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.
Personalized and effective college advising for high school students.
- Advisor Application
- Popular Colleges
- Student Login
- California Privacy Notice
- Terms and Conditions
- Your Privacy Choices
Have a language expert improve your writing
Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes, generate your apa citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- College essay
- 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 .
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Courault, K. (2023, May 31). How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example. Scribbr. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/college-essay/scholarship-essay/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, how to apply for college | timeline, templates & checklist, how to research and write a "why this college" essay, us college essay tips for international students.
Summer Deal! Top-rated Essay Writers Online! Get 50% OFF On Your First Essay Order!
Your 50% Off + Real Help Await!
Skip the Bots, Talk to Us
Have us text you Estimated wait time: about 2 minutes
Have us call you Estimated wait time: about 5 minutes
Chat with support Estimated wait time: about 3 minutes
Email us The current response time is 6 hours
Have us text you
Estimated wait time: about 2 minutes
We will contact you shortly!
Have us call you
Estimated wait time: about 5 minutes
The current response time is 6 hours
Please reach out to us at:
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
People also read
Scholarship Essay - A Complete Writing Guide
Scholarship Essay Format - A Complete Guide
Most Popular Scholarship Essay Prompts & Questions
Share this article
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.
On This Page On This Page -->
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
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!
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.
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!
Join our mailing list for discount & offers
- Cookies Policy
- Refunds & Cancellations
- Our Guarantees
- Affiliate Program
- Referral Program
- AI Essay Writer
Disclaimer: Our website content is sometimes created using AI but is reviewed and verified by our experienced team of editors. All client orders are completed by our team of highly qualified human writers. The essays and papers provided by us are not to be used for submission but rather as learning models only.
Email Address Already Exists!
Please Enter Valid Email!
How to Write a Scholarship Essay: Complete Guide + Examples
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Common questions about scholarships, the top 10 most common scholarship essay prompts:.
- Tell us about you.
- Why do you want to study/pursue [X]?
Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
Why do you deserve this scholarship?
How will this scholarship help you?
In this guide, I’ll share with you a series of step-by-step mini-guides to answering the top 10 most common scholarship essay question prompts.
How do I know these are the most common scholarship prompts? Because they’re based on a random sample of about 700 scholarship essay prompts analyzed by my friends at the scholarship site Going Merry .
First, we’ll get into questions like:
Where do I find scholarships?
What are colleges and organizations looking for in a scholarship essay?
How do I write a creative scholarship essay that stands out?
Can I re-use scholarship essays as college essays (i.e. personal statement or supplemental essays)—and, if so, how?
After that I’ll break down how to write each prompt.
Here are the top 10 most common scholarship essay prompts:
Tell us about you. (Or another very generic bio request)
What impact has sports had on your life? (Or some other athletics-related question)
How have you contributed to your community, or what community service have you provided?
Why do you want to study/pursue [X]?
How are you unique?
What are your academic and/or career goals?
Tell us about a time when you had a belief or idea challenged.
Let’s do this.
Where do you find Scholarships?
I love both College Greenlight and Going Merry . They both have great search engines. In fact, try them both!
Broadly speaking, colleges want to know what skills/qualities/values/interests you’ve developed that will contribute to a college campus. Organizations (i.e. not colleges) are still curious about the skills/qualities/values/interests you’ve developed, but in many cases they’re looking for you to share about those in the context of a specific question—how sports have helped you develop those values, for example, or how those qualities are relevant to your future career or goals. I’ll get into more detail for each type of essay in a moment.
First, let’s get organized.
Chances are you’re not applying for just one or two scholarships; you’re applying for a bunch, right? And if you’re not applying for a bunch—or you aren’t yet—go over to College Greenlight or Going Merry to see what you qualify for. Then come back.
Why should you apply for a bunch of scholarships? Because a) MORE FREE MONEY, b) it’s relatively easy, as I’ll explain in a second, d) it can improve the quality of your essays, and d) another reason that I’ll explain at the very end of this post.
Once you’ve got a big list of scholarship essay prompts, you’ll want to...
Step 1: Create Your Scholarship Essay Tracker (10 min.)
This is basically a big list of all your scholarship essays organized by prompt, due date, word limit, etc. Why do this? Because it’ll save you tons of time and improve your essays.
Click here for a downloadable scholarship tracker you can download and customize.
Once you’ve created your tracker, you might notice something: Some of these prompts look alike. You might also notice that you’ve already written an essay that could work for one or more of these prompts.
So ask yourself:
Could I re-use any essay(s) I’ve already written for college applications?
Could I write an essay that works for multiple prompts?
Wait: I can do that? I can use an essay I’ve already written or write one that works for lots of different scholarships and then just submit the same essay?
Yes, you totally can. In fact, I’m going to recommend doing so because not only is it going to save you time, but it’ll improve your essays. I call this…
A Super Essay is one that’s written on a topic you know well and that works for several different prompts. As a quick example, notice how you could write one essay that answers all these questions:
Tell us about you (or some other very generic profile/bio request).
How are you unique? (Discuss your background, identity, interest, or talent) [Similar to Common App prompt #1]
Don’t believe one essay could answer all these prompts?
Check out the essay called “With Debate” at this link.
The essay tells us about: who the author is (Prompt 1), how she is unique (Prompt 2), how she failed and learned from the experience (Prompt 3), and even her academic and career goals (Prompt 4).
And get this: if she’d wanted to answer the prompt that asks her to “Tell us about a time when you had a belief or idea challenged,” she could simply have added something like “I didn’t believe I’d ever find my voice/be able to speak up for myself… but I learned I was wrong—that I did have a voice”).
So here’s my first bit of advice:
Write an essay that works for multiple prompts.
The short version: put all of your prompts in your essay tracker and color code them based on which prompts seem similar. Here’s an example of this that a former student created for his college essays. Next, copy and paste prompts of the same color at the top of a blank page and brainstorm topics that might work for each group of prompts. As you create your outline and begin your draft, keep the different prompts in mind.
Click here for more details on this technique, including a step-by-step guide to writing a Super Essay (with examples).
But wait: that doesn’t really answer how to write each of the prompts above. So let’s take a deep-dive into each one, shall we?
The "Tell us about you" scholarship essay
This scholarship prompt is wide open. And by that I mean you can pretty much do anything you want with it. Given that, I’d strongly recommend doubling this with another prompt, which is to say that you can answer this question at the same time that you’re writing an essay for another scholarship prompt.
You’ll also notice that this could easily double with your personal statement, so if you’ve written a great personal statement you really like, you might be able to submit that for this prompt. But if you haven’t written a personal statement, here’s a free guide to writing a great personal statement . Prefer a YouTube video? Here’s my crash course in writing a personal statement.
Below is a great example essay for the “Tell us about you” prompt. You’ll notice it could’ve also worked for a lot of the other top 10 prompts.
What Had to Be Done
At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. I held tightly to a tube of toothpaste because I’d been sent to brush my teeth to distract me from the commotion. Regardless, I knew what was happening: my dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse. He’d hurt my mom physically and mentally, and my brother Jose and I had shared the mental strain. It’s what had to be done. Living without a father meant money was tight, mom worked two jobs, and my brother and I took care of each other when she worked. For a brief period of time the quality of our lives slowly started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became an integral part of our family. He paid attention to the needs of my mom, my brother, and me. But our prosperity was short-lived as my step dad’s chronic alcoholism became more and more recurrent. When I was eight, my younger brother Fernando’s birth complicated things even further. As my step-dad slipped away, my mom continued working, and Fernando’s care was left to Jose and me. I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do. As undocumented immigrants and with little to no family around us, we had to rely on each other. Fearing that any disclosure of our status would risk deportation, we kept to ourselves when dealing with any financial and medical issues. I avoided going on certain school trips, and at times I was discouraged to even meet new people. I felt isolated and at times disillusioned; my grades started to slip. Over time, however, I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself. Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix a bike, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls. I became resourceful, fixing shoes with strips of duct tape, and I even found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me. I also worked to apply myself constructively in other ways. I worked hard and took my grades from Bs and Cs to consecutive straight A’s. I shattered my school’s 1ooM breaststroke record, and learned how to play the clarinet, saxophone, and the oboe. Plus, I not only became the first student in my school to pass the AP Physics 1 exam, I’m currently pioneering my school’s first AP Physics 2 course ever. These changes inspired me to help others. I became president of the California Scholarship Federation, providing students with information to prepare them for college, while creating opportunities for my peers to play a bigger part in our community. I began tutoring kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus. As the captain of the water polo and swim team I’ve led practices crafted to individually push my comrades to their limits, and I’ve counseled friends through circumstances similar to mine. I’ve done tons, and I can finally say I’m proud of that. But I’m excited to say that there’s so much I have yet to do. I haven’t danced the tango, solved a Rubix Cube, explored how perpetual motion might fuel space exploration, or seen the World Trade Center. And I have yet to see the person that Fernando will become. I’ll do as much as I can from now on. Not because I have to. Because I choose to.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to writing the “Tell us about you” essay:
Create Your Scholarship Essay Tracker and check to see what other topics this prompt might overlap with.
Create an outline that works for all the potential overlapping prompts.
Write a draft using the resources linked above, in particular the free guide .
Revise your essay using this exercise .
Use the Great College Essay Test to see how your essay might be improved, then revise as needed until your essay is solid.
Share it with 1-2 people you trust and revise again, as needed.
Submit your essay and any other required documents before the deadline.
Click here for more great examples of essays that tell us a lot about their authors and were written using the resources linked above.
The “What impact has sports had on your life?” Essay
Heads-up: this prompt won’t always be phrased precisely like this, but the mini guide I’m about to share will work for most any sports-related prompt.
Here, you’re basically writing an extracurricular essay and the secret to doing it well, IMHO, is making uncommon connections. Here’s what I mean:
I believe the difference between a boring essay and a stand-out essay is this:
un common topic
un common connections
un common achievements
un common language
Topic : Certain sports (like basketball) are more common than others (like indoor skydiving). That doesn’t mean you can’t write a great basketball essay, but it’s harder to stand out. More details in a sec.
Connections : These are values that people don’t normally or immediately associate with your sport. Students often write about the values of “discipline” or “hard work,” but finding uncommon connections (AKA insights) can make for a more interesting essay.
Achievements : Some accolades (like winning a local or state tournament) are more common than others (like being the only female on your wrestling team, for example, or playing for a national team).
Language : Some phrases (like “we learned what being a team is really all about” are pretty common).
And I know what you’re thinking: What if the sport I play is super common, or I can’t come up with any uncommon connections or don’t have any uncommon achievements, or don’t know what you mean by uncommon language?
Don’t worry. Stay with me.
How to Stand Out on Your Sports Essay If Your Topic and Achievements Are Common
If you don’t play an uncommon sport and don’t have uncommon achievements to write about, a great way to stand out is by making uncommon connections. Why? With a common topic that makes common connections and uses common language (i.e., “Basketball taught me hard work and discipline”), you’re likely to blend in. Instead, you want to generate insights others won’t have thought of. How? There’s a game for that:
The UC* Game
First, pick a cliché topic that you might use for an essay. In fact, maybe it’s the sport you’re considering writing about for a scholarship essay.
Take football, for instance. (And by the way this applies to other typical extracurricular activities—like the classic “mission trip” essay—so let’s do that one too, so you can maybe use this for other essays too.)
Step 1: Brainstorm the cliché version of your essay.
First, tell me what the typical football or mission trip essay will focus on. How? Take a look at this list of Values and think of a few cliché values that you think the typical essay would focus on.
A cliché connection for [football] might be [teamwork, responsibility, hard work, etc.]
A cliché connection for a [mission trip] might be [helping others, hard work, passion, etc.].
You get the idea.
Step 2: Come up with 3-4 uncommon values.
Next, brainstorm values that might not normally be associated with football or a mission trip.
An uncommon connection to [football] might be [resourcefulness, healthy boundaries, critical thinking, etc.].
An uncommon connection to [a mission trip] might be [serenity, accountability, practicality, etc.].
If you can find one uncommon connection you can find two, if you can find two you can find three, and if you can find three then you have enough content for a whole essay. Here’s how to develop your content:
Step 3: Tie the value to a specific example from your life.
Describe one specific example of how you’ve developed or explored that value through your activity … and maybe even applied it to other areas of your life.
Example: Football has made me a better reader.
As a cornerback, I meticulously and systematically scan the offense, looking for nuances in formation before the quarterback snaps the ball, all in a matter of seconds. It’s not unlike annotating a novel. Finding the subtle complexities in my rival teams’ spread offense has not only led me to intercepting a pass, but has given me the skills to fully digest, for example, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment , where the smallest, and at first glance, almost unnoticeable details, add to an intricate story that I wouldn’t appreciate in the same way had I not been able to notice those details in the first place.
See how that makes for a more interesting football essay?
Uncommon Value (critical thinking) + Application Elsewhere (English class) = Win.
After doing this, you should have a list of 3-4 uncommon values and examples of how they’ve manifested in your life. This may take you a little while, but be patient and stick with it. It’s worth it and will make up the bulk of your essay content.
Step 4: Decide on an order for your details and write a draft.
I recommend chronological order, as it’ll make transitions easier. Then try a draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time, just get something down on paper.
For a more comprehensive guide that explains how to write an extracurricular activity essay that can work for other college essay and scholarship prompts, click here.
The “Why do you want to study/pursue [X]" Essay
This is basically what they call a “Why major” essay. Here’s a step-by-step approach:
Step #1: Imagine a mini-movie of the moments that led you to your interest and create a simple, bullet point outline:
Elementary school: Getting my first dinosaur toy and reading dinosaur books
Middle school: Visiting museums, seeing water under a microscope
High school: Doing online research, getting internship where we analyzed brainwaves and dissected a stingray
Step #2: Put your moments (aka the “scenes” of your mini-movie) in chronological order, as it’ll help you see how your interests developed. It also makes it easier to write transitions.
Pro Tip: If you’re writing a shorter essay (e.g., 100-150 words), try writing one scene per sentence. If you’re writing a medium-length (e.g., 250-300 word) essay, try one scene per short paragraph. If you’re writing a longer essay, you can build a montage that uses your major/career as a thematic thread.
Step #3: Decide if you want to include a specific thesis that explicitly states your central argument—in this case what you want to study and why. This thesis can be at the beginning, middle, or end of your essay.
Three “Why Major” Essay Examples
Here’s a short essay that puts the thesis at the beginning:
Why Electrical Engineering?
My decision to major in Electrical Engineering was inspired by my desire to improve security through technology. When I lived in Mexico, my father’s restaurant security system lacked the ability to protect our property from robbers, who would break in multiple times a year. Thanks to the influence of my cousin, who now studies Autonomous Systems, I developed an interest in electrical engineering. I am inspired to not only improve my father’s security system, but contributing to security innovations for larger companies and perhaps, one day, national security. (89 words)
Outline - Why Electrical Engineering?
Thesis: I want to improve security through technology
Robbers broke into dad’s restaurant
Cousin taught me about Autonomous Systems
In the future: work with large companies or on national security
Here’s a medium-length example with the thesis at the end:
Why Gender and Sexuality Studies?
My interest in Gender and Sexuality Studies was sparked in my eighth grade Civics class when we studied topics pertaining to sexual equality. I went into the class knowing I believed women had a right to make choices for their own bodies and that view remained the same, but I discovered the complexity of abortion debates. I challenged myself by thinking about the disparity between actual and potential personhood and the moral rights of unconscious lives. If pregnancy had the same consequences for men as it does women, how might the debate be different? Would this debate even exist? A year later, I shadowed an OB/GYN at a nearby hospital. On my first shift, I watched an incarcerated woman receive a postpartum exam after giving birth in her cell toilet with just Advil, and the issues discussed in Civics suddenly became urgent and real. My school projects have often focused on reproductive rights. I’ve spent numerous hours delving into summaries of Supreme Court cases on abortion and contraception, and am even known as the “Tampon Fairy” at school because I frequently restock the school bathrooms with tampons and condoms. I’m interested in exploring how Gender and Sexuality Studies connect to Public Health and Reproductive Biology, as well as Public Policy and Law. The interdisciplinary nature of this major will allow me to investigate many other areas of study and create a more nuanced understanding of how this particular field interacts with our world and society. (246 words)
Outline - Why Gender and Sexuality Studies:
Eighth grade Civics class conversations
Shadowing OB/GYN at a nearby hospital and seeing woman receive postpartum exam
Being the school “tampon fairy” (restocking school bathrooms with tampons and condoms)
School projects on reproductive rights
Thesis: name my major and briefly say why
You can also use a hook to grab your reader’s attention. Here’s a medium-length example that does this:
Imagine all the stars in the universe. The brain has a thousand times the number of synapses, making neurological errors a near certainty. I learned this fact firsthand as a 14 year-old, when I suffered from sleepless nights because of an uncomfortable, indescribable feeling in my leg. It took months of appointments and tests to be told it was a condition called cortical dysplasia. Even after the diagnosis, there is no cure. I am lucky. My condition does not severely affect my quality of life. However, I know this is not the case for everyone. After this experience, I took AP Biology and attended a neuroscience program, which reinforced the subject as my future calling. One of the most impactful lectures discussed the plight of healthcare in developing nations. Newborns with extreme neurological deficits are common, but finding treatments is not. Without prenatal care, this is becoming a growing epidemic, leaving millions of children helpless. With a degree in neuroscience, I will gain a strong understanding of neural tube development and neuronal migration in infants. I will then become a neurologist, specializing in pediatric care. I hope to work for humanitarian organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, in Africa, where HIV and polio are rampant, as are numerous other diseases. Imagine the stars once more. From across the world, I will look at the same stars in the future, as I help children secure the ability to not only look at the stars, but do much more. (247 words)
Outline - Why Neuroscience:
Hook: Connect number of stars to number of connections in brain (and maybe mention cortical dysplasia)
AP Bio + neuroscience program: learning about healthcare in developing nations
Thesis: say why neuroscience (get specific) and what I’ll do with degree
Return to opening (stars) and look to future
What to Do If You’re Unsure of Your Major or Choosing “Undecided” on Your Application:
Even if you’re unsure of your major, you might still research and select 1-3 areas of interest and describe why you chose each one. If possible, connect them.
If you’re choosing “undecided” on your application, that’s okay! Describing 1-3 areas of interest is still a good idea. It shows your intellectual curiosity and demonstrates your ability to make connections across a range of academic disciplines.
The “How have you contributed to your community/community service?” Essay
When it comes to writing about a community service project, you’ll either be describing a challenge or series of challenges you’ve encountered, or you won’t. I’ve developed a structure that works for each case.
The first is called the “Uncommon Connections” approach and works well for students who are not writing about a challenge. It’s basically the one I described in the mini guide to writing the “What impact has sports had on your life?” essay above.
The second is what I call the “Elon Musk” approach and it works well for students who have addressed or overcome a challenge through their community service project. It works like this:
The Narrative Approach (aka The Elon Musk Exercise)
This structure was inspired by an article by Andy Raskin in which he analyzes a pitch Elon Musk gave on the Powerwall. Here’s Raskin's take on Musk’s pitch:
“Musk’s delivery isn’t stellar. He’s self-conscious and fidgety. But at the end, his audience cheers. For a battery. That’s because Musk does five things right that you should emulate in every pitch you ever make to anybody.”
While reading Raskin’s article, I realized (because I’m the College Essay Guy and this is where my brain is half the time) Musk’s approach could easily be applied to a wide range of extracurricular essay topics, so I adapted the structure, added a step, and created an approach that will help you map out a challenge-based extracurricular essay in about ten minutes.
Step 1: Identify the problem.
Describe the challenge you were (or are currently) facing. The problem could be something global, like an environmental issue, or something more local, like a lack of creative opportunities in your high school.
Step 2: Raise the stakes.
Help us understand: Why was (or is) overcoming this challenge important? What might happen if this problem went (or goes) unchecked?
Step 3: Describe what you did.
Tell us the specific things you (or you and your team) did to solve the problem.
Step 4: Clarify your role.
Describe your particular involvement. Why were (or are) you crucial to the project or club’s success?
Step 5: Share the impact you had, lessons you learned, or values you gained.
Provide specific evidence that gives us a sense that your work mattered. I’ll show you some ways to do this in a minute.
Think that’s too much to do in one essay?
The Catalyzing Creativity Club
I live in the suburb of Los Angeles, California, known to its residents as the bubble. It has the perfect weather, location, and schools. As amazing as it sounds, however, growing up in La Cañada Flintridge has its drawbacks: the community pressures adolescents to achieve success through mainly academic means. While this approach isn’t necessarily wrong, it can be difficult, particularly in my high school, to thrive in a creative and imaginative way. Sophomore year, my friends and I began to wonder, What if the teenagers of La Cañada had greater opportunities to express themselves. To pursue their creativity. To follow their dreams. That’s when we decided to start the Catalyzing Creativity Club. Founded two years ago, the Catalyzing Creativity Club (C3, for short), provides students in our community the opportunity to pursue their passion and aspirations outside the classroom. Some of our opportunities include: a yearly music festival for our community’s young aspiring musicians that showcases local talent to the masses and scouts; a technology expo, which allows students to be rewarded with funding and demonstrate their coding abilities to prospective companies; recording sessions for aspiring musicians, photo-publishing competitions, and a variety of guest speakers ranging from nineteen-year-old college seniors to millionaire entrepreneurs. In addition, we have a blog for aspiring writers to publish their work and are holding a shoe drive for underprivileged athletes. As vice president of finances for C3, I work to ensure we can fund these activities. I handle our bank account, fundraising, and organize the event planning. Moreover, I make sure that C3’s activities and finances are approved by and follow the guidelines of my high school. This role is crucial, as we work to achieve non-profit status. Even though C3 is only a few years old, I believe it is already making an impact in the community. As we grow and the opportunities we provide become more popular, our hope is to inspire our peers to follow their dreams and burst the La Cañada Flintridge bubble. (332 words)
Brief Notes and Analysis:
I love how direct the tone is in the third paragraph. It’s basically a straightforward listing of the club’s accomplishments. This was pulled directly from the bullet points of his BEABIES exercise. It works.
Notice how specific he gets in the fourth paragraph where he clarifies why he was essential to the club’s success. Doing this helps us understand that he was more than just a passive member who showed up to meetings.
Another potential use of your extracurricular essay is to expand on something you only mentioned briefly in your personal statement. In this case, the author mentioned in his personal statement that he’s “a numbers guy” and, in the fourth paragraph of this essay, expands upon why numbers are meaningful to him.
If he’d had more room, he could have potentially expanded on the club’s impact in the final paragraph, describing specific ways the community changed, or personal lessons learned. But again, not every essay has to be perfect (and not every element has to be included) in order for this structure to work.
The “How are you unique?” Essay
This prompt (and those like it) ask students to discuss their backgrounds, identities, interests, or talents and tell the reader why these are meaningful to them. They’re usually some variation on the Common App prompt #1: 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.
So guess what? You can totally use the resources linked above, in particular the free guide .
Why am I sending you to those links instead of spelling it out here? Because there isn’t, as far as I can tell, a short and simple way to describe to you how to express your uniqueness ... besides the process that I’ve spent the past 15 years developing and have summarized in neat, bite-sized chunks at the links above . (And if you’re not sure which guide I mean, it’s this one .) Plus, if I’d listed all that content here it would’ve made this blog post like 2-3 times as long and it’s already pretty long.
Here’s a great example of a student who wrote a personal statement that shows their uniqueness:
I’m no stranger to contrast. A Chinese American with accented Chinese, a Florida-born Texan, a first generation American with a British passport: no label fits me without a caveat. But I’ve always strived to find connections among the dissimilar. In my home across the sea, although my relatives’ rapid Mandarin sails over my head, in them I recognize the same work ethic that carried my parents out of rural Shanghai to America, that fueled me through sweltering marching band practices and over caffeinated late nights. I even spend my free time doing nonograms, grid-based logic puzzles solved by using clues to fill in seemingly random pixels to create a picture. It started when I was a kid. One day, my dad captured my fickle kindergartner attention (a herculean feat) and taught me Sudoku. As he explained the rules, those mysterious scaffoldings of numbers I often saw on his computer screen transformed into complex structures of logic built by careful strategy. From then on, I wondered if I could uncover the hidden order behind other things in my life. In elementary school, I began to recognize patterns in the world around me: thin, dark clouds signaled rain, the moon changed shape every week, and the best snacks were the first to go. I wanted to know what unseen rules affected these things and how they worked. My parents, both pipeline engineers, encouraged this inquisitiveness and sometimes tried explaining to me how they solved puzzles in their own work. Although I didn’t understand the particulars, their analytical mindsets helped me muddle through math homework and optimize matches in Candy Crush. In high school, I studied by linking concepts across subjects as if my coursework was another puzzle to solve. PEMDAS helped me understand appositive phrases, and the catalysts for revolutions resembled chemical isotopes, nominally different with the same properties. As I grew older, my interests expanded to include the delicate systems of biology, the complexity of animation, and the nuances of language. Despite these subjects’ apparent dissimilarity, each provided fresh, fascinating perspectives on the world with approaches like color theory and evolution. I was (and remain) voracious for the new and unusual, spending hours entrenched in Wikipedia articles on obscure topics, i.e. classical ciphers or dragons, and analyzing absurdist YouTube videos. Unsurprisingly, like pilot fish to their sharks, my career aspirations followed my varied passions: one day I wanted to be an illustrator, the next a biochemist, then a stand-up comedian. When it came to narrowing down the choices, narrowing down myself, I felt like nothing would satisfy my ever-fluctuating intellectual appetite. But when I discovered programming, something seemed to settle. In computer science, I had found a field where I could be creative, explore a different type of language, and (yes) solve puzzles. Coding let me both analyze logic in its purest form and manipulate it to accomplish anything from a simple “print ‘hello world’” to creating functional games. Even when lines of red error messages fill my console, debugging offered me the same thrill as a particularly good puzzle. Now, when I see my buggy versions of Snake, Paint, and Pacman in my files, I’m filled paradoxically with both satisfaction and a restless itch to improve the code and write new, better programs. While to others my life may seem like a jumble of incompatible fragments, like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece connects to become something more. However, there are still missing pieces at the periphery: experiences to have, knowledge to gain, bad jokes to tell. Someday I hope to solve the unsolvable. But for now, I’ve got a nonogram with my name on it.
Some quick tips and ideas based on this essay:
This author first brainstormed her content using the 21 Details exercise and the "Everything I Want Colleges to Know About Me" List .
As she did that, she noticed that some parts of her seemed to contradict. She decided to use this as a thematic thread for her essay, and brainstormed other specific details that showed other contrasts.
Initially she couldn’t find an ending, but when she realized she also would have to write an essay explaining her career interests, she decided to focus the essay on the contrasts that helped her develop qualities that would serve her in the future (intellectual curiosity, solving puzzles), and use this essay for both. Yup, like a Super Essay.
Then she focused on one smaller theme/value per paragraph (culture for first paragraph, finding connections among the dissimilar for the second paragraph, etc.).
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to writing your own “How are you unique” essay:
Write a draft using the resources linked above.
Submit your essay (and any other required documents) before the deadline.
For more essays by students who expressed their uniqueness well in their essays, click here.
The “Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it” Essay
This is the type of challenge-based essay I discuss in the free guide , and which I call the Type A and Type C essays. What’s the difference between those? Simply that Type A essays do talk about a career at the end, while Type C essays don’t .
Want the short version of the guide? Complete this 15-min exercise and you’ll have your outline.
Want the even shorter version? Here are six questions to answer in your essay:
What was the failure you experienced?
What was the impact on your life (not emotions, which come next, but external effects)?
How did you feel?
What were the needs underlying your feelings?
What did you do to meet those needs?
What did you learn from the experience?
Not sure how these six questions can lead to an essay? Watch the Feelings and Needs video , as it’ll walk you through those questions and lead you to an outline.
Here’s an essay that describes a failure (which I’ve highlighted in bold below so you won’t miss it) that was written using the resources above:
Does every life matter? Because it seems like certain lives matter more than others, especially when it comes to money. I was in eighth grade when a medical volunteer group that my dad had led to Northern Thailand faced a dilemma of choosing between treating a patient with MDR-TB or saving $5000 (the estimated treatment cost for this patient) for future patients. I remember overhearing intense conversations outside the headquarters tent. My dad and his friend were arguing that we should treat the woman regardless of the treatment cost, whereas the others were arguing that it simply cost too much to treat her. Looking back, it was a conflict between ideals—one side argued that everyone should receive treatment whereas the other argued that interventions should be based on cost-effectiveness. I was angry for two reasons. First, because my father lost the argument. Second, because I couldn’t logically defend what I intuitively believed: that every human being has a right to good health. In short, that every life matters. Over the next four years I read piles of books on social justice and global health equity in order to prove my intuitive belief in a logical manner. I even took online courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. But I failed to find a clear, logical argument for why every life mattered . I did, however, find sound arguments for the other side, supporting the idea that society should pursue the well-being of the greatest number, that interventions should mitigate the most death and disability per dollar spent. Essentially, my research screamed, “Kid, it’s all about the numbers.” But I continued searching, even saving up pocket money to attend a summer course on global health at Brown University. It was there that I met Cate Oswald, a program director for Partners in Health (PIH), an organization that believed “the idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” It was like finding a ray of light in the darkness. Refueled with hope, I went back to find the answer, but this time I didn’t dive into piles of books or lectures. I searched my memories. Why was I convinced that every life mattered? When the woman with MDR-TB came to our team, she brought along with her a boy that looked about my age. Six years have passed since I met him, but I still remember the gaze he gave me as he left with his mother. It wasn’t angry, nor was it sad. It was, in a way, serene. It was almost as if he knew this was coming. That burdened me. Something inside me knew this wasn’t right. It just didn’t feel right. Perhaps it was because I, for a second, placed myself in his shoes, picturing what I’d feel if my mother was the woman with MDR-TB. Upon reflection, I found that my answer didn’t exist in books or research, but somewhere very close from the beginning—my intuition. In other words, I didn’t need an elaborate and intricate reason to prove to myself that health is an inalienable right for every human being—I needed self-reflection. So I ask again, “Does every life matter?” Yes. “Do I have solid, written proof?” No. Paul Farmer once said, “The thing about rights is that in the end you can’t prove what is a right.” To me, global health is not merely a study. It’s an attitude—a lens I use to look at the world—and it’s a statement about my commitment to health as a fundamental quality of liberty and equity. - - -
This author decided to use a compelling question as his hook. And get this: he didn’t know the answer to the question. That’s part of what makes it a compelling hook and what keeps us interested throughout the essay.
He describes the many steps he took (and he did a lot!) to try to answer the question. This shows his tenacity. But, again, he never fully answers it. This demonstrates vulnerability. Why? Many essays tie things up in a neat little bow. In this case, there is no bow. Instead, the author explores the complexities surrounding this question, which shows his ability to embrace nuance. The key here was finding a compelling question. And you don’t of course have to use this “start with a question” technique for a failure essay; it’s just one way.
For the ending, the author knew what he wanted to study so, when he couldn’t come up with a conclusion, he decided it might be neat to find a way to connect this failure to his future career. It works, plus allowed him a chance to name a few other values that were important to him: health, liberty, and equity.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to writing the “Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it” essay:
Watch the Feelings and Needs Exercise , and use it to...
Create your outline.
Write your first draft.
The “What are your academic goals and your career goals?” Essay
Both the Type A and Type B essays I mention in the free guide would answer this prompt. The difference is that a Type A essay describes how your challenges helped you develop skills/qualities/values that will one day serve you in your career. On the other hand, the Type B essay still shows how you’ve developed skills/qualities/values that will one day serve you in the future without explicitly referencing a challenge. In both cases, though, you’ll want to be sure the academic or career goal is clear, and you may want to do this near the end.
Here’s a great Type A essay (i.e., one that demonstrates how challenges helped shape the author’s career interest). Again, I’ve highlighted in bold the academic and career goal so you don’t miss the connection to the prompt.
It was Easter and we should’ve been celebrating with our family, but my father had locked us in the house. If he wasn’t going out, neither were my mother and I. My mother came to the U.S. from Mexico to study English. She’d been an exceptional student and had a bright future ahead of her. But she fell in love and eloped with the man that eventually became my father. He loved her in an unhealthy way, and was both physically and verbally abusive. My mother lacked the courage to start over so she stayed with him and slowly let go of her dreams and aspirations. But she wouldn’t allow for the same to happen to me. In the summer before my junior year I was offered a scholarship to study abroad in Egypt. Not to my surprise, my father refused to let me go. But my mother wouldn’t let him crush my dreams as well. I’d do this for myself and for my mothers unfulfilled aspirations. I accepted the scholarship. I thought I’d finally have all the freedom I longed for in Egypt, but initially I didn’t. On a weekly basis I heard insults and received harassment in the streets, yet I didn’t yield to the societal expectations for women by staying indoors. I continued to roam throughout Egypt, exploring the Great Pyramids of Giza, cruising on the Nile, and traveling to Luxor and Aswan. And before I returned to the U.S. I received the unexpected opportunity to travel to London and Paris. It was surreal: a girl from the ghetto traveling alone around the world with a map in her hands And no man or cultural standards could dictate what I was to do. I rode the subway from Cambridge University to the British Museum. I took a train from London to Paris and in two days I visited the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and took a cruise on the Seine. Despite the language barrier I found I had the self-confidence to approach anyone for directions. While I was in Europe enjoying my freedom, my mother moved out and rented her own place. It was as if we’d simultaneously gained our independence. We were proud of each other. And she vicariously lived through my experiences as I sent her pictures and told her about my adventures. Finally, we were free. I currently live in the U.S with my mother. My father has gradually transformed from a frigid man to the loving father I always yearned for. Life isn’t perfect, but for the moment I’m enjoying tranquility and stability with my family and are communicating much better than ever before. I’m involved in my school’s Leadership Council as leader of our events committee. We plan and execute school dances and create effective donation letters. I see this as a stepping-stone for my future, as I plan to double major in Women’s Studies and International Relations with a focus on Middle Eastern studies . After the political turmoil of the Arab Spring many Middle Eastern countries refuse to grant women equal positions in society because that would contradict Islamic texts. By oppressing women they’re silencing half of their population. I believe these Islamic texts have been misinterpreted throughout time, and my journey towards my own independence has inspired me to help other women find liberation as well . My Easter will drastically differ from past years. Rather than being locked at home, my mother and I will celebrate outdoors our rebirth and renewal.
The author uses as her hook a compelling challenge, which raises a few questions, including, “ Will she be okay?” and “What will she do?” And she doesn’t fully answer either of them until close to the end of the essay, which keeps us engaged.
Her essay follows this simple structure: a) What challenge did you face? b) What did you do about it? c) What did you learn? If you are writing about challenges, you can use this simple structure as well.
This essay also follows pretty closely the Feelings and Needs structure. The main need this author identified was freedom , and she highlights this theme in the beginning (when she describes feeling trapped), middle (when she describes exploring Europe), and end (when she describes her desire to work for the liberation of herself and others).
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to writing the “What are your academic goals and your career goals?” essay:
If you ARE writing about a challenge...
Watch the Feelings and Needs Exercise and make sure you do the final, seventh column.
Write a draft.
If you are NOT writing about a challenge…
Read this essay then do this exercise , which will help you...
Create your outline.
The “Tell us about a time when you had a belief or idea challenged” Essay
This prompt is similar to Common App prompt #3: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
The essay example for the “failure” prompt (above) would have worked great for this prompt as well, as that author had his belief—that “every life matters”—challenged.
Some quick tips and ideas for this essay:
Like the authors in the essays above, you might begin with a question that you will explore for the rest of the essay. This question keeps us engaged.
Make sure to clarify the specific idea that was challenged … and how it was challenged … This may seem obvious, but I often find that students working on this prompt can get a bit foggy with what the specific idea or belief was.
Getting super clear on the specific idea or belief that was challenged can help give your essay a structure. One possible structural approach to outline your essay:
a) (Briefly) describe the experience/s that led my initial belief.
b) Describe the experience/s that challenged this belief,
c) Describe what happened + what I learned as a result.
Make sure your insights at the end aren’t super obvious (i.e., “I learned that it’s important to challenge my own beliefs”). You can do this by asking yourself “so what” until you come up with an idea that feels uncommon (scroll up to the “sports” essay guide for more on “uncommon connections”).
You don’t need to tie things up with a neat little bow. Nuance and complexity can show your ability to wrestle with big ideas.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to writing the “Tell us about a time when you had a belief or idea challenged” essay:
Watch the Feelings and Needs Exercise to explore in more depth the idea or belief that was challenged. Use the results of that exercise to...
Create your outline. It may be the simple three-part structure I mentioned above:
What led you to develop your initial belief(s)?
What specific experience challenged that/those belief(s)?
What happened? What did you learn?
The “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” Essay
I want to make this one simple for you.
Don’t just tell them why you deserve this scholarship ... show them.
How? Tell them your story.
You can do this by sharing some of the challenges you’ve been through, or not.
Watch the Feelings and Needs Exercise and use it to...
Side note: Often, scholarships have corporate sponsors, and it doesn’t hurt to understand the mission of the company/organization and ham it up a bit. An example that comes to mind is this scholarship essay by Emily Trader . Here the organization is a group of life insurance companies, and their prompt specifically tells you to mention their mission. But even if it didn’t, it would probably be wise to give a nod to the importance of insurance in your essay.
Here’s a great example of an essay by a student who describes the challenges she faced and how she worked to overcome them:
The Little Porch and a Dog
I t was the first Sunday of April. My siblings and I were sitting at the dinner table giggling and spelling out words in our alphabet soup. The phone rang and my mother answered. It was my father; he was calling from prison in Oregon. My father had been stopped by immigration on his way to Yakima, Washington, where he’d gone in search of work. He wanted to fulfill a promise he’d made to my family of owning our own house with a nice little porch and a dog. Fortunately, my father was bailed out of prison by a family friend in Yakima. Unfortunately, though, most of our life savings was spent on his bail. We moved into a rented house, and though we did have a porch, it wasn’t ours. My father went from being a costurero (sewing worker) to being a water-filter salesman, mosaic tile maker, lemon deliverer, and butcher. Money became an issue at home, so I started helping out more. After school I’d rush home to clean up and make dinner. My parents refused to let me have a “real” job, so on Saturday afternoons I’d go to the park with my older brother to collect soda cans. Sundays and summertime were spent cleaning houses with my mother. I worked twice as hard in school. I helped clean my church, joined the choir, and tutored my younger sister in math. As tensions eased at home, I returned to cheerleading, joined a school club called Step Up, and got involved in my school’s urban farm, where I learned the value of healthy eating. Slowly, life improved. Then I received some life-changing news. My father’s case was still pending and, due to a form he’d signed when he was released in Yakima, it was not only him that was now in danger of being deported, it was my entire family. My father’s lawyer informed me that I’d have to testify in court and in fact our stay in the US was now dependent on my testimony. The lawyer had an idea: I had outstanding grades and recommendation letters. If we could show the judge the importance of my family remaining here to support my education, perhaps we had a chance. So I testified. My father won his case and was granted residency. Living in a low-income immigrant household has taught me to appreciate all I’ve been given. Testifying in court helped me grow as a person, has made me more open-minded and aware of the problems facing my community. And my involvement in the urban farm has led me to consider a career as a nutritionist. Though neither of my parents attended college, they understand that college is a key factor to a bright future and therefore have been very supportive. And though we don't yet have the house with the small porch and the dog, we're still holding out hope. I believe college can help.
If this student doesn’t deserve a scholarship, I don’t know who does.
Again, this author uses the following simple structure:
What was the challenge you faced?
What did you do about it?
What did you learn through this experience?
By starting with the problem/question/challenge to be solved and not resolving it ‘til the end she keeps us engaged.
By showing us all the work she did to overcome this challenge we see all the strengths, skills, and qualities she’ll bring to a college campus (and there are many: leadership, perseverance, helping others, awareness of health, etc.).
By ending with her career we get a sense of where she is headed. Tip: You can list your current dream even if you change your mind later. No application reader is going to reference your essay later and say, “But you said you were going to become a nutritionist” if one day you decide to do something else. It just needs to make sense given the experiences you’ve described.
She takes a unique approach at the end by emphasizing the hope she feels, and putting it on the reader “I believe college can help” to invite them into her journey. In other words: “I believe you [person who is determining my college/scholarship acceptance] can help.” So smart.
Having said this, if you are NOT writing about a challenge for this prompt…
If you know your future career, read this essay then do this exercise .
If you don’t know your future career, read through the “Type D” essay guide that starts on page 21 of this Google doc .
The “How will this scholarship help you?” Essay
Two ways you can go with this:
Approach #1: Use the resources above to write a great essay that spells out your big dreams, then end with 1-3 sentences describing specifically how you’ll use the scholarship money. (We’ll call this the “I have big dreams and you can help” approach.)
Approach #2: Explain your financial situation in detail, then end with 1-3 sentences saying how you’ll use the scholarship money. (We’ll call this the “Financial Details” approach.)
The difference: Approach #1 describes you + your dreams for 75-95% of the essay, then describes where the money will go for 5-25% of the essay, whereas Approach #2 describes financial details for 75-95%, then describes where the money will go for the last 5-25% of the essay.
Let’s look at examples for each.
Approach #1: “I have big dreams and you can help”
This one’s pretty simple. Take any of the great essays above and add 1-3 sentences explaining where the money will go.
Example A: The “Easter” Essay
The ending of that essay reads:
I ’m involved in my school’s Leadership Council as leader of our events committee. We plan and execute school dances and create effective donation letters. I see this as a stepping-stone for my future, as I plan to double major in Women’s Studies and International Relations with a focus on Middle Eastern studies. After the political turmoil of the Arab Spring many Middle Eastern countries refuse to grant women equal positions in society because that would contradict Islamic texts. By oppressing women they’re silencing half of their population. I believe these Islamic texts have been misinterpreted throughout time, and my journey towards my own independence has inspired me to help other women find liberation as well. My Easter will drastically differ from past years. Rather than being locked at home, my mother and I will celebrate outdoors our rebirth and renewal. But it could have been easily revised to fit this prompt if the author chose to simply include a couple details describing how she’d use the scholarship funds. Like this, for example: I’m involved in my school’s Leadership Council as leader of our events committee. We plan and execute school dances and create effective donation letters. I see this as a stepping-stone for my future, as I plan to double major in Women’s Studies and International Relations with a focus on Middle Eastern studies. While I have received a full scholarship to attend Georgetown, my financial aid package does not include money for my airfare, school supplies, or books. The funds from this scholarship would help cover those costs. My Easter will drastically differ from past years. Rather than being locked at home, my mother and I will celebrate outdoors our rebirth and renewal.
Example B: The “Little Porch and a Dog” Essay
The ending of that essay (which is also above) reads:
Though neither of my parents attended college, they understand that college is a key factor to a bright future and therefore have been very supportive. And though we don't yet have the house with the small porch and the dog, we're still holding out hope. I believe college can help. But she could add just three words to make the connection to the prompt super clear (and I’ve bolded them below so you don’t miss them). That might look like this: Though neither of my parents attended college, they understand that college is a key factor to a bright future and therefore have been very supportive. And though we don't yet have the house with the small porch and the dog, we're still holding out hope. I believe college and this scholarship can help.
And while tweaking an essay you’ve already written can be efficient (while showing a lot about who you are), it’s not the only way to demonstrate how you’d use scholarship funds.
Approach #2: The Financial Details Approach
The letter below takes a different angle from the approach above by explaining in more detail her family’s current financial situation and why she needs the money. Take a look:
I am so excited to have been admitted to University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) this year, as it was my number one choice. There is a problem, however, and it is a financial one. I’d love to attend UCLA—it’s near home, which would allow me to be closer to my family, and the Bio department is phenomenal. But, as a low-income Hispanic student, I simply don’t feel I can afford it. Here are some more details of my financial situation. Currently, my father works as an assistant supervisor for American Apparel Co. and he is the only source of income for my family of five, while my mother is a housewife. The income my father receives weekly barely meets paying the bills. My family’s overall income: Father’s average weekly gross pay: $493.30 Father’s adjusted gross income: $27,022 Our household expenses: Rent: $850 Legal Services: $200 Car payment: $230.32 My parents cannot afford to have medical insurance, so they do not have a medical bill. My father’s average monthly income is an estimate of $1,973.20 (see attached pay stub). When household expenses such as rent, car payment, legal services, gas bill, and electricity bill are added together the cost is of $1,402.70. Other payments such as the phone bill, internet bill, and groceries also add to the list. But in order to make ends meet my father usually works overtime and tailors clothes for people in our neighborhood. My family is on an extremely tight budget and unfortunately cannot afford to pay for my schooling. I have worked my way up and was recently awarded Valedictorian for the class of 2014. My goals and my aspiration of becoming a nutritionist have helped me push forward. I appreciate your time in reconsidering my financial aid award. I’m looking forward to becoming a Bruin, but without additional financial support, that may not be possible. This scholarship could change my life.
This approach still answers the prompt. And if you’re not sure which approach the scholarship provider is looking for or would prefer, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask. (Your readers are nice people and they want to help you submit a great application!)
Side note: this approach also works well for a financial aid appeal letter—like, if you don’t get the money you need from a college. You’ll find more on how (and why) to write a financial aid appeal letter at this link .
Get this: Going Merry let me know in a recent conversation that more than 15% of the scholarships on their site went unclaimed last year.
That’s basically free money that just sat there … because no one tried to win it.
What’s the lesson?
You miss out on 100% of the scholarships you don’t apply for.
So get on it.
WANT HELP writing YOUR SUpplemental Essays? CHECK OUT A TRIAL OF MY STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO COURSE.
Watch the lessons on your own or via the live option.
- Link to facebook
- Link to linkedin
- Link to twitter
- Link to youtube
- Writing Tips
How to Write a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)
- 6-minute read
- 22nd August 2022
Writing a scholarship essay can seem like a daunting task. For many students , higher education isn’t possible without financial aid, and scholarships are especially valuable because the money awarded doesn’t have to be paid back.
Even though the stakes are high, there are a few manageable steps you can take to ensure you write a great essay to submit with your scholarship applications. We have a few top tips to help you get started, along with writing examples to demonstrate some key points. Check out our guide below to learn more.
A scholarship essay is a great opportunity to present yourself and your accomplishments in an impactful way. It is, therefore, essential to be aware of each scholarship deadline so you can allow sufficient time for the writing process, which typically includes the following:
· Read the essay prompt and brainstorm ideas.
· Create an outline covering the key points you want to address.
· Write a draft and seek feedback from trusted teachers, family, or friends.
· Make any necessary revisions and proofread before submitting your final draft.
Scholarship review committees will be able to tell if you rushed through your essay, so give yourself the best chance of winning an award by staying organized and on schedule!
Who and What?
Researching the scholarship provider and diligently reviewing the essay prompts can help you write an essay that makes you stand out as a top candidate.
1. Who are you writing to?
Learn more about the organization offering the scholarship and why the scholarship fund was created.
For instance, a scholarship may honor its organization’s founder, and the founder’s qualities (e.g., integrity, good citizenship, and leadership) might be the same values guiding the scholarship program as a way to continue the founder’s legacy.
If you identify with any of the same qualities, you can incorporate those keywords into your essay to demonstrate your shared values. Remember to remain authentic, though!
2. What are you writing about?
You must read the essay prompt carefully to identify precisely what you need to accomplish with your essay.
Some prompts ask about your career goals and how you plan to achieve them or your achievements and the challenges you overcame to reach them.
You’ll write about common topics across multiple scholarship applications – some may even be similar to your college admission essay – so you can repurpose your essays as long as you’re diligent about tailoring each one to its prompt.
Your application will likely require other items such as transcripts and test scores, but the essay is your chance to offer something entirely unique. Write about key experiences that highlight who you are and what you’ve accomplished, or you could mention something you’re passionate about.
Remember to follow any specific instructions regarding length and formatting, and be sure to answer all questions listed in the prompt. It can hurt your chances if you’re unable to show the committee that you’re detail-oriented and can follow directions.
Structuring Your Essay
Your essay should follow a standard format that includes a clear beginning, middle, and end. Typically, you should:
· Establish your main idea in the introduction.
· Include a separate body paragraph for each key point that supports your main idea.
· Draw it all together and revisit your main idea in the conclusion.
Scholarship committees read thousands of essays each year. And often, there are hundreds of applicants for an award that can only go to a select few candidates. Writing a powerful introduction and conclusion gives you a chance to make a lasting impression.
Write an introduction that hooks the reader and encourages them to stay engaged till the end of your essay. Don’t be afraid to add personal, tangible details and an anecdote .
Find this useful?
Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.
For example, if you’re writing about your career goals, demonstrate why you’ve chosen that career:
It was the biggest game of the season, and the stands were packed despite the bitter cold. My heart was beating louder than all of the cheers, and I was filled with the anticipation that one more run into the end zone would give us the championship. Everything went silent during that run when the tackle shattered both my leg and my dreams.
My world has always revolved around being an athlete – until one day it couldn’t. I spent many frustrating months rehabilitating, but I got through it because of my dedicated physical therapist, who helped me recover both physically and mentally after a devastating loss. And it was that profound experience that led me to pursue a career in the exercise sciences.
The conclusion is the last thing your reader will see, so it’s another opportunity for you to make your essay memorable.
Rather than summarizing with a general statement such as “this is why you should award me a scholarship,” perhaps explain what the financial assistance will help you achieve:
My parents never had the opportunity to go to college, and neither did their parents. I watched them work hard every day just to make ends meet, and I often questioned whether I could achieve anything more. Nevertheless, I spent four years working as hard as I saw my parents work, and I beat the odds by getting accepted to college. A scholarship could be invaluable for me, as it would allow me to attend and be successful without having to worry about finances.
While you don’t want your scholarship essay to be overly informal, you’re certainly allowed to add some creativity and personal details to help persuade your readers.
One of the best ways to do so is by writing with the modes of persuasion ; that is, ethos, pathos, and logos.
Demonstrate your credibility. Use your real-life experiences and interesting details to establish, for example, how you’ve contributed to your community:
I saw how much bullying was impacting so many students at my school, so I founded my high school’s first anti-bullying club and organized campaigns to bring attention to the harm that people can cause one another.
Evoke an emotional response. The “show, don’t tell ” writing technique, which involves using descriptive words when discussing actions and emotions, can be especially useful here:
During one of our first awareness assemblies, the theater was completely silent as I read aloud anonymous stories from students about the scars bullying had left on their lives. Tears were stinging in my eyes as I described the struggles my classmates were facing, but I persevered to give a voice to those who didn’t have one.
Convey your point with reason and facts. Use statistics to demonstrate what you’ve accomplished:
In the first year alone, our club improved students’ feelings of safety and acceptance at our school by 53%.
Proofreading and Editing
Don’t forget the importance of proofreading your essay, as spelling and grammar mistakes can leave a bad impression on your reader. Our expert editors can help ensure your writing is clear, concise, and error-free. Give yourself a better chance at impressing scholarship committees by submitting a free trial document today!
Share this article:
Post A New Comment
Get help from a language expert. Try our proofreading services for free.
Scientific Notation: Definition and Examples
In the world of science, numbers reign supreme. Metrics, data, and statistics are used to...
What Is a Monograph?
A monograph is a comprehensive piece of writing that provides an intensive in-depth analysis of...
Book Proofreading Services: How to Ensure Your Self-Published Book Is Error-Free
Self-publishing is becoming increasingly popular with authors, but that also means that there’s increasing competition....
An Introduction to Interrogative Pronouns – With Examples
Pronouns are versatile words that help simplify language. To avoid repetition, we use them instead...
Why Every Blogger Should Use Proofreading Services
If you write and publish your own blog, then you know that accuracy and presentation...
How to Write a Business Plan
A business plan is a document that outlines the objectives of a particular business and...
Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.
- Applying For Scholarships
About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)
Jennifer Finetti Sep 28, 2022
Get our best scholarship practices, insights & tips delivered to your inbox
Thank you for subscribing!
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.
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.
The fastest path to earning scholarships
Simplify and focus your application process with the one-stop platform for vetted scholarships.
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
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.
Related Stories View All
How to Find and Apply For Scholarships Step by Step
Scholarships for Online Grad School
Student Spotlight: Jordan Hughes
Get started with scholarshipowl.
Simplify and focus your application process with the one-stop platform for vetted scholarships
Scholarship Essay Writing
Scholarship Essay Format
Scholarship Essay Format - Samples & Writing Tips
10 min read
Published on: Mar 10, 2019
Last updated on: Nov 1, 2023
People also read
Scholarship Essay – A Complete Guide With Examples
12 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Aspiring Students
Practical Scholarship Essay Prompts For Students in 2023
Share this article
Are you not sure what is the perfect scholarship essay format?
We know that applying for college takes a lot of effort. All applicants are required to complete a variety of documents, must pass exams, etc.
However, what is even more difficult is to apply for a scholarship and win it with flying colors! If you are applying for a scholarship, you have to write a compelling scholarship essay , and having the format right is even more critical.
Thoroughly read this blog to know how you can write a winning introduction, body, and conclusion. Also, we’ve included a list of some brilliant scholarship essay format samples.
So, without wasting a second more, let’s help you get your scholarship essay formatting right!
On This Page On This Page
What is a Scholarship Essay Format?
A scholarship essay format is a set of rules and guidelines that you need to follow to organize your accurately.
Formatting plays an important role in scholarship essays and other types of essays and academic papers.
If you get the formatting right, it will show the committee members that you can understand and follow the required instructions.
A well-formatted scholarship essay can help you stand out. It will give the committee a sense of who you are, your career goals, and what makes you deserve financial aid.
Keep in mind that the scholarship essay is about yourself and not about someone else. So it’s essential to take a different approach to writing a scholarship essay, so you can present your views in an organized manner.
Now, let's see how you should format your scholarship essay!
How To Format A Winning Scholarship Essay?
If you’re not sure what format should you follow for a scholarship essay, don’t worry, we have got your back!
Well, most scholarship applications have the same guidelines for the scholarship application essay format. However, if you are working on an application that does not specify the format for your essay, the following format is good to follow.
Essential Scholarship Essay Format Guidelines
Here are the guidelines that you need to follow for formatting your scholarship essay.
- Double-space your text or use 1.5-spacing.
- Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana font is appropriate to use
- If not specified, a font size between 10 and 12 points should be used
- 1-inch margin on all sides of the paper
- Insert a blank line in each body paragraph or indent every paragraph
- Include your last name and page number on the left side of the paper
- Titles are optional, but they might be provided to you by the committee
Don’t forget to follow the instructed word count by the scholarship committee. Scholarship committee members don’t read essays longer than ¾ of a page in length.
How Long Should a Scholarship Essay Be?
The ideal word count for a winning scholarship essay varies depending on the specific scholarship program's guidelines and requirements. Having said that, the usual length revolves around 500 words or fewer.
Following the word count limit is critical for a scholarship essay. Let’s say, you are asked to write a 300-word scholarship essay, then it’s appropriate to end your essay with 295 – 305 words.
Here is how you can structure your scholarship essay.
The Optimal Scholarship Essay Structure
There is no one way to structure a scholarship essay. But the most commonly used structure is the 5 paragraph format. However, the structure of the scholarship essay partially depends on the topic and your writing style.
Let’s see how to start a scholarship essay!
Always Start With a Captivating Introduction
To draw the reader’s attention, you should start with a well-written introduction. At first glance, the essay’s introduction should be able to hook the reader.
The introduction should always be related to the scholarship essay prompt . Include a strong thesis statement , and introduce the key points that you will be discussing in the body section of your essay.
Try to wrap up your introduction in a single paragraph.
Here is an example of a well-crafted scholarship essay introduction:
Use Clear and Concise Body Paragraphs
In the body of your essay, expand your main points, and back up your information with facts, statistics, quotes, and examples. Every single body paragraph should support your opinion.
To improve the readability, you should write 3 body paragraphs and keep the word limit requirements in check.
Take a look at a well-written example of a scholarship essay body:
End With An Impactful Conclusion
The conclusion paragraph holds prime importance in a scholarship essay. This part of your essay decides whether the committee forwards your application or adds it to the pile of papers!
Restate the main points from the essay in your essay conclusion . Always make use of strong and impactful words in the conclusion. Don’t forget to emphasize how the scholarship will help you fulfill your educational goals.
Here is a brilliant example of a scholarship essay conclusion:
Here is a summary of an optimal scholarship essay format:
Scholarship Essay Format Examples
For a better understanding of the scholarship essay format, take a look at some examples. The following samples will clear any doubts you might have regarding the formatting.
To get started with your scholarship essay format needs, here are some samples:
Scholarship Essay Format Template
College Scholarship Essay Format
Scholarship Essay Format for University
Scholarship Essay Format For High School
Scholarship Essay Heading
APA Format for Scholarship Essay
Scholarship Essay Letter Format
Scholarship Sample About Why I Deserve the Scholarship
Scholarship Essay Format Tips
When there is no specific guidance, it is common to struggle with certain formatting choices. Here are some expert tips for you to help you navigate the correct formatting of a scholarship essay.
- Always read the instructions carefully before you start writing
- Follow a clear and concise essay structure
- No need to include the essay question at the top as committee members know what the prompt is
- To start a new paragraph, either indent a new line or add an extra blank, but you shouldn’t do both.
- Personalize your paper as much as you can
- Always promote yourself but stick to the truth!
- You can make your essay more compelling by adding a unique story about yourself
- Keep a similar size for all paragraphs for coherency
- Be consistent with citation style (such as APA, MLA Chicago, etc.)
- Always double-check your scholarship essay for spelling or grammar mistakes
- You can ask an instructor or a counselor to assess your work
Refer to the above formatting guide every time you write a scholarship essay. Always start writing your essay as early as possible to have enough time to review your essay.
Hopefully, you will write a perfect scholarship essay with the help of the above scholarship essay guidelines and tips.
To wrap it up , scholarships are a great opportunity for students to receive money for studies and forget their financial issues. However, thousands of students apply for these scholarships, and only a few students get aid.
But, you can hire a reputable scholarship essay writing service such as MyPerfectWords.com to maximize your chances!
Our expert writers will make sure you submit a high-quality scholarship essay written and formatted according to the required guidelines.
So, if you need someone to “ write my essay for me online ” MyPerfectWords.com is your solution!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should my scholarship essay be single-spaced or double-spaced.
Follow the scholarship provider's instructions. If none are given, use double-spacing for clarity. Adjust to single spacing if necessary to meet word/page limits.
How do you write a 500 word scholarship essay?
Here are four steps to write a 500-Word essay.
- Create a Thesis.
- Write the Introduction
- Write the Body Paragraphs
- Wrap It Up with a Conclusion
Are page numbers mandatory for scholarship essays?
Follow the scholarship's guidelines, as requirements vary. Comply with their instructions to ensure your essay aligns with their criteria.
What citation style should I use in my scholarship essay if I need to reference sources?
When referencing sources in a scholarship essay, follow the citation style specified in the guidelines. If not specified, use APA, MLA, or Chicago style consistently.
Can I reuse one scholarship essay for multiple applications?
You can reuse elements of your essay, but it's crucial to tailor each essay to the specific scholarship's requirements and criteria.
Is it acceptable to use a formal tone in a scholarship essay?
Yes, a formal tone is typically preferred in scholarship essays to convey professionalism and seriousness.
Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)
Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!
We value your privacy
Website Data Collection
Are you sure you want to cancel?
Your preferences have not been saved.
How to Write a Scholarship Essay (with Examples)
September 27, 2023
While applying to college, many students are faced with an additional, daunting task: how to write a scholarship essay. Financial need, already a sensitive subject, can become a stressful factor in the process alongside other existential unknowns. Luckily, scholarship essays will not require you to go tiptoeing around the taboo topic of money. Furthermore, most scholarship essay prompts more or less resemble standard supplemental essay questions. The trick then is to make your scholarship essay stand out. The following article and scholarship essay example will offer up pointers for anyone striving to win a college scholarship.
Organizing Scholarship Essays by Prompt
You may feel like melting into a lump of despair when facing a browser full of tabbed scholarships. The best way to avoid getting overwhelmed is to organize and analyze a list of prompts. Why? Because your first goal is not simply to figure out how to write a scholarship essay. Rather, you’ll want to know how to save time while writing complex and relevant scholarship essays.
As you look over the various prompts, you’ll notice that some sound fairly open-ended, while others ask for something quite specific. In response, you should annotate each prompt with thematic keywords. This will help you figure out when you can use the same essay for several prompts.
Your annotated list may look something like the following…
Sample Scholarship Essay Prompts
1) “Explain something that made a big impact in your life.”
- Keywords: event , personal development, growth, background
2) “We’re 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.”
- Keywords: minority, diversity, identity, study abroad
3) “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.”
- Keywords: background, identity, interest, talent
Sample Scholarship Essay Prompts, Continued
4) “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?”
- Keywords: event, personal development, growth, challenge, background
5) 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.
- Keywords: world development, challenge, future
6) “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?”
- Keywords: background, values, interest, development, identity, future
Scholarship Essay Prompts ( Continued)
7) “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?”
- Keywords: minority, community, challenge, growth
8) “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.”
- Keywords: community service, humanity, community, background, future, values, career
9) “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.”
- Keywords: challenge, future, community service, interests, value, personal growth, career
How to Write a Scholarship Essay through Prompt Analysis
Let’s compare some prompts by keywords. You’ll notice that some prompts have a lot of overlap, such as prompts 1 and 4. Both have event, personal development, growth, and background as keywords . Prompt 4 includes the additional keyword challenge . This prompt explicitly asks you to explain how you have “overcome” a “personal hardship or catastrophic life event.” While prompt 1 is not so specific, it would be easy, even natural, to include this narrative arc in your response. This means depicting how you faced the thing that “made a big impact in your life.” In other words, these two essay prompts, though worded differently, allow you to tell the same story.
Other prompts provide potential overlap. In this case, it’s up to you to find and interpret these moments. You may consider the values, strengths, interests, and experiences you wish to relate. For example, prompts 7, 8, and 9 all mention community through different approaches. While prompt 7 focuses on one’s past involvement in a minority community, prompts 8 and 9 are more future-facing, and don’t mention minorities.
Scholarship Essay Examples (Continued)
Here, your best strategy involves answering prompts 8 and 9 together in a single scholarship essay. To do so, the essay would need to detail “a challenge or obstacle you have dealt with” (9) which has thus “shaped your perspective on humanity” (8). This narrative arc will thus inform your “future” educational and career plans (8 and 9). Note that prompt 9 allows you to mention extra-curriculars. However, I wouldn’t recommend it, since this would make your essay less relevant to prompt 8. After your essay is written, adapt it to align with prompt 7. Consider condensing the part about the future into one final sentence and focusing more on minority aspects of your community.
How to Scholarship Essay Avoid Burnout
The above tactic will allow you to avoid burnout by strategizing your essay approach ahead of time. In turn, you’ll be able to maximize your efforts from the get-go. You’ll also likely find that your essays become more complex and nuanced when you consider several prompts at once.
The next step involves editing. Refer back to the prompt, once you have a draft written. Ask yourself, did I answer the question fully? Do I need to edit this essay further to emphasize a particular point? Do I need to cut the essay down to fit a new word count? Contrarily do I need to bulk it up? If so, are there other essays in my portfolio from which I can borrow material? Strategic editing will allow you to respond to a large number of essays during peak essay-writing season.
Finally, you’ll notice that most essays require a word count between 250 to 600 words. It’s often easier to write a longer essay first. This will allow you to go into greater detail without censoring your ideas. You may find yourself including dialogue, scenery, emotions, and all sorts of other specifics that make an essay personal. As you whittle down this essay to comply with a similar prompt, you’ll want to identify which pieces of the essay do the most work to get your message across. Don’t simply condense everything by eliminating details, for details are often the most memorable aspects of an essay. More on this next.
How to Write a Scholarship Essay Using the Three Fs
The three Fs can be applied to any college essay, though they are particularily useful in scholarship essays. Why? Because the three Fs will enable you to impress readers and beat out other applicants. Ultimately, they’ll help you win financial support. Think of the three Fs as a checklist to go over, once you’ve completed an essay draft. Ask yourself, is my essay fabulous? Flawless? Fearless?
How to Write a Scholarship Essay (Continued)
If your essay is fabulous , it glitters with personality. It is detailed, unique, and does its best to highlight your impressive journey. If your essay lacks a little fab, ask yourself, how can I make this essay more enjoyable and memorable to read? If your essay is flawless , it lacks all spelling, syntactic and grammatical errors. It answers every aspect of the essay prompt, and leaves no room for vagueness or misunderstandings. To avoid flaws, give your essay to several people to proofread. Finally, if your essay is fearless , it is not afraid to get a little vulnerable. This may sound contradictory to the first F. On the contrary, this fearlessness refers to the confidence to tell your own story. A fearless story isn’t afraid to go deep, add complexity, or get emotional. It is unafraid to show why its author deserves a financial boost.
Scholarship Essay Example
Now that we’ve established how to approach the scholarship essay, let’s dive into a scholarship essay example. The scholarship essay below stems from a prompt we saw above: 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 (500 words).
My generation is growing up in a time of increased global turmoil. We’ve witnessed Brexit, the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, a series of refugee crises, and the invasion of Ukraine. It’s easy to liken this moment to Europe in the 1930s, which saw a spike in fascism and propaganda (their version of fake news). Only now, my generation must also contend with the hottest summers on record, raging forest fires, and the beginning of the 6 th extinction. It’s no wonder we deal with it all through increased skepticism and existential dread.
While I don’t have a simple solution, I believe most problems stem from ignorance. Xenophobia and racism, offshoots of ignorance, can be overcome by exposing isolated groups of people to greater diversity. This begins in the classroom. While dictators are hard to dispose of, education provides critical thinking skills, which allow citizens to make informed decisions when electing officials. Finally, developing a willingness to learn at an early age creates an instinct to continue learning throughout life. We desperately need intellectual flexibility if we are going to adapt to the planet’s needs as a world population and put a stop to industry-led fossil fuel burning.
Scholarship Essay Example (Continued)
The change I’d like to make is free, enhanced education for everyone, at every level, from elementary school to post-doctorate research institutes. To do so, I suggest defunding national militaries and channeling this spending into schools. Imagine if 80% of the 877 billion dollars the U.S. military spends annually went into learning. Combating fascism and climate change would look more feasible. And yet, no leader would agree to making their country more vulnerable by relinquishing arms and armies. Change must come from the people.
As the planet continues to heats up, and conflict over land increases, we must work together. The first step towards increased education is communicating this need for education: through journalism, on social media, in the streets. Next, I suggest lobbying politicians for incremental change. Finally, I believe a global grassroots movement to implement future-focused education, led by activists, educators, and philanthropists, would make this theoretical idea a tangible reality.
Last year, my mother, who never received a college education, decided to offer free gardening courses in our backyard. I quickly joined in. While teaching a handful of neighbors how to provide year-round food for pollinators may seem trivial, I’ve already seen positive repercussions. One conservative neighbor has set up an organization that collects and redistributes leftover produce from the markets to refugees. Another neighbor is now teaching middle schoolers how to cook and compost. These efforts have brought unusual strangers together and given visibility to our movement, #futurefocusededucation. I’ve seen it firsthand. The more we educate, the sooner we can combine our knowledge to create solutions.
Scholarship Essay Example Dissected
This scholarship essay succeeds at answering all parts of the prompt. It includes the change the author wants to make, and inevitable obstacles she’d face at the governmental and international level. These obstacles may sound insurmountable. Yet the essay shows that individuals are not powerless to enact change when they work together towards a common goal. The author provides various thoughtful steps we might take in order to prioritize education and peaceful collaboration.
Finally, the author portrays herself as someone personally invested in the political, humanitarian, and environmental state of the world. She proves that she’s already begun to make the changes she wants to see at the microscopic level. Overall, readers of this scholarship essay can see that this student is invested in bettering the world. This student would make for a proactive participant in her academic environment.
Now that you have some inkling of how to write a scholarship essay and have reviewed of our scholarship essay examples, you may want to delve into more aid-related articles on the College Transitions Dataverse. You can read up on Need-Based Financial Aid Grants , and learn about Selective Colleges with Generous Scholarships . Furthermore, you may want to create your own Scholarship Timeline , in order to stay on top of the various deadlines. Good luck!
- Costs & Financial Aid
With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.
- 2-Year Colleges
- Application Strategies
- Big Picture
- Career & Personality Assessment
- College Essay
- College Search/Knowledge
- College Success
- Extracurricular Activities
- Graduate School Admissions
- High School Success
- High Schools
- Law School Admissions
- Medical School Admissions
- Navigating the Admissions Process
- Online Learning
- Summer Programs
“Innovative and invaluable…use this book as your college lifeline.”
— Lynn O'Shaughnessy
Nationally Recognized College Expert
College Planning in Your Inbox
Join our information-packed monthly newsletter.
Sign Up Now
What’s the right scholarship essay format and structure?
Many scholarships require you to submit at least one essay–and maybe you’ve already got that covered . But now you’re wondering: how should your essay be formatted? Should it be double-spaced or single-spaced? Should you include a title? Should you include the prompt? What does a typical scholarship essay format look like?
Although you don’t have to worry about essay formatting at Going Merry ( we’ll structure and submit your application for you , with our pre-filled forms!), maybe you’re also applying to some other scholarships too. So we’re here to help you understand how to format your scholarship essay.
Where do I start?
Does a scholarship essay need a title , how should a scholarship essay be formatted what font should i use , how should a scholarship essay be structured can i get a template or outline, scholarship essay format at a glance, should scholarship essays be double-spaced , start writing.
You’ll need to dive into a personal experience or tell your story of an accomplishment, a hobby, an interest to the scholarship provider, showing them your experience with a structured and descriptive essay. Create an outline of your essay (this can be old school, with pen and paper!), write it out, and then ensure you’re formatting it professionally and properly. (Need more scholarship essay tips? Try these.)
This depends on the essay submission format.
If there is a text box entry, you can just copy and paste the body of your essay, without a title. This is the case, for example, when applying for scholarships through Going Merry .
If you’re attaching an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can optionally include a title, but this is usually unnecessary unless there are special scholarship essay format instructions to do so. (One popular reason you might need to do this is if the prompt is to write about any topic of your choice, or to choose your own prompt. In this case, to give the reader more context before you begin your essay, a title may be helpful.)
If you are required to create a title, we recommend doing one of two things:
- Think of a title early on. Write down that title, write your essay, and then circle back to the title to tweak it as needed. -OR-
- Write your essay and then come up with a title . Your creativity might be fresher once you’ve answered the prompt and included the meat and potatoes of the scholarship essay, which might help you come up with a suitable title at the end.
Also, don’t stress! While a clever title can improve your essay, it’s hardly a make-or-break. A very descriptive title that summarizes the prompt would work fine, as long as your essay is strong.
Relatedly, you don’t need to include the essay question or prompt at the top of your essay. The scholarship committee will know what the topic or prompt is!
(Want inspiration from winners? Check out these winning scholarship essays .)
If you’re writing your essay in a document to upload to your Going Merry profile , or to submit to a scholarship application on a provider’s website , and the scholarship provider doesn’t have explicit guidelines, it’s best to just follow a standard professional style and format. That means using 1-inch page margins, 12-point font size double-spaced (or 1.5 spaced), and a “standard” font like Times New Roman in classic (default) black. Don’t get creative with fonts or colors here. You want the content of your essay to be what stands out, rather than your unorthodox formatting.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how to best structure a good scholarship essay. In fact, you can see how wide-ranging these winning essays are. In fact, how to best answer and structure your essay depends partially on the essay and partially on your personal writing style.
However, one pretty common way of structuring your scholarship essay is how Going Merry winner John Flowers Jr did it . Here’s the template/outline:
- Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) : Draw the audience in with an attention-grabbing opening sentence related to the prompt. Introduce your main points that you’ll be sharing later in your essay.
- Example of an opening sentence from a Going Merry scholarship winner: “My parents were never given a shot at having an education beyond high school.” This tells us about the student’s parents and how it might have influenced the student’s decision to apply to college, setting the tone for the essay.
- Introductory paragraph: “My parents were never given a shot at having an education beyond high school. They were never given a shot to show their full potential and make a difference in the world. They had to start life at an early age. I want to succeed in college for them and for me. I want them to be proud of me for doing a task that they weren’t able to do.” – This expresses John’s understanding of what his parents had to do, and that they did not get a chance to attend college. John also expresses his determination, and his drive to attend college to do something for his parents.
- Body (1-3 paragraphs) – Expand on your main points. Back up your information with evidence, examples, and facts. This is where you’re encouraged to share details of how you got to where you are today, what inspired your hobbies, interests, or drive to attend college, and how the scholarship will help you achieve your academic and/or personal goals. Remember to use specifics rather than make general statements!
- Conclusion (1 paragraph): Explain how winning this scholarship would help support your goals (and maybe also have wider community impact)
- An excerpt from John’s conclusion: “Winning this scholarship will make a difference to me because it will allow me to cover college financial issues that may hold me back from reaching my career. Being less stressed about worrying about college fees will allow me to focus more of my attention in class to earn the credits, and not worry about how I’m going to pay for the class.” – John explains how valuable this scholarship is for him, not just monetarily, but also how it will help him achieve his goals.
- Read the scholarship essay format guidelines carefully, to check if the scholarship includes instructions
- If you’re submitting your scholarship essay outside of the Going Merry platform, set up your document with a 1-inch margin
- Aim for a 12-point font
- The best font to use is Times New Roman. Other good options include Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, and Verdana
- Always get a second opinion on the scholarship essay format for grammar, punctuation, spelling, structure, etc.
- Online form
- Going Merry scholarship platform (apply to thousands of scholarships and upload your scholarship essay)
You’re probably used to double-spacing your high school papers and essays. Since adding line spacing can make essays more readable, using 1.5-spacing or double-spacing is a good idea if you’re attaching an essay as a Word doc or PDF. But again, unless the scholarship provider has specified this information, it’s not mandatory.
More important is to not leave your essay as one block of text. Instead, we recommend separating paragraphs when you’re starting a new thought or idea.
For scholarship essays on Going Merry, you won’t have to worry about formatting because we will do this for you whenever you submit applications through our platform.
We know you’re going to rock your essay with these scholarship essay format guidelines, so get to it! It’s best to start writing your essay as early as possible to give yourself time to review the essay, ask someone (like a parent, guidance counselor, or friend) to proofread your essay, and then make sure to submit it on time. (On Going Merry , we’ll send you deadline reminders on your favorited scholarships and draft applications, so you won’t miss them!)
When you’re ready to apply for scholarships, sign up for Going Merry ! You’ll create a free student profile, enter your information once, and then we’ll match you with thousands of scholarships that you can apply to with just the click of a button. Don’t worry about entering your information twice – we’ll pre-fill this for you!
If you need additional resources to accompany this scholarship essay format guide, check out these related blog posts for more writing tips:
- How to answer “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”
- How to Write the Best Personal Statement
- 10 Tips for Writing An Essay About Yourself
- How to Write a Career Goals Essay
- 6 Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays About Academic Goals
- College Essay Guy: How to write a scholarship essay
- Recent Posts
- Scholarships for Students in Pennsylvania for 2021 - November 11, 2020
- Counselor Starter Guide: How to Use Going Merry’s Scholarship Platform - September 9, 2020
- How to write a financial need statement for your scholarship application (with examples!) - August 13, 2020
Ready to find scholarships that are a match for you?
Don’t want to sign up?
Get an estimate of how many scholarships you’re eligible for, instead. Just answer 7 quick questions. No sign-up required.
What are your chances of acceptance?
Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.
Your chancing factors
How to Write a Personal Statement for a Scholarship + Examples
What’s covered:, what is the purpose of the scholarship personal statement, what to include in your personal statement, personal statement example: breakdown + analysis, how to make sure your writing is effective.
Either before or after you’ve gotten into your dream school, you’ll have to figure out how to pay for it. For most students, this involves a combination of financial aid, parent contributions, self-contributions, student loans, and scholarships/grants. Because scholarships are money out of someone else’s pocket that you never have to pay back, they are a great place to start!
Scholarships come in two forms: merit-based and need-based. Need-based scholarships are also often called grants. These designations tell you whether an organization looks at your financial situation when deciding about your scholarship.
Additionally, different scholarships fall under different categories based on the mission of the organization or person providing the scholarship’s financing. These missions typically emphasize different things like academic achievement, specific career goals, community service, leadership, family background, skill in the arts, or having overcome hardship. As you select scholarships to apply for and complete your applications, you should keep these missions in mind.
No matter what type of scholarship you are applying for, you will be asked to provide the review committee with standard materials. This includes your transcript, GPA, and resume/extracurriculars, but also, importantly, your personal statement. A scholarship personal statement is a bit different from your normal college essay, so we’ve put together this guide and some examples to help you get started!
The purpose of your personal statement is to help a review committee learn more about your personality, values, goals, and what makes you special. Ultimately, like with your college essays, you are trying to humanize your profile beyond your transcript, GPA, and test scores.
College essays all have one goal in mind (which is why you can apply to multiple schools at once through applications like the Common App or Coalition App): convince admissions officers that you would be a valuable addition to the university environment. The goal of your scholarship personal statement is different and differs more from one scholarship to the next. Rather than convincing various review committees that you are a generally good candidate for extra funding for college, you need to convince each review committee that your values have historically aligned with their organization’s mission and will continue to align with their organization’s mission.
Common missions amongst those who give scholarships include:
- Providing opportunities for students with career ambitions in a particular field
- Helping students who have experienced unexpected hardship
- Supporting students who show outstanding academic achievement
- Funding the arts through investing in young artists with strong technical skill
- Supporting the development of civic-minded community service leaders of the future
- Providing opportunities for historically underrepresented ethnic communities
If a specific mission like this is outlined on an organization’s website or in the promotional material for its scholarship, the purpose of your personal statement is to show how you exemplify that mission.
Some scholarships ask for your personal statement to be guided by a prompt, while others leave things open for interpretation. When you are provided a prompt, it is obvious what you must do: answer the prompt. When you are not provided a prompt, you want to write a personal statement that is essentially a small-scale autobiography where you position yourself as a good investment. In either case, you should identify a focus or theme for what you are trying to say about yourself so that your application does not get lost in the shuffle.
Prompts include questions like:
- Why do you deserve this scholarship?
- How have you shown your commitment to (leadership/community service/diversity) in your community?
- When did you overcome adversity?
- Why is attending college important to you?
If you are provided a prompt, develop a theme for your response that showcases both your values and your achievements. This will help your essay feel focused and will subsequently help the review committee to remember which candidate you were as they deliberate.
Themes include things like:
- I deserve this community service scholarship because my compassion for intergenerational trauma has inspired me to volunteer with a local after-school program. I didn’t just sympathize. I did something about my sympathy because that’s the type of person I am. Within the program, I have identified avenues for improvement and worked alongside full-time staff to develop new strategies for increasing attendance.
- I overcame adversity when my mother had to have a major surgery two months after giving birth to my younger brother. I was just a kid but was thrown into a situation where I had to raise another kid. It was hard, but I’m the kind of person who tries to grow from hard times and, through my experience taking care of a baby, I learned the importance of listening to body language and nonverbal cues to understand the needs of others (baby and nonbaby, alike).
Without a prompt, clarity can be harder to achieve. That said, it is of the utmost importance that you find a focus. First, think about both your goals and your values.
Types of goals include:
- Career goals
- Goals for personal growth
- The type of friend you want to be
- The change you want to make in the world
Values could include:
- And many more!
After you write out your goals/values, write out your achievements to see what goals/values you have “proof” of your commitment to. Your essay will ultimately be an exploration of your goal/value, what you have done about your goal/value in the past, and what you aspire to in the future.
You might be tempted to reflect on areas for improvement, but scholarships care about you living out your values. It is not enough to aspire to be exemplary in leadership, community service, or your academic field. For scholarships, you have to already be exemplary.
Finally, keep in mind that the review committee likely already has a copy of your extracurricular activities and involvement. Pick one or two accomplishments, then strive for depth, not breadth as you explore them.
My interest in the field of neuroscience began at a young age. When I was twelve years old, my sister developed a condition called Pseudotumor Cerebri following multiple concussions during a basketball game. It took the doctors over six months to make a proper diagnosis, followed by three years of treatment before she recovered. During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions. Later, my love of neuroscience was amplified when my mother began to suffer from brain-related health issues. My mother had been a practicing attorney in Dallas for over twenty years. She was a determined litigator who relentlessly tried difficult cases that changed people’s lives. Now, she suffers from a cognitive impairment and is no longer able to practice law. Oftentimes, she has headaches, she gets “cloudy,” her executive functioning slows down, she feels overwhelmed, and she forgets things. My mother has gone from being the strong, confident, emotional and financial caretaker of our family to needing significant help on a daily basis. Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.
Due to my experiences with my mother and sister when I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the field of neuroscience. I also knew that, to obtain this goal, I needed to maintain superior grades in school while also pursuing opportunities outside of school to further my education. In school, I was able to maintain superior grades to the point where I am currently valedictorian in a class of 567 students. In addition, in school, I challenged myself by taking 16 Advanced Placement classes and 19 Honors classes. Two of the most beneficial classes were AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research. AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research are research-oriented classes where students are given the opportunity to pursue whatever track their research takes them down. As a junior in AP Capstone Seminar, I researched the effects of harmful pesticide use on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children. This year, as a senior in AP Capstone Research, I am learning about the effects of medical marijuana on the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Outside of school, I furthered my education through taking advantage of the Duke TiP summer program. Duke TiP is a summer program run by Duke University where students who score extremely well on the SAT as middle schoolers are able to take college classes at different universities throughout the summers of their middle school and high school years. I took advantage of this opportunity twice. First, I went to Trinity University in San Antonio to expand my horizons and learn more about debate. However, once I was done exploring, I decided I wanted to go into neuroscience. This led me to take an Abnormal Psychology class at Duke University’s West Campus. This class opened my eyes to the interaction between neuroscience and mental health, mental illness, and personality. Years later, I am currently continuing my education outside of school as an intern at the University of Texas Dallas Center for Brain Health. Through this internship, I have been able to see different aspects of neuroscience including brain pattern testing, virtual reality therapy, and longitudinal research studies. With this background, I have positioned myself to be accepted by top neuroscience programs throughout the nation. So far, I have been accepted to the neuroscience department of University of Southern California, the University of Virginia, the University of Texas, and Southern Methodist University, as well as the chemistry department at University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.
It is with this passion for neuroscience driven by my family and passion for education driven by internal motivation that I will set out to conquer my career objectives. My educational aspirations consist of acquiring a bachelor’s degree in a biological or health science that would assist me in pursuing a medical career as a neuroscience researcher. I decided to attain a career as a researcher since my passion has always been assisting others and trying to improve their quality of life. After obtaining my Masters and my PhD, I plan to become a professor at a prestigious university and continue performing lab research on cognitive disorders. I am particularly interested in disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the lab, I hope to find different therapies and medications to help treat the 3.5 million people around the world suffering from ASD. Furthermore, I want to contribute back to underserved populations that struggle because they do not have as much access to medical assistance as other privileged groups. As such, I hope to do a part of my research in less developed or developing Spanish-speaking countries. This will also allow me to pursue my love of Spanish while pursuing my love of neuroscience. I think that following such a career path will provide me the opportunity to learn about the medical needs of the autistic community and improve their quality of health. Furthermore, I hope to train a new generation of students to strive to research and make comparable discoveries. Whether it be through virtual reality labs or new drug discoveries, I believe that research leads to innovation which leads to a brighter future.
This student does a great job of making themself appear competent and dedicated to the field of neuroscience. This is primarily because they provided tangible evidence of how they have pursued their dedication in the past—through their AP Capstone courses, their Abnormal Psychology class at Duke TiP, and their internship at UTD. There is no doubt in the mind of a reader that this student is high-achieving.
This student also engages successfully with a past-future trajectory, where they end with a vision of how they will continue to use neuroscience in the future. This helps the review committee see what they are investing in and the ways that their money will go to good use.
This student has two major areas for improvement. As we have said, the purpose of a personal statement is for a student to humanize themself to a review committee. This student struggles to depict themself separately from their academic achievements. A solution to this would be for the student to establish a theme towards the beginning of their essay that relates to both their values as a human and their achievements.
At the beginning of the essay, the student explores how their interest in neuroscience began. They explain their interest through the following sentences: “During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions” and “Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.” The student made the great decision to tell the backstory of their interest, but they described their research in very mundane and redundant terms. Instead, they could have focused on their value of intellectual curiosity as a magnetic force that encouraged them to research their mother and sister’s ailments. Curiosity, then, could serve as a value-related thematic throughline to taking AP Capstone classes, taking college courses during the summer that weren’t required, and interning before even graduating high school.
A second area for improvement would be avoiding statistics. As the student identifies their valedictorian status and the number of AP classes they have taken, they might turn away certain personalities on a review committee by appearing braggy. Even further, these statistics are a waste of space. The review committee already has access to this information. These words distract from the major theme of the essay and would have been better used to humanize the student.
Throughout my academic career, I have been an avid scholar, constantly pushing myself towards ambitious goals. I held and continue to hold myself to a high standard, enrolling myself in rigorous curriculum, including Honors and Advanced Placement courses to stretch my mental potential. During my junior year of high school, I took four AP tests, two on the same day, and earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award. Additionally, I received the Letter of Commendation for the PSAT/NMSQT, and qualified for Rotary Top 100 Students both my freshman and senior year, a sign of my commitment to my studies. However, school has not been all about having the best GPA for me; beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem. I always give each class my best effort and try my hardest on every assignment. My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result. It is a major goal of mine to continue to aspire towards a high level of achievement regarding future educational and occupational endeavors; I plan on continuing this level of dedication throughout my educational career and implementing the skills I have learned and will learn into my college experience and beyond.
This fall, I will begin attending the University of California Los Angeles as an English major. I chose this major because I am fascinated by written language, especially its ability to convey powerful messages and emotions. I also enjoy delving into the works of other authors to analyze specific components of their writing to discover the meaning behind their words. In particular, I cannot wait to begin in-depth literary criticism and learn new stylistic techniques to add more depth to my writing. Furthermore, I recently went to UCLA’s Bruin Day, an event for incoming freshmen, where I was exposed to many different extracurriculars, some of which really piqued my interest. I plan on joining the Writing Success Program, where I can help students receive free writing help, and Mock Trial, where I can debate issues with peers in front of a real judge. The latter, combined with a strong writing background from my undergraduate English studies will be extremely beneficial because I plan to apply to law school after my undergraduate degree. As of now, my career goal is to become a civil rights lawyer, to stand up for those who are discriminated against and protect minority groups to proliferate equality.
As a lawyer, I wish to utilize legislation to ameliorate the plight of the millions of Americans who feel prejudice and help them receive equity in the workplace, society, and so on. Though this seems a daunting task, I feel that my work ethic and past experience will give me the jumpstart I need to establish myself as a successful lawyer and give a voice to those who are often unheard in today’s legal system. I have been a Girl Scout for over a decade and continually participate in community service for the homeless, elderly, veterans, and more. My most recent project was the Gold Award, which I conducted in the Fullerton School District. I facilitated over ten workshops where junior high students taught elementary pupils STEM principles such as density and aerodynamics via creative activities like building aluminum boats and paper airplanes. I also work at Kumon, a tutoring center, where I teach students to advance their academic success. I love my job, and helping students from local schools reach their potential fills me with much pride.
Both being a Girl Scout and working at Kumon have inspired me to help those in need, contributing significantly to my desire to become a lawyer and aid others. My extracurriculars have allowed me to gain a new perspective on both learning and teaching, and have solidified my will to help the less fortunate. In college, I hope to continue to gain knowledge and further develop my leadership skills, amassing qualities that will help me assist others. I plan to join multiple community service clubs, such as UCLA’s local outreach programs that directly aid residents of Los Angeles. I want to help my fellow pupils as well, and plan on volunteering at peer tutoring and peer editing programs on campus. After college, during my career, I want to use legal tactics to assist the underdog and take a chance on those who are often overlooked for opportunities. I wish to represent those that are scared to seek out help or cannot afford it. Rather than battling conflict with additional conflict, I want to implement peaceful but strong, efficient tactics that will help make my state, country, and eventually the world more welcoming to people of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. These goals are close to my heart and therefore I will be as diligent as I am passionate about them. My perseverance and love for learning and community service drive my ambition in both education and life as a whole, and the drive to make the world a better place is one that I will carry with me for my entire life.
This student emphasizes two values in this essay: hard work and community service. These are values that go together nicely, and definitely make sense with this student’s end goal of becoming a civil rights lawyer! That said, some changes could be made to the way the student presents their values that would make their personal statement more convincing and engaging.
Structurally, instead of using a past-future trajectory, this student starts by explaining their academic achievements, then explains their career goals, then explains their history of community service, then explains their future desires for community service. This structure loses the reader. Instead, the student should have started with either the past or the future.
This could look like 1) identifying their career goals, 2) explaining that hard work and a commitment to community service are necessary to get there, and 3) explaining that they aren’t worried because of their past commitment to hard work and community service. Or it could look like 1) providing examples of their hard work and community service in the past, then 2) explaining how those values will help them achieve their career goals.
Additionally, like with our other example, this student shows a heavy investment in statistics and spouting off accomplishments. This can be unappealing. Unfortunately, even when the student recognizes that they are doing this, writing “beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem,” they continue on to cite their achievements, writing “My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result.” They say they are going beyond the numbers, but they don’t go beyond the awards. They don’t look inward. One way to fix this would be to make community service the theme around which the essay operates, supplementing with statistics in ways that advance the image of the student as dedicated to community service.
Finally, this student would be more successful if they varied their sentence structure. While a small-scale autobiography can be good, if organized, every sentence should not begin with ‘I.’ The essay still needs to be engaging or the review committee might stop reading.
Feedback is ultimately any writer’s best source of improvement! To get your personal statement edited for free, use our Peer Review Essay Tool . With this tool, other students can tell you if your scholarship essay is effective and help you improve your essay so that you can have the best chances of gaining those extra funds!
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
- Grades 6-12
- School Leaders
Sign Up for Our Free Daily December Printables!
The Ultimate Guide To Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay
Stand out from the rest.
With the cost of higher education skyrocketing in the last few decades, it’s no surprise that many students seek out scholarships to help cover tuition. As a result, it’s a very competitive endeavor, which is why students need to find ways to stand out. We’ve put together this resource to help write a scholarship essay that will get the application committee’s attention.
How To Find Scholarships
Many students know that they want to apply for scholarships but don’t know where to find them. Honestly, this can be the most difficult and intimidating part of the process for students! Here are some suggestions for where to start.
Ask a Guidance Counselor
One of the best resources for high school students is their guidance counselor. They are prepared to help students make academic and career plans and should be aware of scholarship opportunities to align with your needs and goals.
Talk to the College or University
Already have a college or university picked out? Reach out to the school’s financial aid department. In addition to the many scholarships you can find online, they may offer information about funding offered directly through the school.
Submit a FAFSA Application
Even if a student isn’t planning to accept student loans, they should definitely consider completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Not only will the resulting report inform them of any financial assistance for which they qualify, but many scholarship committees require applicants to submit a FAFSA.
Search Scholarship Websites
There are many scholarship websites where students can find awards and applications. Sites such as Scholarships.com and Scholarship 360 allow you to use filters to narrow down your search results based on your needs and interests.
We’ve also put together the following guides:
- How To Get a Full-Ride Scholarship
- Best Merit-Based Scholarships
- Excellent Scholarships for High School Seniors
- Great Scholarships for Black Students
- Scholarships for Women
- Best Scholarship Opportunities for Future Teachers
Do an Internet Search
Head to a search engine, social media platform, or sites like Reddit to look for scholarships. You can even create posts inviting other users to share suggestions.
Ask an Employer
Some workplaces offer tuition benefits or other financial assistance for higher education. If a student is employed, it’s an option to reach out to someone in the HR department to see if they offer any programs or scholarships.
The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Scholarship Essay
Do: know the rules.
The most important thing anyone can do before writing a scholarship essay is this: Read all of the rules and guidelines and then reread them! Students can even ask someone else to read them too, to make sure they fully understand what they need to do. Failing to follow the rules is one of the main reasons why students are unsuccessful in getting scholarships.
Do: Set Aside Plenty of Time
Start working on scholarship essays right away. Do not wait until a week (or day!) before the deadline. This gives students time to write several drafts of the essay if needed. Also, you never know when a technology-related issue might strike, so having a little extra time can save you from disaster.
Do: Research the Scholarship Provider
Dig deep when applying for a scholarship. Find out who is funding the award and spend some time researching the provider. Do they have a vision or mission statement? Do they support any specific causes or types of students? Is there any way that applicants can make themselves more attractive candidates for the specific audience? Students should use this information to their advantage!
Students should take some time to think about what they’ve learned about the scholarship essay guidelines and the provider. Then, brainstorm about what they want to say and share and why. Here are some questions to ask as they pertain to education and career goals:
- Who are you? Think of yourself but also your background.
- What makes you who you are?
- What have you done?
- What do you want to do?
- How are you going to get there?
- Why do you need a scholarship?
- How will it make a difference?
- Are you a first-generation college student?
- Do you have any unique qualities or needs?
- What makes you proud?
- What lessons have you learned?
These are heavy questions, but finding the answers to at least some of them will help provide the substance needed to write a truly effective scholarship essay.
Do: Find Ways To Stand Out
Many, many students are applying for scholarships. They have to find a way to stand out from the rest. Students should think of the things they learned when they researched the scholarship provider. Are there any ways they can appeal to that audience? If so, focus on those areas.
Do: Be Honest
Do not lie on a scholarship application. Let’s say that again: Do not lie on a scholarship application. Students should remind themselves that they are worthy on their own. If an applicant is discovered to be dishonest, it can really hurt them in the long run.
Do: Stay on Topic
When reading the guidelines for the scholarship and doing brainstorming, be sure to keep the topic of the essay in mind. Everything students share and communicate should be related to the topic.
Do: Be Professional
Students should use their very best skills when writing a scholarship essay. They should not use slang, casual language, unconventional fonts, emojis, or texting abbreviations.
Do: Proofread and Edit Multiple Times
It’s a good idea to prepare to write this essay at least three times. First, there’s a rough draft that should be carefully proofread. Students can ask a teacher or other professional to also look at their paper. Then students should repeat this process once or twice more until they’re happy with the results. They shouldn’t just write it and submit it all at once!
While students want to highlight their strengths and accomplishments, they should not brag. They also don’t want to put down other candidates or people to make themselves look good. Tell a story without embellishments.
Don’t: Reuse a Scholarship Essay
Students put a lot of effort into writing scholarship essays, but please don’t reuse them!
Scholarship Essay Sample Outline
Ready to get started? Having a solid outline provides a road map for the journey. Here are some suggestions for making it easier to write a scholarship essay!
Students should explain who they are and try to make it engaging. Hook readers by sharing a few details that will be elaborated on in the body of the essay.
Educational and Career Goals
Students should share what they want to study and hope to gain by getting an education, as well as how it will prepare them for their future career. They should be passionate!
Who Are You?
Student should briefly explain their background, which can include details about family, personal values, and how they got to where they are today.
Why Are You a Good Candidate for the Scholarship?
This is where students need to really think about what they learned about the scholarship provider. What are they looking for in a candidate? Students should do their best to not only shine as a good student and leader, but also find solid ways to connect with the scholarship provider’s mission. After including some teasers or breadcrumbs in the introduction to hook the reader, this is a good place to share the rest of the story.
To wrap up a scholarship essay, students should reiterate their commitment to their education and career. Restate how the story shared demonstrates a readiness for college and how winning the scholarship can help the applicant follow their dreams. Best of luck!
Do you have tips on how to write a scholarship essay? Share them below! Plus, check out The Ultimate Guide to College Scholarships!
Want more suggestions be sure to subscribe to our newsletters ..
You Might Also Like
The Ultimate Guide to College Scholarships
Find the money to fund your future. Continue Reading
Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. 5335 Gate Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32256
Log in or sign up
How to write a scholarship essay with examples in 2023.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
This is your time to shine!
When you apply for a scholarship, you have to submit an essay for it! Many students face one issue when they come across this step, and that is how to write a scholarship essay! Don't worry; this is an issue we will help you solve by teaching you everything you need to know about how to write a scholarship essay, from how to start a scholarship essay to how to end one! So, let's dive right into it!
What is a Scholarship Essay?
Before we tell you about how to write a scholarship essay, you need to understand what it is! 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 the scholarship.
Apply for an Amber scholarship now!
Ready to make your dreams a reality?
How to write a Scholarship Essay?
Let's discuss how to write a scholarship essay! Here are a few things to keep in mind on how to write a scholarship essay. One simple tip on how to write a scholarship essay is just to 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 when you write an essay on a scholarship.
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.
When you start to write your essay for a scholarship, you need to know your target audience, in this case, 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.
3. Read the scholarship essay prompts thoroughly.
When you think about how to start a scholarship essay, the biggest tip is to read the essay prompts thoroughly. You must comply with the appropriate essay prompt 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 is one of the best tips on how to write a scholarship essay. This can help you customise your essay according to their needs. 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
One of the best tips on how to write a scholarship essay is that 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 when you are lost on how to write a scholarship essay. Your academic advisor can provide valuable insights into the writing process, such as how to write a scholarship essay, how to start a scholarship essay, 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 how to write a scholarship essay is to write a compelling argument 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 write a scholarship 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 when you think about how to write a scholarship essay.
When you think about how to start a scholarship essay, it 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 for a scholarship here. 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 essay for a scholarship will help you reach your academic and 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, and this is how to end a scholarship essay. 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.
You won't need an essay for our student accommodations!
Book the best student accommodations with amber now!
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.
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 the 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."
Top 5 Scholarships and Scholarship Essays
The essay for a scholarship 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. Here are the top 5 scholarships:
1. Kang Foundation and Legal Scholarship
2. New York University Scholarship
3. North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship
4. Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship 1
5. Questbridge Scholarship
Scholarship Essay Prompts
Are you struggling to come up with ideas on how to write a 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 for a scholarship 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?
Scholarship Essay Tips
It is crucial to make your essay for a scholarship 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 voice.
- Avoid including inspirational quotes in your essay.
Do's and Don'ts of Writing a Scholarship Essay
When you think about how to write a scholarship essay, it 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 when you write an essay for a scholarship.
- Before writing your essay for a scholarship, 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 for a scholarship should showcase your achievements and why you deserve the scholarship out of all the other applicants. Mention your achievements, skills and experiences that prove your suitability for the scholarship.
- Be authentic and personal in your writing; your essay for a scholarship 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.
- 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. The amber scholarship is a scholarship provided by amber; we hope you try your luck with it! This is your chance to show the scholarship committee what you have to deserve the scholarship. Also, read about our blog on what should be written in personal statement . You can also check our detailed blog on how to write thesis statement
Frequently Asked Questions
How to start an essay for a scholarship for masters, why is an essay for a scholarship for masters an important part of the application process, are essays for a scholarship and college essays the same, can you write an essay for a scholarship in a 2nd and 3rd person perspective, what are some important aspects to keep in mind when writing an essay for a scholarship for a masters, unlock your free flight ticket.
Your ideal student home & a flight ticket awaits
Follow us on :
© 2022 All Rights Reserved. The content, images and logos used on this are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective owners. The usage is intended to promote, identify and search. No endorsement or partnership is implied.
Trust Score 4.8/5
2000+ Reviews by students
Start your journey from here!
Scholarship Essay Examples
- Scholarship Essay Example Promising Pathways Hearing Impairment Scholarship
- Scholarship Essay Example Future Leaders in Technology Scholarship
- Scholarship Essay Example Keri Sohlman Memorial Scholarship
- Scholarship Essay Example Chronic Boss Scholarship
Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays
Start early, understand the prompt, highlight your accomplishments and qualities, proofread and edit, frequently asked questions, how do you start a scholarship essay, what kinds of scholarships are available, top scholarships with upcoming deadlines.
1000 Bold Points No-Essay Scholarship
"Be Bold" No-Essay Scholarship
Forget Your Student Debt. No-Essay Grant.
Scholarship essays provide the scholarship committee with an opportunity to get to know the applicant better and learn about their academic and personal achievements , as well as their goals and aspirations . A well-written scholarship essay can make the difference between being awarded a scholarship or not . One way to give yourself an edge on scholarship applications is by closely studying winning scholarship essay examples .
Scholarship essay examples give you a better understanding of the qualities scholarship essay readers look for in outstanding applicants . Reading scholarship essay examples can help you understand the tone of voice of winning scholarship essays, the kinds of stories that resonate with scholarship committee members, and the quality of writing that wins scholarship awards.
You can easily browse hundreds of winning scholarship essay examples on Bold.org through our scholarship search engine . Simply filter the status of scholarships for "awarded." To view scholarship winners' essays for a particular award, scroll down to the bottom of the page. As a platform dedicated to helping students find and apply for scholarships, Bold.org has created a list of tips for writing winning essays with outstanding scholarship essay examples from past winners.
Don't forget to create a free Bold.org profile to view more eloquent scholarship essays and apply to scholarships that can help you page for college.
Scholarship Essay Example 1: Promising Pathways Hearing Impairment Scholarship
- Eligibility : "Any student who wears a hearing aid or cochlear implant to assist with hearing and is pursuing higher education (including technical programs, two-year college degrees, and four-year college degrees) may apply, although low-income students are preferred ."
- The Prompt : "Tell us what you're studying in school , the obstacles you've overcome while attending school with hearing impairment, and what your plans and goals are after you finish your degree."
- The Winning Essay : Ashley Harvey, Worcester State University
- Key Takeaways: Ashley wrote an outstanding scholarship essay detailing her experience of being hard of hearing and how her disabled identity has empowered her to advocate for herself.
- Ashley effectively demonstrates her passion for English and creative writing and how these interests have influenced her career goals to work as an editor or in the publishing industry.
- Ashley addresses all aspects of the essay prompt .
- Ashley's own voice as a writer and storyteller is apparent in the scholarship essay. It doesn't feel like anyone could have written the essay - only Ashley could tell her story like this!
- Ashley uses examples to show, not tell .
- She talks about the ableism she encountered when she first became hard of hearing and how the COVID-19 pandemic specifically impacted her experience.
- She also describes the aspects of English she loves and her involvement in the English department and creative writing as a playwright.
- Ashley's essay is well-structured . Every paragraph has a main idea, and it is easy for the reader to follow along.
Excerpt : "Becoming hard of hearing during September of my sophomore year of high school was a difficult transition. It made it difficult to be a student; I could not hear the teacher during lessons or my classmates during group work. This also impacted me socially , as I could not hear my friends while at lunch to participate in the conversation. During this time, I grew more anxious, as I would miss a lot of information during spoken communication. The onset of the pandemic did not help, as it made it impossible to lipread , which I came to rely on heavily. Dealing with ableism has also provided its own challenge; the invasive questions from strangers, infantilization, and “corrections” regarding disability from non-disabled people got old quickly .
Get Matched to Thousands of Scholarships
Create your Bold.org profile to access thousands of exclusive scholarships, available only on Bold.org.
While the transition was difficult, I am now stronger and proud of my hearing loss . I got some assistive technology and accommodations, being my hearing aid and FM system at school. I grew the courage to advocate for myself and tell my friends, teachers, and classmates how best to communicate with me . Admittedly, it is still difficult to be hard of hearing in a hearing world; I still can't hear the oven alarm from the next room over and mix up the first sounds of words. However, I would not change my hearing loss, as it is now a part of myself that I find pride in . With these valuable skills that my hearing loss has taught me, I feel that I can conquer any new challenge that I come across throughout the rest of my life."
Scholarship Essay Example 2: Future Leaders in Technology Scholarship
- Eligibility : Black, Latinx, Native, queer, and women high school seniors who are planning to pursue a college degree in computer science , electrical engineering, or data science
- The Prompt : "What area of tech are you interested in studying and why? Tell us about a problem you hope to solve through your future education and career in tech."
- The Winning Essay : Shanice Handley, Barlett High School
- Key Takeaways : Shanice's essay beautifully ties together their experiences with a lack of representation for Black women on social media and their motivation to create their website Awujo Resources , a self-described "hub to act on the issues people care about."
- Shanice's essay is centered around a main idea or thesis : the lack of representation of Black women on social media growing up and the anger and hopelessness they felt witnessing police brutality pushed them to use code and design to further social change.
- Shanice's essay follows a chronological timeline , from their experiences growing up as a young Black girl to an emergent college student studying computer science and graphic design .
- Shanice's essay is descriptive without extraneous information . There's no "fluff" that is irrelevant to the story they are trying to tell.
- Shanice's essay thoroughly explains the importance of their achievement in creating the website Awujo Resources, both for themselves personally and for their community .
Excerpt : "Over the years, I’ve felt hopeless. I turned on the news and saw protests and turmoil on my screen. I would sign petitions advocating for another young Black person killed by the police and repost the powerful words of activists but nothing seemed to do any good other than educating my peers . I needed something to channel the anger and hopelessness I felt while experiencing this injustice occurring in our country . So I turned to code and design… My website, Awujo Resources, became a hub to act on the issues people care about. From reproductive health to voting rights, I highlighted the hard-hitting issues affecting people across America and the world. This website showed me how technology could inspire people to spark change. This website ultimately showed me how human-computer interaction can include underrepresented groups and the issues plaguing us ."
Scholarship Essay Example 3: Keri Sohlman Memorial Scholarship
- Eligibility : high school seniors in New Jersey who are passionate about mental health and/or education
- The Prompt : "Tell us about your inspiration to enter the mental health or education profession and how your career will help others."
- The Winning Essay : Caelyn Stahl, Montclair High School
- Key Takeaways : Caelyn's essay beautifully connects their passion for working with children and education to their experiences as a neurodivergent student with mental health struggles . Overall, readers get a sense of the deep peace and fulfillment Caelyn feels when teaching children, which motivates them to pursue a career as an art teacher .
- Caelyn uses descriptive language to explain the emotional and bodily feelings they experience while working with children as a Taekwon-do instructor.
- Caelyn's voice peeks through when she describes herself as someone with a "funky brain." She uses this phrase again at the end of the essay to create a sense of finality: "art education is the intersection of all my passions: art, working with children, and advocacy for people with 'funky' brains like me."
- Caelyn puts a positive spin on challenging experiences, like living with ADHD and mental health issues or working with children on bad days.
Excerpt : "However, I also understand how difficult teaching can be. Children aren’t happy all the time; sometimes, they need extra support and care. They don’t always behave and don’t always listen. Sometimes, there will be rough days. Even on those difficult days at the Taekwondo school, when students aren’t listening, when I am frustrated and tired, I still feel joyful. It is an honor to be the one to help kids learn and grow, especially on hard days. It is exciting to problem-solve and come up with new ways to teach that are more engaging. When students aren’t listening, it is often simply because they are under-stimulated and can't focus, so I create new ways to reach them. It’s exhilarating when I find a method that works, a method that turns those rough days into ones of learning and growth. I am interested in pursuing education because I love kids, on the good days and the bad. I am interested in art education because art turns the bad days into good. I know this from experience."
Scholarship Essay Example 4: Chronic Boss Scholarship
- Eligibility : women with autoimmune disorders who have an entrepreneurial spirit
- The Prompt : "Explain how living with an autoimmune disease has shaped who you are and how you have transformed your struggle into your strength."
- The Winning Essay : Rachel Osias, Marlboro High School
- Key Takeaways : Rachel shares how their diagnosis and experience living with Graves' disease motivated them to help others through fundraising .
- Rachel sticks to the essay prompt ; their essay fully addresses both aspects of the question: living with autoimmune disease and how they "transformed their struggle into their strength."
- Rachel provides detailed examples of her fundraising campaigns and the entrepreneurial skills she put into action in each campaign.
- Rachel describes how her autoimmune and entrepreneurial journey culminated in a TEDx event, demonstrating that they continue expanding their reach and impact.
- Rachel incorporates humor !
Excerpt: "Pretty soon, I married my business and philanthropic interests. I treated each fundraiser as an entrepreneurial venture, strategizing to increase revenues and cut costs, marketing on social media, and developing pitches for local companies . So far, I’ve created over twenty-one fundraising events, raising over $18,000 for twelve nonprofits. Each new project led to the next, and as I moved along, I was bringing people with me. My little team went door to door collecting art materials for the local hospital. By the time I started an initiative to work in a restaurant where all proceeds went to the local ASPCA, that group had grown to over twenty! Influencing others inspired me to create my own TEDx event . I enlisted a team of teen leaders, spearheaded a marketing campaign, and collaborated with TEDx officials to spread the surge of community action. The experience demonstrated that philanthropy isn’t just about fundraising. It’s about creating an infectious wave in your community so that others join the push for change."
Every scholarship committee seeks something different from its applicants. As a result, there isn't a single recipe for writing the perfect personal statement . However, there are some best practices for writing scholarship essays that can help you craft a polished essay and best represent who you are and why you deserve the scholarship . Here are a few tips and tricks to help you maximize your chances of winning a scholarship award:
Writing a winning scholarship essay requires ample time and dedication. You'll want to give yourself enough time to go through every step of the writing process : brainstorming ideas, outlining, and writing several drafts. Starting essays earlier will give you time to review and edit your essay before submission. Ideally, you should give yourself enough time to receive feedback from teachers and peers.
One of the most important aspects of writing scholarship essays is ensuring you understand the prompt before you start writing. Identify the key points of the essay prompt and be sure to address them in your essay.
The scholarship essay readers want to know what sets you apart from other applicants. Take the time to reflect on your accomplishments and qualities that make you a strong candidate for a scholarship. Be specific and include concrete examples to illustrate your points and college plans . Talk about how you've overcome personal failures and significant obstacles and how these experiences have made you who you are today.
Before you submit your essay, make sure to proofread and edit thoroughly. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure your essay flows logically and coherently. Have someone else read your essay and provide feedback. A fresh pair of eyes can catch mistakes or areas that need improvement that you may have overlooked.
Your introduction is the first impression you will make on the scholarship committee, so it's crucial to make it count. Grab their attention with a compelling opening sentence that sets the tone for the rest of your essay. Your introduction should also clearly state your goals and why you are applying for the scholarship.
Scholarships are available for students with high academic performance , leadership skills , and/or community service . Scholarships also exist for students with unique identities and experiences, such as students of color , disabled students , or students from specific geographic locations. Other scholarships target students with specific career goals , such as aspirations to work in the tech industry , healthcare , or education .
You can begin applying for scholarships now that you've reviewed these sample scholarship essays ! Check out more blog posts like this on our Bold.org blog to learn more about scholarships for high school seniors and college students .
Should i take a gap year, how to write a cover letter: a step-by-step guide, best law schools in chicago.
- Phone: +91 8466016171
- Whatsapp: +91 8208375580
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholarship Essays: Detailed Guide & Sample Questions For Practice
- Read Time 8 mins
- Updated On December 19, 2022
- Published In Exams 📘 , Scholarships 💰
Most scholarships have specific requirements with a majority of them including a personal statement or essay. Writing an essay can be a daunting task, let alone writing an essay for securing the required funds to pursue an education. In this blog, you will learn how to write a winning scholarship essay that is a true representation of yourself in front of the scholarship committee.
Table of Contents
Also read: Easy steps to get a study abroad scholarship .
What are scholarship essays?
Scholarships are programmes that provide financial assistance to students in need. These programmes are open to students at every level, irrespective of whether you are in high school or a college student. Most of the scholarships out there require you to write an essay.
The scholarship essay you write will be your medium to convince the scholarship board why you deserve the monetary aid. Scholarship essays require you to provide a unique perspective of yourself apart from your academic performance, GPA and merits. No matter the essay prompt, you need to exhibit your writing skills and showcase them engagingly. An essay that keeps the scholarship committee focused and interested will be the one that is rewarded with the financial gains of the scholarship.
Scholarship essay format
The best guidance for your study abroad dream.
Start your journey with the best study abroad experts in India
A scholarship essay needs to be thought out well before you get to writing it. It is always beneficial to make a draft and outline of the essay following the prompt provided. Every essay needs to be written differently with a fresh view to captivate the readers.
For most scholarship essays, you can follow this outline to make your pre-writing process easier:
- Hook introduction: A hook introduction is a powerful intro that addresses the scholarship essay prompt and ‘hooks’ the readers into reading further. The hook should not be exaggerated and should instead be a true reflection of your writing skills.
- Body paragraphs between one to three: This is where you convince the scholarship committee of why you are deserving of the scholarship. The body of the essay should be relevant to the essay prompt, providing your personal point of view in the manner of a story that is captivating. Another point to keep in mind while writing the essay is to highlight what the committee is looking for, including your academic and career goals, why you are the best choice for the scholarship and any other point relative to the prompt.
- Conclusion: While ending the scholarship essay, circle back to your interest in the scholarship with a seamless transition and emphasize how your life story makes you a strong candidate for the scholarship.
How to write a great scholarship essay
Every scholarship essay should be unique and provide something that the reader has never seen before. A few tips and tricks to writing a scholarship-worthy essay can always come in handy. Some of them are explained below:
Use a STAR Structure
A winning scholarship essay must have all the essential elements that emphasize who you are, what you can do and what changes you can bring about with your actions. A STAR structure helps you accomplish just that by dividing your essay into four paragraphs that end up creating a powerful essay. This is what STAR means:
- ‘S’ – Situation – Situation provides the context, place and time of an event of your life that relates to the essay prompt. This helps in giving a personal touch to your essay and inducing authenticity.
- ‘T’ – Task – Task shows what was the issue that arose in front of you, what role did you take up to make your contribution and what goal did you pursue. It shows your readiness in facing situations when problems arise.
- ‘A’ – Action – The action paragraph explains what steps you took to resolve the issue and accomplish the goal. This paragraph exhibits your modus operandi and how you tackle problems.
- ‘R’ – Result – The ‘result’ paragraph is a paragraph of self-reflection. You need to explain what you learnt after facing the situation, how your actions affected the results and how you grew as a person after going through such a situation.
Stick to the topic
Study and research the topic given to you to familiarize yourself with it. Create an outline of how you will approach the topic and stick to it. The scholarship essay should flow smoothly to keep the reader interested. Relate the topic to yourself and your story to create a lasting and unique impression on the scholarship committee.
Research, study, and brainstorm
Writing anything, be it a blog, article or essay, closer to the deadline will result in a piece that will not be good enough for selection. After receiving your prompt, research the prompt thoroughly, study the topic and brainstorm what you will present in the scholarship essay. If the essay prompt is focused on you, decide on what story of yours relates to the topic most powerfully. Choose strong points and spin the essay around them to create a masterpiece.
Be true to yourself
Being true to yourself is a major booster in every aspect of life. Staying true to your identity in writing the essay will provide the scholarship committee with something new and fresh that stands out. The aspects that you must integrate into your scholarship essay to be original are as follows:
- Acknowledge your hardships and how you overcame them
- Place yourself in a good light but be humble
- Be specific and to the point
- Paint a picture of your story rather than simply narrating it
- Be honest about yourself and do not exaggerate
- Explain why you deserve the scholarship without putting down other applicants
Authenticity is key in getting your message through to the scholarship committee. They can easily understand when you’re being inauthentic and writing what you think they want to hear. Let us show you what an authentic line in your essay looks like.
Inauthentic example – “I have established myself as a sportsperson after facing a lot of hardships.”
Authentic example – “Throughout my sporting career, I’ve been through major issues like the rupture of my anterior cruciate ligament in my dominant foot. During some phases, I wanted to give up and convince myself that I was not cut out for this path. Instead, I came back stronger from my issues and injuries and learned from them. This mentality has made me who I am today.”
Types of Scholarships that require different essays
Universities provides several scholarships to international students in a bid to make education easier and achievable for the students struggling financially. There are namely three categories of scholarships provided by most institutions. They are:
- Government scholarships – These scholarships are given by the government in a bid to encourage students to study in their respective countries.
- Non-government scholarships – These scholarships are provided by trusts, organizations and funds to students in order to increase participation and specialization in a specific field.
- Institutional scholarships – These scholarships are provided by universities and institutes to the students who are studying in said universities and institutes.
- Merit-based – These scholarships are provided to students who have good academic scores.
- Language proficiency – As most international students do not have English as their native language, good scores in IELTS/TOEFL exams are also used as a parameter in some scholarships.
- Extracurricular excellence – Involvement in activities such as volunteering, social work, etc., is another criteria of scholarships. The extracurricular activity that is judged depends on the stream you are looking to apply to. Along with scholarships, these activities also act as work experience and can be a plus point on your resume.
Sample scholarship essay questions
Mentioned below are a few scholarship essay examples that you can practise in order to get an idea of the type of essay you might be asked to submit:
1. Explain something that made a significant impact in your life.
2. Describe why you or your plans for studying abroad require this scholarship.
3. A few students have an identity, background, personal interest, or talent that is so crucial and deep-rooted, they believe their application cannot be completed without it. If you are one of them, then please share your story.
4. Please explain a personal trauma or catastrophic life event that you have gone through. How did you manage to overcome your issues? What did you learn from it, and how did it influence who you are?
5. Mention three things that are important to you. How did you decide what to include in this list? Will these things have the same importance to you in ten years? Why?
6. “The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.” – Wilma Mankiller. Tell us about a period when you were unsuccessful at something. What were the circumstances at that point in time? How did you respond to failure? What did you learn from it?
7. Please explain how volunteering and participating in community service have shaped your perspective on humanity and share your experience. Elaborate on how these experiences have influenced your mindset, future ambitions, and career choice.
Scholarships can be a boon to a student who wants to study further and do something exceptional with their life. Writing a scholarship-worthy essay can help you secure the most rewarding grants.
We hope you’re able to better understand how scholarship essays are written and what methods you need to use to write an essay that makes the scholarship committee choose your essay as the winner.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should my scholarship essay be.
Your essay should be in adherence to the specified word limit. You should draft your essay before writing the one you will submit, as you need to make the most powerful impact within the limited word count.
Are scholarships necessary for admission to colleges?
No, scholarships are not necessary for admission, but a scholarship award provides financial aid that helps ease the burden that students often face.
Are scholarships available worldwide?
Yes, most of the scholarships are available for international students worldwide. You should find the ones that suit your financial situation and help you meet living expenses in the country you are planning to go to.
Kanika took a detour from academics for the corporate world. Now she works as a senior editor specialising in content creation, marketing, and strategy.
The Maitri Scholars Program : Empowering Indian Scholars
Top 10 Italy Scholarships for Indian Students 2024: Full Guide
Seoul National University Scholarships For Indian Students In 2024
Leave a reply cancel reply.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Add Comment *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
25,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today
Here’s your new year gift, one app for all your, study abroad needs, start your journey, track your progress, grow with the community and so much more.
An OTP has been sent to your registered mobile no. Please verify
Thanks for your comment !
Our team will review it before it's shown to our readers.
- 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!
Team Leverage Edu
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Contact no. *
8 Universities with higher ROI than IITs and IIMs
Grab this one-time opportunity to download this ebook
How would you describe this article ?
Please rate this article
We would like to hear more.
Connect With Us
20,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. take the first step today..
Resend OTP in
Need help with?
UK, Canada, US & More
IELTS, GRE, GMAT & More
Scholarship, Loans & Forex
Which English test are you planning to take?
Which academic test are you planning to take.
Not Sure yet
When are you planning to take the exam?
Already booked my exam slot
Within 2 Months
Want to learn about the test
Which Degree do you wish to pursue?
When do you want to start studying abroad.
What is your budget to study abroad?
- Food & Beverages
- Marketing Examples
10+ Scholarship Essay Examples in PDF
Scholarship Essay Examples
Scholarship self introduction essay, sample scholarship essay in pdf, scholarship personal essay sample, education scholarship essay sample, scholarship personal statement essay example, student scholarship personal statement essay, scholarship essay example, field of study scholarship essay, sample scholarship essay outline, simple scholarship essay sample, sample scholarship essays, what is a scholarship essay, how to create a scholarship essay, what is the importance of a scholarship essay, how to format your scholarship essay, how to write a 500 word essay.
- Google Docs
Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with Common Essay Questions
Step 2: be honest when writing your scholarship essay, step 3: ensure that your scholarship essay is written, typed, or printed on a clean paper, step 4: do not forget to review your essay before submitting it, more design, 26+ examples of essay outlines, tips for writing an effective essay, how to give your essay contest entries a winning edge, what are the parts of an essay, how to start your college essay, how to start an essay, 5+ persuasive essay examples, samples, 8+ examples of scholarship applications, 8+ concept essay examples, samples.
- id; ?>)" rel="noopener" role="button" tabindex="0" aria-label="postclick">8+ Scholarship Essay Examples, Samples
- id; ?>)" rel="noopener" role="button" tabindex="0" aria-label="postclick">21+ Essay Writing Examples
Scholarship Essay Guide
Scholarship Essay Examples
Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023
Amazing Scholarship Essay Examples for Your Help
By: Dorothy M.
Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.
Published on: Sep 1, 2020
When it comes to paying for college fees, a scholarship is the best option you can get to finance your studies. Scholarships offer you money that you never have to repay. But, here is a twist; you need to compete with several candidates.
Hundreds of students go to college every year, and not everyone can afford the expenses required for completing the degree. The need-based scholarships help students by providing free money to complete their studies. However, getting financial aid is not that simple; you need to convince the committee members to grant you the scholarship.
When you apply for the scholarship, the first thing you need to do is write a winning scholarship essay . The whole process of a scholarship application is daunting, and students can feel overwhelming. However, the most important part of the application is writing an essay that should be well thought out.
This blog will walk you through many winning scholarship essay examples that will help you write your essay. So read the examples carefully to understand the whole process and structure of a scholarship essay.
On this Page
Scholarship Essay Examples for Students
Writing a good scholarship essay is the first step you make towards getting financial aid. It gives you an opportunity to showcase your abilities and your accomplishments other than academic grades and scores. It is a great chance for you to show the committee members that you deserve this scholarship. You can show them the real person behind the application and convince them that you are the perfect candidate.
Students who apply for scholarships usually have the same resume, grades, and achievements. The committee is tired of reading the same essay and stories every year, and now they don’t even bother to read the complete essay. They just read the first few lines and decide whether they should move forward or reject the essay. Therefore, you need to grab their attention in the beginning by giving them unique or interesting information about you.
Below you can find some amazing scholarship essay examples to help you understand what you should be writing in your essay.
Scholarship Essay Format Examples
For writing an incredible scholarship essay, you need to follow the formatting guidelines. If you are unable to do so, you won’t be able to make a mark on your reader’s mind. The scholarship committee is very strict about the formatting and structure of the scholarship essay.
Therefore, you need to make sure that your essay is well structured and properly formatted according to the guidelines. You need to be careful while writing your essay because it is the only chance you shine and be noticed by the committee. The scholarship committee members look for something unique and amazing about you that sets you apart from other candidates.
SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY OUTLINE FORMAT
How to Write a Scholarship Essay - Examples
Whether you are writing the scholarship essay for the first time or have written it before, you still need guidance. There is no rule or procedure that ensures your essay is right or wrong. However, there are some tips and guidelines that you can follow to write a good essay. If you have an amazing story to share and follow the tips, you can easily write an impressive essay.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to write a scholarship essay with examples. Check out the samples given below to learn the procedure and write a perfect essay.
HOW TO START A SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY - EXAMPLE
HOW TO WRITE A SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY - EXAMPLE
HOW TO END A SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY - EXAMPLE
High School Scholarship Essay Examples
Middle school or high school students usually do not have enough skills to write a good scholarship essay. They always struggle with writing assignments and try to get away with it through backdoors. But you do not have to worry as we have provided some interesting and effective examples for your convenience. These examples will show you how to structure your essay that impresses the reader.
You can write your essay without following guidelines and examples, but are you sure that your essay will grant you the aid? Do you have the confidence that your essay is impressive enough that it will definitely get you financial aid?
Well, you may have an interesting story to tell, but if you do not follow the guidelines, you will not be able to perfect your essay. Therefore, it is essential to read some sample essays so that you don’t have any trouble writing your story. Read the scholarship essay examples for high school students given below to have a better understanding.
HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY SAMPLE
SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY EXAMPLE FINANCIAL NEED
College Scholarship Essay Examples
Scholarships are mostly required for college education as they are more expensive than high school. Many college students work part-time jobs to cope with their financial needs and support their families. This results in bad academic performance and poor grades, as they do not have enough time to study. Scholarship opportunities are a kind of blessing in disguise for such students.
The pro tip for college students is to write a college essay and reuse it in a scholarship essay for a similar essay prompt. It will not just save you time but help you produce a better essay worthy of a scholarship grant. It will also help you show your strengths and abilities and become a scholarship winner.
The example given below will help you write a compelling scholarship essay for college. These examples will guide you throughout the writing process and help you write a flawless essay.
SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY EXAMPLE FOR COLLEGE
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!
Scholarship Essay Examples For Masters
According to a research study, many competent students in the United States never apply for a master’s degree due to financial problems. Even after giving remarkable performances during college education, they can’t pursue their master’s degree. The scholarship is an opportunity for such needy students who have extraordinary academic records and want to get higher education.
However, as the education level is getting higher, the expectations of the scholarship committee are getting high. When you write a scholarship essay for the master’s level, you need to keep many things in mind. Scholarship prompt, formatting guidelines, word count, sentence structure, and most importantly, an outstanding story. These few things should be kept in mind and taken care of while writing your essay.
Read on the given master’s scholarship essay example and learn how you can show your reader that you are a more deserving candidate than others.
Good Scholarship Essay Examples
Students need to read some good scholarship essay examples to learn what committee members are looking for. These examples demonstrate how you can elaborate on your academic career, future goals, career goals, and previous experience.
You can also discuss your contribution to community services and how it impacted your life. The sample scholarship essay also helps you learn how you can cover all the areas of an explicitly asked essay prompt.
The most common scholarship prompts ask you to write about yourself or the field of study you want to apply to. These prompts help the scholarship committee learn about you as a person and your goals for the degree. We have carefully chosen the essay examples given below to guide you on how you can efficiently display yourself.
The below samples are chosen from the real world to make sure you can connect with them and understand them easily.
SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY EXAMPLE ABOUT YOURSELF
Short Scholarship Essay Examples
Sometimes the scholarship application specifically mentions the word count which is essential for students to comply. It is essential to complete the essay within the mentioned word count.
You can write under or over fewer words than the given limit but cannot exceed too much. However, some online application software does not allow you to write a single character over the specified limit.
Refer to the following helpful examples written according to the specified word count, i.e., 250 and 500 words scholarship essay.
250 WORDS SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY EXAMPLE
500 WORDS SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY EXAMPLE
Nursing Scholarship Essay Examples
Nowadays, scholarships are focused on the study disciplines and academic fields. For example, a scholarship for social media influencers looks for candidates who are renowned influencers. Similarly, a nursing scholarship is designed to find candidates who wanted to become nurses.
If you want to get into a nursing institute, you can benefit from this opportunity and get financial aid. Check out the template and sample nursing scholarship essay given below and learn how to write a flawless essay.
NURSING SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY TEMPLATE
NURSING SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY SAMPLE
Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay - Example
Why I deserve this scholarship essay is the most common scholarship essay prompt. Hundreds of students apply for the scholarship every year, and it becomes difficult for the scholarship committee to decide which candidate is the most deserving.
Therefore, it is your only chance to convince your reader that you are the most deserving candidate by smartly addressing this prompt. Check out the example given below to learn how you can tackle such kinds of scholarship essay prompts.
Scholarship Essay Example about Career Goals
Defining your career goals in a scholarship essay plays a crucial role. Scholarship committee members are looking for candidates who want to bring a huge and good change to society. Therefore, they are expecting something incredible from you and your career plans.
Here is a scholarship essay example about career goals that will help you write about your career goals in your essay.
Scholarship Essay Example About Career Goals
Scholarship Essay Example about Leadership
The world looks for future leaders in today’s students, so are the college admission officers. A scholarship essay about leadership prompt is intended to see what kind of leadership qualities you possess.
Check out the example given below to learn how you can showcase your leadership qualities in your scholarship essay.
Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!
Common Scholarship Prompt Essay Examples
Mostly, the essay prompts are given because the scholarship committee specifically needs answers to those questions. They wanted to get to know you better, so they provide you with the explicit prompts you need to address. The most common scholarship essay prompts are as follows:
- Why do you deserve this scholarship?
- Why should you receive this scholarship?
- What makes you more deserving than other candidates?
- Have you ever gotten into any trouble? How did you tackle that situation?
- Discuss your career goals and why did you choose that specific career?
These are the most common scholarship essay prompts students are specifically asked to write their essays on. Below you can find the sample essays for these prompts. Read the essays and learn how you can efficiently address these prompts.
Now you have many winning scholarship essay examples; you can start writing your essay. Reading the example essay is a great idea to learn how to write a good essay while following the guidelines. The examples also help you make your essay stand out and shine among other applications. However, it is understandable if you still find it challenging to write a flawless essay.
If you are one of those students who cannot write an impressive essay, get help from 5StarEssays.com essay writers. We are a professional and legitimate ‘ write essay for me? ’ service that provides brilliant essays at affordable prices. Our writers can write a winning essay that will improve your chance of landing the scholarship grant.
If you have already written your essay but are not sure if it is worth submitting or not, then you can also contact us. Our writers will improve the quality of your essay and give the finishing touches to make sure it is free of mistakes. Making your essay free from grammatical and punctuation errors is important to make an impression on the reader’s mind.
Therefore, if you lack good and essential creative writing skills for writing an impressive scholarship essay, contact us. Do not waste your time and energy writing a poor essay that has the least chance to grant you financial aid. Just place your order with us and get a brilliant essay quickly.
We are available 24/7 to help students of all academic backgrounds and degree levels. You can contact us whenever you need to without having a second thought.
Dorothy M. is an experienced freelance writer with over five years of experience in the field. She has a wide client base, and her customers keep returning to her because of her great personalized writing. Dorothy takes care to understand her clients' needs and writes content that engages them and impresses their instructors or readers.
Was This Blog Helpful?
- How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
- Scholarship Essay Format
People Also Read
- citation styles
- thesis statement examples for research papers
- informative essay outline
- essay writing service
- analytical essay example
Burdened With Assignments?
© 2023 - All rights reserved
2000+ SATISFIED STUDENTS
95% Satisfaction RATE
30 Days Money-back GUARANTEE
95% Success RATE
© 2023 5StarEssays.com. All rights reserved.
LOGIN TO YOUR ACCOUNT
SIGN UP TO YOUR ACCOUNT
- Your phone no.
- Password Password must be minimum 8 characters.
- Confirm Password
- SEND PASSWORD
- Search All Scholarships
- Easy Scholarships to Apply For
- No Essay Scholarships
- Scholarships for HS Juniors
- Scholarships for HS Seniors
- Scholarships for College Students
- Scholarships for Grad Students
- Scholarships for Women
- Scholarships for Black Students
- Student Loans
- College Admissions
- Financial Aid
- Scholarship Winners
The Scholarships360 Research Team reviews all scholarships individually and strives to exclude any scholarship where any of the below applies:
- The scholarship requires a fee to apply
- The scholarship requires paid membership in an organization (with certain exceptions for reputable trade organizations and others)
- Student are required to sign up for a site or service to apply*
- The scholarship seems primarily used for lead generation** or idea harvesting purposes***
- The scholarship website has many grammatical errors and/or advertisements
- The scholarship or scholarship providing organization seem untrustworthy
- There is no evidence the scholarship was previously awarded
- The scholarship has not been awarded in the past 12 months
- There is no available contact information
If you believe a scholarship has been published in error, please reach out to [email protected] and we’ll take a look!
* There are certain exceptions to this, for example if the sponsoring organization is a major corporation or nonprofit with its own scholarship application system. ** Lead generation scholarships will require students to sign up for an app or website and require minimal (if any) application requirements. ***Idea harvesting scholarships will require students to submit blog posts or other materials that companies may use for marketing purposes.
Student-centric advice and objective recommendations
Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.
Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here .
Top 60 Writing & Essay Scholarships in November 2023
Will Geiger is the co-founder of Scholarships360 and has a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. He is a former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed 10,000 admissions applications and essays. Will also managed the Kenyon College merit scholarship program and served on the financial aid appeals committee. He has also worked as an Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut. Will earned his master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree in history from Wake Forest University.
Learn about our editorial policies
Writing is an extremely important part of success in high school, college, and life in general. For some students, writing is also an intricate part of who they are and how they express themselves. If you are someone who loves English class and is genuinely excited about a new creative writing assignment, then you should keep reading! Writing scholarships, creative writing scholarships, and essay scholarships are great ways to put your talent to use.
Whether you are planning on attending community college, a four-year program, or graduate school, we’ve got opportunities for you. Keep on reading to learn about the top scholarships for writers and creative writers including eligibility, award amounts, and deadlines!
Join for exclusive scholarships, personalized matching, and application tracking. 0% Spam, 100% Free.
Scholarships360 is recommended by
RECENT SCHOLARSHIPS360 WINNERS
Winner of the Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship
Winner of the "Commencing at Community College" Scholarship
Winner of the “Tuition Solution” STEM Scholarship
Winner of the “Follow Your Own Path” Scholarship
Winner of the “Commencing at Community College Scholarship”
Winner of the “Outstanding Undergraduate” Scholarship
“Mom to Scholar” Scholarship for Mothers
Offered by Maria Geiger
The “Mom to Scholar'' Scholarship for Mothers is open to mothers who want to begin or resume their journey towards earning a technical or college…
The “Mom to Scholar'' Scholarship for Mothers is open to mothers who want to begin or resume their journey towards earning a technical or college degree. This scholarship is funded by Scholarships360’s own Maria Geiger, who started her journey toward a B.A. at the same time that her oldest son Will started college. Maria knows firsthand how challenging it is to raise a family, have a job outside the home, and attend college, but would not change the way she did things for the world. Mothers who have a desire to earn their college degree bring unique perspectives that greatly enhance their learning experiences; for some, motherhood is a vocation that enlightens like no other. If you are a mother over the age of 35 who feels that the time is right to begin your academic or career journey, please apply!
Grade Level: College Students
Citizenship: US Citizens, Permanent Residents, DACA
Other Category: Adult, Women
Check your eligibility through the Scholarships360 app.
“Gutsy Graduate Student” Essay Scholarship
Offered by Scholarships360
Ok, so first question–why is this scholarship named the “Gutsy” Graduate Student Essay Scholarship? If you are enrolled in graduate school (during the 2023-24 academic…
Ok, so first question–why is this scholarship named the “Gutsy” Graduate Student Essay Scholarship? If you are enrolled in graduate school (during the 2023-24 academic year) or have heard stories from those enrolled, you already know! “Gutsy” means courageous and determined, which nearly all successful graduate students are. Why else would one continue on with rigorous academics while often living on a shoestring? The rewards of graduate school are numerous, especially the more focused and advanced level of specialized study in your chosen field. Learning with like-minded people who share your passion is fulfilling, and the networking is awesome. The flipside of graduate school is the costly student loans to fund it. With this in mind, the "Gutsy" Graduate Student Essay Scholarship aims to help out a passionate graduate student who is actively looking for ways to fund their higher education journey. Thus, this scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Good luck on your educational journey, and we hope to read your application!
Grade Level: Graduate Students
Citizenship: US Citizens, Permanent Residents
“College Here I Come” Essay Scholarship for High School Seniors
The "College Here I Come" Scholarship for High School Seniors is open to just who you think: high school seniors (graduating class of 2024)! Here…
The "College Here I Come" Scholarship for High School Seniors is open to just who you think: high school seniors (graduating class of 2024)! Here at Scholarships360, scholarships are our passion–we know that you can never have enough of them! After all, scholarships are essentially “free money” to help fund your education. We want to help out a lucky high school senior who is just starting out on their higher education journey and actively looking for ways to fund it. Thus, this scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. We hope that you apply and look forward to reading your application!
Grade Level: High School Senior
“Making Waves” Scholarship for Women
Are you a woman in high school, college, or graduate school enrolled during the 2023-24 academic year? If so, let us help you! Our $500…
Are you a woman in high school, college, or graduate school enrolled during the 2023-24 academic year? If so, let us help you! Our $500 “Making Waves” Scholarship for Women aims to help women cover the costs of pursuing their dreams. Whether that dream is starting a business, learning a foreign language, or attending college on the path to fulfilling your dream, the scholarship will cover those costs and make your journey a little easier. No matter your goals, we want to help out a woman who is passionate about their higher education journey and actively looking for ways to fund it. Thus, this scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. In order to apply, simply write an essay about how the $500 “Making Waves” Scholarship for Women will help you fulfill your dreams. We encourage you to apply and look forward to reading your essays. Good luck!
Grade Level: All Grade Levels
Other Category: Women
“Tuition Solution” Scholarship for STEM Students
Do you like figuring out solutions to difficult problems? Well, if you’re a current or aspiring STEM major, we have one for you! Our $500…
Do you like figuring out solutions to difficult problems? Well, if you’re a current or aspiring STEM major, we have one for you! Our $500 “Tuition Solution” Scholarship is meant for high school seniors (graduating class of 2024), as well as undergraduate and graduate students enrolled during the 2023-24 academic year who are looking for ways to fund their postsecondary education in STEM. This scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. In order to apply, you must write an essay about how your passion for STEM started and how the scholarship will help you fulfill your dreams. No matter which STEM field ignites your interest, we look forward to reading your essays. Apply today - it’s time to cell-e-brate you!
Grade Level: High School Seniors, College & Graduate Students
Academic Interest: Food Science/Nutrition, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Paper and Pulp Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Science/Engineering, Marine/Ocean Engineering, Construction Engineering/Management, Biology, Math, Statistics, Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences, Meteorology/Atmospheric Science, Earth Science, Hydrology, Oceanography, Materials Science, Aviation/Aerospace, Industrial Design
“A Helping Hand” Scholarship
At Scholarships360, we know how hard it can be to pay off the hefty costs of a college tuition. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult…
At Scholarships360, we know how hard it can be to pay off the hefty costs of a college tuition. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult for students coming from low-income backgrounds or for those who demonstrate financial need. This is where our “A Helping Hand” Scholarship comes in! We're offering a $500 scholarship to help out a low-income student who is passionate about their higher education journey and is actively looking for ways to fund it. This award is open to high school seniors (graduating class of 2024), as well as undergraduate and graduate students enrolled during the 2023-24 academic year. The "A Helping Hand" Scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. In order to apply, students should submit an essay detailing how winning the scholarship would help you fulfill your dreams. We look forward to reading your application!
Minimum GPA: No GPA requirement
Other Category: Low Income
“Follow Your Own Path” Essay Scholarship
At Scholarships360, our mission is to help students find and fund their postsecondary education. We know that students have a variety of educational and career…
At Scholarships360, our mission is to help students find and fund their postsecondary education. We know that students have a variety of educational and career interests and aspirations. That is why we are offering the “Follow Your Own Path” Essay Scholarship. This scholarship aims to support all current postsecondary students, regardless of the type of education they are pursuing. Thus, no matter your own unique educational path, we hope you apply for this $500 scholarship. In order to apply for the “Follow Your Own Path” Essay Scholarship, students must submit an essay about their career ambitions. As it is our goal to help out all types of postsecondary students who are actively looking for ways to fund their higher education journey, this $500 scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform.
Grade Level: College & Graduate Students
“Commencing at Community College” Essay Scholarship
Community college, also known as two-year college, is a golden opportunity for the right student. These schools offer an affordable education to a diverse range…
Community college, also known as two-year college, is a golden opportunity for the right student. These schools offer an affordable education to a diverse range of students in a wide range of majors. If starting your postsecondary education at a community college is right for you, we have a scholarship just for you! The “Commencing at Community College” Essay Scholarship aims to financially support community college students who are passionate about their higher education journeys and actively looking for ways to fund it. Thus, this scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. In order to apply for the “Commencing at Community College” Essay Scholarship, students must submit an essay explaining how earning their degree at community college will help them achieve their educational and career goals.
Grade Level: High School Seniors & College Underclassmen
“Outstanding Undergraduate” Essay Scholarship
The U.S. is home to over 2,000 four-year universities offering bachelor’s degrees. However, attending such universities can sometimes come with hefty costs that can deter…
The U.S. is home to over 2,000 four-year universities offering bachelor’s degrees. However, attending such universities can sometimes come with hefty costs that can deter students from attending. If you’re in a situation similar to this, we may just have the perfect scholarship opportunity for you: the “Outstanding Undergraduate” Essay Scholarship! With this scholarship, we aim to help out a lucky undergraduate student (enrolled during the 2023-24 academic year) who is passionate about their higher education journey and actively looking for ways to fund it. This scholarship will be awarded to students based on both the quality of their essays and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. The scholarship is open to any U.S. citizen who is enrolled as an undergraduate at a four-year university in the U.S. during the 2023-24 academic year. In order to apply, submit an essay explaining how earning your bachelor’s degree will help you achieve your educational and career goals. We look forward to reading your application!
The Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize In Ethics
Offered by The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
Are you a college upperclassman interested in ethics, either as they pertain to your own life or on a bigger scale? If so, we may…
Are you a college upperclassman interested in ethics, either as they pertain to your own life or on a bigger scale? If so, we may have a great opportunity for you: the Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics essay contest! The contest is open to college juniors and seniors attending a university in the U.S. who write an essay analyzing ethical issues in today’s complex world. The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity offers this scholarship. The foundation honors Romanian-born American author of Night and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel by funding programs that reflect his values. Thus, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity is proud to host this annual essay contest to support young writers and encourage critical thinking on ethics. Contest winners can earn up to $10,000 to help pay for their educational endeavors. If you are passionate about ethics and want to put your thoughts into words, we encourage you to apply!
Grade Level: College Upperclassmen
Citizenship: US Citizens, Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, DACA
Academic Interest: Journalism, Literature/English/Writing, Religion, Psychology, Social Science, Political Science, History
JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest
Offered by John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Are you a U.S. high school student with a love for U.S. history? If so, we may have the perfect opportunity for you: the JFK…
Are you a U.S. high school student with a love for U.S. history? If so, we may have the perfect opportunity for you: the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest! Each year, the contest awards up to $10,000 to winning applicants who submit 700 - 1,000 word essays following the year’s prompt. Each year's prompt relates to U.S. history, with this year’s being: “Describe an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917, the year John F. Kennedy was born.” The scholarship is offered by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. If you love U.S. history and want to put your writing skills and history knowledge to the test, we encourage you to apply!
Grade Level: High School Students
Academic Interest: Political Science
U.S. Creative Writing Awards Scholarship
Offered by Penguin Random House
Are you a college-bound high school senior with a love for the written or spoken word? If so, consider applying for the U.S. Creative Writing…
Are you a college-bound high school senior with a love for the written or spoken word? If so, consider applying for the U.S. Creative Writing Awards Scholarship! The scholarship is open to college-bound high school seniors who create and submit an original piece of written fiction, drama, poetry, a memoir/personal essay, or a spoken word piece. Penguin Random House, a multinational polishing company, funds the program. They focus on encouraging the next generation of authors and promoting diverse stories. Thus, since 1993, this program has empowered and celebrated young writers each year with more than $2.8 million awarded in scholarships. Each year, five recipients (one winner per category) earn up to $10,000 to go towards their college expenses. If you are passionate about writing and are looking to pay for tuition, we encourage you to apply!
Citizenship: US Citizens, Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, DACA, Other
Ocean Awareness Art Contest
Offered by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs
Are you an 11 - 18 year old who has a passion for saving the environment and/or the ocean? Additionally, would you like to make…
Are you an 11 - 18 year old who has a passion for saving the environment and/or the ocean? Additionally, would you like to make a statement about the impact of climate change through writing, artwork, or even dance? You might consider applying for the Ocean Awareness Art Contest! Dedicated to encouraging the next generation to get involved in ocean conservation (and environmentalism as a whole), the contest asks its applicants to create a piece of artwork that reflects an impact/aspect of the current environmental crisis and its effect on the ocean. Each year has a specific theme to focus on, with this year being climate change. If you would like to make a statement about climate change’s impact on the ocean through art, we encourage you to apply!
Academic Interest: Environmental Science, Literature/English/Writing, Visual & Performing Arts, Film/Video Production, Photography/Photojournalism
Offered by Apex Hosting
Are you a high school or college student with a love for Minecraft? If so, we may just have the perfect opportunity for you: the…
Are you a high school or college student with a love for Minecraft? If so, we may just have the perfect opportunity for you: the Minecraft Scholarship! Each year, the scholarship offers $2,000 to one applicant who best writes about how Minecraft can positively influence one’s education and career development. The scholarship is offered by Apex Hosting, a Minecraft server provider dedicated to supporting both new and experienced server administrators. If you’re a high schooler or college student with a love for Minecraft, it’s time to put your passion to good use and apply to the Minecraft Scholarship!
Grade Level: High School & College Students
Citizenship: US Citizens
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Academic Interest: Computer Science
$10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship
The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high…
The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high school student who hopes to go to college, a graduate student who’s in a master’s program, or an adult learner who wants to return to school, you are eligible for our no essay scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to students who get the most out of Scholarships360 scholarships and content. You will be a strong applicant if you apply to scholarships with the Scholarships360 platform. Finalists for this scholarship will be interviewed about their process for funding their education.
Niche $50,000 No Essay Scholarship
Offered by Niche
Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year.…
Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year. Niche is giving one student $50,000 to help pay for tuition, housing, books and other college expenses — no essay required!
$2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship
Offered by Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for…
Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for school.
Grade Level: HS Upperclassmen, College & Graduate Students
$25k “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship
Offered by Bold.org
Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.
Offered by ServiceScape
Are you enrolled or about to enroll in a college, university, or trade school? Are you looking for a little extra help in funding your…
Are you enrolled or about to enroll in a college, university, or trade school? Are you looking for a little extra help in funding your education to cover expenses that other scholarships and financial aid don't cover? If your answer is "yes," ServiceScape has a solution that could help out with books, supplies, or anything else you need to cover your educational expenses. Each year, Servicescape offers a $1,000 scholarship to an applicant who writes the most thoughtful essay on how writing impacts today’s world. If you want to put your writing skills to the test in exchange for some financial help for college, we encourage you to apply!
Grade Level: High School Seniors & College Students
Academic Interest: Literature/English/Writing
EngineerGirl Writing Contest
Offered by EngineerGirl
Are you an elementary, middle, or high school student with a passion for engineering and sustainability? The EngineerGirl Writing Contest may then be a good…
Are you an elementary, middle, or high school student with a passion for engineering and sustainability? The EngineerGirl Writing Contest may then be a good scholarship opportunity for you! Dedicated to fostering young women’s interest in engineering, the Engineergirl Writing Contest asks students to submit thoughtful essays relating to engineering in our everyday life/world. In return for their efforts, one elementary schooler, one middle schooler, and one high schooler receive $500 scholarships. The scholarship is funded directly by EngineerGirl, a website designed to bring national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women. Awards are paid directly to recipients and can be used for educational expenses as they see fit. All you have to do to apply is submit a 650-word essay. If you fit the eligibility criteria and this sounds like a good opportunity for you, we encourage you to apply to the EngineerGirl Writing Contest!
Academic Interest: Electrical Engineering
Creative writing scholarships
Are you a writer who loves fiction, poetry, and screenplays? If so, you can put those talents to use by applying for creative writing scholarships.
Creative writing scholarships are a subset of writing scholarships that support students who enjoy writing poetry, fictional stories, plays, and generally using their imagination to guide their writing.
Here are the top creative writing college scholarships that you can apply for:
- Eligibility: High school and college students who submit a educational short story or informational article (400-800 words) for young students
- Amount : $1,000
- Deadline: June 1st of every year
Cancer Unwrapped Teen Writing Contest
- Eligibility: Teens aged 9-12 who write about their own cancer journey or a family member in a maximum of 1,500 words.
- Deadline: Late March
YouthPLAYS New Voices One-Act Competition for Young Playwrights
- Eligibility: Students 19 years old or younger who submit an original one-act play between 10-40 minutes in length (10-page minimum). Multiple winners may receive up to $250 and publication by YouthPLAYS.
- Amount: $250 and publication by YouthPLAYS
- Deadline: Early May
National High School Poetry Contest
- Eligibility: U.S. high school students who submit a poem 20 lines or less that is unpublished, the sole work of the entrant, and not entered in any other concurrent contest.
- Amount: Up to $500.
- Deadline: Rolling
The Narrative Prize
- Eligibility: Students who submit a short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction.
- Amount: $4,000
- Deadline: Mid-June
College-specific creative writing scholarships
Some colleges and universities may also offer specific scholarships and financial aid to students with a talent in creative writing! Check with the colleges on your list for these college-specific creative writing opportunities!
Note that some of these scholarships may have requirements for winning students that stipulate that they take a certain number of creative writing classes when enrolled in the college.
Kenyon Writing Award
High school seniors can apply for this scholarship program at Kenyon College which offers up to $15,000 per year of merit based aid. It is based off of your portfolio and does not take into account financial need, high school GPA, or other factors. Submissions typically have to be in by January of your senior year.
Barbara Caras Memorial Scholarship for Film Students
The scholarship is open to students in Sarasota or Manatee County, Florida who have completed at least one full year at an accredited Florida College and are majoring in Film, Computer Animation, Creative Writing, Motion Design, or Illustration. Five recipients will earn a $2,000 award. The application deadline is July 31st of the current year.
Lycoming College Creative Writing Scholarship
The scholarship is open to students majoring in Creative Writing at Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA and must submit five poems and/or a short story not to exceed ten pages. Six recipients will be selected and can earn up to $3,000. The scholarship deadline for the Fall 2023 Class is March 1, 2023.
Arkansas Tech University Gwaltney Scholarship
The scholarship is open to ATU students who submit individual works of fiction to the Department of English. Recipients earn a one-time cash award every year. The deadline to submit your entry is 2 weeks before the end of the spring semester.
Lake Forest College Carnegie English Essay Contest
The contest is open to first-year students of Lake Forest College who plan to study English either through the literature or creative writing track and submit an essay, between 500 and 1,000 words answering a designated prompt. Four winners will be awarded $2,500 annually. Submission deadline is March 1, 2023.
Austin Peay State University Creative Writing Scholarships
The scholarships are open to undergraduate and incoming APSU students who email a 10-20 page manuscript of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction, to Lakota Withrow at [email protected] . Awards are for $600 or $1,200. The deadline to apply is March 18th.
Scholarship essay resources
When it comes to writing and essay scholarships, your writing skills will be put to the test. You’ll have to adapt your writing to specific styles in order to effectively and succinctly communicate your ambitions and potential. We have a host of resources to help you perform well in this arena and stand out from the crowd.
- How to start your scholarship essay (with examples)
- How to write a “why do you deserve this scholarship?” essay
- What’s the best scholarship essay format?
- How to write a 250 word essay
- How to write a 500 word essay
- How to write an essay about yourself
Frequently asked questions about writing scholarships
Do i have to major in english to earn a writing or essay scholarship, explore these other scholarship categories:.
- Scholarships for English majors
- Easy scholarships
- Top scholarships for high school seniors
- Scholarships for college students
- Top scholarships for women
See how many scholarships you’re eligible for!
Take our brief 5 question quiz to find out!
No sign-up required.
- Undergraduate Students
- Doctoral Students
- Master’s Students
- Engineering Master’s Students
- Faculty & Staff
- Parents & Families
- Asian / Pacific Islander
- Black/African American
- First Generation/Low Income
- Native American/Indigenous
- Student Athletes
- Students with Disabilities
- What is a Career Community?
- Business, Finance & Consulting
- Data, Technology & Engineering
- Discovery & Exploration
- Education, Government, Nonprofit & Policy
- Energy, Environment & Sustainability
- Entertainment, Media & Arts
- Healthcare & Biomedical Sciences
- Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Design
- Know Yourself
- Explore Options
- Focus & Prepare
- Take Action
- Evaluate & Refine
- Featured Opportunities
- Career Readiness Resources
- Personalize Your Hub
- For Employers
‘Dear Pathfinder’ Ask Column
- Share This: Share ‘Dear Pathfinder’ Ask Column on Facebook Share ‘Dear Pathfinder’ Ask Column on LinkedIn Share ‘Dear Pathfinder’ Ask Column on Twitter
Unlock Professional Success with ‘Dear Pathfinder’
Are you on the road to professional achievement but encountering challenges along the way? ‘Dear Pathfinder’ is here to provide the answers you seek. Our advice column is ready to address your questions, whether they pertain to job searches, career growth, or any aspect of your professional journey. We’re actively seeking your questions to share with our panel of diverse experts.
To submit your inquiry, please use the form below. Offering some context about your situation can greatly assist our advisors in delivering tailored advice. Rest assured, we prioritize your privacy and will remove any personally identifiable information.
At ‘Dear Pathfinder,’ we’re committed to guiding you toward success. Your questions are at the heart of what we do. Reach out, and let us help you navigate your path to professional excellence.
Submit your Question
If you missed our previous letters click a link to read each response. We’ll update the resource as new letters are published.
- Dear Pathfinder: Feeling Unsure of Future Prospects
- News & Media
- Applications Open for Centenar…
Applications Open for Centenary University Writing and Innovation Scholarship
November 17, 2023.
Award will be presented to an incoming student who enrolls in the University’s Bachelor of Arts in Writing program next fall .
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, November 17, 2023 — Applications are open for the Writing and Innovation Scholarship at Centenary University. The $500 scholarship will be awarded to an incoming student who plans to enroll in the University’s Bachelor of Arts in Writing program for the fall 2024 semester. The winner of the competitive award will be selected by a scholarship committee at the University.
For consideration, scholarship applicants must be accepted by Centenary University for fall 2024 and submit a 650-word writing sample addressing this prompt: How do you think technology like artificial intelligence (AI) or virtual reality (VR) will change how writers write in the future? Submissions will be evaluated based on theme, artistic vision, personal voice, and technical skill. The scholarship is open to both incoming first-year students and transfer students.
“Now in its second year, this scholarship will recognize a talented student who aspires to a career in writing,” explained Lisa Mastrangelo, Ph.D., associate professor of English and director of composition at the University. “Through the Bachelor of Arts in Writing, Centenary prepares students to succeed across the broad spectrum of careers in the field, from journalism to creative to professional writing.”
The Bachelor of Arts in Writing at Centenary University provides a broad-based educational approach that exposes students to many genres of writing. It is designed to meet growing demand in the profit and nonprofit sectors for employees who can think analytically and communicate clearly across a variety of platforms. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects above average job growth over the next decade in fields including public relations, technical writing, and content creation for advertising and marketing firms.
Entries for the Centenary University writing scholarship must be received by 5 pm on Jan. 30. Click here for complete scholarship requirements and to submit an entry.
ABOUT CENTENARY UNIVERSITY
Centenary University offers extraordinary learning opportunities that empower students to develop intellectually, emotionally, and interculturally—keys to career and personal success. Under the leadership of President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., the University aspires to advance its reputation as a world class institution offering innovative programs, including the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies, to lift the future for our students and local communities.
Kristen Volkland Erbach Communications Group (201) 960-3102
Centenary university selects hailey tibus as 2023 hackettstown scholar, centenary hopes to maintain title as nation’s school with largest percentage of students registered to vote.
- Latest Headlines
- English Edition Edition English 中文 (Chinese) 日本語 (Japanese)
- Print Edition
- More More Other Products from WSJ Buy Side from WSJ WSJ Shop WSJ Wine
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com.
The West Should Welcome Gaza Refugees
Europe and the u.s. accepted millions who fled earlier wars..
Nov. 13, 2023 1:58 pm ET
Hamas’s unprovoked terrorist attack on Oct. 7 has endangered not only Israel but the more than two million people who live in the Gaza Strip. Although Hamas won 2006 elections in Gaza and took control of the area from the Palestinian Authority the following year, the group has said that it bears no responsibility for the people living there.
On Oct. 15, Hamas operatives stole food and medical supplies from humanitarian trucks. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency reported the theft in a tweet, which it later deleted. But U.N. sources confirmed the theft to Israel’s Walla News, and Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians confirmed that fuel and medical supplies went to Hamas.
Copyright © 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
What to Read Next
- AT&T : AT&T waived activation and upgrade fees for AARP members
- Walmart : $25 Off Walmart Promo Code | Valid on Any $50 Order
- Best Buy : Best Buy coupon: Enjoy $300 off select laptops
- eBay : eBay coupon: Get extra 10% off $50+
- Groupon : Black Friday Sneak Peek: Up to 75% off + extra savings at checkout
- Samsung : Samsung promo code for up to 40% Off + free shipping
Most Popular news
Most popular opinion, most popular opinion, recommended videos.
Copyright © 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved