a scholarship essay to apply for a particular award from a nonprofit organization, college or university, or other entity that is awarding funding for college. The purpose of a scholarship essay is to show why you deserve the scholarship. A college essay, on the other hand, is usually used to apply for admission to a college or university. The college essay is meant to give the admissions committee a better understanding of your strengths as a candidate. You can, however, use the essay you’ve written for college admissions for scholarship applications with some tweaking.
What Do You Write in a Winning Scholarship Essay?
What you write in your winning scholarship essay will depend on the question asked by the scholarship sponsor. In my experience coaching students, I have observed that scholarship sponsors ask five types of questions.
5 Types of Scholarship Essay
Personal statement essay.
If a scholarship essay prompt asks you something like, “ To apply, tell us about yourself, the challenges you’ve overcome, and how you plan to make a difference in the world with your education,” such as found in the Yvela Michele Memorial Scholarship , you are being asked to tell your big picture story and why you deserve a scholarship. The personal statement essay makes a great essay that tells a broad story of your
Sample Personal Statement Essay
My name is David Morris, and I am a senior at North High School. Over the last four years, I have completed a challenging course curriculum, been an active member of my school community. I have strived to gain admission into my top school, the University of Texas at Austin, where I’ll attend in the fall.
While UT was generous in offering me a $20,000 merit scholarship, I need additional funds to afford the school. Therefore, I am humbly requesting consideration for the Mae Gold Foundation Scholarship for $5,000. Based on my research, I have the academic background, achievement history, personal mission, and goals that align with the Foundation’s objectives to “send deserving students from the state of Indiana to college.”
My goal is to study psychology at UT Austin and then study medicine and become a psychiatrist. My passion for this career path started as a junior when I volunteered at Wishard Hospital. My assignment was to assist Dr. Patel, a psychiatrist, with 35 patients with schizophrenia, bipolar, and other mental illnesses. As part of group therapy support, I interacted with the patients. I played games like chess, pool, and table tennis with patients. I shadowed Dr. Patel, learning his day-to-day and watching how he impacted the lives of his patients. This experience taught me workplace skills such as time management, teamwork, and planning. But most importantly, it exposed me to the possibility of being a doctor.
While I know the journey is long, I am confident I will persevere and keep going until I achieve my goals. Throughout my education, I have challenged myself at every turn. I have taken 7 AP classes and 5 honors courses. During the last two summers, I have taken computer science classes at IUPUI. Also, I am in leadership positions in my school’s Key Club, play golf, and work a part-time job at Kroger.
The only barrier to achieving my dream is financing college. The cost of attending UT is $52,000. Even after the scholarship, I’d have to pay $32,000. I am aggressively looking for scholarships to lessen the amount of student loans I’ll have to take on. So far, I’ve won awards from various scholarship agencies totaling $15,000. The $5,000 award from Mae Gold will give me so much closer to my goal. By investing in me, you’ll help me become the first person in my family to graduate college and enter a STEM field where students like me are underrepresented.
A leadership essay prompt essentially asks you to reflect on an activity that is unique and has reached and impacted people, like the one asked by the Glenda W. Brennan Foundation , which asks, “ tell us how you give back to your community and what your plans in the travel industry are.”
Sample Leadership Essay
While in high school, I have had significant leadership experiences, both in volunteer service and paid positions. These opportunities have given me a unique perspective and have helped me learn new skills, such as working with people, communicating, and being efficient.
Over the last three years, I have volunteered at Seven Loaves Food Pantry. Every Saturday, I help prepare bags of food for families in need. My job is to sort out food and place it in a bag. Once a staff member announces on the megaphone, “Get ready for the run!” I gather a few carts and run out to the cars in line for their groceries. As I pile groceries throughout their car, I get many thanks of gratitude. There’s one that I remember vividly, a mother with a young child said to me, “Thank you for all of your hard work. Our community needs this. God bless.” Having the privilege of interacting with the recipient face-to-face is the most rewarding feeling, and it is why I chose to volunteer for this organization. The kindness and positivity this program has presented to me are what I strive to portray in my personal life.
Also, since 2018, I have volunteered at the public libraries for the City of Plano. I read to children at story time events and assist them with Legos, counting money, watercolor painting, and other crafts. I love making their day and seeing the intrigued looks on the children’s faces as I read or play with them. In one particular event, a child’s parent came up to me after and said that her daughter truly enjoyed her time and wanted to come back and see me the next day. These responses develop my desire to help and interact with children in any way possible.
I have worked at Dallas Country Club since 2018. My duties involve filing documents and assisting the HR Director with organizing the file area to reduce backlog and clutter and increase productivity. Also, I learned a new computer program, which I use to file new hire employee information and payroll. During the holidays, I help coordinate catering packages for members, including taking orders, organizing and packing trays of food, and solving concerns as they come up. I dress up as characters, like the Easter bunny, entertaining children. Since joining the Country Club, my problem-solving, communication, and project management skills have advanced. In other aspects of my life, I have applied these skills, including at school when I am assigned group projects. I usually am the one who takes the lead in organizing and assigning tasks for each person, making sure every member gets their work done on time, and encouraging my group to work as a team to be more efficient.
Overall, I have learned several things from my leadership experiences. With my new skills and knowledge, I also understand that my actions significantly influence others. I feel more prepared for college and my future.
Future Plans Essay
A future plans essay prompt asks you to share your academic progress and discuss your intent, promise, and future career goals in detail. A good example of a future plans essay prompt is the one asked by the Jacques Borges Memorial Scholarship , “ Why are you passionate about becoming a civil engineer? What are some of the problems you’d like to address in your community? how do you believe you can contribute to the solution to these issues? Sponsors would like to know what you expect to achieve in your future career, what inspired that choice, the aptitude you demonstrated that prove you’ll succeed in this career choice, and the role your college will play in your future success.
Sample Future Plans Essay
Last summer, I read Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, which I found to be one of the most profound books I had ever read. In the text, Alex, the protagonist, has his right to choose taken away by a totalitarian government. Learning about the hardships and moral dilemmas Alex faced helped me appreciate my freedom to decide my career pathway. I want to work at a law firm and handle civil rights cases to protect people’s natural born rights.
Someday, I hope to be as influential as civil rights leader Julius Chambers. Chambers opened a law practice in Charlotte and is most famous for the integration (by busing) of public schools in the 1971 case Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Like Chambers, I believe that nothing should slow the advancement of civil rights. I will strive to get a position on a state supreme court to rule in landmark cases involving violations of the rights and protections guaranteed by our Constitution and laws.
I believe that vision, hope, hard work, and my education at Georgetown University will position me for a successful career in law. I chose Georgetown because I would like to pursue rigorous academic coursework and conduct research alongside expert practitioner professors and like-minded students passionate about learning. I will take advantage of being part of the Honors Program to develop my thinking skills further. The course I am looking forward to most is called “What is Politics For?” In the class, I will explore questions that dominate public discourse and join the discussion with peers who value learning as much as I do.
In addition, I plan to research under the guidance of political science professors like William Winstead. He examined Nietzsche’s Practice of Warfare influenced German culture and determined how Germany interacts with foreign nations today. With his in-depth knowledge of how to gather adequate resources on a topic and synthesize a more significant meaning between history and modern-day politics, I hope to understand the rationale of political behavior in the United States.
Also, I am excited about participating in extracurricular opportunities offered at Georgetown University that will prepare me for a career, such as volunteering abroad in England to understand better how their unitary form of government works or securing a prestigious internship with parliament. Hands-on experiences juxtaposed with working with relevant and active professors will provide me with the foundational knowledge and expertise that will prepare me for law school and a career someday as a lawyer.
In closing, I hope you will consider my application for the Newfield Scholarship. The scholarship will go towards educational costs and allow me to focus on my studies in my first year. I will ensure that the investment in my education is returned tenfold in the communities I plan to serve in the coming years. Thank you for this opportunity, and I look forward to your decision.
A struggle essay prompt is one that asks you to speak about a challenge you faced and how you succeeded in persisting through and eventually overcoming the challenge.As an example, The Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship asks the question, How has the loss of a close family member or loved one caused you to focus on what matters most in your life and what you want to “fight” to achieve?” When you craft your winning scholarship essay, you’ll speak about any problem or challenge you have dealt with, the actions you took to work through the problem, how you’ve grown as a person after facing the challenge, and the learnings from this experience that will help you in the future.
Sample Struggle Essay
I struggled in Mrs. Hennessey’s geometry class. While classmates intensely followed her lesson, studying the whiteboard as she drew perfect shapes and angles, I couldn’t keep up. After school, I’d go home and practice drawing lines and shapes for hours until it got dark outside. My eyes were sore, and my fingers blistered from pushing too hard on the loose-leaf paper to draw shapes like Mrs. Hennessey’s.
After a few weeks of noticing my late nights studying, my parents offered, “We will get you a tutor [if] it will help.” But I always refused. You see, looking back, the problem was not that I didn’t understand geometry. I didn’t need tutoring, so I didn’t want to waste their money. What I wanted instead: that I could draw every point, segment, line, and triangle straight, clean, and 90 degrees. Geometry made me fully aware of my flaws, and I hated it.
This all changed, for the better, when I took Art 1-2D. On my first day of class, the teacher, Mrs. Pierce, introduced herself, saying, “I would like you to draw what you want our world to look like. There is no right or wrong in this class. Art is how you, as the artist, choose to interpret it.” Staring down at the blank sheet of paper, I had trouble getting started. Seeing everyone around me had a clear objective and art skills, I defaulted to drawing six stick figures united, holding hands. I looked over at my classmates’ drawings. While I cannot remember precisely what they drew, it looked more creative and professional. My figures were not perfect in any way, and it bothered me. Their legs and arms weren’t straight, their heads were not perfect ovals, and they all appeared different.
When my art teacher walked by my desk, I expected her to criticize my work and tell me what needed to be fixed. Instead, she kneeled in, close to my paper, and said, “Kaeli, that looks great!” I felt relieved as the weight had been lifted off my shoulders. In her validation of my art, down went the pressure to be perfect. In my art class anyway.
Over the next few months, Mrs. Pierce assigned us so many projects that I loved — that broadened my perspective of art. One example includes a distorted art project. The project tasked me with picturing myself in an object that reflected distortion. Using a decorative tissue box cover, I placed my phone at eye level, hit the red button, and hoped for the best. The image reflected my face: twisted, deformed, and imperfect. I immediately knew the exact point of this assignment and its lessons applicable to other parts of my life.
In my geometry days, taking an hour to draw perfect lines and symmetrical shapes took a toll on my mental health. I spent more time worrying about the aesthetics of my work than the content and purpose of learning. Welcoming art into my life changed all of this for me. Art has reset my views: it has no expectations and lacks perfection.
A thematic essay prompt asks you to write a response related to a quote, mission, or concept. This essay will vary by the sponsor, so you cannot write it ahead of time unless another sponsor asks a similar theme question. For example, The Bryent Smothermon PTSD Awareness Scholarship asks student applicants: “ What have you learned about yourself or the world around you through your experiences with service-related PTSD? How do you hope to use your experience to help other veterans who are currently suffering from PTSD?” Thematic essays are creative and give you an opportunity to tell the scholarship sponsor a unique story about yourself and your life experiences that show you’re worthy of scholarship funding.
Sample Thematic Essay
Often, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of my phone. Seeing the screen light up in the corner of my eye while struggling to focus on the road ahead is challenging. Aside from my phone, there are endless disturbances that many young people and I encounter while driving.
Distracted driving affects thousands of people. But specifically, I have seen teens physically and mentally connected to their phones because it’s how we grew up. That’s all we know. It is a constant battle—fighting the urge to return a friend’s text, skip to the next song, or post on Instagram. This nagging fear of missing out drives us to indulge in hazardous activities that distract from what’s most important, keeping our eyes on the road.
Regretfully, I have been both a distracted driver and an accomplice to distracted driving. One example I can still see clearly in my head was during the homecoming of sophomore year. I was in the car with my friends, Anya and Sophia. I was sitting in the passenger seat next to Anya, who was driving. Sophia was sitting in the back seat. It was 9:00 PM, the windows were down, and Shawn Mendes’ new song was blaring as we cruised down Preston Road with no care at the moment. But within seconds, that reality faded once our oblivion carried us through a still red light, almost colliding with another vehicle. My heart stopped, and shock took over my body. I still remember the look on the little girl’s face in the other car. She must’ve been barely five years old. I thought to myself: we could’ve killed her. We could’ve killed ourselves.
Beyond escaping a near-death experience, that night taught me three things:
- I learned the importance of safe driving.
- I can see now how easy it is to lose control of a situation while distracted.
- I have learned the significance of spreading awareness of being a safe driver.
Every day I sit in the driver’s seat, I do what I can to prevent myself from distracted driving. Before I start the ignition, I connect my Bluetooth, put on my music, and input the directions to where I am going. If I get a text from my parents or friends while driving, I ignore it and respond when I can safely pull over. Also, I avoid eating while driving. And my rule is never to have more than two passengers in the car. Taking these actions and being an example to my friends who observe me while driving can be crucial in saving lives.
As a result, I’m 17 years old and can proudly say I have maintained a clean driving record. I have no tickets or accidents to report. Praising me for my driving maturity, my parents have allowed me to take road trips with my friends as far as 100 miles from our home.
How to start a scholarship essay?
Crafting a successful scholarship essay doesn’t have to be a challenging process. Start with an outline, focusing on the essentials of what you want to present. Be sure to include compelling anecdotes and examples to back up your viewpoint. While working on your essay, forget about worrying over word count, as the most important thing is getting your ideas down on paper first. Once that’s done, take time to read through it carefully, refining and tightening it until it answers the prompt clearly before submitting your application.
How long should a Scholarship essay be?
Writing a winning scholarship essay can vary in length, but most are around 500-1000 words. However, it is important to follow the specific requirements set by the scholarship provider.
Dos and Don’ts of writing a scholarship essay.
Writing a scholarship essay can be a daunting task. Here are some do’s and don’ts that you’ll want to adhere to as you write your winning scholarship essay.
- Carefully read all instructions and requirements. Make sure your essay is following all the requirements, or it may not be considered.
- Use proper grammar and spelling. A well-written essay will make a good impression on the reader.
- Make sure you stay within the word limit.
- Proofread your essay. Check for any typos or errors.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to start writing your essay. Make sure you give yourself enough time to plan and write your essay.
- Don’t exceed the word limit. This could lead to points being taken off your essay.
- Likewise, refrain from utilizing excessively informal language or slang.
- Don’t plagiarize. Make sure your work is original, and cite any sources you use.
- Therefore, don’t submit your essay without proofreading it first. Additionally, be sure to check for any errors or typos.
Conclusion + Next Steps
Now that you know how to write a winning scholarship essay and have seen examples of great scholarship essays, you can begin to write your own scholarship essay. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing a winning scholarship essay that stands out to the reader and wins you the funds you need to pay for college.
Don’t forget to download the Scholarship Starter Pack , which includes fill-in-the-blank essay templates and other resources to get you started with finding and winning scholarships to pay for college.
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Scholarship Essay Examples
With college tuition costs rising each year, many students apply for merit scholarships to help make college more affordable. However, merit scholarships can be competitive—and that’s where our scholarship essay examples come in. By reading our scholarship essay examples, you can learn what it takes to write an award-winning essay.
Scholarships are an excellent opportunity for students to lessen their college tuition costs. Most merit scholarships require a brief application, usually including one or more essays. Below, we’ve rounded up our best scholarship essay examples.
Reading winning scholarship essay examples, especially scholarship essay examples about yourself, can help you begin the scholarship essay process. By reviewing essay examples, you can learn how to craft a strong essay. You’ll also get a better sense of what scholarship committees look for when they review applications.
In this guide to Scholarship Essay Examples, you’ll find tips on how to write the best scholarship essay, as well as:
- Various scholarship essay examples about yourself
- A strong scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship
- Scholarship essay examples about financial need, and more!
We’ve included scholarship essay examples specific to schools, including UC Berkeley, as well as specific programs, like the SHPE scholarship. We’ll also discuss the different types of scholarships you’ll find on your scholarship search.
Now, before we jump into our essay examples, let’s learn more about getting scholarship money for college.
What is a scholarship essay?
A scholarship essay is an essay you’ll include in your merit scholarship applications. In many ways, your scholarship essays might resemble your college essays. So, the scholarship essay format should seem familiar.
The best scholarship essays will highlight who you are and why you deserve money for college. Scholarship essay prompts will ask you to include various information, from details about your background to explanations of why you deserve a scholarship.
Crafting a compelling, well-written essay can help you win substantial financial awards to help cover your college tuition costs. However, not all scholarship essays are the same. Later on, we’ll review different winning scholarship essay examples to show you what kind of essays you’ll write in your application process.
Types of Scholarships
There are many different types of scholarships available to students. You can find a variety of scholarship opportunities on scholarships websites. The earlier you start your scholarship search, the more scholarships you’ll find.
While some scholarship applications accept applicants of all backgrounds and abilities, some have very specific eligibility guidelines. So, you may not be eligible for every scholarship. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re eligible, you can find eligibility information on most scholarships websites.
Here are a few different scholarship types you may come across in your scholarship search:
- Academic scholarships
- Merit scholarships
- Essay competitions
- Community service scholarships
- Military scholarships
Scholarship essay prompts will differ across programs. As you’ll see in our winning scholarship essay examples, the prompts can vary in word count and complexity. We’ll provide you with descriptive essay examples to help you get an idea of what to expect.
Most scholarships we’ll highlight in this article are merit-based scholarships . A merit-based scholarship is money awarded by a college or community organization based on your academic achievements.
In contrast, a need-based scholarship is awarded based on a student’s financial need. If you are applying for financial aid, be sure to check out our scholarship essay examples about financial need. You’ll find both merit- and need-based scholarships on your scholarship search.
To qualify for a merit-based scholarship, you generally must meet specific criteria. Scholarship committees look at your grades, academic achievements, extracurriculars, and even test scores. Need-based scholarships can have similar requirements, but they’re primarily concerned with your family’s financial status.
There are many merit-based scholarships available to help students afford college, including:
- National merit scholarships
- Gates Scholarship
- Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship
- Robertson Scholarship
Check out our guides on these popular merit-based scholarships for more details. There, you’ll find tips on how to write a winning essay. Our descriptive essay examples can also help prepare you to apply to these programs After all, while prompts vary, the scholarship essay format remains fairly standard.
In this guide, we’ll highlight some scholarships you may be eligible for. However, make sure to check out the rest of our resources to help you approach the scholarship search.
Some scholarships we’ll discuss include:
- QuestBridge scholarship : helps low-income students attend elite colleges
- Park scholarships : for students attending NC State University
- SHPE scholarship : offers financial assistance for Hispanic students interested in STEM degrees.
Scholarship essay examples about financial need will help you prepare for your scholarship applications. For instance, if you apply for the SHPE scholarship, you’ll include a lot of details about your background.
You can also use scholarship search portals or scholarships websites to find other scholarships you may be eligible for.
How do you write a scholarship essay?
While scholarship essay prompts may differ, you’ll usually stick to the same general scholarship essay format.
One resource that can help you write the best scholarship essays and find money for college is Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae is a private lender offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional student loans. They also grant scholarships and provide aspiring college students with a scholarship search portal on their scholarships websites. Here’s what they have to say about having a winning scholarship essay format.
When writing a scholarship essay, it’s best to start with a scholarship essay format that organizes your thoughts. This will allow you to follow a plan that clearly and concisely gets your points across. You should begin your essay with a solid introduction. Then, introduce your supporting arguments and add an appropriate conclusion.
A good scholarship essay clearly states why you deserve to win money for college with evidence to back up your argument. You’ll see how to do this in our scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship. The best scholarship essays will be original and honest. It should be written in an inspirational and positive tone, highlighting your strengths and capabilities.
When you feel like you have put your best foot forward, you should ask others for their feedback. This can be from a teacher, counselor, or one of our advisors here at CollegeAdvisor! Proofread your final essay and make sure you’ve caught any spelling and grammatical errors before submitting your application.
Up next, we’ll get into our descriptive essay examples and the different scholarship essay prompts they responded to.
By looking at scholarship essay examples, you can learn what exactly makes a good essay. So, let’s look at some descriptive essay examples written by students looking to secure money for college.
First, we will walk you through scholarship essay examples about yourself. Then, we’ll look at a scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship. Lastly, we will provide you with scholarship essay examples about financial need. Remember to keep these scholarship essay examples in mind when writing essays of your own!
Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself
Let’s take a closer look at some scholarship essay examples about yourself.
Scholarship essay prompts vary quite a bit, so make sure you understand what the prompt really asks of you. That way, you can answer the question or address the prompt in its entirety.
Some scholarship essay prompts may ask how the scholarship will make a difference for you. They may also ask about any contributions you have made to your community.
Ready to look at some winning scholarship essay examples? Check out these scholarship essay examples below.
The first of our scholarship essays is for Phi Sigma Rho. Here’s the prompt:
How do you promote Phi Sigma Rho and STEM on your campus or in your community? (300 words Max)
Phi sigma rho scholarship essay.
In my campus and community, I strive to promote Phi Sigma Rho and STEM by promoting Phi Rho’s values and sharing my experiences and passion for Phi Rho.
My involvement in the Women in Engineering Program (WEP) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has allowed me the opportunity to promote Phi Rho and STEM. These activities have given me insight into how to successfully create a network that will support and encourage women in engineering to continue their careers.
Within WEP, I served as a sophomore orientation leader (Envoy), mentoring first-year women and assisting with program logistics. As an envoy, I was able to promote Phi Rho ideals of friendship and encouragement. I was also able to informally recruit for Phi Rho by sharing my experiences and passion for the sorority.
Within SWE, I was the Internal Relations Chair my freshmen year and am the Director of Member Engagement this year. Both roles are related to member engagement, allowing me to promote friendship within engineering. Member engagement is important for creating a community among female engineers. Similar to my envoy position, my leadership within SWE has allowed me to share my love for Phi Rho.
Additionally, my volunteer experience with Engineering Ambassadors (EA), a STEM outreach group, has allowed me to promote STEM in the community. In EA, I give presentations on engineering, speak on panels, and lead hands-on activities for K-12 students. EA has taught me strategies to promote STEM to children and teenagers.
Because of Phi Sigma Rho, I have the confidence to inspire and encourage the next generation of female engineers. I hold the values of scholarship, friendship, and encouragement in the highest regard and strive to embody those in every leadership position and volunteer role. Through SWE, WEP, and EA, I have promoted Phi Sigma Rho, its values, and STEM as a whole in both my campus and community.
This is, in many ways, a scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship. The writer clearly highlights how they’ve engaged with Phi Sigma Rho and how their values align with those of the organization. The writer also provides specific examples of their leadership positions, skills, and accolades.
The next two of our scholarship essay examples about yourself are for the SHPE scholarship. Here they are:
SHPE Scholarship essay example #1
Summarize your life experiences and any challenges that have impacted your path to higher education. (250 Words)
I vividly remember the first day of First Grade because I didn’t know the Pledge of Allegiance like the rest of my classmates. Growing up in a Hispanic household, I had never learned what the pledge was. This was the beginning of several years of disconnect.
From receiving weird looks when I told classmates my family opened Christmas gifts at midnight, to my parents’ confusion when I didn’t want them to speak Spanish in public, both sides of my life never understood the other. As a result, I always felt out of place in school, like I was behind in some way because I didn’t share the same upbringing as my classmates. In contrast, academics felt like a level playing field, something we were all learning together in the same way.
While I couldn’t tell you who won the super bowl, I could do mathematics or read just as well, if not better, than my classmates. Socially, I always felt out of place, but academically I was always comfortable, and as a result, I tried to excel in that area of my life. That desire to succeed created the relentless work ethic I have today and the appreciation I have for education.
Despite the lack of emphasis from my parents on schoolwork, I developed this sense of responsibility and persistence to pursue an education. Although my family’s Hispanic culture made my life difficult when I was younger, it made me a more resilient person.
More scholarship essay examples
Shpe scholarship essay example #2.
Discuss your educational and career aspirations as well as your ability to complete and achieve these goals. (250 words)
Using a degree in engineering, I hope to work on improving sustainability and efficiency in the aerospace industry by creating cheaper, safer, and more environmentally-conscious options.
Recently, Pratt and Whitney designed an engine that is 16% more efficient and will release 3600 less metric tons per airplane per year. Excitingly, it also greatly reduces the noise footprint of an airplane. Innovations like these will allow the aerospace industry to evolve and improve while reducing negative environmental impact. I hope to work at the forefront of this innovation, pushing the boundaries of improved engine performance and efficiency.
Last semester, I started working in the Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory on campus to learn more about turbines. Some current projects in the lab involve new turbine cooling techniques and additive manufactured heat exchangers. Throughout the course of my undergraduate career, I hope to learn more about the barriers facing improved engine and turbine efficiency. Following undergraduate, I plan to attend graduate school to gain a deeper knowledge of these topics. Following graduate school, I may go into industry working on turbines and jet engines. Due to beginning research early, I believe graduate school is an attainable educational goal.
The potential ability to make a difference in the environmental impact of the aerospace industry is exciting. To accomplish this, I know studying Mechanical Engineering will give me the skills necessary to fulfill my career goals.
Both of these scholarship essay examples use specific details to highlight the writer’s strengths, experiences, and accolades. In reading these winning scholarship essay examples, we get a sense of who the writer is both as a person and as a student.
Scholarship Essay Sample about “Why I deserve the scholarship”
Another scholarship essay prompt you may come across is “why I deserve this scholarship.” A good scholarship essay clearly highlights why you deserve to win the scholarship and provides evidence to support your argument.
Below, you’ll find scholarship essay samples about why I deserve the scholarship. You can use these as a guide to help you tackle your own scholarship essays.
Here’s the first of our scholarship essay examples, which was used for the Park Scholarship:
The Park Scholarship is an investment in the potential of young people. It prepares scholars to make lifelong contributions to communities, states, nations, and the world. Tell us a story that illustrates your potential to make these lifelong contributions. (What have you done that should compel us to invest in you?) (Max. 3,990 characters including spaces.)
Park scholarship essay example.
Coming from a Venezuelan family, I have always been able to connect with total strangers through Spanish. Whether I’m eating at a restaurant or volunteering, I am constantly stumbling upon other Spanish speakers. The ability to converse in their language allows me to bond with them in a way I couldn’t in English, something I do not take for granted.
Because of my experience, I believe that learning a foreign language is an incredibly important skill. Being able to speak in a second language allows a person to understand another community and reach out to people within that community. Additionally, speaking a second language assists in appreciating other cultures. This appreciation is important for fostering open-mindedness, something America as a whole struggles with today.
In my school district, foreign language classes are not offered until late middle school. Once in high school, many students drop the class. In addition, those who stay in the class often find that the classes provide little more than a basic understanding of the language and then become discouraged in their learning. On a larger scale, this issue affects America as a whole. Second language programs often come second in terms of funding and planning and are not encouraged as rigorously as other academic courses. As a result, many Americans are ignorant to the benefits of bilingualism and are unable to understand the viewpoint of those who are multilingual.
After my freshman year of high school, my frustration with my community’s lack of priority for second language learning culminated in my desire to take some sort of action to promote foreign language education. In my sophomore year, a classmate and I created and ran an introductory Spanish program, Spanish in the Spring, at my local library for young children in the district. I spent hours at home creating lesson plans, activities, themes, and advertisements for the program. I placed heavy emphasis on cultural aspects and the importance of the Spanish language in America and the world as a whole.
My purpose for this program was to introduce children at a young age to learning a foreign language, so their desire to learn would continue throughout their life. Through the program, I was also able to share my belief of the importance of learning a second language with the children, as well as their parents. After the final day of the program, I was thrilled when one parent mentioned their desire to learn a foreign language program themself. I felt that if I made an impact on one person or family, the entire program was worthwhile.
Unfortunately, this past spring I was unable to continue the Spanish in the Spring program due to library scheduling restraints. However, I hopefully plan to offer the program again this spring with some changes that will improve and expand the experience. One of these changes will include the immersion of parents into the experience to encourage foreign language education as a family activity.
While this program was only offered once, the impact was immeasurable, for the children, for the cause of foreign language education, and for me.
This is another scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship. In it, the writer clearly and directly answers the prompt—that is, they highlight their potential to make a lifelong impact on members of their community.
Ready for another scholarship essay example? Here’s the next one:
How will a ScholarSHPE impact your life and education? (200 Words)
Shpe scholarship essay example.
Receiving a ScholarSHPE will give me the gift of time and opportunities. My parents are unable to support me financially throughout college due to large amounts of accrued debt. A ScholarSHPE will reduce my financial stress and allow me to improve my overall health as a result. It will also prevent the need to work several hours a week at a part-time job to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses, which will limit what I can do academically and outside of class. A ScholarSHPE will allow me to spend more time on research pursuits, engineering extracurriculars, volunteer work, and school work, instead of long hours at a part-time job.
This essay sample is fairly straightforward. In it, the writer follows a clear scholarship essay format, explicitly answering the prompt.
UC Berkeley Scholarships essay examples
Let’s look at some school-specific merit scholarship essay examples.
At the University of California – Berkeley , students can apply for a variety of merit scholarships. These scholarships can help offset the cost of UC Berkeley tuition.
Below, we’ve included various scholarship essay examples for the UC Berkeley scholarships. These UC Berkeley scholarships can help students cover their college tuition costs. This can make the UC Berkeley tuition less of a barrier for students hoping to attend.
You’ll find a variety of UC Berkeley scholarships that can help you afford UC Berkeley tuition. Available UC Berkeley scholarships include:
- Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship
- Fiat Lux Scholarship
- Middle Class Scholarship
- Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship
These are just a few ways to cover the cost of UC Berkeley tuition. UC Berkeley students also receive more than $10 million per year in outside scholarships to cover college tuition costs. If you are interested in exploring non-UC Berkeley scholarships, check out this list of outside scholarship resources .
To help you get started, check out our winning UC Berkeley scholarship essay examples. The authors of these scholarship essay examples about financial need all won money to help cover their UC Berkeley tuition.
UC Berkeley scholarship essay examples
I am grateful to realize how fortunate I am today. All the loved ones around me and their acts of kindness have given me such a great life. I also realize the sacrifices that those around me have had to give up in order for me to succeed. It is because of this that I have realized what “paying it forward” truly means. I have been given the opportunity to make an impact in my community and I have fully taken advantage of this opportunity. I have been a volunteer for the Buddyball Sports Organization, which is a non-profit sports organization dedicated to providing the opportunity for children with developmental disabilities to play sports.
Growing up, watching and playing sports has been one of my greatest pleasures of life, so teaching these less fortunate kids has been something I have enjoyed doing every single weekend. On top of this, I am also both a volunteer at the South Orangetown Ambulance Corps and the Nyack Hospital. With the desire to pursue a career in the medical field, volunteering at these places has given me a great idea of what my career could look like in the near future. While all of these volunteer activities have had a significant impact on me, little did I know that this summer would truly make a lasting difference in my life.
This past summer, my family decided to go on a vacation to India to visit my relatives. This was the first time in my life that I was going to India and this was only because my grandmother came down with Parkinson’s disease and was extremely sick. Little did I know at that time that my visit to India would be a life-changing experience. Never could have I imagined such a filthy village. Everywhere I looked, there was garbage and to make matters worse, no one seemed to do anything to try to ameliorate the repugnant image of my home country.
While I realized on my flight home that I was not going to be able to make a difference and help my community back in India, there was nothing stopping me from doing so right here in Rockland County, New York. When I was told that I would have the opportunity to help organize and direct “Make a Difference Rockland,” I joyfully accepted! Make a Difference Rockland is a free public meet and greet for all local non-profits and other government agencies in an attempt to promote different community service opportunities within the public. By gathering all the local non-profit organizations and giving them a chance to present themselves, people learn more about all of the local community service opportunities that are available to them. This way, the community will be able to recruit volunteers and will not have to suffer through calamitous conditions.
As one of the people in charge of organizing, it was my responsibility to adequately contact, invite and help prepare for hundreds of people. Once I gathered their contact information, I had to ask each one of these places if they would be interested in joining the fair. If interested, I had to also prepare a table for them to present themselves at the fair. The feeling of bringing all of these community service groups together brought me a feeling of happiness that I will never forget.
The best scholarship essays will teach the reader about who the writer is, what they care about, and why they deserve a scholarship. The essay above does just that—it highlights the writer’s background and describes how they give back to their community.
Next, let’s dig into a few more scholarship essay examples.
If you’re interested in more descriptive essay examples, keep reading.
Reading a ton of winning scholarship essay examples is a great way to pick up on what makes them winners. Over time, you’ll start to notice how the details, tone, and flow all work together to tell a story.
Below, you’ll find a few more scholarship essay examples. Our first one is from the NC Parks Scholarship. Here’s the prompt:
What do you do to serve your community? Why do you do the service that you do? What impact have you made? What challenges or insights have your service contributions given you? (Max. 3,990 characters including spaces.)
Community-focused scholarship essay example #1.
“What are the boys like in high school?” “Is it easy to get a boyfriend?” Sighing, the other frustrated leaders and I look at each other as we read the questions posed by the younger girls. Every year at Girls’ Night Out (GNO), a program that introduces and prepares eighth-grade girls for high school, the girls question the leaders about relationships and dating ad nauseum, irritating other leaders to the point of ignoring the questions.
Giving each question a careful and deliberate answer is often difficult, but instead of disregarding the issue, I try to offer my most sincere and honest advice. Originally, when I began as a group leader in the program I would give the same response, “You shouldn’t worry about boys. Instead, enjoy your friends, and do things you enjoy.” While that advice is true, it is often not the answer that will satisfy the girls. Through many years in the program, I have learned that advice is not “one size fits all”; it must be individualized to the person’s needs. Now, when faced with a question about dating, I respond with more questions before giving “words of wisdom”.
Many times I am able to understand the perspective of the middle school student, allowing me to give advice accordingly. Supplying proper advice about sensitive topics is one of the most impactful parts of GNO. As a role model and positive influence for the girls, I largely impact their ideas and perception of the environment when entering high school. In addition to teaching the students valuable lessons, volunteering at GNO has taught me that various perspectives may present themselves identically. To better understand those around me, it is important that I look beyond the surface for the other person’s viewpoint.
Beyond understanding other viewpoints from GNO, I have learned from other service that understanding a person’s situation is essential for providing exceptional assistance. Through Key Club, I volunteer many times a year at the local food pantry. As a volunteer, I help the recipients “shop” at the small grocery store using a point system. The process takes up a lot of time because shoppers do not always know what they want. Originally I thought this was a poor design. I believed it would be much more efficient to just hand out the food rather than giving out points and shopping with the food pantry recipients.
Upon expressing my opinion to one of the adult food pantry staff, he explained to me that the grocery store aspect of the store taught the recipients life skills. Additionally, by giving them autonomy over what food they “bought”, they retained a sort of independence, an important skill to have if they find themselves above the income level required to use the food pantry.
The next time I volunteered I took note of the skills presented. Budgeting of points, deciding whether or not they needed something, determining the quality of the fruit, and decision-making of choosing extra food or toiletries, were all skills that those above the poverty line have ingrained. For those who have been using food pantries and other assistance for prolonged periods of time, these skills are not so natural. As a result, teaching the people means after they no longer need the services of the food pantry, they have valuable skills necessary for their independence.
From this experience, I learned an important lesson: helping people is not just giving them what they need at the moment, but understanding what they will need in the future and providing that as well. After realizing this, I emphasize the abilities that the food pantry teaches whenever I dedicate my time. By doing that, I am positively affecting the development of those skills.
When reflecting on the various ways I have served my community, one thing stands out to me: I always understand another viewpoint or gain a new perspective afterwards. For me, the ability to look at something from different angles is an unparalleled talent, and one of the most important skills a person can have.
Describe your volunteer or community experience with SHPE or other organizations and any internships you have held. (250 Words)
Community-focused scholarship essay example #2.
In SHPE, I have been involved in planning the Penn State College of Engineering STEP-UP (Student Transition Engineering Program at University Park) Program as a chair. The STEP-UP program helps students from Penn State branch campuses smoothly transition to the University Park campus through a 3-day program in the spring. The program introduces them to engineering resources, other engineering students, and provides professional development. Due to COVID-19, this year it was held virtually.
Within the Society of Women Engineers and the Women in Engineering Program, I have volunteered at different STEM events in the community for elementary school students. I am also currently serving as an Envoy (a mentorship and logistical position) for the Women in Engineering Program Orientation. Additionally, I participate in many of SWE’s service events, such as donating and collecting donations, cleaning up areas on and around campus, and visiting nursing homes.
On campus, I am also involved with Engineering Ambassadors (EA), a group that does STEM outreach around Pennsylvania from the elementary school to high school level. EA goes virtually or in person to schools, does engineering presentations and activities, and answers questions.
Prior to COVID-19, I had secured an internship with Pratt and Whitney, however, they had to cancel their internship program. As a result, I was fortunate enough to obtain a Process Quality Engineering internship at Brentwood Industries for summer 2020.
Both of these scholarship essay examples highlight how the writers have given back to their communities. These winning scholarship essay examples highlight the writers’ strengths. In doing so, they highlight why these writers deserve help with college tuition costs.
Reflecting on scholarship essay format
As important as the content of your essay is, your scholarship essay format is equally important. As you write, be sure to adhere to the scholarship essay format guidelines provided to you.
However, there are some things all of the best scholarship essays have in common. Here are some general tips, tricks, and outlines to help you in your own writing process.
Three scholarship essay writing tips:
- Word counts are hard to adhere to, but the other applicants must adhere to them, too. Make sure every word counts.
- When you write a solid essay, you can repurpose some of your key points, including specific anecdotes and details, in other scholarship applications.
- Writing a good essay helps you solidify who you are and what you want. This sets you up for success in the scholarship application process and beyond.
Three essential elements to include in your essay:
- State your goals. Scholarship committees are investing in your future and your potential. To take a chance on you, they need to know your plan and what you want to do with your award.
- Establish an implicit or explicit link between your goals and the scholarship you are applying for. Describe to the committee how the specific scholarship will help you attain your goals. Give them a tangible reason as to why you deserve their investment.
- Share your story. Use personal details about your experiences that highlight your identity and objectives. How have you pursued your goals and prepared for your future? How will the scholarship help you going forward? Get personal and be honest.
Storytelling in your essay
Some of the best scholarship essays utilize good storytelling strategies. You should share the details of your personal story in a narrative, using a logical order. Remember, telling personal details about yourself and your goals does not mean simply restating your resume!
By the end of the essay, the scholarship committee should have an in-depth sense of why you applied. You should reveal:
- When and how you arrived at your future goals
- Your motivations to accomplish these objectives
- What traits or skills you have developed along the way
- The meaningful experiences that drive you to your goals
- Any personal challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them
- What has shaped you and your worldview
These details humanize you and show your complexity as a person and an applicant. It’s helpful to use anecdotes and personal experiences to give life to facts and details about yourself. Sharing real-life experiences will help make your essay more interesting and more fun to read.
Creating your scholarship essay format
Once you have thought about what you want to say, start thinking about your scholarship essay format. You may start by making a list of what your reader may be interested in:
- How you spend your time
- Your accomplishments
- What your passions are, etc.
Start by brainstorming everything you may want to include in your essay. Then, think about whether the stories you include support your arguments. Ask yourself, “What did I learn?” or “How did this get me closer to my goals?”. These reflections help the reader connect to your purpose for writing.
Make sure to organize your thoughts in a narrative order. However, there isn’t just one way to write an essay. So, don’t limit yourself to one version of your story. You may find yourself writing multiple drafts before you get to your final scholarship essay format.
Editing and proofreading your essay
When you think you have finished, be sure to proofread and edit to ensure it’s ready to be submitted. Check that you’ve adhered to all the scholarship essay format guidelines (like the word count).
Reviewing also includes getting input from others! An outside reader’s opinion can help you confirm your essay effectively communicates your ideas.
Tips for scholarship essays
You may notice some similarities between the scholarship essay examples about yourself we’ve provided. That’s because the authors of the best scholarship essays all use similar strategies to make their essays great.
Here are 5 tips from U.S. News to help you make all of your scholarship essays stand out:
Tips for writing stand-out scholarship essays
1. get personal and be specific.
The best scholarship essays will share an authentic story with impactful details. The key is to be yourself and not shy away from personal details. The more the committee gets to know about you, the more likely they are to invest in your future. You want your essay to offer a genuine, in-depth look into who you are as a person.
2. Tell a story
Your essay should be more than a collection of facts—it should tell a story. That means having a solid introduction that grabs the reader’s attention from the very start. Then, you should include a logical flow of experiences or details. By the end of your essay, you want your reader to have learned something valuable about you.
3. Tailor the scholarship essay to the prompt
Some of your scholarship essay prompts may be similar across different scholarship applications. However, it’s important that your essay is specific to each prompt and answers the question entirely. While you can repurpose an essay you’ve already written as inspiration or a starting point, be extra attentive when doing so.
4. Don’t tailor yourself to the reader
Many students fall into the trap of telling a story they think scholarship foundation committees want to hear. Instead, stay true to yourself as you craft your scholarship application essays. Don’t tell your reader what you think they want to hear—just tell them who you are.
5. Follow directions
This final tip may arguably be the most important. Above all else, students should follow instructions. This means adhering to the scholarship essay format guidelines and word count. It also means answering the essay prompt in its entirety. Application readers can be easily frustrated by a student’s failure to follow directions. This could reflect poorly on you and your essay in the long run.
Use these tips to guide you as you approach the scholarship essay format.
Scholarship Essay Examples – Final Thoughts
We hope our roundup of scholarship essay examples has shown you how to approach your scholarship applications. With rising college costs, scholarships should be a part of your college financial planning process. Take the time to do your own scholarship search based on your specific interests. You can find plenty of scholarships to apply to on scholarships websites and college financial aid pages. There are many different scholarships websites to help you with your search.
Save this guide
Feel free to save this guide and review our scholarship essay examples about yourself and about financial need. You can always look back on our scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship when writing your own essay.
Start with an outline that organizes your thoughts. Then, make sure your essay is clear and concise. Be original and honest, and include personal details and anecdotes when appropriate. State why you deserve to win the scholarship. Then, support your claim in a way that makes a scholarship committee invested in your future.
We’re here to help
Don’t forget to proofread your essay and ask others for their feedback. When in doubt, reach out to our advisors at CollegeAdvisor. Our team is always here to help support you find and apply for scholarships!
This article was written by Bailey Bennet. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.
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10 tips on how to write a winning scholarship essay
Studying abroad can be a costly affair for international students, but scholarships can offer some respite . Scholarship applications typically require students to write a scholarship essay to show the admissions committee why they deserve funding.
While competitive, the essay gives you a platform to demonstrate your strengths, goals and accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom.
It requires plenty of thought to produce a winning scholarship essay, but with the cost of tuition rising each year – one academic year’s tuition fees at a US university can range from US$40,000 to US$52,000 while fees at a UK university could start from £9,250 up to £30,000, depending on the course major — the results may be well worth your effort.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy, here are 10 tips on writing a scholarship essay:
The scholarship essay gives students a platform to demonstrate their strengths, goals and accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom. Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP
Scholarship essay tip 1: Highlight what makes you unique
There is no perfect scholarship essay or writing formula, but the vast majority of winning essays give the scholarship committee a good idea of what drives you, your passions and what you want to do with your education.
In short, write about who you are to the scholarship judges. Make them believe in you and your story.
Scholarship essay tip 2: Read the statement and identify key themes
Your scholarship essay prompt can be either a sentence or a question. From there, identify the theme and what you should expand on. This could be about leadership, your impact or even the community.
You could write about certain experiences and accomplishments, how and why you chose to be involved in these activities, the challenges you faced and how you overcame these, as well as lessons learnt from the experience.
The more you understand these themes, the more examples you can include to showcase your skills and abilities and how you used them.
For example, 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship winner Hayley Capp ‘s essay statement was: “Where I have demonstrated responsible leadership, or innovation, and how it made a difference either in my community or in my work.”
Capp founded a branch of Enactus – “where people either work with social enterprises or to create a social enterprise, using business and entrepreneurial skills to develop solutions to social problems and make a difference to communities” – at her university during her undergraduate studies.
In her scholarship essay, Capp used her experience of collaborating with Enactus members in Uganda to design strategies for addressing high youth unemployment levels.
Scholarship essay tip 3: Be passionate
Some essay prompts will give you free rein to write about any topic, which will give you the advantage of writing about something that you enjoy or that means a lot to you.
For example, your prompt may ask you to describe your proudest accomplishments. You can discuss your volunteer experiences , or perhaps about looking after your sick family member despite having a busy schedule. An understanding of your family circumstances can give the admissions committee a holistic view of you as sports, extracurricular activities or even community service can be a privilege that requires resources an applicant may or may not have access to.
Because Joy Zhou ’s supplemental scholarship essay asked her to describe an experience with an extracurricular activity of her choosing, she wrote about how she managed to found a Science Olympiad club in her high school despite numerous challenges, including objections from the athletic director.
“Try to go with something that you have been doing for a long time and think if there is something quirky or different about your experience in it, or there is some aspect of that experience that you can use to sum up the entirety of your experience doing the extracurricular activity or if there is a passion burning, you can write about that too,” Zhou advises.
Vanderbilt University awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Zhou.
Scholarship essay tip 4: Learn what moves the judges
Why are the judges or universities giving this scholarship? You have to dig deep to understand their motivations behind the scholarship, and what their mission is, be it to increase equity or the university’s competitive advantage.
Take a look at previous scholarship winners and read their essays or excerpts, and you will have a better idea of what appeals most to the scholarship committee.
Having a better understanding of what the scholarship committee is looking for will give you a better shot than writing an essay by shooting in the dark.
Scholarship essay tip 5: Create a strong hook
The beginning of your essay should have a strong hook. A powerful opening sentence will help you draw a reader in and convince him or her to read the rest of your essay.
Ritesh Verma wanted to be a millionaire so he studied stock patterns and professional trades and even made some money over two years. He felt he was ready to go even further so he asked his parents to fund an Ameritrade account but “the stock market took it within a week”.
He began his essay with, “It was ironic that my life shattered into a million pieces, or so I thought. What’s this dream? Well, I had a vision myself as a millionaire, realising that millionaire stock trader lifestyle that’s our ties across the internet.”
His essay helped him win a scholarship worth over US$100,000 to study at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Scholarship essay tip 6: Be aware of the word limit
Many scholarships will have a word limit, so stick to it — it’s there for a reason. If you exceed the word count, your scholarship essay, however great and well-written, may be disqualified.
You can keep track of your word count when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. There are also apps to help you keep track of your words, including letter counter .
Scholarship essay tip 7: Plan, plan, plan
Your main goal is to make your scholarship essay stand out from the competition. One surefire tip is to plan what goes into your essay.
Create a structure (introduction, body and conclusion) that works for you — a winning scholarship essay may vary in structure, so you need to decide what would work for you that suits your content and writing style.
Scholarship essay tip 8: Persuasive writing
This might be of interest to you if you have not heard of the persuasive “writing triangle” before: ethos, pathos and logos. A great scholarship essay uses this triangle for maximum persuasive effect because these three techniques are excellent for pulling in the reader’s attention.
Ethos uses credibility or reliability to establish your knowledge on the subject matter. Your life experiences – which most scholarship essays ask about (luckily!) – are a form of ethos, so use this to your advantage.
Pathos makes use of emotional appeals like creativity and imagination. For example, you may be asked to talk about an imaginary future and how you will make this a better one with your invention or strengths.
Finally, logos refers to using logic to make your points more factual. Your scholarship essay can include key statistics about a related social issue that you want to discuss.
Scholarship essay tip 9: Be realistic and specific
Why do you deserve a scholarship? This can be a challenging question to answer, particularly for a need-based scholarship, as you may struggle to decide how honest you want to be about your financial or family circumstances that have led you to apply for a scholarship in the first place.
It’s important to note that you should never lie in your essay. If you know what you want to get out from your scholarship is funding for your studies, state it in your essay. Explain how the scholarship can help you to achieve your goals.
Scholarship essay tip 10: Revise
Above all, make an effort to revise your scholarship essay. Take breaks whenever possible and look at your essay with fresh eyes. This way, you will find more ways of revising your essay to ensure the final copy reads and flows well.
Find someone you can trust – your teacher, friend or advisor – to read your draft. Sometimes, they will find mistakes you have missed and can give you feedback on how to improve it.
All in all, we understand writing a scholarship essay is not easy, but with these tips, we hope that you will have an easier time doing this. All the best!
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10 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples From Real Students
Make your application shine.
Writing a scholarship essay can be intimidating. The competition is fierce and the stakes are high, so students are bound to feel the pressure. It may be helpful, therefore, to look at essays that were successful. What did those students do to impress the committee? These scholarship essay examples will give you a better idea of how to make an application shine!
Tips for Writing a Scholarship Essay
We’ve put together a whole guide for how to write a scholarship essay , so if you haven’t read it already, definitely give it a look! In addition, here are some quick tips to help students get started.
Carefully read the rules
The last thing you need is to be disqualified from winning a scholarship because you didn’t do the right thing.
Don’t wait until the last minute to start researching and applying for scholarships. Give yourself plenty of time to work through the process.
Get to know the provider
Think of the scholarship provider as your target audience. You want to tailor your essay to impress them, so do your research. What kinds of candidates are they looking for? What causes do they support? Dig deep for the information you need!
Think about who you are, what you want to say, and how to appeal to the scholarship committee. Write everything down and then choose the best ideas.
The scholarship committee will be reviewing many applications. How can you make yours unforgettable? Highlight your strongest assets, share hard lessons if they showcase your growth as a person and/or student, and be honest. Never lie in a scholarship essay!
Consider this the most important academic paper you’ve ever written. Don’t use slang or casual language. Submit a properly formatted essay that’s been well-edited and proofread by multiple people.
One last tip
Don’t reuse scholarship essays! Yes, it’s time-consuming, but students need to put the same effort into every application. Use the same process and it will get faster and easier every time!
Scholarship Essay Examples
Afc visionary scholarship essay by nicole kuznetsov.
Award Amount: $5,000
Essay prompt: Why do you want to go to college? Why is it important to you?
Why it was successful: The beauty of this essay is that it’s well-organized and simple. Nicole Kuznetsov chose to outline her story by using chronology and provided a clean, concise story following a linear path.
North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship Essay by Christine Fung
Award Amount: $1,000
Why it was successful: Christine Fung masterfully shared how her upbringing instilled strong values, a love for education, and a passion for medicine .
The Bill Browning Scholarship Essay by Gabby DeMott
Award Amount: $10,000
Essay prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Why it was successful: Gabby DeMott shared her experiences with personal growth and overcoming fears in Germany. She also appealed to the very human feeling of wanting to belong in a way that was inspiring.
Life Happens Scholarship Essay by Emily Trader
Award Amount: $15,000
Essay prompt: How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally? Be sure to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans, and explain how the lack of adequate (or any) life insurance coverage has impacted your family’s financial situation.
Why it was successful: Emily Trader fully addressed the prompt in honest, beautiful detail. She knew her audience and tailored her essay to appeal to them while telling her compelling story.
Change a Life Foundation Scholarship Essay by Isabella Mendez-Figueroa
Essay prompt: Please explain how your experience volunteering and participating in community service has shaped your perspective on humanity. Elaborate on how these experiences have influenced your future ambitions and career choice.
Why it was successful: Isabella Mendez-Figueroa shared an empowering story about her parents overcoming financial adversity so that she and her sister could be the first in their family to go to college.
Giva Scholarship Essay by Joseph Lee
Essay prompt: Who is (or what makes) a good doctor?
Why it was successful: Joseph Lee offered a captivating , personal story that was essentially a list of things that make someone a good doctor without it feeling boring or calculated.
New York University College of Arts and Science Scholarship by Ana
Award amount: $39,500
Essay prompt: Explain something that made a big impact in your life.
Why it was successful: Ana discussed how early experiences w ith learning difficult things has contributed to her passion for teaching and supporting students.
The Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship Essay by Steven Fisher
Award amount: $7,500
Essay prompt: The Fund for Education Abroad is committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad. Please describe how you and/or your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.
Why it was successful: Steven Fisher’s powerful essay connected his realizations about his own sexual identity with embracing the beautiful diversity found all around the world.
Women’s World Banking Founder’s Scholarship Essay by Rosaisha Ozoria
Essay prompt: Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide.
Why it was successful: Rosaisha Ozoria focused on a very specific topic , financial literacy for Hispanic women, and emphasized its importance and relevance to her own life.
The Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship Essay by Famyrah Lafortune
Award amount: $3,500
Essay prompt: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way.
Why it was successful: Famyrah Lafortune starts with a strong statement about ending racial inequality and then details the steps she’ll take to make it happen.
Do you have any great scholarship essay examples? Share them below!
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The Ultimate Guide To Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay
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How to write a winning scholarship essay.
If you’re looking to further your education but struggling to afford it, a scholarship can be a great option. Scholarships provide financial assistance for students who meet certain criteria, and one of the most common requirements is writing an essay. To win a scholarship , your essay needs to be well-written, engaging, and persuasive. This article will guide you through the process of writing a winning scholarship essay from start to finish.
Table of Contents
Understanding the Scholarship Essay Requirements
When it comes to applying for scholarships , writing an essay is often a requirement. While the idea of writing an essay may seem daunting, it’s important to understand the scholarship requirements before you begin. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you meet all the necessary criteria.
One of the first steps in understanding the scholarship requirements is to read through the prompt carefully. Make note of any specific guidelines, such as word count, formatting, or content. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you are meeting all the requirements.
Reading the Essay Prompt Carefully
One of the most important steps in writing a scholarship essay is understanding the prompt. Take the time to read through the prompt multiple times and make sure you understand exactly what is being asked of you. Pay attention to any specific questions or prompts and make sure you answer them directly.
It’s also important to consider the tone and style of the prompt. Is it formal or informal? Is it asking for a personal story or a more academic response? Understanding the tone and style of the prompt can help you tailor your essay to meet the expectations of the scholarship organization.
Identifying Keywords and Themes
After reading the prompt, it’s important to identify any keywords or themes that stand out. These may include ideas or concepts that the scholarship organization is looking for in a candidate. Highlight or underline these key points so you can reference them later as you write your essay.
For example, if the prompt asks about your leadership experience, you may want to highlight keywords such as “leadership,” “teamwork,” and “problem-solving.” These keywords can help guide your writing and ensure that you are addressing the specific requirements of the scholarship.
Researching the Scholarship Organization
Before you begin writing, take the time to research the scholarship organization. Learn more about their values, mission, and goals. This will help you understand what they are looking for in a candidate and tailor your essay to meet those expectations.
For example, if the scholarship is focused on promoting diversity and inclusion, you may want to highlight your experiences working with diverse groups or your commitment to promoting equality. Understanding the values and goals of the scholarship organization can help you craft a more effective essay.
Overall, understanding the scholarship requirements is an important step in writing a successful essay. By taking the time to read the prompt carefully, identify keywords and themes, and research the scholarship organization, you can ensure that your essay meets all the necessary criteria and stands out to the scholarship committee.
Planning Your Scholarship Essay
Writing a scholarship essay can be a daunting task, but with a little planning and organization, you can make the process more manageable and increase your chances of winning that coveted scholarship.
Scholarship essays are a way for organizations and institutions to get to know you better, understand your goals and aspirations, and determine if you are a good fit for their program. Therefore, it is essential to put your best foot forward and showcase your unique qualities and experiences.
Brainstorming Ideas and Experiences
The first step in writing a scholarship essay is to brainstorm ideas and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the scholarship. This may include academic achievements, personal challenges you’ve overcome, or community service projects you’ve been involved with. Write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
Next, prioritize the most compelling ideas and experiences that align with the scholarship’s mission and values. Consider the scholarship’s prompt and requirements to ensure that your ideas are relevant and address the prompt.
Creating an Outline
Once you have a list of ideas, it’s time to create an outline. An outline can help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your essay flows smoothly. Start by outlining your main points and then expand on each point with supporting details and examples.
Make sure to include an introduction that grabs the reader’s attention, a body that supports your thesis statement, and a conclusion that summarizes your main points and leaves a lasting impression.
Choosing a Strong Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement is the most critical part of your essay. It should convey the main point of your essay and why you are the best candidate for the scholarship. Take the time to craft a strong thesis statement that sets the tone for your entire essay.
Remember to keep your thesis statement concise, persuasive, and relevant to the scholarship prompt. Use it as a roadmap for the rest of your essay and ensure that every paragraph supports your thesis statement.
In conclusion, planning and organizing your scholarship essay can make the difference between winning and losing a scholarship. Take the time to brainstorm ideas, create an outline, and craft a strong thesis statement that showcases your unique qualities and experiences. Good luck!
Writing an Engaging Introduction
Your introduction is the gateway to your essay. It is the first impression that your readers will have of your work, and it is your chance to hook them and make them want to keep reading. Here are some tips for crafting an engaging introduction:
Hooking the Reader
Starting with an attention-grabbing sentence or anecdote is a great way to hook your reader. You can use a personal story, a surprising fact, or a provocative question. For example, “Did you know that the average person spends 6 months of their life waiting for red lights to turn green?” This will grab your reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading to find out more.
Another way to hook your reader is to use a quote. This could be a quote from a famous person or a quote from a book or movie. Just make sure that the quote is relevant to your essay and supports your thesis statement.
Introducing Your Thesis Statement
After hooking the reader, it’s time to introduce your thesis statement. This should be a clear and concise sentence that summarizes the main point of your essay. Your thesis statement should be specific and arguable, and it should be supported by the evidence in your essay.
For example, if you are writing an essay about the benefits of exercise, your thesis statement might be: “Regular exercise has numerous physical and mental health benefits, including weight loss, improved mood, and reduced risk of chronic diseases.”
Setting the Tone for Your Essay
The language and tone you use in your introduction should fit the audience and the purpose of your essay. If you are writing a scholarship essay, for example, and the organization is looking for candidates with a strong commitment to community service, make sure your tone and language reflect that sentiment.
You can also use your introduction to set the tone for the rest of your essay. If you are writing a persuasive essay, for example, you might use a more assertive tone to convince your reader of your argument. If you are writing a descriptive essay, on the other hand, you might use a more poetic tone to paint a vivid picture for your reader.
In conclusion, your introduction is a crucial part of your essay. By hooking your reader, introducing your thesis statement, and setting the tone for your essay, you can engage your readers and make them want to keep reading.
When developing the body of your essay, it’s important to keep in mind that this is where you’ll be providing the meat of your argument. You want to make sure that you’re providing strong evidence and examples to support your thesis statement. One effective way to do this is by incorporating personal anecdotes and examples. Not only will this help to make your essay more engaging and memorable, but it will also provide a personal touch that can help to connect you with your reader.
In addition to sharing personal anecdotes, it’s also important to highlight your achievements and accomplishments.
However, it’s important to do so humbly and authentically. Rather than simply listing your accomplishments, use specific examples to demonstrate your talents and skills. This will not only provide evidence to support your argument, but it will also help to paint a picture of who you are as a person.
Of course, it’s important to remember that you need to stay focused on the main topic and address the essay prompt directly. Avoid going off on tangents or including information that doesn’t directly relate to the prompt.
This can be a challenge, especially if you’re passionate about the topic, but it’s important to stay on track and keep your argument focused. By incorporating personal anecdotes and examples, highlighting your achievements and accomplishments, and staying focused on the essay prompt, you’ll be well on your way to developing a strong and effective body for your essay. Remember, the body of your essay is where you’ll be providing the evidence to support your thesis statement, so take the time to craft it carefully and thoughtfully.
Crafting a Memorable Conclusion
Your conclusion is your chance to leave a lasting impression on the reader.
Summarizing Your Main Points
Summarize your main points and freshly restate your thesis statement. This will remind the reader of the main topic and leave a strong impression.
Ending with a Strong Call to Action
End with a strong call to action that makes the reader want to take action or learn more about the topic. This could be anything from encouraging the reader to apply for the scholarship themselves or suggesting a related organization or cause to get involved with.
Leaving a Lasting Impression
End with a memorable phrase or quote that leaves the reader with something to think about long after they’ve finished reading your essay.
Editing and Proofreading Your Essay
Writing an essay can be a challenging task, but editing and proofreading it can be even more daunting. However, it’s a crucial step in ensuring that your essay is polished and ready to be presented to your audience. Here are some tips to help you with the editing and proofreading process:
Checking for Grammar and Spelling Errors
One of the most important things to check in your essay is grammar and spelling. Grammatical errors can make your essay difficult to understand, while spelling mistakes can make it seem unprofessional. It’s essential to read through your essay multiple times to ensure that there are no errors.
One helpful tool to use is a spell-check tool. Most word-processing software has this feature built-in, and it can help you identify errors that you may have missed. However, keep in mind that spell-check tools are not foolproof, and they may not catch all errors. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have a friend or family member read through your essay as well.
Ensuring Clarity and Coherence
Another essential aspect of editing your essay is ensuring that it’s clear and coherent. Your essay should be easy to follow, and your ideas should flow logically from one paragraph to the next. One way to achieve this is by using transitions and topic sentences.
Transitions are words or phrases that connect ideas from one sentence or paragraph to the next. They help the reader understand the relationship between different parts of your essay. Examples of transitions include “however,” “in addition,” and “on the other hand.”
Topic sentences, on the other hand, are sentences that introduce the main idea of a paragraph. They help the reader understand what the paragraph is about and how it relates to the overall theme of your essay.
Seeking Feedback from Others
Finally, it’s always a good idea to seek feedback from others. Ask a trusted friend, family member, or teacher to read through your essay and provide feedback. They may be able to catch mistakes or offer suggestions for improvement that you might have missed. Additionally, getting feedback from others can help you identify areas where your essay may be unclear or difficult to follow.
Overall, editing and proofreading your essay may seem like a daunting task, but it’s an essential step in ensuring that your essay is clear, coherent, and error-free. By following these tips and taking the time to carefully review your work, you can ensure that your essay is polished and ready to be presented to your audience.
Submitting Your Scholarship Essay
Are you looking to submit your scholarship essay and win that coveted financial assistance for your education? Before you submit your essay, make sure you follow all the submission guidelines provided by the scholarship organization. These guidelines are essential to ensure that your application is considered and not disqualified for not following the rules.
Following Submission Guidelines
Pay close attention to formatting, word count, and any other specific requirements outlined in the submission guidelines. This will show that you are detail-oriented and take the application process seriously. If the guidelines require a certain font or spacing, make sure to adhere to them. This will make your essay look professional and polished.
Moreover, some scholarship organizations require applicants to submit their essays in a specific file format, such as PDF or Word. Make sure to check the guidelines and submit your essay in the correct format. Following the submission guidelines is the first step to impressing the scholarship committee and increasing your chances of winning.
Double-Checking Your Application
Before you hit submit, double-check all your application materials, including your essay, to ensure there are no mistakes or omissions. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure your essay flows smoothly. You can also ask a friend or family member to proofread your essay for you. Having a fresh pair of eyes can help catch any mistakes you might have missed.
Furthermore, make sure you have included all the required documents. Some scholarship organizations ask for additional materials, such as transcripts or recommendation letters. Make sure you have all the necessary documents ready before submitting your application.
Sending Your Essay with Confidence
Once you’ve completed all the necessary steps, hit submit with confidence. You’ve worked hard to write a strong scholarship essay and now it’s time to let your work speak for itself. Remember, the scholarship committee is looking for applicants who are passionate about their education and have a clear goal in mind. Make sure your essay showcases your strengths and highlights your achievements.
Writing a winning scholarship essay takes time, effort, and attention to detail. But with these tips and guidelines, you can craft an essay that sets you apart from other applicants and increases your chances of receiving financial assistance for your education. Remember, every detail counts, so make sure you follow the submission guidelines, double-check your application, and submit your essay with confidence.
How to start an essay
– Start with a strong hook that will grab the reader's attention. – You can use a question, a quote, a statistic, or a personal anecdote to start your essay. – The goal of your introduction is to get the reader interested in what you have to say.
What is the benefit of starting your essay with a powerful lead?
Starting your essay with a powerful lead is important because it grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to read more. A powerful lead can be a quote, a statistic, a question, or a personal anecdote that is relevant to the topic of your essay. It should be something that will make the reader stop and think.
How will this scholarship help you achieve your goals essay
This essay is often asked on scholarship applications. It is a way for the scholarship committee to see how the scholarship will help you achieve your goals. In this essay, you should explain how the scholarship will help you pay for college, how it will help you achieve your academic goals, and how it will help you achieve your career goals.
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The Scholarship System
Paying for college begins here
How to Write Winning Scholarship Essays
Scholarships & Financial Aid
Updated on November 24th, 2021
The vast majority of legitimate and reputable scholarships are going to require an essay as part of the application process, which means your student needs to know how to write winning scholarship essays. Otherwise, they may miss out on exciting opportunities for free money to help pay for college, increasing the odds that they’ll need student loans to make ends meet.
While “no essay” scholarships do exist, most of these are no more than sweepstakes, and some of them are incredibly sketchy. If you want to know more about no-essay scholarships, check out this article: What You Need to Know About No Essay Scholarships
Writing winning scholarship essays isn’t as challenging as it sounds, as long as your student knows the best approach. To help them get started, here is an in-depth guide on how to write a scholarship essay that will grab the attention of the committee for all of the right reasons.
If you and your student would like to learn more about how to find scholarships that can help pay for college, sign up for our free college scholarship webinar ! We cover how to spot the scams so you can make sure your student is applying to scholarships that are actually worth their time. Join the next free training here: www.thescholarshipsystem.com/freewebinar.
- 1 Read All of the Instructions to Write Winning Scholarship Essays
- 2 Define the Audience for the Scholarship Essay
- 3 Brainstorm Before Writing Scholarship Essays
- 4 Choose the Right Topic to Cover
- 5.1 Writing the Scholarship Essay First Draft
- 5.2 Refining First Drafts into Winning Scholarship Essays
- 6 Get an Outside Opinion
- 7 Finalize and Submit the Essay
Read All of the Instructions to Write Winning Scholarship Essays
While this may seem like common sense, many students rush through the instructions section before they start writing their scholarship essay. Why? Because reading instructions isn’t fun and many students are fairly pressed for time.
Ultimately, winning scholarship essays always adhere to the instructions. If your student misses a requirement, their essay may be automatically discarded, meaning they spent all of that time writing for no gain.
Have your student examine the instructions to look for details that outline the process including these:
- The topic they must cover
- Formatting requirements
- Sourcing requirements
Only after this step is complete should they move forward.
Define the Audience for the Scholarship Essay
The audience of a scholarship essay is whoever will be reading it, and catering the content to those groups of people helps create winning scholarship essays.
While you likely won’t know exactly who is going to review their essay, they can infer a lot of information based on the organization or business that is providing the funds. For example, if your student can discuss a topic that relates to a company’s products, services, values, or mission, it may be easier to connect with the reader on a meaningful level.
Typically, you can figure out the audience’s priorities by reviewing the organization’s website. Read through the product or service descriptions, About Us section, as well as any mission statements to get insight into the group’s values.
Brainstorm Before Writing Scholarship Essays
In many cases, scholarship essay topics give your student a lot of leeway regarding what they can write. In fact, they may be able to choose from multiple prompts, something that may make it harder to figure out what winning scholarship essays for this organization entail.
When writing a great scholarship essay, brainstorming is an important part of the process. They should grab a sheet of paper, list every topic or prompt, and jot down notes of examples that apply to each one. With our students in The Scholarship System , we teach them mind-mapping for this step, a powerful tool to uncover creative essay ideas.
Usually, brainstorming only takes a few minutes, but it can make a world of difference when writing winning scholarship essays. It allows them to organize their thoughts and identify ideas that excite them.
Choose the Right Topic to Cover
After your student brainstorms, they should focus on topics that ignite their passion. If they are excited about the idea, it’s often easier to write about it. Plus, their enthusiasm will shine through.
Review the list of ideas and choose an option that peaks interest and fits the prompt. This makes writing winning scholarship essays feel like less of a burden, which can go a long way when your student wants to apply to a long list of scholarships.
Some key aspects to look for when selecting a topic include:
- One that speaks to core values
- Why the investment (the scholarship) is worth it
- How it led them to their degree choice or career path
Ideally, the topic should relate back to at least one of the points above, creating a connection between the content of the scholarship essay and your student’s future.
Structuring Winning Scholarship Essays
Winning scholarship essays are always well-structured, so creating an outline is a smart move. Most high school students are familiar with essay outlines, so your student should be able to handle this with relative ease.
Scholarship Essay Introduction
Begin by structuring the introduction. Usually, your student will want to have an attention-grabbing first sentence followed by a short explanation of what will be discussed and a thesis statement that directly addresses the prompt. Students can get creative here but any story, question, or attention-grabbing beginning should clearly tie into the rest of the essay and of course, relate to the prompt.
Scholarship Essay Body
Ideally, each body paragraph should discuss a single point that relates to the topic, usually in a few sentences. If possible, it’s a great idea to make the point through a mini-story or example. This keeps the essay interesting for the reader and helps them understand the writer even better. For example, rather than saying “I initially decided I wanted to be a lawyer in 9 th grade…,” a student can instead share a quick story or example and sum it up with “That is when I first discovered my passion for law.”
Having quality transitions between paragraphs is also essential as it improves the flow of the essay. To structure this portion, your student can write each point they want to cover and arrange them in an order that promotes readability and logical segues.
Scholarship Essay Conclusion
The conclusion should wrap everything up by reemphasizing how the prompt was addressed, discussing lessons learned, and even speaking to the core values of the audience. Depending on the essay prompt, students can stress how this essay shows they are a great candidate for the scholarship. Again, a few sentences will usually suffice.
After writing the outline, review it to make sure that it adheres to every requirement in the instructions and that every component provides value to the reader. Remember, winning scholarship essays always meet the requirements, so it’s wise to review this before the writing phase begins.
- 8 Best Websites to Find College Scholarships
- How to Win Scholarships with the Right Scholarship Essay Format
- How to Find Local Scholarships for Your Teen’s College Education
Writing the Scholarship Essay First Draft
With the outline in hand, your student now has a guide for writing a high-quality first draft of their scholarship essay. How they decide to approach this phase may depend on their personal style.
Some students like to begin with the introduction, move through the body, and then create a conclusion. However, others may prefer to write the body first and then craft the introduction and conclusion after. Both approaches are perfectly acceptable as long as the final paper flows logically.
First drafts are allowed to be rough, so it’s fine if your student just lets their ideas run rampant while they create. Let their passion guide them as they get their thoughts down on paper.
It’s also okay to ignore spelling or grammar errors as they write as these can be cleaned up during editing. Writing the first draft is more about getting all of their ideas on paper than anything else, so a degree of sloppiness isn’t inherently a problem.
Refining First Drafts into Winning Scholarship Essays
Once everything is written, now is the time to refine the content. First, your student should correct any mechanical issues, like spelling or grammar mistakes. There are a variety of tools that can help them do that, but it’s also important to not rely on technology entirely.
A great approach for finding errors is to read the essay out loud. This allows your student to potentially hear problems, which can be easier than spotting them with their eyes. In some cases, using a text-to-speech program can work too, allowing your student to listen for issues.
In the vast majority of cases, winning scholarship essays are error-free, so finding mistakes and correcting them is critical for your student’s success.
Once the errors are corrected, the draft can be reviewed for flow. Ideally, each paragraph should shift naturally into the next, following a logical thought pattern or progression through an event. If a transition feels awkward or a detail feels out of place or unnecessary, then edits should be made.
After that is complete, your student should recheck it a final time to ensure that all of the requirements set forth in the instructions are met. This includes everything from properly covering the topic to meeting word count minimums and not going over maximums. Similarly, they should take a look at the formatting to make sure they used the proper font and size, margins, spacing, and anything else listed in the instructions.
- 7 College Scholarship Essay Ideas to Win More Funding
Get an Outside Opinion
After the draft is refined, it could be time to get a second opinion. Often, it will be difficult for your student to review their essay objectively, so having someone else take a look is smart.
Who they choose is up to them, but some options worth exploring include trusted teachers and tutors. Parents can also make a good choice if their writing skills are strong, but some students won’t be comfortable with their parents reading what they wrote, depending on the topic. In those cases, selecting someone else is a better option than trying to force the issue.
Finalize and Submit the Essay
After the essay is reviewed by someone else, your student should make any final edits based on the feedback they receive. Then, once it is ready, it’s time to submit the scholarship application and essay for consideration.
By following the steps above, your student can increase their odds of writing winning scholarship essays that help them find free money for college. After they use the process a few times, it will likely begin to feel like second nature, making each essay easier to complete than the last.
Want even more help on writing scholarship essays? Grab a copy of our Free 3-Step Scholarship Essay Writing Guide where you learn the exact 3 steps we teach our students. This 3-Step Method helps even those students who hate writing!
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January 31, 2019 at 7:42 am
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October 13, 2019 at 3:06 am
I love the article on writing a winning essay, the problem most persons face is the Essay Introduction. One of the best ways to present your introduction is to get the attention of your reader with something interesting, unique, fact or ask a question.
November 8, 2019 at 3:46 am
Very well crafted essay and the way you write is also appreciable. Thanks for sharing the tips
November 14, 2019 at 11:58 am
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January 28, 2020 at 6:56 am
A scholarship essay is all about highlighting what you are as a student and this post will make it easy for students to write their scholarship essays in a clear step-by-step way. Getting a second opinion on the essay draft is a really useful tip and is a must-do before submitting a noteworthy scholarship essay!
January 29, 2020 at 7:16 am
Thanks for bringing up this article.
February 20, 2020 at 8:31 pm
I actually followed some of this steps and it worked well for me. I received my first scholarship not long ago
April 8, 2020 at 8:00 am
May 10, 2020 at 3:20 pm
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September 20, 2020 at 10:21 am
Scholarship essays to me is more important than the scholarship itself because without passing through this stage you can never get the scholarship. Thank you for sharing. It’s been helpful
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March 27, 2021 at 7:11 pm
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June 21, 2021 at 9:13 pm
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July 23, 2021 at 10:33 pm
Scholarship essays to me is more important than the scholarship itself because without passing through this stage you can never get the scholarship. Thank you for sharing. It’s been helpful
July 23, 2021 at 10:35 pm
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November 9, 2021 at 7:07 am
Scholarship essay is an integral part of your application
December 11, 2021 at 1:13 am
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August 14, 2023 at 6:28 am
I liked and thought your blog exercise was exciting. Please keep giving us excellent and outstanding blog posts. At some point in a student’s life, he/she would need to write a Scholarship Essay, this essay can be for various purposes such as commencing a college program or funding research. Hence, this piece can either hinder or help students achieve their academic goals. Please read the post I made to my blog, It might be helpful to you in any way.
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12 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Aspiring Students
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Published on: Mar 14, 2019
Last updated on: Nov 1, 2023
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Scholarships can be the key to your dreams of higher education, but the process often begins with one crucial step - the scholarship essay.
A scholarship essay is not just another requirement. It is your chance to stand out from the competition and convince the selection committee that you are the perfect candidate deserving of their support.
However, crafting a winning scholarship essay is not an easy task. You are in competition with hundreds of applicants, and you need to get a lot of things right to stand out.
But don’t worry; reading some winning samples can help you understand how to write better scholarship essays.
This blog presents 12 remarkable scholarship essay examples to inspire your success. These real-life essays, written by scholarship recipients, offer invaluable insights and strategies to help you secure funding for your education.
So read on!
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Financial Need Scholarship Essay Example for College
Students often apply for financial assistance scholarships for their college education. Such scholarships require you to provide compelling reasons as to why you deserve financial aid.
Here is an example that successfully caters to this question:
Why This Scholarship Essay Succeeded
This scholarship essay effectively conveys the applicant's financial need while also highlighting their determination and commitment to education. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:
- Personal Story: The essay starts with a personal story about growing up in a single-parent household, providing context for the financial need. This makes the essay relatable and emotionally engaging.
- Specific Financial Challenges: The essay details the specific financial challenges the applicant faces, such as tuition, textbooks, and living expenses. Specificity adds credibility to the financial need.
- Explains the Significance of the Scholarship for Education: The essay explains how receiving the scholarship would positively impact the applicant's education, allowing them to focus more on studies and extracurricular activities.
Leadership Scholarship Essay Examples
When applying to programs for training young leaders, they often require you to write an essay. Here is a leadership scholarship essay sample:
Why This Scholarship Essay Worked
This leadership scholarship essay effectively showcases the applicant's leadership journey, growth, and suitability for the scholarship. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:
- Personal Growth: The essay highlights the applicant's personal growth and development through their leadership experiences, demonstrating a clear understanding of what leadership entails.
- Specific Examples: The applicant provides specific examples of challenges faced and initiatives undertaken as a leader, adding credibility to their claims.
- Lessons Learned: The essay discusses the lessons learned, emphasizing qualities such as communication, teamwork, and empathy, which are essential for effective leadership.
- Alignment with Scholarship: The essay explains how the scholarship will support the applicant's continued leadership growth and commitment to making a positive impact.
Scholarship Essay Example for Engineering
Engineering schools have a strong vetting process to ensure that they only let in serious students. Writing a scholarship essay is their way of judging a student’s interests and capabilities.
Check out this catchy sample:
Why this Engineering Scholarship Essay Worked
Here are some key elements that contributed to the essay’s success:
- Passion and Dedication: The essay clearly communicates the applicant's deep passion for engineering, emphasizing their lifelong commitment to the field.
- Specific Examples: The applicant provides specific examples of their experiences in engineering, such as the cooling system project and the sustainable housing initiative, demonstrating their practical application of engineering skills.
- Financial Need: The essay briefly touches upon the financial challenges faced by the applicant, which adds context to their need for financial support.
- Impact and Contribution: The essay discusses how receiving the scholarship will enable the applicant to focus more on their studies and research projects, emphasizing their desire to contribute meaningfully to the field of engineering.
Nursing Scholarship Essay Example
Nursing institutions require hard-working and committed pupils. That’s why the scholarship essay is an essential part of their application process.
So, what does a good nursing scholarship essay look like? Here’s an example:
Why This Nursing Scholarship Essay Succeeded
This nursing scholarship essay effectively conveys the applicant's passion for nursing and their commitment to patient-centered care. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:
- Passion for Nursing: The essay clearly communicates the applicant's passion for nursing, emphasizing personal experiences that ignited this passion.
- Continuous Learning: The essay highlights the applicant's commitment to ongoing learning and professional growth, which is essential in the nursing field.
- Community Engagement: The applicant showcases their involvement in community health initiatives and volunteering, demonstrating a dedication to improving healthcare beyond the clinical setting.
- Leadership Experience: The essay discusses leadership roles within the nursing program, emphasizing the applicant's understanding of nursing as a leadership role in healthcare.
- Impactful Clinical Experience: The inclusion of the palliative care unit experience adds a unique perspective. It also adds an emotionally resonant dimension to the essay, highlighting the applicant's dedication to patient-centered care.
Scholarship Essay About Yourself
Some scholarship essays require a more personal touch. Scholarship committees are interested to learn about your experiences and how you express them.
Here is an example of an essay focusing on the applicant’s life experiences.
This scholarship essay effectively highlights the applicant's personal experiences and qualities that make them a suitable candidate for the scholarship. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:
- Values and Background: The essay begins by establishing the applicant's background and values, emphasizing the importance of education and family sacrifices.
- Academic Excellence: The applicant showcases their commitment to academic excellence, including being named valedictorian, which adds credibility to their dedication to learning.
- Passion and Career Goals: The essay highlights the applicant's interest in psychology and mental health, revealing their career aspirations and a deep sense of purpose.
- Courage to Grow: The essay concludes with a strong commitment to education and the desire to use it as a tool for positive change in their community.
Winning Scholarship Essay Examples
You have read five scholarship essay examples with a complete analysis of why they were successful. Here are some more excellent examples that stand out due to similar reasons.
Read these samples and ask yourself, can you figure out why these essays catch the readers’ attention?
Sample Scholarship Essays
Sometimes, scholarship essays require a limited word count. You should always read the instructions and requirements of an essay before writing.
Here are two scholarship essay samples with different word limits.
500-Words Scholarship Essay Example About Career Goals
250 Words Scholarship Essay Example
Scholarship Essay Examples for Different Academic Levels
These scholarship essay examples cater to various academic levels. They demonstrate how students at different stages of their education can craft successful essays.
Scholarship Essay Example For High School Students
Scholarship Essay Example For College Application
Masters Scholarship Essay Example For Students
Scholarship Essay Examples - Why You Deserve This
These examples focus on explaining why the applicants deserve the scholarship, emphasizing their qualifications, achievements, and aspirations.
Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Example
Why Should You Receive This Scholarship
There are many different prompts you can be assigned for your scholarship essay, so better be prepared. Check out this list of scholarship essay prompts to get a better idea!
Tips to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
The following are some useful tips and suggestions for writing a successful scholarship essay:
- Understand the Prompt: Carefully read and understand the essay prompt. Ensure that your response directly addresses the specific questions or topics provided. Tailor your essay to the scholarship's requirements.
- Plan and Organize: Start with an essay outline . Identify key points you want to cover and the structure of your essay. A well-organized essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion is more engaging and easier to follow.
- Be Authentic: Be true to yourself and your experiences. Authenticity resonates with scholarship committees. Share your genuine motivations, goals, and challenges, as it makes your essay more relatable.
- Address Your Audience: Consider your audience, that is the scholarship selection committees. Tailor your essay to their expectations and values, emphasizing how you align with the scholarship's mission and goals.
- Highlight Achievements and Impact: Showcase your accomplishments, both academic and extracurricular, and discuss the impact they've had on your life and your community. Explain how the scholarship will enable you to achieve even more.
- Express Your Passion: Demonstrate your passion for your field of study or the cause the scholarship supports. Explain why you are deeply committed and how the scholarship will help you make a significant contribution.
- Follow Instructions: Pay close attention to any specific instructions or requirements provided by the scholarship organization. Failure to comply with guidelines can lead to disqualification.
- Revise and Rewrite: After an initial draft, take time to revise and rewrite your essay. Don't hesitate to make substantial changes if necessary to improve clarity, coherence, and impact.
- Seek Feedback: Have someone else, such as a teacher, mentor, or family member, review your essay. Fresh perspectives can identify areas for improvement.
These essay examples were a good way to start. You’ve read and learnt the qualities that made them successful. Now, it’s your time to apply what you’ve learnt to your own scholarship essays.
Remember, crafting a winning scholarship essay takes time and effort. Be authentic and convey your aspirations, achievements, and the impact you hope to make. With dedication and these valuable tips, you can create a compelling scholarship essay that helps you achieve your education goals.
In addition, we understand that writing a scholarship essay can be incredibly difficult due to the high stakes. But don’t let the stress takeover, let our professional scholarship essay writing service handle it.
Our expert writers have written hundreds of successful scholarship essays with a high rate of success. Trust our write my essay website to craft a stand-out scholarship essay and achieve your academic goals!
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Scholarship Essay Writing
Scholarship Essay Examples
Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Students: Tips Included
37 min read
Published on: Mar 14, 2021
Last updated on: Jul 20, 2023
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Many students face financial barriers when it comes to pursuing higher education. The rising costs of tuition, books, and other educational expenses can be overwhelming.
This is why the scholarships offer a lifeline by providing financial aid to students, but the competition is fierce.
That's where CollegeEssay.org comes in.
In this blog post, we are providing scholarship essay examples that will inspire and guide you in creating your own exceptional essay.
These examples serve as beacons of success, offering valuable insights into the art of scholarship essay writing.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
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Scholarship Essay Examples Financial Need
Why this scholarship essay worked.
This scholarship essay example effectively conveys the applicant's financial need and their determination to overcome the challenges associated with it. Here's why this essay worked:
- Personal Storytelling: The essay begins with a personal anecdote that establishes a connection between the applicant's background and financial constraints. This helps create empathy and demonstrates the genuine impact of financial challenges on their educational journey.
- Resilience and Resourcefulness: The applicant showcases their resilience and resourcefulness in navigating financial hardships. They highlight their proactive approach to seeking part-time employment and actively pursuing scholarships.
- Academic Commitment: Despite the financial strain, the applicant emphasizes their commitment to academic excellence by maintaining a high GPA. This showcases their dedication and ability to prioritize their studies amidst challenging circumstances.
- Community Involvement : The essay also highlights the applicant's involvement in community service. This demonstrates their desire to give back and make a positive impact.
- Connection to Scholarship: The applicant clearly articulates how receiving the scholarship would benefit them. This demonstrates a strong alignment between their goals and the purpose of the scholarship.
Want more examples, check out these winning scholarship essay examples.
Financial Aid Scholarship Essay
Scholarship Essay for Financial Need
Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself
Why this essay worked.
This scholarship essay worked for several reasons, such as:
- It effectively showcases the applicant's passion for mathematics, community engagement, and resilience.
- It compellingly conveyed the applicant's dedication, ambition, and potential for making a positive impact. This makes them a deserving candidate for the scholarship.
- Clear connection to the scholarship's goals and how it would further the applicant's educational journey and impact.
Here are some scholarship essay examples about yourself; get an idea from them, and create a successful essay.
Scholarship Essay Example About Yourself
Scholarship Essay About Yourself
Scholarship Essay Examples for Nursing
Why this essay worked.
This essay worked due to its compelling portrayal of the applicant's genuine passion for nursing, coupled with their unwavering dedication to making a positive impact in patient care.
The essay effectively demonstrates the applicant's well-rounded preparation for a nursing career and their clear alignment with the goals and mission of the scholarship, making them a strong candidate for consideration.
Below are some more examples of scholarship essays for nursing.
Nursing Scholarship Essay
Scholarship Essay for Nursing
Scholarship Essay Examples About Career Goals
This essay worked for the following reasons:
- Clear and Specific Career Goals: The essay effectively outlines the applicant's career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist specializing in mental health support. The clarity and specificity of the goal demonstrate a well-defined path and a strong sense of purpose.
- Demonstrated Preparation and Commitment: The essay showcases the applicant's comprehensive preparation for their career goals. It also demonstrates their readiness and dedication to excel in the field.
- Alignment with Scholarship Objectives: The essay effectively highlights how the scholarship will contribute to the applicant's career aspirations. This includes attending conferences, workshops, and advanced training programs.
If you find difficulty writing the scholarship essay about career goals, get help from the below-mentioned examples, and submit a well-written essay.
Scholarship Essay Examples About Leadership
Three reasons why this essay worked are:
- Demonstrated Leadership Experience : This essay effectively highlights the applicant's practical experience in leadership roles, showcasing their ability to lead teams, organize events, and coordinate volunteers.
- Commitment to Personal Growth : The essay demonstrates the applicant's proactive approach to leadership development by seeking formal training and participating in workshops focused on honing their skills.
- Emphasis on Collaboration and Empowerment: The essay emphasizes the applicant's belief in collaborative leadership. It promotes inclusivity and empowers team members to contribute their unique perspectives.
Here we gather some good scholarship essay examples about leadership that help in your writing.
Leadership Scholarship Essay Example
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Scholarship Essay Examples About Community Service
Here are the reasons:
- Genuine Passion and Commitment: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's genuine passion for community service, highlighting their long-standing involvement and the transformative impact it has had on their life.
- Integration of Service with Education: The essay demonstrates the applicant's proactive approach to integrating their passion for community service with their educational pursuits.
- Aspiration for Social Change: The essay goes beyond personal experiences and highlights the applicant's aspirations for broader social change.
Here is an excellent community service scholarship essa y that can help you write for community college.
Scholarship Essay Example about Community Service
High School Scholarship Essay Examples
- Clear and Convincing Goals: The essay effectively communicates the applicant's strong desire to pursue higher education despite financial constraints.
- Demonstrated Leadership and Well-Roundedness: The essay showcases the applicant's involvement in extracurricular activities. It highlights their ability to balance academic responsibilities with active participation in clubs, sports teams, and community service initiatives.
- Emphasis on Giving Back and Community Engagement: The essay not only focuses on the applicant's personal aspirations but also highlights their commitment to giving back to their community.
The following are the best high school scholarship essay examples, use this for your help, and write an attention-grabbing essay.
Scholarship Essay Example for High School
Scholarship Essay for High School
Scholarship Essay Examples for University
Why this essay works.
Three reasons why this essay works are:
- Strong Personal Motivation: The essay effectively communicates the applicant's unwavering commitment and determination to pursue a university education.
- Articulation of Long-Term Goals and Social Impact: The essay goes beyond highlighting the applicant's academic achievements and financial needs. It emphasizes the applicant's desire to contribute to their community and make a positive impact on society.
- The connection between Scholarship and Applicant's Potential: The essay effectively illustrates how receiving the scholarship would directly address the financial burden. Plus, it will enable the applicant to fully embrace the university experience.
Here are some excellent scholarship essay examples for university students that help you in writing the essay.
Scholarship Essay Example for University Students
Scholarship Essay Examples for Engineering
This essay worked because of the following reasons:
- Passion and Commitment: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's deep passion for engineering. It also shows their genuine commitment to making a positive impact in this field.
- Alignment with Scholarship Objectives: It clearly establishes the connection between the scholarship and the applicant's goals in engineering.
- Future Impact and Growth: It also communicates the applicant's aspiration to contribute to the field of engineering and make a positive difference in the world.
The following is another scholarship essay example that can help you in creating the perfect essay on your own.
Scholarship Essay Examples for Masters
This essay worked for several reasons:
- Clear Purpose and Goal: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's clear purpose and goal of pursuing a master's degree. It highlights the transformative impact that a master's degree can have on personal and professional growth.
- Financial Need and Scholarship Alignment : The essay addresses the financial challenges associated with pursuing a master's degree. It demonstrates the direct alignment between the scholarship and the applicant's needs.
- Impact and Giving Back : The essay goes beyond personal aspirations and emphasizes the applicant's intention to make a broader impact on their community and society.
Here is an example that you can use as a guide and write a perfect scholarship essay.
Why Should You Receive this Scholarship Essay Examples
Three brief reasons why this essay worked are:
- Clear and Convincing Arguments : The essay presents concise and compelling arguments to support the applicant's case for receiving the scholarship.
- Personal Connection : It demonstrates how receiving the scholarship would directly impact the applicant's academic journey
- Gratitude and Future Commitment : It expresses sincere gratitude for the opportunity and emphasizes the applicant's commitment to making the most of the scholarship.
Here is an example, take help from them for your scholarship essay.
Why Should You Receive this Scholarship Essay Example
Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples
- Compelling Personal Story: The essay effectively presents the applicant's personal story and highlights their dedication and commitment to their education
- Addressing Academic Excellence and Financial Need : The essay successfully addresses both academic excellence and financial need, which are two crucial aspects considered by scholarship committees.
- Commitment to Making an Impact: The essay goes beyond the applicant's personal goals and emphasizes their dedication to making a positive impact in their community.
Hereâs another example for this scholarship essay below:
Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Example
Tips for Writing the Effective Scholarship Essay
When it comes to writing an effective scholarship essay, there are several key tips to keep in mind.
By following these guidelines, you can maximize your chances of standing out and impressing scholarship selection committees.
Here are some essential tips to help you craft a compelling scholarship essay:
- Understand the Prompt
Take the time to thoroughly understand the essay prompt or topic provided by the scholarship provider. Pay attention to any specific instructions or guidelines given.
- Research the Scholarship
Familiarize yourself with the organization or institution offering the scholarship. Understand their values, mission, and objectives. This knowledge will help you align your essay with their goals and demonstrate your fit for the scholarship.
- Tell Your Unique Story
Use the essay as an opportunity to showcase your personal experiences, like obstacles you might encounter, achievements, and aspirations. Highlight what sets you apart from other applicants. Be authentic and genuine in conveying your story, like overcoming personal failures.
- Start with a Compelling Introduction
Grab the reader's attention from the beginning with a strong and captivating introduction. Consider starting with a compelling anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful statement.
- Structure Your Essay
Organize your essay into a clear and logical structure. Start with an introduction, followed by body paragraphs that support your main points, and end with a concise and impactful conclusion.
- Be Concise and Specific
Scholarship essays often have a word or character limits, so make every word count. Be concise in your writing and avoid unnecessary fluff. Focus on providing specific examples and details that support your claims.
- Showcase Your Achievements
Highlight your academic accomplishments, extracurricular involvements, community service, leadership roles, or any other relevant achievements. Link them to the values and goals of the scholarship.
- Address the Selection Criteria
Ensure that your essay addresses the selection criteria specified by the scholarship provider. If they are looking for specific qualities or skills, tailor your essay to showcase how you possess those attributes.
In conclusion, writing an effective scholarship essay is a crucial step in securing the financial aid you need for your education.
By following the tips outlined here, you can enhance your essay-writing skills and create a compelling narrative that captivates scholarship selection committees.
Be authentic, concise, and specific in your writing. Tailor your essay to align with the values and objectives of the scholarship provider. And above all, believe in yourself and your potential to make a difference through education.
If you're seeking further guidance and support in your scholarship essay writing journey, consider partnering with our AI essay writing tools !
Our team of experienced and professional essay coaches can provide personal essay writing service with valuable insights.
Hire our essay writing service today and take the next step towards securing the financial aid you deserve.
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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: Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
Introduction to scholarship essays.
Want to know how to write a winning scholarship essay? If you're reading this post, chances are, you do!
Perhaps one of the most daunting things about applying for scholarships is writing the essays that tend to go with them.
Listen, I get it.
I was in school and applying for scholarships not too long ago, and I totally agree with the fact that essays in general are just not very enjoyable to write.
Despite that, they tend to be one of the most important contributors to scholarship applications, and can definitely determine whether you win the scholarship or you don’t.
So, in this post, I am going to fill you in on all of my top tips for how to write a winning scholarship essay.
Summary: 10 tips to help you write a fab scholarship essay
- Tip #1: Start early!
Tip #2: Do your research before writing.
Tip #3: think about your audience., tip #4: grab your reader’s attention from the first sentence/paragraph..
- Tip #5: Make sure that you understand the prompt, and answer the question(s).
- Tip #6: Be honest about yourself and your experiences.
Tip #7: Skip the fluff and cliches.
Tip #8: show, not tell..
- Tip #9: Stray away from plot-heavy writing
Tip #10: Edit, proofread, and repeat!
How to write a winning scholarship essay: tips expanded, tip #1: start early..
Just like you are hopefully doing, planning on doing, or already did, with your college application essays and personal statement , make sure you get started with your scholarship essays as early as possible. Doing so will leave you in a prime position in terms of having time to properly edit and proofread your essay before hitting submit.
This one is important for when you’re applying for scholarships whose essay questions may ask you to discuss one of the company or organization’s values or something else along those lines.
In this case, it would definitely be beneficial to have done your research on the company or organization and make sure you have a strong understanding of what they do, along with what their values and mission are so that you can appropriately tailor your essay to mention those key points.
This tip ties in nicely with #2, because they are both essentially reminding you how important it is to ~read the room~ when you write!
Just as for any essay you would write, it’s crucial to keep your audience in mind and tailor your tone and language appropriately.
Some scholarships are more light-hearted and may encourage you to get creative with your essays, while others may be more “rigid” in their expectations for your essay.
Also, be sure to read all of the directions on the scholarship application; some organizations might specify their expectations for what they want to see in your essay, which makes your life easier because you then have your work cut out for you!
The best essays are generally the ones that grab your attention from the very beginning and make you want to keep reading.
This is often called a “hook” because you are attempting (and hopefully succeeding) in hooking your reader into your essay. Common examples of hooks for your scholarship essay include starting with a question, an anecdote, a statistic, or even a quote. However, don’t just limit yourself to these - get creative!
Tip #5: Make sure that you understand the prompt, and answer the question.
This one should be a no-brainer. Before you can actually sit down to write, or even brainstorm, your essay, make sure that you fully understand what the prompt is asking. Then, once you have a strong grasp of the questions that are being posted, you can get brainstorming, formatting your outline in a way that ensures you will answer ALL of the questions or parts of the prompt in their entirety.
Tip #6: Be honest about yourself.
Writing a winning scholarship essay is all about being honest about yourself, your experiences and achievements, and your ambitions, while also making sure you are not plagiarizing in any way.
This means that your essay should be original and not “borrowed” from anyone or anywhere on the internet. While it’s good to do your research to get inspiration for writing your essays, be sure to steer clear from copying other people’s essays in any capacity. Not only is it a million times easier to write about things and experiences that are true, but honesty is also always the best policy, so stick with it!
The people reading your scholarship essays are probably reading dozens, if not hundreds of other essays.
So, it’s likely that they aren’t going to be impressed if they come across writing that is all over the place, irrelevant to the topic at hand, or simply unoriginal. This includes “fluffy language” where you aren’t directly answering the question being asked and cliches of any kind. Therefore, be sure to steer clear of these.
The “show, not tell” writing technique is one that every student should be aware of. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this technique, it is basically saying that you should tell your story through using descriptive words, strong verbs, and any other type of language that basically puts your reader “in the room with you” so that they can see the story from your perspective. If you need more of an explanation on how to "show, not tell", check out this article.
While this is definitely a key tip, keep in mind that some essays, depending on the prompt, might prefer that you answer the question in less of a “telling a story” way and more of a “straightforward and to the point” way. So, back to tip #5, make sure you understand the question or prompt adequately so that you can then determine how you will approach the writing.
Tip #9: Stray away from plot-heavy writing.
Naturally, in order to get to the main point, lesson, or realization that you're trying to get across with your essay, you will likely have to give your reader some backstory on the situation, what happened, and who was involved. However, when doing so, it's crucial to avoid turning your essay into a full-on plot-fest that distracts the reader from the most important parts of the essay, where you answer the questions they have posed.
Additionally, in my own experience with reading scholarship essays, I have come across many in which students spend paragraphs and paragraphs telling the story of their life, only to take a few sentences at the end of the essay to actually answer the question. Your life story (or part of it) might be an interesting one, but if you fail to tie in the plot with the lesson to answer the question, this is almost guaranteed to make any scholarship committee hit the "thank you, next" button.
The last tip I have for writing a winning scholarship essay is to make sure you edit and proofread your essay. You should aim to edit your essay at least once, if not multiple times, depending on how much time you have to complete it. After all, if you're going through putting in the time and effort to apply for scholarships, be sure to give your essay the attention it deserves by adequately editing and proofreading it after you’ve written it.
After creating a rough outline and writing your initial first draft, you should plan to read through and edit your essay for content, flow, grammar, and spelling.
Pro-tip : when looking for grammar/spelling errors, read your essay backwards, sentence by sentence.
Then, once you have produced a second draft, I recommend having someone else (think: family member, teacher, or friend) also read over your essay. Often times we tend to overlook errors with grammar and even content/structure because we are so used to our style of writing, so having someone else's eyes on it is helpful to gain some external perspective.
6 Awesome Scholarship Essays That Worked
When it comes to paying for college, scholarships are the best form of financial aid, since they offer students free money that never needs to be repaid. But let’s face it: completing scholarship applications, especially the essays, can feel overwhelming. The scholarship essay is arguably the most important part of the application and should be well-thought-out. In this article, we’ll walk through five scholarship essay examples and explain why they worked, so that you can write your own winning scholarship essays .
Here are 6 winning scholarship essay examples that worked:
Why this scholarship essay example worked:, how could this essay have been better , want more resources on writing your scholarship essay, get started with your scholarship essay.
The essay is your chance to let your personality and life experiences shine through, giving you the opportunity to stand out from other applicants.
The best way to get an idea of what scholarship committees are looking for is to look over scholarship essay examples from past winners. Take some time to analyze the writing style, think about the strong points, and consider how you can improve. Below, we’ll show you just how you might dissect a scholarship essay.
1. Going Merry Scholarship Success Story by Gabby DeMott
What’s a winning scholarship essay look like? Check out this Going Merry success story with Gabby DeMott.
ESSAY PROMPT: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
“There were only a few minutes to go and our eyes were glued to the screen. On the edge of our seats, clutching whoever happened to be next to us, we watched as the referee blew his whistle and the German players took their free kick. The ball was hit with precision and skill; it flew up over the Swedish players, past their goalie, and was caught safely in the back of the opposing team’s net. We all jumped up and screamed, a mixture of German and English, of excitement and relief, of pride and anticipation.
We stood, enraptured, for the last several minutes of the game as Germany kept its 2-1 lead over Sweden. The horde of us, Germans and Americans alike, hugged and cheered and made our way out onto the balcony, where we chanted “Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!” for the whole village, the whole country, the whole world to hear. Never have I felt so accepted while being an outsider, so proud of a country that isn’t even mine, so part of something I didn’t really belong to.
My German friends didn’t care that we were from different countries; they didn’t care that we would only be staying for three weeks. They accepted us into their homes and their daily lives, their traditions and their celebrations. In watching that World Cup game, it didn’t matter that we were from different places; we were all cheering for the same team. The acceptance I felt in Germany extended beyond that living room. I came to the country on a three week exchange with ten other students from my school.
We each stayed with host families and attended the Wildermuth Gymnasium, which was surprisingly accommodating to a gaggle of loud American teenagers. The teachers were friendly and welcoming, the students treated us like ordinary peers, and even the people I interacted with in public were understanding.
Before coming to Germany I feared judgment based on my level of the language (which is nowhere near as good as the German students’ English) and American politics. It was intimidating to be in a country with limited knowledge of the language and the customs, even though everyone was welcoming. People did ask myself and the other students about the US’s political climate, but no one blamed us for it. They recognized that we were outsiders, that the place we came from had flaws, and they accepted us anyway.
Since that trip, I’ve found myself trying to provide that acceptance to people in my own country. For example, I work at a canoe livery and we receive a lot of visitors with limited English. Some of my coworkers will avoid such customers because they don’t want to take the time to explain things, to exercise patience with someone who may not understand them. If people had done this to me in Germany, my time there would have been much less enjoyable; in fact, I would have been offended.
So now when someone walks up to me at the livery and asks a question in English that isn’t perfect, I smile and welcome them. I take my time to make sure they understand, that they can have a good time, and that they feel accepted. It’s a small action, but I know firsthand that it can make a big impact, at my place of work and in the world. “
- It shares a personal story of realization. Gabby’s essay throws us right in the middle of the action in her story, from her perspective. She paints a clear picture of where she is, how she feels, and what her goals were in that moment. She then goes on to explain the unity of the German and American students to introduce other people in the essay. LESSON TO TAKE : When including additional people in an essay, introduce them early on so you can continue telling your story in an organic way.
- She reflects on her previous fears and explains how she’s moved past those to grow. In the fifth paragraph, Gabby shares how she feared judgment due to her level of the German language and American politics. As Gabby became more familiar with the host families and her German friends, she realizes they accepted her, and she relaxes. LESSON TO TAKE: Sharing a story in sequential order can help illustrate personal growth and how your character changed for the better.
- She answers the prompt and demonstrates how she’ll put her newfound knowledge in action. Once Gabby realized her German friends and host family accepted her, regardless of her fears, that sparked a realization for her when she returned home to America. Gabby concludes her essay by explaining how she’s providing that same acceptance she received in another country to acquaintances and people in her country, to be patient, help them enjoy themselves, and to welcome them. LESSON TO TAKE : Consider concluding your essay with a wrap-up of what you learned, and how you plan to apply that lesson in your life.
2. Who is a “Good” Doctor? by Joseph Lee
Below is a winning essay from Joseph Lee, Rush Medical College for the Giva Scholarship.
ESSAY PROMPT: Who is (or what makes) a good doctor?
“Had you asked me the same question one year ago, my answer would have been vastly different to the one I will give today. In the summer of 2012, with my first year of medical school completed, I embarked upon my last official summer vacation with two things in mind: a basketball tournament in Dallas and one in Atlanta. My closest friends and I had been playing in tournaments for the past 10 summers, and it was a sacred bond forged together in the name of competition. However, two weeks before our first tournament, I became instantly and overwhelmingly short of breath. Having been born to Korean immigrant parents, I was raised to utilize the hospital in emergency cases only, and I knew this was such a case. A few scans later, doctors discovered numerous pulmonary emboli (PE), caused by a subclavian deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and just like that, I was lying in a bed of a major hospital for a life threatening condition.
Fast forward a few months, and I am lying in a similar bed to treat the underlying cause of the subclavian DVT: a first rib removal. There is little that can adequately prepare someone physically, emotionally or spiritually to undergo surgery; and my thoughts continued to race in the days following. In addition to the expected physical pain, isolation, fear and frustration were a few of the emotions I experienced in the four day ordeal. The procedure went according to plan thanks to a skilled surgeon and his team, but the attributes that made the doctor “good” went far beyond his ability to operate.
“Wow. I’m glad you are feeling better” and “I can’t believe you went through that” are common reactions people have when they see the scars on my upper chest. Quite frankly, the past nine months have been difficult, literally full of blood, sweat and tears. But through it all, I have been able to maintain my positivity and gratitude knowing that I have gained the invaluable experience of being a patient and discovering the vulnerability and trust that patients give their doctors. Patients indulge information to doctors that they may have never told anyone in their life and in doing so, place a great deal of trust and responsibility in the hands of a doctor. Many patients will not understand the mechanism of disease behind their condition and anticipate that the doctor will explain to them and their family why it is that they are feeling the way they are and ultimately heal them. And that is precisely what my surgeon understood: the privilege of being able to care for patients and the intimacy of the doctor-patient relationship. And as I awoke to the care of my worried parents, the first thing they wanted to discuss was the details of the procedure that was methodically and patiently explained to them by my “good” doctor.
In study after study, patients have reported dissatisfaction with their medical care, not because of lack of knowledge or health outcome, but because their doctors did not show enough warmth in the encounter or listen to the patient’s questions and concerns. There are few times where a patient and their loved ones are more vulnerable and in need of compassion than when dealing with a hospitalization. And for some doctors, a patient may be another item on a checklist, but that patient is someone’s mother or father, son or daughter, sister or brother. My “good” doctor understood this and would often say “If you were my son…” when discussing treatment options, reflecting on the type of care he would want for his family and treating me similarly. Such ideals are rooted in love and compassion for patients, not as clients in the health care system, but as fellow human beings striving to make something of themselves and the world around them (I).
Unfortunately, the ordeal of living with a chronic illness or undergoing a major operation extends beyond the confines of the hospital. Whether it is creditors harassing patients for medical bills, prescriptions that need to be refilled, or lifestyle modifications that need to be made, the health care experience doesn’t end when a patient walks out of the hospital doors. It often takes merely a minute, as in the case of the “good” doctor who told me that as a student I could apply to get the procedure financially covered by the hospital. Such foresight in anticipating financial concerns and directing me on the next steps to be taken provided relief in the surmounting stress.
Lastly, the “good” doctor understands that as our patients are human, so are we. This means we will make mistakes, some of which can result in life-threatening consequences. With that said, the “good” doctor practices humility and honesty, apologizing and sharing as much information with patients as possible. Although no one strives to make mistakes, they will happen, and how one reacts to them is a distinguishing feature of the “good” doctor (II).
Of all the qualities I tried to explain in what makes a “good” doctor, there was no emphasis on skill and knowledge. And while being able to fulfill the duties of making the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment plans is expected, the intangibles of love, compassion, foresight and honesty is what makes a doctor, “good”. I learned such lessons in the purest manner possible, by being a patient myself, and will use them to guide me in all future patient encounters, as I strive to be a “good” doctor.”
- It tells a captivating story. This essay immediately pulls the reader in, immersing the audience right in the story. . We want to know how Joseph’s definition of a good doctor changed and why it did so. Hooking your reader from the first sentence of your essay or even the first paragraph is a surefire way to keep your reader engaged in the story you’re telling. The story itself is also told really well, with good pacing and just enough detail to elicit empathy without causing boredom. (He could have easily given too much scientific/medical detail!) LESSON TO TAKE : When telling an anecdote, consider how much detail is the right amount, to make it engaging.
- It’s a list, without you realizing it’s a list. After the first 2 paragraphs (which are mostly story-telling), the rest of the essay is effectively a list of ways that doctors are “good”: they recognize the intimacy and trust involved in the doctor-patient relationship (paragraphs 3-4), they anticipate future sources of patient stress (paragraph 5), and they exercise humility (paragraph 6). Joseph could have easily structured the essay simply by saying “There are 3 main things that make a doctor good” and then explaining each idea. However, that would have been much more boring! Instead, he expertly hides the list format, by couching it in an engaging story. LESSON TO TAKE: Not all list-type essays need to feel like lists.
- It’s personal and believable. Joseph takes a negative personal experience, shows what he learned from it and how it caused him to grow as a person. Sometimes essays about singular, defining moments or experiences can seem blown out of proportion and thus not credible. This one feels right: a big ordeal in his life that has therefore shifted his perspective. LESSON TO TAKE : Consider which personal stories to tell, and make sure the “size” of the story feels right.
3. Life Happens Scholarship by Emily Trader
Here is an example of a moving scholarship essay on the topic of family loss by Emily Trader for the Life Happens award.
ESSAY PROMPT: How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally? Be sure to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans, and explain how the lack of adequate (or any) life insurance coverage has impacted your family’s financial situation.
“When I was seventeen years old, my father lost his battle with kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. As long as I shall live, I do not believe that I will ever forget the first moment I saw my father’s once vibrant face in that cold and unforgiving casket. I won’t forget his lifeless and defeated hands, or how his pale lips would never utter another joke or speak to his grandchildren. Even though the day of his funeral was undoubtedly the worst day of my life, I wish I could relive it just to be with him one more time. Since that moment, I have felt as if all of my grief and longing resides underneath my skin with nothing to relieve the pressure. On September 8th, 2016, I lost my voice of reason, my confidant, my cheerleader, and my best friend.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had lost so much more. Upon my father’s passing, he left us with funeral and medical expenses that his insurance would not cover. Because he did not have any form of life insurance, the financial burden of his death was now the responsibility of my mother and me. Even though my mother works night shifts as a neonatal nurse and her commute is nearly two hours, she was forced to pick up extra shifts to support my family. Though I already had a job and I worked about ten hours a week, I now work anywhere from twenty-five to thirty-five hours a week, and I am also a full-time high honor student. Even though the death of my father forced me to realize the importance of cherishing time with my family, I do not see them very often because of our busy schedules. I also sacrificed my social life and the joy that every senior in high school should experience. Instead of football games and homecoming, I had to deal with mourning and the possibility that I would not attend college because of my family’s financial troubles.
If my father had a life insurance policy, we would not have to work ourselves to the bone and sacrifice our physical and emotional well-being to keep up with expenses. I would not have to worry so intensely about the future of my education on top of the crippling grief that I have felt over the last five months. If this devastating experience has taught me anything, it is this: financial planning for these situations is absolutely invaluable. I will not soon forget the stress and despair that I have experienced, and I now realize that to have a life insurance policy is to throw your surviving family members a crucial lifeline. Though no one can ever prepare you for the trauma of losing a parent, life insurance allows you to grieve without the constant stress of financial burden, and for that reason, it is an absolutely essential precaution.
I love and miss you so much, Dad. Thank God I will see you again.”
- She answers the prompt . It would be easy to write an essay that just spoke to her grief, or to what her father was like and how much he meant to her. But the essay prompt asks applicants to reflect on how the loss has affected the student emotionally and financially. Emily does a great job of this, by connecting the financial parts (she and her mother needing to pick up extra hours of work), with the emotional (due to the work schedule, the family not being able to spend as much time together). She also addresses how this might affect her college plans. LESSON TO TAKE :
- She provides (beautiful) detail. The first paragraph immediately pulls the reader in because of the detailed description she provides (“ his lifeless and defeated hands”, “pale lips” ). Similarly, the specificity of how her family is shouldering the financial burden (e.g. her working 25-to-35-hour weeks) make it feel more real rather than generic. LESSON TO TAKE : Use details and descriptions to make something feel more emotional and tangible.
- She knows her audience . This scholarship is funded by Life Happens, an organization formed by seven leading insurance providers, in order to educate the public about important insurance planning topics. Clearly Emily researched the provider and understood that an essay that spoke to the importance of insurance planning would be well-received by the essay readers. LESSON TO TAKE : Research the scholarship provider and adjust your content to fit the organization’s or company’s mission statement (or business model).
4. Going Merry Scholarship Success Story by Jesus Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez
Jesús Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez wrote a winning scholarship essay (and video!) that he submitted on Going Merry . He earned an outstanding $40,000 through the Golden Door Scholarship.
ESSAY PROMPT: What differentiates you from the hundreds of DACA students who apply to our scholarship? Use one of those opportunities to tell us something else we cannot see just by looking at your grades, test scores, and transcripts.
“I always knew I was different than my friends in some way. Growing up, I struggled to speak English while everyone else had little to no problems. I needed extra help in school while my friends coasted by with ease. My friends would hop on planes and travel all around the world while I had to stay at home. At the age of 13 all of my friends started driving while I still couldn’t.
I built up the courage and asked my mother why I did not have access to the simple liberties everyone else did. My name Is Jesus Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez, and I was illegally brought to this country when I was just six years old. At the time I had no clue that I was breaking any laws, and I did not realize the fact that my life was going to change forever. Growing up with a different citizenship situation than my peers was and still is the biggest challenge I have to face in my life.
Looking back there is not a single thing that I would change. Knowing that I had to work harder than everyone else lead me to be the person that I am today. I took that fire inside of me, pushed myself, graduated first in my class with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, became a Kansas Scholar, and graduated High School with a semester’s worth of college credit. In November of 2016, everything began to look up for me. I received a work permit and a social security card all thanks to the DACA program. I was finally able to get my license, get a job, and most importantly attend college.
I plan to continue my success in the classroom and do everything to the best of my ability as I know that under my current circumstances it can all be ripped away from me at any moment. Growing up with my situation has taught me to not take advantage of a single opportunity. There has been continued support around me past and current and I know there are people out there rooting for my success. I will strive to be the first generation in my family to graduate from an American University and I will set a stepping stone for my future family so they will not have to struggle as I did. My citizenship is not a setback, it is a mere obstacle that I will always learn to work around if it means giving my future children a better life, just like my mother did for me.”
- He shares how hardships made him who he is today. Right off the bat, Jesus sets the tone for his essay by sharing how he struggled to speak English and that he was not given the same opportunities as his peers. He shares his mother’s explanation on why he lived a different life, along with his honesty in the challenges of growing up with a different citizenship situation than the teens around him. LESSON TO TAKE : Share personal details (as you feel comfortable), and consider including a defining memory or conversation hat contributes to your story. This can help paint a picture of your beginnings or your inspirations.
- He includes emotional details. Although Jesus grew up with hardships, he persevered and mentions he wouldn’t change anything. It may have taken a little longer than his peers to get his license, but he also excelled in school, pushed himself to graduate first in class, and take college courses on top of all that. LESSON TO TAKE : Tell your story with details, feelings, thoughts and emotions to explain where you came from and where you are now.
- He plans for the future . Jesus shared his personal story with us, and then explains how he plans to continue his success without letting anything get in the way of his path. He goes on to say his citizenship is not a setback, and that he works to provide a better life for himself and for his future children. LESSON TO TAKE : Include your plan at the end of the essay. Consider how you’ve grown and how you will bring these lessons learned with you to help your future.
5. Why College Is Important to Me by Nicole Kuznetsov
Here’s an example of a simple yet creative and heartfelt essay on the popular prompt, Why is college important to you?
ESSAY PROMPT: Why do you want to go to college? Why is it important to you?
“As a child, my life had structure. Coloring books had lines, letters took on very specific shapes, and a system of rules governed everything from board games to the classroom. I found comfort in the fact that my future had an easy-to-follow template: elementary, middle, and high school, college, job, family retirement, “happily ever after” ending. When I graduated from elementary school I was told I completed 25% of my education. During my middle school graduation, I was told I was halfway there and I know I’ll be told I’m 75% done when I throw my cap in the air this June. College was always factored into the percentage and the overall formula for life. And I never questioned its importance. I always figured it is important because it is necessary.
Going to college makes sense. From helping my parents land stable jobs after coming to America to giving my brother the chance to gain work experience at some of the top financial firms, college educations have shown their worth in my family. Yet I didn’t think about what actually goes on inside the magical universities until I entered high school. Applying to the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering was the first time I had actively made a decision in my education. With the encouragement of my parents and favorite science teacher who recognized that I would excel in the challenging environment of like-minded students, I applied. Four years later, I can confidently say they were right.
My class of twenty-six has shown me the benefits of a collaborative rather than a competitive environment, especially the impact that camaraderie with my peers has on our collective learning experience. Each student has an inspiring level of passion and motivation that made me excited to learn, work on projects, and participate in discussions both in and out of the classroom. I used my education to gain skills and open doors for myself such as an internship at my local hospital. I gained confidence in my abilities to communicate with individuals from strangers my age to practicing professionals. I was thinking longer and harder than I ever had before to solve individual problems and large-scale challenges. In all honesty, I was having fun.
Looking back on my years at the Academy I realize how big of an impact the school made on how I view education. I wasn’t coming to school to mark another day off my calendar and inch closer to finishing the next 25%. I came to school to learn and question and push myself. Now, as a senior, I’m excited. I’m thankful for the sample that my high school gave me of what learning is supposed to be like and thankful that it left me wanting more. I’m entering college in August with a new understanding of its importance. It is important because it is what I want for my future.”
- It finds structure through chronology . This essay is basically structured like a chronological timeline: As a child, I believed this. Then I applied to this high school (my first active academic decision). Then the high school changed me. Now I’m a senior and I believe this. Not all stories are best told in time order, but the simplest stories often are. And simple stories provide structure, which scholarship committees love. LESSON TO TAKE: Consider structuring your essay like a timeline, emphasizing the milestones along the way that have led you to where you are today.
- It is simply told . While the essay is descriptive, it doesn’t try to get fancy with overly flowery language or unnecessarily long SAT words. And that’s the strength of it. For instance, this passage [“ College was always factored into the percentage and the overall formula for life. And I never questioned its importance. I always figured it is important because it is necessary” ] explains her child’s logic in a really clear and well-written way.
- It’s got (mostly) great topic sentences . We here at Going Merry love a good topic sentence– that is, a sentence at the beginning (or end) of a paragraph that summarizes the rest of the paragraph. It helps “signpost” the most important parts of your essay. Here, three of the four paragraphs (1, 2, and 4) have strong and concise topic sentences. “As a child, my life had structure” sets up the rest of the paragraph to explain what these structures and unquestioned rules were. “Going to college makes sense” sets up why college made sense to her parents.
6. Financial Literacy for Hispanic Women by Rosaisha Ozoria
The inaugural Founder’s Scholarship supported by the New York Women’s Bond Club in honor of Michaela Walsh goes to two New York City public high school students who won an essay competition writing about their hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide . Winners of this scholarship won a trip to accompany Women’s World Banking to Amman, Jordan for their biennial gathering of WWB network members.
PROMPT: Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide.
“Twice a week I head down to volunteer at the Los Sures Social Services office, situated next to the local senior citizen home, to help at the food pantry. We distribute food to people in my neighborhood. Many are familiar faces. Many are middle-aged Hispanic women with children dangling from their hips like grass skirts. These women are there as a result of their culture and lack of financial knowledge. In our Spanish culture, patriarchy prevents women from preparing for themselves as much as they should. This leads to Hispanic women having little or no money management skills. Financial illiteracy is a major issue in my neighborhood, and that is why I hope to give Hispanic women a chance for a better future through financial education.
While I was volunteering I met a woman who happened to live in the same building as my aunt. Unemployed with two young children, and a husband earning minimum wage at a fast food restaurant, she struggled to get by every day. I thought to myself – many in my community are just like her. Then I realized I could do something to help. How? I can start a financial literacy program, which teaches Hispanic women to earn and manage money. Once a woman becomes financially literate, she is capable of making good personal and professional decisions, empowering her to improve her family’s financial well-being. Moreover, such a program will help Hispanic women become competitive employees, even in a slow recovering economy such as the one we are experiencing now.
Participating in the 2013 Women’s World Banking Global Meeting in Amman, Jordan gives me access to invaluable resources that will help me achieve this goal. I hope to find mentors from a roomful of inspiring, experienced leaders who will offer me their guidance. Also, meeting accomplished women from other countries means access to new ideas and unique perspectives. And if I am lucky, I may even come across individuals who can provide financial support to jumpstart my financial literacy program for Hispanic women. Lastly, I will tell my idea to everyone I meet in Jordan, a baby step to help Hispanic women rise from poverty.
The world continues to change rapidly, especially with globalization. It is about time that Hispanic women strive for gender equality. Thus, it is essential that Hispanic women increase their roles and knowledge in finance. The women in my neighborhood shall no longer be left out. I will task myself to help these women become better, stronger and most importantly, take control of their lives. I want to be involved so that they can save themselves from any unforeseen financial crisis. This is a tremendous goal, but for me, it is an opportunity to make a difference – in my neighborhood and for my Spanish community.”
- There is clear structure . Right off the bat, the introduction summarizes what the reader can expect to find in the body of the essay. In particular, the closing line of the first paragraph (“ Financial illiteracy is a major issue in my neighborhood, and that is why I hope to give Hispanic women a chance for a better future through financial education”) works as an effective topic sentence, tying together the anecdote and the reason she’s interested in networking with the scholarship provider, Women’s World Banking. The last 2 paragraphs also serve clear, independent purposes: the penultimate one establishes what she would do with the scholarship (the trip to Amman), and the final paragraph explains why her particular interest is important for the larger Hispanic community. LESSON TO TAKE: Clear structure helps the reader follow your point better (especially if they’re skimming, which scholarship essay readers almost definitely are!) So include a summarizing topic sentence at the beginning or end of your first paragraph, and make sure each subsequent paragraph serves a purpose that moves forward your argument or story.
- The author’s passion shines. Rosaisha, the scholarship winner, is clearly passionate about serving her Hispanic community of women. And rather than simply saying that, she shows us how she cares by using personal examples from her volunteer work. LESSON TO TAKE : Show, don’t tell. Use specific personal examples, and don’t be afraid to show your emotions.
- She stays positive. Even though Rosaisha discusses what might be considered a difficult and personal topic, she keeps the tone light and inspirational. She expresses hope and her desire to make a change in the world, answering the essay in a positive tone. It’s important to make sure your essay is not too depressing to read. (Essays about personal trauma are a bad idea.) This is a scholarship provider, not a therapist!
While this was a winning essay, we note that it did have two points of weakness:
- The second paragraph lacks a bit of structure. Her point ends up feeling a bit generic, and it’s unclear what she is thinking versus planning or actually doing . For instance, she realized she could start a financial literacy program. Did she then do so? It’s unclear.
- The last paragraph is again a bit general. Often scholarship committees want to see what concrete steps will be taken, using the scholarship award. Here she speaks in lofty terms about what goals she hopes to accomplish, without explaining ways she might accomplish this goal.
For more information on writing a killer scholarship essay, check out our list of helpful tips .
Also check out these related blog posts:
- 6 tips for writing scholarship essays about academic goals
- How to write the best personal statement, with examples
- How to write an awesome essay about your career goals
You can start writing your winning scholarship essay today and submit it to thousands of scholarship applications, all in one place. Sign up for Going Merry today to put your pro scholarship essay writing skills to practice. Going Merry is your one-stop scholarship shop to search and apply for scholarships to get you on the right foot for funding your future.
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- Scholarships /
What is a Scholarship Essay?
- Updated on
- Oct 19, 2022
Scholarships are one of the most convenient methods to ease the financial stress for students who plan to study abroad. However, the majority of the scholarships come with an essay that requires writers to explain “ Why do they deserve the scholarship ”. This helps the scholarship committee shortlist who really deserves the scholarship. The essay must reflect on certain points that can help you earn the particular scholarship. In this blog, we will discuss the scholarship essay format and tips for an effective essay with scholarship essay Examples.
This Blog Includes:
How to write a scholarship essay, scholarship essay format, points to add in your scholarship essay, tips for scholarship essay, essay to study abroad, essay to study in india.
Also Read: Top Scholarships to Study Online
Scholarships are programmes that offer needy students financial aid. Whether you are in high school or in college, these programmes are available to students at all levels. You must write essays in order to be considered for the majority of scholarships. Your opportunity to persuade the scholarship committee that you deserve financial aid will come in the form of the scholarship essay you submit. You must present a distinctive perspective on yourself in your scholarship essay in addition to your academic accomplishments, GPA, and achievements. You must demonstrate your writing abilities and do so in an interesting way, regardless of the essay prompt. The award money will go to the essay that captures the scholarship committee’s attention and keeps them reading.
Essays are written on various topics however there are some fundamental ways to write an essay. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you in penning down a remarkable scholarship essay:
- Take more time than needed to write your scholarship essay because great things take time. Write the essay in a relaxed atmosphere rather than in a haste manner.
- Understand the essay question asked and answer that in a comprehensive and to the point manner.
- Be clear about the question asked in the scholarship statement as it lays the foundation of the essay.
- Write it in a genuine and authentic manner and don’t give false details just to impress the scholarship committee. As in the long term it is honesty and authenticity which makes an individual stand out.
- Research about the scholarship committee and understand what they actually desire from the applicant tp write your essay on similar lines to grab the scholarship.
A pervasive and generalised scholarship format exists tells you what to include while penning down a scholarship essay. The format of the scholarship essay should ideally be like the following-
- In a Scholarship Essay, first, the applicant has to elucidate upon their personal background.
- For the second paragraph, they get to write about their educational background in a brief and comprehensive manner.
- The Third paragraph must explain why they want to get the scholarship and course for which they have applied.
- In the last paragraph, the applicant explains why they are suitable for the scholarship and the course for which they have applied.
Before moving on to the Scholarship Essay Examples, read about Report Writing Examples and Tips!
While writing your scholarship essay, you must include components that have worked out before for others. Together, the points mentioned below thread your scholarship essay into a story of a candidate worth giving a chance-
- Leadership – Funding parties go for the candidates that have leadership qualities all the time. You can write in your essay that you are a leader but how will you prove it? That is why we suggest that you add certain special circumstances where you took the lead and got success.
- Extracurricular – Maintaining academic records is a lesser important criterion when it comes to scholarship. Anyone can be book smart and get higher grades. Your overall performance in various other aspects of life- sports, community, skills, etc that add value to your scholarship essay.
- Community – We talked about community in extracurricular but the significance of your connection to the community is much larger. Scholarships, funded by organisations, governments or universities, wish to invest in a candidate who puts community needs before his/her own. Try adding instances of community service (working with NGOs, cleaning drives, campaigns, etc) without sounding boastful about the same.
- Emotion – Subtle emotions make a scholarship essay worth reading till the end. At the end of the day, the main purpose of it is to sell your story to earn the scholarship. So add those subtle yet important emotions of perseverance, patience and dedication quietly into your scholarship essay.
Popular Scholarships to Study in London
Here are some tips/hacks that will help you write a good scholarship essay-
- Know the word limit so you don’t overwrite.
- Don’t start with a quote as it will eat up space for your profile.
- Keep the tone formal yet descriptive .
- Make notes of what you wish to add before you start on your first draft.
- Avoid overcrowding of achievements and only add those relevant to your course and scholarship nature.
- Use communicative vocabulary and don’t add difficult words to sound more formal or knowledgeable.
- Your conclusion should be brief with a thank you.
- Research about the scholarship provider and their motive so that you can match your essay to that.
- Don’t oversell yourself as it only bores the reader.
- Read the scholarship statement thoroughly to know what they expect out of you and your scholarship essay.
- Emphasize how the scholarship will be instrumental in achieving your dreams.
- Proofread the scholarship essay draft more than a couple of times to avoid silly mistakes.
Scholarship Essay Examples
It is really important to learn how to express and elaborate our views and passion in a scholarship essay. It also serves as a medium to communicate one’s goals and dreams. To reach your dream University, mastering the art of writing scholarship essays is crucial. Given below are two samples for a scholarship essay to study abroad and a scholarship essay to study in India.
I have always been a people person right from my childhood and every friend and family member of mine used to compliment me on my people’s skills like empathy, compassion, altruism, and patience. During my teen years, I slowly and steadily realized that destiny is unfolding the answers to my unresolved questions and I realised after profound analysis and contemplation that careers that involve dealing with people are the best fit for a person like me. I have always been proactive in volunteering activities so I genuinely understand the value of kindness and communication skills. I can clearly recall my school days when my friends used to come up to me for sharing their problems and I used to empathize with them and patiently listen to what they are going through and during those moments, a huge sense of satisfaction dawned upon me when I used to see my friends happy because I helped them feel better.
Instances like these gave a boost to my decision of pursuing a Psychology major in my Bachelors and during my bachelors apart from scoring High marks in my semester exams, I did numerous practical learning based internships, published my research paper on well-being in the workplace, and worked as an HR intern in 3-4 well-known firms to get practical insights into Organizational Psychology. I was an associate member in the Enactus and Placement cell of my college which developed my personality to a great extent and honed my communication skills in the best possible manner.
I have a strong desire to pursue an MA in Organizational Psychology and receive this scholarship. I have also had a genuine interest in the well-being of people in their workplace and thus, helping them lead a balanced life. And adding on to that I come from a lower-middle-class family, so the high fee of prestigious Ivy League Universities is not affordable and that is the reason I am applying for the scholarship. Rest assured, I never believe in a victim mentality as my parents have always taught me to be a warrior and their encouragement has propelled me to walk the whole nine yards for my dream University
I strongly believe that I am the best fit for this scholarship as I have everything ranging from a high GPA to a Strong ECA, which makes the profile of a student remarkable.I have left no stone unturned in exploring things, developing skills, and shaping up my personality in the right direction.
To get admission to a prestigious university like yours in the USA would definitely help me scale up to huge heights of success and along with that, it is my commitment that I will leave no stone unturned in contributing positively to others’ lives through my work.
Right from my childhood, I have had the knack of explaining things well to people of any age group be it children, adolescents, or adults and because of my great public speaking skills, I have always won debate and oratory competitions. Everyone in my family and School used to appreciate my public speaking skills and confidence which I considered as a regular compliment but in my high school I was renowned for teaching my peers and they used to understand it so well and the smiles on my friends’ faces brought me immense satisfaction. In the first year of my college, I started teaching to students and that was a turning point in my life as from that moment I had decided that I will be a college professor
I have pursued a major in psychology and a minor in management in my bachelor’s and further pursued MBA in HR from Delhi University. I have an ardent desire to get a Scholarship and admission to an esteemed and top-notch University for the realisation of the dream which is really close to my heart. Adding on to that, I come from a lower-middle-class family, and affording the fees of top institutions would be really tough but problems bring with themselves potential opportunities. I will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of my dream. I have realised that my true calling lies in teaching school and college students and for fulfilling that dream of mine I want to pursue a B.ED and P.hD in Management.
As APJ Abdul Kalam said, rightly that the future of the nation lies in its young minds and I have always believed that I have the potential to shape up the young minds and help them channelize their energy in the right direction. I have great communication skills and a strong sense of altruism and putting these strengths of mine into use will help me contribute positively to society through my work. The above-mentioned reasons clearly illustrate why I am the best candidate for this course and scholarship.
Scholarships can be a godsend for a student who desires to pursue higher education and lead an extraordinary life. Writing an essay that is worthy of a scholarship will help you get the best grants. We hope that this article has given you a clearer understanding of how scholarship essays are produced and the techniques you should employ to write an essay that will convince the scholarship committee to select your essay as the winner.
Also Check out: Statement of Purpose: Format, Samples and Tips
Your essay must stay inside the allotted word count. Before composing the essay you will submit, draught it since you need to create the biggest effect possible given the word limit.
No, scholarships are not a requirement for admission, but they do offer financial assistance that lessens the load that students frequently bear.
Yes, the majority of scholarships are open to students from throughout the world. Find the ones that work best for your financial condition and will enable you to cover your living expenses while visiting the destination.
This was all about scholarship essay examples and format. We hope that now you have enough tips and the ways to pen down an impressive and genuine scholarship essay. If you further need help, our Leverage Edu experts are just a call away!
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How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
By: gen and kelly tanabe, show passion in your writing..
As a student you have written a lot of essays. And let's be honest—most were probably on topics you didn't care much about. You might be tempted to approach the scholarship essay in the same way that you did when writing about the Roman Aqueducts, but this would be a tragic mistake. The last common feature of all winning essays is that they are written on subjects about which the author is truly passionate. It is very difficult to fake passion for a subject. (Just try to be excited throughout your Uncle Larry's hour-long slideshow of his tonsil operation.) But when you are genuinely enthusiastic about something, it does not take much effort for that energy to naturally show in your writing. Therefore, when you are choosing a topic, be sure it is something you truly care about and are interested in. Without even trying, you will find that your sentences convey an excitement that the reader can almost feel.
A common mistake in essay writing is to use general statements instead of specific ones. Don't write, "Education is the key to success." Instead, give the judges a slice of your life that shows them how education has impacted your life in a single experience or realization. If you are writing about your desire to become an astronaut, you might explain how this started when your father bought you a model rocket for the Christmas you were five years old. Focusing on a specific example of your life will help readers relate to your experiences and ensure that your essay is memorable and (as a bonus) original.
Have a thesis statement.
It sounds obvious, but make sure that your essay has a clear point—many students' essays don't. Whether you are describing the influence of your father or the effect of World War II on race relations, you must have a central idea to communicate to the reader. To see if your essay has a central thesis, try this simple exercise. Ask yourself, "What is the point of my essay in a single sentence?" Here are some answers that would satisfy the question for essays on independence and drug addition, respectively: "Growing up in the country taught me to be independent." "Treatment of addiction is the only way to win the war on drugs." If you cannot condense the point of your essay into a single sentence, then the main point may not be clear enough. Or worse, your essay may not have a thesis.
Build on your accomplishments.
Winning a scholarship is about impressing the judges and showing them why you are the best candidate for a monetary award. Your accomplishments, activities, talents and awards all help to prove that you are the best fit. Since you will probably list your activities on the application form, use the essay to expand on one or two of the most important ones. However, don't just parrot back what is on the application. Use the opportunity to focus on a specific accomplishment, putting it into the proper context. Share details. Listing on the application that you were a stage manager for a play does not explain that you also had to design and build all the sets in a week. The essay allows you to expand on an achievement to demonstrate its significance.
Gen and Kelly Tanabe Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.
By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe More than anything else the essay and interview determine whether you will win a scholarship. Ace both with this new book. Includes 30 winning essays, 12 essays that bombed, and 20 sample interview questions and answers.
By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe The goal of The Ultimate Scholarship Book is simple: To help you find free money. Inside you'll find the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of more than 1.5 million awards. An easy-to-use index makes finding the right scholarships ridiculously quick. And it wouldn't be the Ultimate book without a section of little known insider tips and strategies that show you how to actually win the scholarships you find!
Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay
Scholarships are a great way to pay for college, and a well-written scholarship essay can help you stand out from the competition. Whether you are a high school student just starting to think about college or a current college student applying for a scholarship, writing a winning essay requires careful planning, thoughtful writing, and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you write a scholarship essay that will impress the judges.
Read the instructions and understand the requirements
Before you start writing, it's important to carefully read the scholarship instructions and requirements. Make sure you understand what the scholarship committee is looking for in an essay, and tailor your essay to meet those requirements. Pay close attention to the essay prompt, word limit, and formatting requirements.
Choose a strong topic
Your essay topic should be relevant to the scholarship and showcase your unique qualities and experiences. Choose a topic that is both meaningful to you and relevant to the scholarship. Think about your strengths, interests, and accomplishments, and consider how you can demonstrate these qualities in your essay.
Start with an outline
An outline can help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your essay is well-structured. Start by brainstorming your ideas, and then organize those ideas into an outline. Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Write an attention-grabbing introduction
Your introduction is the first impression the scholarship committee will have of you, so make it count. Start with an interesting hook that grabs the reader's attention, and then provide some background information on the topic. Finish your introduction with a clear thesis statement that outlines the main points of your essay.
Develop strong body paragraphs
The body of your essay should include several strong paragraphs that support your thesis statement. Use specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points, and be sure to connect each paragraph to the overall theme of your essay.
Conclude with a strong finish
Your conclusion should summarize the main points of your essay and reinforce your thesis statement. End with a final thought or call to action that will stay with the reader long after they have finished reading your essay.
Edit and revise
Before you submit your essay, be sure to edit and revise it carefully. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and make sure your writing is clear and concise. Ask a friend, teacher, or family member to read your essay and give you feedback.
An Important Tip
Many scholarships have very similar essay prompts. Make sure you pay attention — unless the topic is unusually specific, essays can often be tweaked to fi the requirements of several different contests at a time.
Essay Contests to Get You Started
Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead Scholarships: www.aynrand.org
The Jane Austin Society Essay Scholarship: www.jasna.org
The National Peace Essay Contest: www.usip.org
The American Mensa Educational & Research Foundation Scholarship: www.mensafoundation.org/what-we-do/scholarships
Profile in Courage Essay Contest: www.jfklibrary.org/Education/Profile-in-Courage-Essay-Contest
Spirit of Anne Frank Award: www.annefrank.com/fileadmin/safa/index.html
American Foreign Service High School Essay Contest: www.afsa.org/essay-contest
Richard Zimmerman Journalism Scholarship: www.pressclubinstitute.org/national-press-club-scholarship-opportunities/
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: www.artandwriting.org
Writing a scholarship essay can be challenging, but with these tips, you can write a winning essay that will help you stand out from the competition. Remember to start early, choose a strong topic, and be thoughtful and thorough in your writing. Good luck!
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Blog » Scholarships » How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay
How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay
- Last Update: January 13, 2023
- March 7, 2021
- Pareeshti Rao
Table of Contents
Scholarships are perfect opportunities for students who look forward to achieving academic excellence with financial aids. They act as a major support system to students that helps make their dreams come alive. These scholarships are rewards to deserving and talented students who have the calibre to produce outstanding results. However, every reward requires efforts and every scholarship needs an application to it. The key to nailing your scholarship application lies in your convincing skills. Assurance that you are a deserving candidate for a scholarship is a must. That’s when scholarship essays come handy. Unischolarz wishes to share a few tips on how to write a winning scholarship essay.
How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay: Identity The Purpose
Every University has its own set of guidelines in terms of their vision, mission, and values. Students must eye on their respective University’s sole purpose. This will then help them understand the nerds of the University, thereby directing them to write their scholarship essays to show how they contribute towards the benefits of the University. Once the purpose is identified, you can gain a better perspective on how to write and what exactly to cover.
How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay: Follow The Scholarship Guidelines
Scholarships can vary depending on the type of scholarship, the University, or the destination. Every kind of scholarship, be it merit-based or need-based has its set of instructions that are to be followed in order to receive it. Following these guidelines strictly gives you a clarity on what is required to apply for the scholarship and whether or not you fall into the eligibility criteria of receiving the scholarship.
How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay: Strong Opening Sentence
Imagine having to go through over more than a thousand essays and shortlisting them! That’s when the opening sentences play a major role in enabling Universities to understand why they should select you as a student who deserves the scholarship that they are providing for. Playing smart and being unique comes handy here. Students need to lure the reader’s attention with their opening sentences; only then can they prove their worth of deserving the scholarship.
How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay: Research
Research is very important for students who wish to apply for a scholarship. Understanding the university, the course, as well as the structure, is very important while understanding the tips on how to write a winning scholarship essay. Primary research as well as secondary research are integral means to helping you get a thorough understanding of scholarships. An in-depth research gives you a better understanding of the requirements of gaining an outstanding scholarship opportunity.
How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay: Character Limit
Universities go through several essays from students across the world expressing their needs to earn the scholarships that they are being provided for. Having a character limit is required for students to gauge how to write an essay. It is necessary for you to understand how to write your essay in a way that your message is short, crisp, and at the same time delivers your intended message. Sticking to a character limit is a characteristic of being concise with delivering the message. Brevity plays an important role in conveying the right message with precise information.
How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay: Tone
Every University is recognised by its brand tonality. It is necessary for students to surf through the clauses of their respective Universities so as to understand the tone and write accordingly. You can add your style whilst maintaining the tonality of the University/course you are applying for. A better clarity is then provided to students in terms of understanding the means of winning the heart of a university and gaining a scholarship thereby. The brand tone sets a mood. In this way, the brand position builds up with reference to the consistency of the brand tone.
We hope that this blog was useful to you and gave you tips on how to write a winning scholarship essay. If you wish for more such tips on applying for scholarships, you may find these blogs of help to you:
The Easiest Scholarships For International Students The Ultimate Guide On Applying For Scholarships Scholarships: Making Dreams Come True
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