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How to Write a Retirement Letter

A retirement letter is the best way to formerly announce your intention of retirement to your employer. Follow these simple guidelines on how to write the most comprehensive retirement letter.

Format Your Letter

Review this basic retirement letter sample to write a perfectly worded retirement letter to your employer.

  • Your Contact Information: Name, Position Title, Company, Address, Phone and Email
  • Employer’s Contact Information: Name, Position Title, Company and Company’s Address
  • First Paragraph: Salutation and Formal Notification to Employer
  • Second Paragraph: Highlight Experiences
  • Third Paragraph: Offer Assistance
  • Closing: Final Thoughts and Sign-off

Formal Notification to Employer

Start your letter with a brief salutation and name your desired date of retirement. You may want to check company guidelines as to what the appropriate amount of time should be until your last day. Protocols may differ depending on your position with the company. Some employers prefer up to two months notice for date of retirement, while others prefer just a two weeks notice. Regardless, make it clear what your desired last day of employment is so that your employer has ample time to prepare for your leaving.

Highlight Experiences

In your second paragraph, take time to highlight any relevant experiences learned from your time at the company. Remind your employer of how many years you served at the company and any significant achievements you made while there.

This is also a good time to thank your employer for any relevant experience you learned from them. Keep it professional, even if you aren’t leaving on a good note.

Offer Assistance

If you would like to stay connected to the company in future, now is the time to bring it up. Center your third paragraph on ways you can stay relevant and beneficial to the company through your retirement. Offer to stay on for a few months to train a new person into your position. Offer to work part-time or as a consultant to your firm during your transition.

Final Thoughts and Sign-off

End your letter with final thoughts and a polite closing. Mention any future plans you are looking forward to after retirement like community outreach, travel or hobbies. You should also ask any questions you may have regarding pension plan and retirement benefits offered. Make sure to include your Human Resource department if you are writing through email.

Be sure to write a final thank you sentence, wrapping up the whole letter. End with your personal contact information for your employer’s reference and complimentary close.

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how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

  • Applying For Scholarships

About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)

Jennifer Finetti Sep 28, 2022

About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)

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A popular scholarship essay prompt is “Tell us about yourself.” This question is relatively open-ended, which may make it difficult to answer at first glance. What should I tell them about myself? My struggles, my goals, my passions…? These may all be fitting topics, depending on the scholarship. We’ll show you some scholarship essay examples about yourself, along with writing tips to guide you along the way.

What they want to know about you

As you prepare to write, think of the topics the scholarship committee would be interested in. These may include:

  • Your current degree, as it applies to your overall career goals. You can explain why you chose your current educational path and what you want to do with that.
  • Your short-term and long-term professional goals . Frame your answer as if to say “Where will you be in 5 years? Where will you be in 10 years?” Scholarship committees like to reward people with defined aspirations.
  • Past experiences that sparked your passions. You could talk about an influential person in your life, but make sure most of the essay focuses on you. After all, you are talking about yourself.
  • Something about you that relates to their organization. With any scholarship essay, you should try to connect yourself with the organization providing the funding. Don’t force a connection. Find one that naturally fits. Mention hobbies, experiences and goals that match what the review committee is looking for.
  • Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants. This may be volunteer experience, career specialties, situational differences (growing up in an area that didn’t encourage education), etc.

Show off your skillset

Note that you do not have to throw all this information into one essay. Choose the elements that best fit the scholarship. If you were on the review board, what would you want to learn about each applicant? What would make you choose one applicant over another? Keep this in mind as you develop your thoughts.

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What they don’t want to know about you

There is plenty of information you could include in an about yourself scholarship essay. There is just as much information to avoid though. Some topics to keep out of your essay include:

  • False information. Do not make up stories or fabricate goals to fit the prompt. The scholarship committee can instantly tell when someone is lying, and they will disqualify you immediately.
  • Past struggles that do not pertain to the essay topic. You can briefly mention struggles from your past, as long as you mention how you’ve learned from them. Do not make your essay a long story about the hard life you’ve led. Focus on your triumphs, not your obstacles.
  • Vague goals and aspirations. Scholarships are usually given to students who have a plan. If you say, “I’m not sure what I’m doing yet,” the committee will select a more motivated candidate. If you have a plan and a backup plan, that’s fine. Just make sure you mention both options and show which one you favor.
  • Cliché stories that most people tell. There is something that makes you stand out as a person. Use that to your advantage. Don’t rely on generic information they’ll find with other applicants.
  • Unrelated elements of your personal life. In most cases, you should not mention your significant other in the essay. You might mention a spouse if you need to reference your children or a turning point in your life, but these personal details do not fit most essays. Any information that seems frivolous or ill-placed should be removed from the essay.

Read through your essay carefully. If you stop at one point to say, “Why did I mention that?” get rid of the corresponding information. Showcase the best elements about yourself in a fluid and cohesive manner.

Short scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (100 Words)

With 100 words, you can only focus on one or two elements of your life. Think about your biggest selling points – the things that show you are the ideal candidate. Start by introducing yourself and your educational status. Then jump into the main topic of the essay. You may not have room to mention how the scholarship will help your education. Instead, mention how your education can help your career. The other information will be implied.

My name is Christian Wood. I am a high school senior who will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. I want to become an online journalist. My goal is to work for the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, or another news outlet that has a strong online presence. Most people already get their news on the internet, and the industry will be even bigger by the time I graduate. Getting a degree in journalism with a focus on digital media will set me up for a fulfilling, fast-paced career fit for the future.

Word Count: 96

Medium scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (250 Words)

With a mid-length scholarship essay, you have more space to explain how your past has influenced your present and future goals. You should have rom for an intro paragraph, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion (maybe incorporated into the last body paragraph). Think of a few main points you want to touch on, and write those down first. If you still have room, you can add more details about yourself.

My name is Sarah, and I spent most of my childhood on the wrong medication. I experienced a problem common in clinical psychology – misdiagnosis. Professionals provide inaccurate diagnoses for many reasons – f rom antiquated testing methods to limited education. I want to open my own psychological testing facility and help change that. Therefore, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology.  I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child because I had trouble focusing in school. The medication m y doctor prescribed to me only made me numb to the world around me. I couldn’t think or process emotions, or had no emotions at all. After several years my parents finally decided to get a second opinion. I saw a specialist and she concluded that I didn’t have ADHD , but a combination of dyslexia and dysgraphia (difficulties with reading and writing). She sent us to a therapist who helped me learn how to work around my conditions, and my life improved tremendously. I went from being a lifeless student with barely passing grades to an honor roll student full of joy and excitement. Unfortunately, my story is not one of a kind. There are countless children in America who are put on mind-altering medications that do not adequately address their needs. I cannot help all of those children, but I can provide a better alternative for the ones in my area. Through proper education, funded by financial aid, I can learn about psychological evaluations and provide the most accurate diagnoses possible.

Word Count: 249

Long scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (500 Words)

Scholarship essays that are 500 words or longer let you tell the whole story. You can discuss your past, present and future in a comprehensive manner. Avoid rambling and make sure each topic contributes to the overall essay. If one piece feels out of place, remove it and elaborate more on the existing elements. By the end of the essay, the reader should have a full understanding of who you are and what you want to accomplish.

My name is Sierra Breault, and I am a junior at Murray State University. I am double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Forensics Science, and I will graduate in 2024 with two bachelor degrees. My career goal is in social justice, so I can contribute to criminal justice reform. I want to ensure that those who commit crimes are treated fairly.  I come from a small town where excessive force and even death by cop incidents are often committed, especially against minorities. A few years ago, one of my relatives was charged for a crime although the crime scene evidence wasn’t properly obtained, catalogued and analyzed.  This experience played a big part in my wish to study criminal justice. I started exploring the career more when I decided that a desk job just wasn’t for me. Throughout high school I struggled because of the routine nature of it all. I saw the same people and attended the same classes every single day. I knew I didn’t want a job that would be that stagnant. That’s when I got the idea to work in law enforcement, because there would always be a new challenge for me to tackle. After researching the field even more, I set my sights on crime scene investigation. I have performed much better academically in college than I ever did in high school. That’s because there is no routine to the experience. Every week, I have new projects to complete, tests to study for, and activities to try. I have been involved with the campus Crime Stoppers organization all three years of college, and I was elected president for the upcoming term. This lets me work closely with law enforcement to supplement my college education and further my career.   After graduating, I will apply for work as a dispatcher in a state organization, such as the Department of Criminal Investigation. While my ultimate goal is to work as a forensic analyst or crime scene investigator, those positions usually only go to people within the organization. Dispatch is the most direct option for career entry, giving me the best chance to pursue my dream career. I am applying for this scholarship to help me finish the last two years of my degrees. As a college junior and soon-to-be senior, my scholarship opportunities are limited. Most awards are reserved for freshmen. I took advantage of those early on, and I have one recurring scholarship that covers half of my tuition. However, I need additional financial aid to cover the remainder of my academic costs. I appreciate your consideration, and I hope that you can help me pursue a profession in criminal justice. This is my passion, and I have a clear plan to turn that passion into a lifelong career.

Word Count: 463

YOU SHOULD ALSO READ

Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples

Essay: How Will This Scholarship Help You Achieve Your Goals (W/Example)

Scholarship Essay Examples – Career Goals

Financial Need Scholarship Essay Examples

How to Write a Scholarship Motivation Letter

  • Scholarship Essay

Jennifer Finetti

Jennifer Finetti

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

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3 Scholarship Essay Examples about Yourself [2023]

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” states a famous saying by Paulo Coelho. Now you probably want a scholarship, don’t you? If not the whole universe, at least the Internet helps you achieve this goal, by providing these three amazing scholarship essay examples by Custom-writing.org to gain a better understanding of how your paper should look like.

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Though your main idea (“Please, give me this scholarship”) is clear from the very beginning, you need to find the best way to express it in your paper. There are three main approaches to scholarship applications for college students:

Below you’ll find a “tell me about yourself” scholarship essay example, as well as ones focused on career goals and financial needs. Feel free to choose any of these approaches, but beware of the potential pitfalls of each of them.

  • 🙋‍♂️ Example #1 (Yourself)
  • 💸 Example #2 (Your Financial Need)
  • 🎯 Example #3 (Your Career Goals)
  • 🔗 References

🙋‍♂️ Scholarship Essay Example Focusing on Yourself

Below is a scholarship essay sample that focuses on personal interests and aspirations .

Scholarship Essay Example #1

My Mom says that I decided to become a doctor when I was only five years old. Of course, I do not remember when and why this idea came to me. But as the years were passing by, my intention to become a doctor became firmer.

I had two beautiful examples before my eyes – my grandfather and my Biology teacher, who inspired me to choose nursing as a profession. My grandfather is a great doctor who saved hundreds of lives. Even today, when he is already retired, his former patients come to see him and ask him for a piece of advice. He devoted his entire life to serving people, and his effort was not in vain. Looking at his glowing eyes when the grandfather is telling me how he saved soldiers during the Second World War, I understand that there is no other profession more rewarding and inspiring than nursing.

Whereas my grandfather showed me the spiritual side of this noblest profession, my Biology teacher, Mrs. Stevens, cultivated my love for knowledge and my interest in the latest innovations in the field.

Comment : The essay is persuasive because the applicant provides specific details and shares his/her true feelings and emotions.

💸 Scholarship Essay Sample Focusing on Your Financial Need

Here is a scholarship essay sample that discusses the applicant’s financial needs, using the appropriate tone.

Scholarship Essay Example #2

Friedrich Nietzsche said that what does not kill us makes us stronger. I learned this simple principle in my early childhood when my parents gave me all the love in the world, but could not afford any pocket money. By overcoming our financial hardships, I learned the key life values, and I hardened my willpower. I know how to save and manage money, and I will become a good economist.

Regardless of our family’s income, the expenses on my younger sister’s treatment took the most significant part of our budget. Susie has a rare genetic disease, and my parents had to consult the best doctors and buy expensive medicine to improve her condition. I started working early and know the true price of every penny. Yet, my parents gave me much more than a ticket to the cinema or a birthday party with tens of friends – they gave me a real understanding of what is valuable in life.

Comment: The applicant chooses the right tone, revealing his/her maturity and an active life position. Instead of complaining about hardships, s/he tells how s/he overcame them and how this hardened her will.

🎯 Scholarship Essay Example Focusing on Your Career Goals

Here is an example of a scholarship essay that discusses the applicant’s plans.

Scholarship Essay Example #3

Just like a chess player, I prefer to have a long-term strategy as my plan. That’s why I have chosen law as my future profession when I was in middle school. I concentrated my effort on learning the related subjects, and I became rather knowledgeable in the field. And now, when I work on this personal statement, I already start making plans for my further professional development.

I understand that it is impossible to become a good lawyer overnight. Moreover, even a diploma does not guarantee truly valuable professional skills and knowledge. Professionalism in any field requires a substantial investment of time and effort. Due to the ever-changing laws with their numerous amendments, this field is especially demanding. Continuous self-education and communication with more experienced colleagues are critical for becoming a good lawyer…

Comment: The applicant mentions his/her current achievements, but is realistic about the need for further self-education and self-improvement.

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Now, as you have these three wonderful examples of scholarship essays, you won’t have difficulties generating ideas for your own papers. Choose the most appropriate option, avoid the common pitfalls, and write a truly convincing scholarship essay sample!

✏️ Scholarship Essay FAQ

To write a good application for a scholarship, make sure that your essay proves your strong motivation. Include relevant details about your education, acquired skills, practical experience (perhaps you already have work history). For a college, it’s vital that they see a responsible and motivated candidate.

To begin an application, you do not necessarily need to be creative. It’s OK to introduce yourself, write about your education and work experience (if applicable). Then, say something along the lines: “I am strongly motivated to get the scholarship because…”

In that type of essay, your aim is to introduce and kind of sell yourself. Thus, write about relevant details of your educational and work background. Talk about the skills you’ve acquired. Highlight your strong motivation for further development (within the program you apply for).

It is a paper that deals with your motivation to get some kind of assistance/scholarship. It explains the reasons, typically some life circumstances, that make you unable to pay for the educational program (for example). In that essay, you write about yourself and why you deserve assistance.

🔗References

  • Writing a Winning College Scholarship Essay | The Princeton Review
  • 5 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out | US News
  • How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay | Top Universities
  • Finding and Applying for Scholarships | Federal Student Aid
  • Scholarship Universe | Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, University of Arizona
  • Scholarships – | The University of Alabama
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how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

How To Write A Scholarship Essay With Examples In 2023

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How to write a scholarship essay

This is your time to shine!

Are you dreaming of studying abroad but worried about the costs? We get it - pursuing higher education can be expensive! Luckily, plenty of scholarships are available to help you achieve your goals! You must submit an essay explaining why you need financial assistance to apply for a scholarship. Don't worry - we've compiled the ultimate guide to help you write a compelling scholarship essay. Let's dive in!

What is a Scholarship Essay?

In a scholarship essay, you explain and persuade the committee members as to why you deserve financial aid. This essay is submitted with the scholarship application, and it is your one opportunity to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for scholarships.

Furthermore, these scholarships are typically provided by individual organisations. They intend to provide financial assistance to support your education. So it is recommended to write essays that reflect the writer's beliefs and match the organisation's interests.

The Scholarship committee usually asks you to write a scholarship essay for masters to understand your strengths, interests, achievements, and goals and get a glimpse of your personality. The essay is written in order to give a small demonstration to the scholarship committee as to why you deserve the scholarship and what makes you the best among other students. You can highlight some of the challenges and how you coped up and overcame them, which shows your problem-solving ability. 

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how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

How to Write a Scholarship Essay?

Looking for tips on how to write a good scholarship essay? Truth be told, you will not find it. Just make sure that your essay provides insight into your vision and experience, which ultimately defines you and your passion for your study subject. Here are a few points to note

1. Have an engaging start

Have questions about how to start an essay? Try including a quote or phrase related to your planned course that you may later introduce in the essay. Giving an idea about your interest in the subject will persuade the committee. Showing a broader understanding of your subject can assist in persuading the judges to provide you with the financial aid you need. 

2. Know your target audience.

Your target audience, in this case, is the scholarship committee; you need to understand their requirements and expectations. Find out their ideal prospect and make sure you fit into that vision. Make a list of key points you want to include in your essay. You don't have to give up your vision; modify your essay to fit their parameters.

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3. Read the scholarship essay prompts thoroughly.

The first step before beginning an essay is to read the essay prompts thoroughly. The candidate must comply with the appropriate essay prompts structure and word count. Also, double-check that you are simply replying to all prompt sections.

4. Research about the scholarship provider

Read about the corporation or organisation in charge of the scholarship programme. You will find their mission and requirements on their website. This can help you customise your essay according to their needs. Learn about their mission and why they are offering this award. Many scholarship sponsors also showcase former scholarship winners on their websites, often with the winning essay. Examine what the scholarship provider says about prior winners to determine which of your qualities to emphasise in your essay.

5. Authenticity is your power.

Your life and experiences are essential and significant! You are not required to fabricate or invent details to appear more deserving of the scholarship money. Your authenticity is your power; use it for your gain. It is recommended to show and not tell, as it is evident for the readers to spot such things. Instead of just explaining everything, try constructing a vivid image for the reader. Don't just claim you're stressed out because you're juggling employment and high school; make a mental image and provide clear, credible instances. You can check out our blogs on student scholarships in Australia , Ireland and the US if you are applying for scholarships abroad.

6. Seek out writing advice.

To make your essay stand out, it's important to seek out writing advice and guidance from reliable sources. Your academic advisor can provide valuable insights into the writing process, such as how to structure your essay, how to format it, and how to make your argument compelling. There are plenty of online resources that can help you improve your writing skills, such as grammar and style guides, online writing courses, and writing communities where you can get feedback on your work.

7. Look out for grammatical errors.

Make sure you proofread your essay and look for grammatical errors. You can scan your essay through various grammar checking websites before submitting your essay.

Scholarship Essay Format

One of the key aspects of your scholarship application is your essay. Writing a compelling scholarship essay is essential to stand out from the competition and convince the selection committee that you are the best candidate for the award. However, it is equally important to pay attention to the essay format. We will discuss the important things to remember and include in a scholarship essay format.

1. Fonts to use for Scholarship Essay

One tip on how to format an essay is to stick to a consistent professional style. This includes 1-inch page margins , a 12-point font size double-spaced , and a "standard" script like Times New Roman in classic black . Don't experiment with fonts or colours here. You want the content of your essay to stand out, not your unconventional formatting.

2. Scholarship Essay Title

The essay submission format determines this. You can copy and paste the body of your essay without a title if there is a text box entry. If you attach an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can include a title, although this is usually unnecessary unless there are specific scholarship essay format rules. Also, there is no need to add the essay question or prompt at the top of your essay.

3. Scholarship Essay Structure

The structure of the essay is a very crucial element. The structure of the essay helps you make a blueprint and guides you in deciding which points have to be included under which section. This is a format that is generally used while writing the essay. 

Introduction

The scholarship essay format first needs to draw the attention of the reader with a catchy beginning line relating to the question. Introduce your significant points, which you will discuss later in your essay. Include a strong point that proves your determination and drive to attend college.

Extend your critical points in the essay format. Support your claims with proof, examples, and facts. This is the section where you can tell the committee how you got to where you are now, what inspired your hobbies, interests, or desire to attend college, and how the scholarship will help you reach your academic and/or personal goals. Remember to utilise specifics instead of broad remarks.

Describe how earning this award might help you achieve your goals and have a broader community impact, if any. Explain how critical this scholarship is to you, not only financially but also in terms of helping you reach your goals.

You can know more through our other blogs on thesis statements and personal statements with examples. We have compiled some of the best scholarship essay examples which you can go through before starting your essay.

Scholarship Essay Examples

However, many overlook that receiving many minor scholarship applications can be life-changing. The essays below can help you move from planning and  living your college and achieving professional goals.

However, many overlook that receiving many minor scholarship applications can be life-changing. The essays below can help you move from planning and living your college and achieving professional goals.

1. This essay example is from the New York University College of Arts and Science essay.

" Although I agree that I will never be able to support myself only via ice skating, the education and talents I have obtained have opened endless avenues. Ice skating has given me the work ethic, resilience and inspiration to grow as a teacher and English speaker. It has helped my academic performance by instilling in me the importance of rhythm, health, and routine. “

2. This essay example is an excerpt from the North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship-winning essay.

"My parents pushed me to respect school when I was five years old because they were born in Vietnam and had limited access to education. Because of this disadvantage, I learnt to take everything seriously and to give everything I had to fulfil projects like founding my school's Badminton Club in my fresher year and Red Cross Club this year. The more I got involved, the more I grew as a leader and as a person. As a leader, I acted the same way I did with my younger cousins and siblings. "

3. This essay example is an excerpt from the Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship winning essay.

"My life objective is to make films that transform how society perceives groups of people, often defined by stereotypes and clichés. Through the American Institute of Foreign Studies' year-long programme in Prague, I will obtain the cinematic and philosophical tools to create films that will assist others in better comprehending the LGBTQ community. I've been producing videos since I could wield a camera, but I'd like to take it a step further now.."

4. This essay example is an excerpt from an essay prompt, "why do you want to go to college?"

"It makes sense to attend college. College education has proven its importance in my family, from assisting my parents in finding steady positions after moving to America to providing my brother with the opportunity to obtain work experience at some of the best financial firms. Yet, until I attended high school, I had no idea what went on inside the mythical universities."

5. This essay example is an excerpt from an essay prompt, "Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide."

"I met a woman who lived in the same building as my aunt while helping. She struggled to get by every day, unemployed with two young children and a husband working minimum wage at a fast food restaurant. I reflected that many people in my town are like her. Then I realised there was something I could do to help. “

6. This scholarship essay is an excerpt from an essay prompt, “open topic”, written for a couple of scholarships.

“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.”

7. This essay example is an excerpt from an essay prompt, "Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide."

“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.”

8. This essay example is an excerpt from an essay 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. “

Scholarship Essay Prompts

Are you struggling to come up with ideas for your scholarship essay? There are plenty of standard essay prompts and topics out there to guide you. These prompts will help you get started on your essay and give it a definite structure. Let's explore some useful prompts that you can use to write an outstanding essay.

1. My family members.

2. My part-time job efforts in high school.

3. The Doors I have opened.

4. My Dreams and Inspiration.

5. Learning for the best - how (person) changed my life.

6. The person who is influenced by views.

7. Goals I will achieve in 10 years.

8. What differentiates you from the hundreds of students who apply for our scholarships?

9. How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally?

10. What makes a good doctor?

Scholarship Essay Tips

It is crucial to make your essay stand out from the hundreds of other applicants while working on it. A well-written and formatted essay can not only grab the attention of the scholarship committee but also make a strong impression, increasing the likelihood of obtaining the scholarship. Here are some tips to follow to make your essay engaging and memorable

  • Choose a topic you are passionate about.
  • Follow a narrative structure.
  • Re-read the essay prompt and identify the key themes. 
  • Outline your essay before writing.
  • Make sure your outline does justice to your essay prompt.
  • Add your real-life experiences and highlight your problem-solving abilities.
  • Talk about your accomplishments without bragging too much.
  • Make sure your essay has a flow.
  • Have someone with strong writing skills proofread your essay.
  • Be concise and specific, and avoid generalising.
  • Empower your sentences with punctuation.
  • Do a little research about the university and the scholarship they are providing before starting your essay. 
  • Be professional but write the essay in your own voice. 
  • Avoid including inspirational quotes in your essay.

Do's and Don'ts of Writing a scholarship essay

Writing a scholarship essay may seem like a daunting task, but keeping the necessary guidelines in mind will make the process smoother. Here are some do's and don'ts that you should follow. 

how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

  • Before writing your essay, read and understand the prompt carefully. You need to know the requirements and what the college is looking for, so tailor your essay accordingly.
  • Your essay should showcase your achievements and why you deserve the scholarship out of all the other applicants. Mention your personal achievements, skills and experiences that prove your suitability for the scholarship.
  • Be authentic and personal in your writing; your essay should be a reflection of who you are as a person. Your goal should be to create a lasting impression on the scholarship committee after reading your essay.
  • Do edit and proofread your essay with care before submitting it. Check for grammar mistakes, coherence and flow of content. Your essay should be polished and professional.

Don'ts

  • Never plagiarise in your essay, as this will definitely get your application rejected. Use your authentic words and ideas, and cite any sources properly if you need to use them in your essay.
  • Avoid drama and emotions in the content of your essay. Even though you wish to add a personal touch to the essay with your qualities and experiences, you don't want to come across as insincere or overly emotional. 
  • Submit your essay before the deadline, as missing it could potentially disqualify you from consideration.
  • Your essay should be relevant to the scholarship you are applying for. Do not write an essay that is unrelated and does not answer the prompt. This may lead to disqualification too.

We hope this guide helped you find new ways to write your scholarship essay. Amber scholarship is a scholarship provided by amber, we hope you try your luck in it! This is your chance to show the scholarship committee what you have to deserve the scholarship. This is the most crucial part of your scholarship application, so please do not waste it. Good Luck! Also, check out this blog to know everything about GRE exams in 2023. Also, check out this blog to know how to write a literature review for a college research paper.

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how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

Scholarship Essays

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Tell Us About Yourself and Why You are Applying for this Scholarship Essay Example

In 600 words or less, please tell us about yourself and why you are applying for this scholarship. please be clear about how this scholarship will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Being African, I recognize Africa’s need for home- grown talent in the form of “planners” (assistants with possible solutions) and “searchers” (those with desperate need) working towards international development. I represent both. Coming from Zimbabwe my greatest challenge is in helping to improve the livelihoods of developing nations through sustainable development and good governance principles. The need for policy-makers capable of employing cross-jurisdictional, and cross- disciplinary strategies to solve complex challenges cannot be under-emphasized; hence my application to this scholarship program.

After graduating from Africa University with an Honors degree in Sociology and Psychology, I am now seeking scholarship support to study in the United States at the Master’s level. My interest in democracy, elections, constitutionalism and development stems from my lasting interest in public policy issues. Accordingly, my current research interests in democracy and ethnic diversity require a deeper understanding of legal processes of constitutionalism and governance. As a Master’s student in the US, I intend to write articles on these subjects from the perspective of someone born, raised, and educated in Africa. I will bring a unique and much-needed perspective to my graduate program in the United States, and I will take the technical and theoretical knowledge from my graduate program back with me to Africa to further my career goals as a practitioner of good governance and community development.

To augment my theoretical understanding of governance and democratic practices, I worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programs Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department. This not only enhanced my project management skills, but also developed my skills in research and producing communication materials. ZESN is Zimbabwe’s biggest election observation organization, and I had the responsibility of monitoring the political environment and producing monthly publications on human rights issues and electoral processes. These publications were disseminated to various civil society organizations, donors and other stakeholders. Now I intend to develop my career in order to enhance Africa’s capacity to advocate, write and vote for representative constitutions.

I also participated in a fellowship program at Africa University, where I gained greater insight into social development by teaching courses on entrepreneurship, free market economics, and development in needy communities. I worked with women in rural areas of Zimbabwe to setup income-generating projects such as the jatropha soap-making project. Managing such a project gave me great insight into how many simple initiatives can transform lives.

Your organization has a history of awarding scholarships to promising young students from the developing world in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. I have already done some of this work but I want to continue, and with your assistance, I can. The multidisciplinary focus of the development programs I am applying to in the US will provide me with the necessary skills to creatively address the economic and social development challenges and develop sound public policies for Third World countries. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.

Original Source: Internationalstudent.com

how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

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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:

how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

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.”

#4 Profanity 

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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how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

Scholarship Application: The ABCs of Writing a Scholarship Essay

Scholarship application: a two-word horror story. But is it really so? Writing a scholarship application letter can seem like an off-putting venture, but these essays are a surefire way to actually win a scholarship because the awarding committee gets a chance to learn more about you. In this crash-course on writing scholarship application letters, we’re going over form, structure, and the content you need to include as well as some examples of good practice.

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When You Need to Write a Scholarship Application Letter

If there’s one thing that sounds like a nightmare to any student, it’s writing various application letters. These pieces of writing have a strict form, their readers nurture a set of expectations on what they want to read, and tons of students are writing more of the same. Welcome, folks, to the scholarship application drama. Did I say drama? I meant course. There’s nothing dramatic about scholarships, is there? *checks notes nervously*

Just as you thought you were done with the hard work (finding the right university for yourself, applying, going to interviews , filling out forms, or taking an entrance exam ), you find out you have to repeat the process with a scholarship application. Yay!

The first thing you need to check is which scholarships you can apply for. There is a wealth of scholarships out there, elusive as they are, but you will find that you’re likely not eligible for all of them. Depending on your course of study, degree (bachelor, master, doctoral, etc.), GPA, and social and political engagement, you will have to filter your options to find possible solutions. And then the drama starts.

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Is There Such a Thing as a Scholarship Application Form?

To cut straight to the chase, the answer is yes and no. There is no such thing as a completely specific scholarship application form (don’t trust those websites selling you one), but there are certain aspects that’ll be the same in each application. You can learn to manipulate those aspects to bring out the best of your experience and knowledge and then write a convincing motivation letter .

There, I’ve said the dreaded word: the key component of many scholarship applications is a motivation letter , and we’re here to dispel any myths surrounding this mystical document.

But, let’s start with the form:

  • Personal data. At the beginning of every scholarship application, you must provide your personal information, unless specified otherwise (some institutions may want blind applications, but that is rare). Provide your name, address, means of contact (email/phone number), and possibly the department where you study.
  • Information about the recipient. If you’re applying through your university, this will be the main address and the office you’re applying to (e.g. Scholarship Office, University of Better Tomorrow, No 15, Tomorrow Street, 19494 Future). On the other hand, you can apply to various foundations directly, and in this case, you’ll write their address. If you know the name of the person directly responsible for scholarship applications, write that first. Format the two lines of address into two parallel columns: your name in the left corner and the institution in the right.
  • What you’re applying for . While DUH! While it is obvious, it is still common practice to write a bolded line like: Application for XYZ Scholarship at ABC Institution.
  • Dear Sir or Madam … Although this form of address seems to be going out of style, you can still use it, or you can go for the ‘to whom it may concern’ variant. Again, if you know who’s directly responsible for applications, address the letter to them with proper honorifics (Dr, Prof, etc.)

Once these pesky formalities are out of the way, you can start working on your letter.

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Scholarship Application – Examples of Good Practice

So, how do you write a proper scholarship application letter? Words like structure, strong vocabulary, and convictions come to mind, and you will need all of them for a successful motivation letter. Before you start, however, you should spend a decent amount of time brainstorming your strengths and how you wish to present them.

The key element of a successful scholarship application is the relevance of your points regarding the open call . For instance, if the scholarship is purely merit-based, you’ll want to highlight your achievements and faculties. On the other hand, if the scholarship is offered by a political foundation, you should provide examples of your engagements that demonstrate how your beliefs align with the ideals of the said organisation.

This does not mean that you need to change your entire personality to fit the proposed standards of a particular organisation – you must, first and foremost, be loyal to yourself . Anything else will appear dishonest. Nevertheless, you should write a list of your most relevant characteristics that correspond to the scholarship requirements. When that is done, you just need to arrange them.

Here’s how:

  • Introduction. Your motivation letter needs a firm, attention-grabbing introduction. Present yourself and your qualifications in several sentences, and reiterate what you’re applying for.

Example: My name is XYZ, and I am a graduate of ABC school, where I attended X course of study (e.g. sciences and mathematics). I would hereby like to express my interest in the scholarship offered by [selected institution].

  • Details about you. One thing you don’t want to do in your scholarship application letter is go on a long-winded personal history. If you’re bringing examples from your childhood, they’d better be extremely related to your reason for studying a particular subject. For instance, if your ant farm tipped over and the ants refused to leave it, you can call that a good inspiration for studying the social behaviour of ants. However, if you study German literature, leave the ants be.

What you should write in this section is a rundown of your most notable accomplishments, which, put together, provide a good reason for you to apply for this scholarship. For instance, you can list a particularly good paper you’ve written, any volunteering you’ve done, and your desire to truly devote your time to your studies, which will be facilitated by obtaining this scholarship.

Scholarship committees are often impressed by extracurricular activitie s, so I suggest that you elaborate on those. However, don’t go listing everything you’ve ever done (your CV does that for you anyway). Rather, select a few examples and emphasise what you have learnt in the process of participating in this activity and how that is relevant for your studies. For instance, if you’ve volunteered abroad , you’ll have learnt the ropes of international cooperation, deepened your understanding of different cultures, and learnt how to take charge in difficult situations – skills which have proven useful in your study field (e.g. international politics , cultural studies, business administration, etc.). Underscore any internships you may have done, courses and certifications you have, or competencies you can apply across various disciplines, e.g. soft skills .

  • Why you’re the right fit. Sometimes you need to truly bring out what makes you the perfect candidate for this scholarship. As explained before, if your scholarship committee belongs to a particular foundation, you need to research this organisation and find connection points with their ideals and beliefs. If you’re applying for a more general scholarship, reiterate your greatest strengths, as well as how you might benefit from the award apart from money – for example, through networking events that scholarship-holders attend, or courses and trainings you could partake in.
  • Conclusion. Conclusions don’t need to be too long – after all, the motivation letter hardly ever exceeds two pages, and nobody needs to be reminded of every detail after reading that. However, in your conclusion, you can repeat your most important point(s), and thank the scholarship committee for their consideration. Generally, you can also say that you’d be available for an interview, or provide any additional information should it be necessary.
  • Sincerely yours … Sign your motivation letter off with your name, print it out, and add your signature. Nowadays, most universities and foundations are happy with digital signatures, but you should check the requirements and see whether it’s specified that you need to sign with your hand.

Piece of cake, right? 😉

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General Scholarship Application

Many universities open an annual call for general scholarship applications. The deadline for such applications is usually at the beginning of the year, although it varies from one university to another – check the relevant website to be on the right track.

General scholarship applications are favourable, as you can repurpose your older scholarship essays with some tweaks, thus saving time. Furthermore, they typically do not come with any specific requirements in terms of social and political engagements, making it easier to write essays for them.

The same rules apply for such an application: The structure should be clear and easy to follow. Make sure to emphasise your achievements to demonstrate why you deserve the scholarship and how you’ll benefit from it.

Application for Scholarship in College – Pro Tips

There are ways of improving your scholarship application and making it easier to write. Follow these tips to make the most out of your application:

  • Applications can be repurposed. You can hardly change your past achievements or basic information about yourself. Once you’ve written your first letter, you’ll be able to use it for future applications, with details altered to fit each call.
  • Read the call carefully. Lots of scholarship calls already tell you what they want to hear. Be sure to read through all the requirements carefully, as they might dismiss you if they feel you’re not following the rules. For instance, if a particular organisation wants you to emphasise the importance of extracurricular activities, you shouldn’t dwell on school achievements too much.
  • Do not paraphrase your entire CV. They want to know you as a person, and they already have your CV.
  • Pay attention to detail. As in, spellcheck, proofread, have others proof it too, and be receptive to feedback. Don’t be kicked out of the race because you were too lazy to use commas properly.
  • Write your letter yourself . I know there are people and places that offer to write your essays for money, but a third party can never write an authentic letter for you . You might resort to some help with editing, but there are no shortcuts to scholarships.
  • Personalise the letter. Your personality needs to shine through – whether through examples you provide, your personal ambitions, or even the turn of phrase, the letter should show who you are.
  • Show what you’ve learnt. For every detail you provide, show what you’ve learnt from the given experience, as well as how you intend to apply it later.

Last but not least, do mind the deadlines (tardiness is not tolerated) and make sure all accompanying details and documents are included in your application.

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Why No Scholarship Application Sample Ever Works – And What Does?

To briefly recap, lots of scholarship applications include writing a motivation letter or essay along with providing relevant documents outlining your academic and personal successes. Writing a scholarship application letter, daunting though it is, is not that difficult once you’ve got the hang of it. One thing you should be wary of are various online templates and samples. Most of the time, these are generic letters that don’t say anything about you and do not fit the criteria of the scholarship you’re applying for.

Here are the things that do work when you’re applying for a scholarship:

  • Demonstrable academic and personal accomplishments .
  • Firmly structured letters with clear transitions.
  • Strong vocabulary. Ditch do and get ; go for obtain , perform , highlight , explicate , etc.
  • Relevance. Always remember that whatever you bring up in your scholarship application letter must be relevant to the call.
  • Personality. The committee should learn about you in the process of reading your letter: your strong characteristics, interests, values, and ambitions.

how to write a scholarship letter about yourself

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