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- How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example
How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example
Published on October 11, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on May 31, 2023.
A good scholarship essay demonstrates the scholarship organization’s values while directly addressing the prompt. If you plan ahead , you can save time by writing one essay for multiple prompts with similar questions.
Table of contents
Apply for a wide variety of scholarships, make a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, tailor your essay to the organization and the prompt, write a focused and relevant personal story, scholarship essay example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.
Scholarships are a type of student financial aid that don’t require repayment. They are awarded based on various factors, including academic merit, financial need, intended major, personal background, or activities and interests.
Like college applications, scholarship applications often require students to submit their grades, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay.
A scholarship essay shares your values and qualities in the context of a specific question, such as “How does technology affect your daily life?” or “Who has had the greatest impact on your life?”
Be wary of scholarship scams
While some applications may not require an essay, be wary of scholarship scams that do the following:
- Guarantee you scholarship money for a fee
- Claim scholarship information is exclusive to their company
- Ask for your bank or credit card information to hold the scholarship
Some legitimate companies do charge for releasing comprehensive scholarship lists or creating a tailored list of scholarship opportunities based on your profile.
However, you can always discover scholarship opportunities for free through your school counselor, community network, or an online search.
Many students focus on well-known, large scholarship opportunities, which are usually very competitive. To maximize your chance of success, invest time in applying for a wide variety of scholarships: national and local, as well as big and small award amounts. There are also scholarships for international students .
In addition to charitable foundation and corporate scholarships, you should consider applying for institutional scholarships at your prospective universities, which can award money based on your application’s strength, your financial situation, and your demonstrated interest in the school.
Check with your guidance counselor, local organizations, community network, or prospective schools’ financial aid offices for scholarship opportunities. It’s a good idea to start applying as early as your junior year and continue throughout your senior year.
Choose the right scholarships for you
Choose scholarships with missions and essay topics that match your background, experiences, and interests. If the scholarship topic is meaningful to you, it will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay.
Don’t shy away from applying for local scholarships with small dollar amounts. Even a few hundred dollars can help you pay for books.
Local scholarships may be more tailored to your community, background, and activities, so they’re likely more relevant to you. Fewer students apply for these scholarships, so you have less competition and a higher chance of success.
Some places to look for local scholarships include
- Civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc.
- Your church, mosque, synagogue, or place of worship
- Community groups, such as the YMCA
- Ethnicity-based organizations
- Your local library or local small businesses
- Organizations related to your intended major
- Your city or town
- Your school district
- Unions, such as SEIU, the Teamsters, CWA, etc.
- Your employer or your parents’ employers
- Banks, credit unions, and local financial institutions
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
While researching scholarship opportunities, create a scholarship tracker spreadsheet to keep track of the following:
- Scholarship amounts
- Required application materials
You can use our free Google Sheets template to track your scholarship applications.
Scholarship application tracker template
You can also include scholarship essay prompts in your college essay tracker sheet . By grouping or color-code overlapping essay prompts, you can plan to write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can also reuse or adapt your main college essay .
Even if you’re adapting another essay, it’s important to make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, stays within the word count limit , and demonstrates the organization’s values. The scholarship committee will be able to tell if you reuse an essay that doesn’t quite respond to the prompt, so be sure to tailor it to the questions asked.
Research each organization
Before writing, research the scholarship organization’s mission and reason for awarding the scholarship. Learning more about the organization can help you select an appropriate topic and relevant story.
While you should tailor your essay to the organization’s values, maintain your authentic voice. Never use false or exaggerated stories. If the organization’s values don’t align with yours or you can’t brainstorm a relevant story for the scholarship, continue searching for other scholarship opportunities to find a more appropriate one for you.
After researching the organization, identify a specific personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies why you will be a successful student.
Choose a story with the following criteria:
- Responds to the prompt
- Demonstrates the organization’s values
- Includes an authentic story
- Focuses on you and your experience, not someone else’s
A good scholarship essay is not
- A resume of your achievements
- A lengthy opinion piece about the essay topic
- An essay featuring a negative tone that puts down others
If appropriate, you can briefly address how the scholarship money will help you achieve your educational goals. You should also end with a brief thank-you.
Take a look at the full essay example below. Hover over the underlined parts to read explanations of why they work.
Prompt: Describe how working for Chelsea’s Chicken restaurant has developed leadership skills that will help you succeed in college. Give specific examples of leadership characteristics that you have exhibited during your employment with us.
As a nervous 16-year-old, I walked into Chelsea’s Chicken for my first day of work determined to make enough money to put gas in my car and buy pizza on the weekends. My only previous job was mowing my neighbors’ lawns when they were on vacation, so I had no idea what to expect. I was a bit intimidated by my new responsibilities, especially handling money and helping disgruntled customers.
However, it didn’t take me long to learn my way around the cash register and successfully address customer complaints. One day, Roger, the store manager, asked me if I wanted to join Chelsea’s Chicken Leadership Training Initiative. He said he saw leadership potential in me because of my attitude with the customers and my enthusiasm for learning new job responsibilities. It surprised me because I had never thought of myself as a leader, but I quickly agreed, and Roger handed me a three-ring binder that was thicker than my math and science textbooks put together! He told me to take it home and read over it during the following week.
In that binder, I discovered that being a leader means taking the initiative, especially when the job is undesirable. One week later, I got to practice that idea when a little kid threw up in the bathroom and missed the toilet. It smelled terrible, but I stepped forward and told Roger that I would clean it up. My coworkers thought I was crazy, but I started to believe in my leadership potential.
That night as we closed the store, Roger pulled me aside in the parking lot and told me that he could tell that I had been studying the manual. He wanted to give me more responsibility, along with a dollar-per-hour pay raise. I was surprised because I had been working there for only a couple of months, but his encouragement helped me make a connection: good leadership helps other people, and it often is rewarded. I was determined to experience more of both.
Within a month, I was ready to take the Team Leader exam, which mattered because I would receive a promotion and a much bigger raise if I passed. But, when I got to work, two of the scheduled team members had called in sick. We were noticeably short-handed, and our customers weren’t happy about it.
I walked back to the lockers, put on my vest and hat, and took my place behind an open register. Customers immediately moved into my line to place their orders. Roger looked at me with surprise and asked, “Did you forget that you’re testing tonight?” I responded, “No, sir—but what’s the use of taking a leadership test if you aren’t going to lead in real life?” Roger smiled at me and nodded.
He stayed late that night after we closed so that I could leave early and still take the test. I noticed that Roger was always staying late, helping employees learn new skills. His example taught me that leaders take the initiative to develop other leaders. He gave me a clear picture of what shared leadership looks like, making room for others to grow and excel. When I asked him where he learned to do that, he said, “From the same leadership manual I gave you!”
Chelsea’s Chicken has offered me so much more than a paycheck. Because of Roger’s example, I have learned to take the initiative to care for my family and friends, such as being the first to do the dishes without my mom asking or volunteering to pick up my friend for our SAT prep course. Now, as I prepare to enter college, I have confidence in my leadership ability. I know I’m signing up for a challenging major—Biology, Pre-Med—yet I also know that Chelsea’s Chicken has helped me to develop the perseverance required to complete my studies successfully.
If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Writing process
- Transition words
- Passive voice
- How to end an email
- Ms, mrs, miss
- How to start an email
- I hope this email finds you well
- Hope you are doing well
Parts of speech
- Personal pronouns
A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.
After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.
Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.
You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.
You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.
Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.
If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .
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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!
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How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)
As an admissions officer, I reviewed thousands of essays for students seeking admission and scholarships. The essay is one of the most important parts of the scholarship application process–a strong essay can go a long way. However, with so much competition, it is important for your scholarship essay to stand out. That’s why it’s important for you to start a scholarship essay off right!
There are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that your essay is engaging from the very first sentence. In fact, beginning your essay with an exciting opening is one of the most important things you can do, because it will immediately distinguish your essay from the others.
Keep on reading to learn more about how you can nail the very first sentence and start your essay off right!
Engage the reader with the first sentence
No matter what type of essay you are writing, you will want to ensure that the very first line grabs the attention of the reader. One of the biggest mistakes that students make when starting their essay is simply restating the prompt. This is bland and boring.
Now, you might be wondering, “how do I engage the reader with the very first line of my essay?”. The good news is that there are several ways that you can do this that are very simple to do.
Begin with dialogue
First, you could begin your essay with conversation. This can be an interesting and unexpected way to start your scholarship essay. Maybe someone asked you an unexpected question? Perhaps you were having an interesting conversation with a friend or family member? Either way, dialogue can be a powerful tool to start your essay.
Put the reader in your shoes
Alternatively, you can choose to start your essay by placing the reader right in your shoes and show them something from your life. Appeal to the senses and show the reader what you see, hear, smell, or taste. These specific details will help your essay come to life and make it even more memorable.
Also recommended: What’s the best scholarship essay format?
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Scholarship essay introduction example.
Next, we’ll look at a specific example of how you can open up your essay. Let’s say you are applying for the Questbridge scholarship program . One of the essays that you will be asked is:
We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most influenced you. How are they shaping your future aspirations?
You might be tempted to rephrase the question and start your essay with something like:
“I have grown up in a rural context and this has formed my aspirations and allowed me to accomplish academic success…”
This is generic and will not engage your reader at all.
Instead, what if you started off your essay with something like this:
“I look outside my bedroom window and see Henry, my favorite chicken, pecking at something in the dirt.”
Makes a big difference, right? As a reader, you are probably wondering: why does this person have chickens outside their bedroom window? Why did they name this particular chicken Henry?
See also: Here are our top writing & essay scholarships for students!
Keep the ending of your essay in mind as you write the opening
While crafting your opening, be open to ideas about how to close your essay. There is no need to stress about the ending now, but being mindful of effective ways to end an essay is always a good idea. Say you are opening your scholarship essay with Henry the chicken. Is there a way for Henry to make an impactful appearance at the end of the essay to close things out in a way that perfectly wraps everything up? The key is for the essay ending to be meaningful and memorable for the reader.
Don’t miss: Our free scholarship search tool
If you can’t think of a “wow” scholarship essay beginning, keep writing!
Sometimes, we know what we want to say, point by point, but we are not ready to be creative when it comes to opening an essay. In that case, keep writing! There is always the option of going back and crafting an engaging opening after your essay is written. Simply write your main idea where the first paragraph would be to guide you as you write. After, go back when your creative juices are flowing, and craft the amazing opening (and closing) that your scholarship essay deserves!
As shown, there are many questions that we as readers will have after reading an engaging essay opening such as the one just shared; We want to learn more about the student who is writing this essay. After all, as a writer trying to stand out in a pile of essays, that is our main goal.
We hope that you have a better understanding of how to start a scholarship essay so you can maximize your chances of winning scholarships!
Scholarships360 is the go-to for all things college admissions and scholarships! Wondering how to write a 250 word essay and how to write a 500 word essay ? Curious how to write an essay about yourself ? Wow, do we have the resources to help! Additionally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help you finance your college education. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors!
- The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading
- Engage the reader by appealing to the senses
- Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you
- Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning
Frequently asked questions about how to start a scholarship essay
What is an essay hook, how long should my scholarship essay be, scholarships360 recommended.
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6 Awesome Scholarship Essays That Worked
When it comes to paying for college, scholarships are the best form of financial aid, since they offer students free money that never needs to be repaid. But let’s face it: completing scholarship applications, especially the essays, can feel overwhelming. The scholarship essay is arguably the most important part of the application and should be well-thought-out. In this article, we’ll walk through five scholarship essay examples and explain why they worked, so that you can write your own winning scholarship essays .
Here are 6 winning scholarship essay examples that worked:
1. going merry scholarship success story by gabby demott, why this scholarship essay example worked:, 2. who is a “good” doctor by joseph lee, 3. life happens scholarship by emily trader, 4. going merry scholarship success story by jesus adrian arroyo-ramirez, 5. why college is important to me by nicole kuznetsov, 6. financial literacy for hispanic women by rosaisha ozoria, how could this essay have been better , want more resources on writing your scholarship essay, get started with your scholarship essay.
The essay is your chance to let your personality and life experiences shine through, giving you the opportunity to stand out from other applicants.
The best way to get an idea of what scholarship committees are looking for is to look over scholarship essay examples from past winners. Take some time to analyze the writing style, think about the strong points, and consider how you can improve. Below, we’ll show you just how you might dissect a scholarship essay.
What’s a winning scholarship essay look like? Check out this Going Merry success story with Gabby DeMott.
ESSAY PROMPT: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
“There were only a few minutes to go and our eyes were glued to the screen. On the edge of our seats, clutching whoever happened to be next to us, we watched as the referee blew his whistle and the German players took their free kick. The ball was hit with precision and skill; it flew up over the Swedish players, past their goalie, and was caught safely in the back of the opposing team’s net. We all jumped up and screamed, a mixture of German and English, of excitement and relief, of pride and anticipation.
We stood, enraptured, for the last several minutes of the game as Germany kept its 2-1 lead over Sweden. The horde of us, Germans and Americans alike, hugged and cheered and made our way out onto the balcony, where we chanted “Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!” for the whole village, the whole country, the whole world to hear. Never have I felt so accepted while being an outsider, so proud of a country that isn’t even mine, so part of something I didn’t really belong to.
My German friends didn’t care that we were from different countries; they didn’t care that we would only be staying for three weeks. They accepted us into their homes and their daily lives, their traditions and their celebrations. In watching that World Cup game, it didn’t matter that we were from different places; we were all cheering for the same team. The acceptance I felt in Germany extended beyond that living room. I came to the country on a three week exchange with ten other students from my school.
We each stayed with host families and attended the Wildermuth Gymnasium, which was surprisingly accommodating to a gaggle of loud American teenagers. The teachers were friendly and welcoming, the students treated us like ordinary peers, and even the people I interacted with in public were understanding.
Before coming to Germany I feared judgment based on my level of the language (which is nowhere near as good as the German students’ English) and American politics. It was intimidating to be in a country with limited knowledge of the language and the customs, even though everyone was welcoming. People did ask myself and the other students about the US’s political climate, but no one blamed us for it. They recognized that we were outsiders, that the place we came from had flaws, and they accepted us anyway.
Since that trip, I’ve found myself trying to provide that acceptance to people in my own country. For example, I work at a canoe livery and we receive a lot of visitors with limited English. Some of my coworkers will avoid such customers because they don’t want to take the time to explain things, to exercise patience with someone who may not understand them. If people had done this to me in Germany, my time there would have been much less enjoyable; in fact, I would have been offended.
So now when someone walks up to me at the livery and asks a question in English that isn’t perfect, I smile and welcome them. I take my time to make sure they understand, that they can have a good time, and that they feel accepted. It’s a small action, but I know firsthand that it can make a big impact, at my place of work and in the world. “
- It shares a personal story of realization. Gabby’s essay throws us right in the middle of the action in her story, from her perspective. She paints a clear picture of where she is, how she feels, and what her goals were in that moment. She then goes on to explain the unity of the German and American students to introduce other people in the essay. LESSON TO TAKE : When including additional people in an essay, introduce them early on so you can continue telling your story in an organic way.
- She reflects on her previous fears and explains how she’s moved past those to grow. In the fifth paragraph, Gabby shares how she feared judgment due to her level of the German language and American politics. As Gabby became more familiar with the host families and her German friends, she realizes they accepted her, and she relaxes. LESSON TO TAKE: Sharing a story in sequential order can help illustrate personal growth and how your character changed for the better.
- She answers the prompt and demonstrates how she’ll put her newfound knowledge in action. Once Gabby realized her German friends and host family accepted her, regardless of her fears, that sparked a realization for her when she returned home to America. Gabby concludes her essay by explaining how she’s providing that same acceptance she received in another country to acquaintances and people in her country, to be patient, help them enjoy themselves, and to welcome them. LESSON TO TAKE : Consider concluding your essay with a wrap-up of what you learned, and how you plan to apply that lesson in your life.
Below is a winning essay from Joseph Lee, Rush Medical College for the Giva Scholarship.
ESSAY PROMPT: Who is (or what makes) a good doctor?
“Had you asked me the same question one year ago, my answer would have been vastly different to the one I will give today. In the summer of 2012, with my first year of medical school completed, I embarked upon my last official summer vacation with two things in mind: a basketball tournament in Dallas and one in Atlanta. My closest friends and I had been playing in tournaments for the past 10 summers, and it was a sacred bond forged together in the name of competition. However, two weeks before our first tournament, I became instantly and overwhelmingly short of breath. Having been born to Korean immigrant parents, I was raised to utilize the hospital in emergency cases only, and I knew this was such a case. A few scans later, doctors discovered numerous pulmonary emboli (PE), caused by a subclavian deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and just like that, I was lying in a bed of a major hospital for a life threatening condition.
Fast forward a few months, and I am lying in a similar bed to treat the underlying cause of the subclavian DVT: a first rib removal. There is little that can adequately prepare someone physically, emotionally or spiritually to undergo surgery; and my thoughts continued to race in the days following. In addition to the expected physical pain, isolation, fear and frustration were a few of the emotions I experienced in the four day ordeal. The procedure went according to plan thanks to a skilled surgeon and his team, but the attributes that made the doctor “good” went far beyond his ability to operate.
“Wow. I’m glad you are feeling better” and “I can’t believe you went through that” are common reactions people have when they see the scars on my upper chest. Quite frankly, the past nine months have been difficult, literally full of blood, sweat and tears. But through it all, I have been able to maintain my positivity and gratitude knowing that I have gained the invaluable experience of being a patient and discovering the vulnerability and trust that patients give their doctors. Patients indulge information to doctors that they may have never told anyone in their life and in doing so, place a great deal of trust and responsibility in the hands of a doctor. Many patients will not understand the mechanism of disease behind their condition and anticipate that the doctor will explain to them and their family why it is that they are feeling the way they are and ultimately heal them. And that is precisely what my surgeon understood: the privilege of being able to care for patients and the intimacy of the doctor-patient relationship. And as I awoke to the care of my worried parents, the first thing they wanted to discuss was the details of the procedure that was methodically and patiently explained to them by my “good” doctor.
In study after study, patients have reported dissatisfaction with their medical care, not because of lack of knowledge or health outcome, but because their doctors did not show enough warmth in the encounter or listen to the patient’s questions and concerns. There are few times where a patient and their loved ones are more vulnerable and in need of compassion than when dealing with a hospitalization. And for some doctors, a patient may be another item on a checklist, but that patient is someone’s mother or father, son or daughter, sister or brother. My “good” doctor understood this and would often say “If you were my son…” when discussing treatment options, reflecting on the type of care he would want for his family and treating me similarly. Such ideals are rooted in love and compassion for patients, not as clients in the health care system, but as fellow human beings striving to make something of themselves and the world around them (I).
Unfortunately, the ordeal of living with a chronic illness or undergoing a major operation extends beyond the confines of the hospital. Whether it is creditors harassing patients for medical bills, prescriptions that need to be refilled, or lifestyle modifications that need to be made, the health care experience doesn’t end when a patient walks out of the hospital doors. It often takes merely a minute, as in the case of the “good” doctor who told me that as a student I could apply to get the procedure financially covered by the hospital. Such foresight in anticipating financial concerns and directing me on the next steps to be taken provided relief in the surmounting stress.
Lastly, the “good” doctor understands that as our patients are human, so are we. This means we will make mistakes, some of which can result in life-threatening consequences. With that said, the “good” doctor practices humility and honesty, apologizing and sharing as much information with patients as possible. Although no one strives to make mistakes, they will happen, and how one reacts to them is a distinguishing feature of the “good” doctor (II).
Of all the qualities I tried to explain in what makes a “good” doctor, there was no emphasis on skill and knowledge. And while being able to fulfill the duties of making the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment plans is expected, the intangibles of love, compassion, foresight and honesty is what makes a doctor, “good”. I learned such lessons in the purest manner possible, by being a patient myself, and will use them to guide me in all future patient encounters, as I strive to be a “good” doctor.”
- It tells a captivating story. This essay immediately pulls the reader in, immersing the audience right in the story. . We want to know how Joseph’s definition of a good doctor changed and why it did so. Hooking your reader from the first sentence of your essay or even the first paragraph is a surefire way to keep your reader engaged in the story you’re telling. The story itself is also told really well, with good pacing and just enough detail to elicit empathy without causing boredom. (He could have easily given too much scientific/medical detail!) LESSON TO TAKE : When telling an anecdote, consider how much detail is the right amount, to make it engaging.
- It’s a list, without you realizing it’s a list. After the first 2 paragraphs (which are mostly story-telling), the rest of the essay is effectively a list of ways that doctors are “good”: they recognize the intimacy and trust involved in the doctor-patient relationship (paragraphs 3-4), they anticipate future sources of patient stress (paragraph 5), and they exercise humility (paragraph 6). Joseph could have easily structured the essay simply by saying “There are 3 main things that make a doctor good” and then explaining each idea. However, that would have been much more boring! Instead, he expertly hides the list format, by couching it in an engaging story. LESSON TO TAKE: Not all list-type essays need to feel like lists.
- It’s personal and believable. Joseph takes a negative personal experience, shows what he learned from it and how it caused him to grow as a person. Sometimes essays about singular, defining moments or experiences can seem blown out of proportion and thus not credible. This one feels right: a big ordeal in his life that has therefore shifted his perspective. LESSON TO TAKE : Consider which personal stories to tell, and make sure the “size” of the story feels right.
Here is an example of a moving scholarship essay on the topic of family loss by Emily Trader for the Life Happens award.
ESSAY PROMPT: How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally? Be sure to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans, and explain how the lack of adequate (or any) life insurance coverage has impacted your family’s financial situation.
“When I was seventeen years old, my father lost his battle with kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. As long as I shall live, I do not believe that I will ever forget the first moment I saw my father’s once vibrant face in that cold and unforgiving casket. I won’t forget his lifeless and defeated hands, or how his pale lips would never utter another joke or speak to his grandchildren. Even though the day of his funeral was undoubtedly the worst day of my life, I wish I could relive it just to be with him one more time. Since that moment, I have felt as if all of my grief and longing resides underneath my skin with nothing to relieve the pressure. On September 8th, 2016, I lost my voice of reason, my confidant, my cheerleader, and my best friend.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had lost so much more. Upon my father’s passing, he left us with funeral and medical expenses that his insurance would not cover. Because he did not have any form of life insurance, the financial burden of his death was now the responsibility of my mother and me. Even though my mother works night shifts as a neonatal nurse and her commute is nearly two hours, she was forced to pick up extra shifts to support my family. Though I already had a job and I worked about ten hours a week, I now work anywhere from twenty-five to thirty-five hours a week, and I am also a full-time high honor student. Even though the death of my father forced me to realize the importance of cherishing time with my family, I do not see them very often because of our busy schedules. I also sacrificed my social life and the joy that every senior in high school should experience. Instead of football games and homecoming, I had to deal with mourning and the possibility that I would not attend college because of my family’s financial troubles.
If my father had a life insurance policy, we would not have to work ourselves to the bone and sacrifice our physical and emotional well-being to keep up with expenses. I would not have to worry so intensely about the future of my education on top of the crippling grief that I have felt over the last five months. If this devastating experience has taught me anything, it is this: financial planning for these situations is absolutely invaluable. I will not soon forget the stress and despair that I have experienced, and I now realize that to have a life insurance policy is to throw your surviving family members a crucial lifeline. Though no one can ever prepare you for the trauma of losing a parent, life insurance allows you to grieve without the constant stress of financial burden, and for that reason, it is an absolutely essential precaution.
I love and miss you so much, Dad. Thank God I will see you again.”
- She answers the prompt . It would be easy to write an essay that just spoke to her grief, or to what her father was like and how much he meant to her. But the essay prompt asks applicants to reflect on how the loss has affected the student emotionally and financially. Emily does a great job of this, by connecting the financial parts (she and her mother needing to pick up extra hours of work), with the emotional (due to the work schedule, the family not being able to spend as much time together). She also addresses how this might affect her college plans. LESSON TO TAKE :
- She provides (beautiful) detail. The first paragraph immediately pulls the reader in because of the detailed description she provides (“ his lifeless and defeated hands”, “pale lips” ). Similarly, the specificity of how her family is shouldering the financial burden (e.g. her working 25-to-35-hour weeks) make it feel more real rather than generic. LESSON TO TAKE : Use details and descriptions to make something feel more emotional and tangible.
- She knows her audience . This scholarship is funded by Life Happens, an organization formed by seven leading insurance providers, in order to educate the public about important insurance planning topics. Clearly Emily researched the provider and understood that an essay that spoke to the importance of insurance planning would be well-received by the essay readers. LESSON TO TAKE : Research the scholarship provider and adjust your content to fit the organization’s or company’s mission statement (or business model).
Jesús Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez wrote a winning scholarship essay (and video!) that he submitted on Going Merry . He earned an outstanding $40,000 through the Golden Door Scholarship.
ESSAY PROMPT: What differentiates you from the hundreds of DACA students who apply to our scholarship? Use one of those opportunities to tell us something else we cannot see just by looking at your grades, test scores, and transcripts.
“I always knew I was different than my friends in some way. Growing up, I struggled to speak English while everyone else had little to no problems. I needed extra help in school while my friends coasted by with ease. My friends would hop on planes and travel all around the world while I had to stay at home. At the age of 13 all of my friends started driving while I still couldn’t.
I built up the courage and asked my mother why I did not have access to the simple liberties everyone else did. My name Is Jesus Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez, and I was illegally brought to this country when I was just six years old. At the time I had no clue that I was breaking any laws, and I did not realize the fact that my life was going to change forever. Growing up with a different citizenship situation than my peers was and still is the biggest challenge I have to face in my life.
Looking back there is not a single thing that I would change. Knowing that I had to work harder than everyone else lead me to be the person that I am today. I took that fire inside of me, pushed myself, graduated first in my class with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, became a Kansas Scholar, and graduated High School with a semester’s worth of college credit. In November of 2016, everything began to look up for me. I received a work permit and a social security card all thanks to the DACA program. I was finally able to get my license, get a job, and most importantly attend college.
I plan to continue my success in the classroom and do everything to the best of my ability as I know that under my current circumstances it can all be ripped away from me at any moment. Growing up with my situation has taught me to not take advantage of a single opportunity. There has been continued support around me past and current and I know there are people out there rooting for my success. I will strive to be the first generation in my family to graduate from an American University and I will set a stepping stone for my future family so they will not have to struggle as I did. My citizenship is not a setback, it is a mere obstacle that I will always learn to work around if it means giving my future children a better life, just like my mother did for me.”
- He shares how hardships made him who he is today. Right off the bat, Jesus sets the tone for his essay by sharing how he struggled to speak English and that he was not given the same opportunities as his peers. He shares his mother’s explanation on why he lived a different life, along with his honesty in the challenges of growing up with a different citizenship situation than the teens around him. LESSON TO TAKE : Share personal details (as you feel comfortable), and consider including a defining memory or conversation hat contributes to your story. This can help paint a picture of your beginnings or your inspirations.
- He includes emotional details. Although Jesus grew up with hardships, he persevered and mentions he wouldn’t change anything. It may have taken a little longer than his peers to get his license, but he also excelled in school, pushed himself to graduate first in class, and take college courses on top of all that. LESSON TO TAKE : Tell your story with details, feelings, thoughts and emotions to explain where you came from and where you are now.
- He plans for the future . Jesus shared his personal story with us, and then explains how he plans to continue his success without letting anything get in the way of his path. He goes on to say his citizenship is not a setback, and that he works to provide a better life for himself and for his future children. LESSON TO TAKE : Include your plan at the end of the essay. Consider how you’ve grown and how you will bring these lessons learned with you to help your future.
Want access to more scholarships? Sign up for a weekly digest of new scholarship opportunities, sent to your inbox.
Here’s an example of a simple yet creative and heartfelt essay on the popular prompt, Why is college important to you?
ESSAY PROMPT: Why do you want to go to college? Why is it important to you?
“As a child, my life had structure. Coloring books had lines, letters took on very specific shapes, and a system of rules governed everything from board games to the classroom. I found comfort in the fact that my future had an easy-to-follow template: elementary, middle, and high school, college, job, family retirement, “happily ever after” ending. When I graduated from elementary school I was told I completed 25% of my education. During my middle school graduation, I was told I was halfway there and I know I’ll be told I’m 75% done when I throw my cap in the air this June. College was always factored into the percentage and the overall formula for life. And I never questioned its importance. I always figured it is important because it is necessary.
Going to college makes sense. From helping my parents land stable jobs after coming to America to giving my brother the chance to gain work experience at some of the top financial firms, college educations have shown their worth in my family. Yet I didn’t think about what actually goes on inside the magical universities until I entered high school. Applying to the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering was the first time I had actively made a decision in my education. With the encouragement of my parents and favorite science teacher who recognized that I would excel in the challenging environment of like-minded students, I applied. Four years later, I can confidently say they were right.
My class of twenty-six has shown me the benefits of a collaborative rather than a competitive environment, especially the impact that camaraderie with my peers has on our collective learning experience. Each student has an inspiring level of passion and motivation that made me excited to learn, work on projects, and participate in discussions both in and out of the classroom. I used my education to gain skills and open doors for myself such as an internship at my local hospital. I gained confidence in my abilities to communicate with individuals from strangers my age to practicing professionals. I was thinking longer and harder than I ever had before to solve individual problems and large-scale challenges. In all honesty, I was having fun.
Looking back on my years at the Academy I realize how big of an impact the school made on how I view education. I wasn’t coming to school to mark another day off my calendar and inch closer to finishing the next 25%. I came to school to learn and question and push myself. Now, as a senior, I’m excited. I’m thankful for the sample that my high school gave me of what learning is supposed to be like and thankful that it left me wanting more. I’m entering college in August with a new understanding of its importance. It is important because it is what I want for my future.”
- It finds structure through chronology . This essay is basically structured like a chronological timeline: As a child, I believed this. Then I applied to this high school (my first active academic decision). Then the high school changed me. Now I’m a senior and I believe this. Not all stories are best told in time order, but the simplest stories often are. And simple stories provide structure, which scholarship committees love. LESSON TO TAKE: Consider structuring your essay like a timeline, emphasizing the milestones along the way that have led you to where you are today.
- It is simply told . While the essay is descriptive, it doesn’t try to get fancy with overly flowery language or unnecessarily long SAT words. And that’s the strength of it. For instance, this passage [“ College was always factored into the percentage and the overall formula for life. And I never questioned its importance. I always figured it is important because it is necessary” ] explains her child’s logic in a really clear and well-written way.
- It’s got (mostly) great topic sentences . We here at Going Merry love a good topic sentence– that is, a sentence at the beginning (or end) of a paragraph that summarizes the rest of the paragraph. It helps “signpost” the most important parts of your essay. Here, three of the four paragraphs (1, 2, and 4) have strong and concise topic sentences. “As a child, my life had structure” sets up the rest of the paragraph to explain what these structures and unquestioned rules were. “Going to college makes sense” sets up why college made sense to her parents.
The inaugural Founder’s Scholarship supported by the New York Women’s Bond Club in honor of Michaela Walsh goes to two New York City public high school students who won an essay competition writing about their hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide . Winners of this scholarship won a trip to accompany Women’s World Banking to Amman, Jordan for their biennial gathering of WWB network members.
PROMPT: Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide.
“Twice a week I head down to volunteer at the Los Sures Social Services office, situated next to the local senior citizen home, to help at the food pantry. We distribute food to people in my neighborhood. Many are familiar faces. Many are middle-aged Hispanic women with children dangling from their hips like grass skirts. These women are there as a result of their culture and lack of financial knowledge. In our Spanish culture, patriarchy prevents women from preparing for themselves as much as they should. This leads to Hispanic women having little or no money management skills. Financial illiteracy is a major issue in my neighborhood, and that is why I hope to give Hispanic women a chance for a better future through financial education.
While I was volunteering I met a woman who happened to live in the same building as my aunt. Unemployed with two young children, and a husband earning minimum wage at a fast food restaurant, she struggled to get by every day. I thought to myself – many in my community are just like her. Then I realized I could do something to help. How? I can start a financial literacy program, which teaches Hispanic women to earn and manage money. Once a woman becomes financially literate, she is capable of making good personal and professional decisions, empowering her to improve her family’s financial well-being. Moreover, such a program will help Hispanic women become competitive employees, even in a slow recovering economy such as the one we are experiencing now.
Participating in the 2013 Women’s World Banking Global Meeting in Amman, Jordan gives me access to invaluable resources that will help me achieve this goal. I hope to find mentors from a roomful of inspiring, experienced leaders who will offer me their guidance. Also, meeting accomplished women from other countries means access to new ideas and unique perspectives. And if I am lucky, I may even come across individuals who can provide financial support to jumpstart my financial literacy program for Hispanic women. Lastly, I will tell my idea to everyone I meet in Jordan, a baby step to help Hispanic women rise from poverty.
The world continues to change rapidly, especially with globalization. It is about time that Hispanic women strive for gender equality. Thus, it is essential that Hispanic women increase their roles and knowledge in finance. The women in my neighborhood shall no longer be left out. I will task myself to help these women become better, stronger and most importantly, take control of their lives. I want to be involved so that they can save themselves from any unforeseen financial crisis. This is a tremendous goal, but for me, it is an opportunity to make a difference – in my neighborhood and for my Spanish community.”
- There is clear structure . Right off the bat, the introduction summarizes what the reader can expect to find in the body of the essay. In particular, the closing line of the first paragraph (“ Financial illiteracy is a major issue in my neighborhood, and that is why I hope to give Hispanic women a chance for a better future through financial education”) works as an effective topic sentence, tying together the anecdote and the reason she’s interested in networking with the scholarship provider, Women’s World Banking. The last 2 paragraphs also serve clear, independent purposes: the penultimate one establishes what she would do with the scholarship (the trip to Amman), and the final paragraph explains why her particular interest is important for the larger Hispanic community. LESSON TO TAKE: Clear structure helps the reader follow your point better (especially if they’re skimming, which scholarship essay readers almost definitely are!) So include a summarizing topic sentence at the beginning or end of your first paragraph, and make sure each subsequent paragraph serves a purpose that moves forward your argument or story.
- The author’s passion shines. Rosaisha, the scholarship winner, is clearly passionate about serving her Hispanic community of women. And rather than simply saying that, she shows us how she cares by using personal examples from her volunteer work. LESSON TO TAKE : Show, don’t tell. Use specific personal examples, and don’t be afraid to show your emotions.
- She stays positive. Even though Rosaisha discusses what might be considered a difficult and personal topic, she keeps the tone light and inspirational. She expresses hope and her desire to make a change in the world, answering the essay in a positive tone. It’s important to make sure your essay is not too depressing to read. (Essays about personal trauma are a bad idea.) This is a scholarship provider, not a therapist!
While this was a winning essay, we note that it did have two points of weakness:
- The second paragraph lacks a bit of structure. Her point ends up feeling a bit generic, and it’s unclear what she is thinking versus planning or actually doing . For instance, she realized she could start a financial literacy program. Did she then do so? It’s unclear.
- The last paragraph is again a bit general. Often scholarship committees want to see what concrete steps will be taken, using the scholarship award. Here she speaks in lofty terms about what goals she hopes to accomplish, without explaining ways she might accomplish this goal.
For more information on writing a killer scholarship essay, check out our list of helpful tips .
Also check out these related blog posts:
- 6 tips for writing scholarship essays about academic goals
- How to write the best personal statement, with examples
- How to write an awesome essay about your career goals
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Scholarship Essay Writing
Scholarship Essay Examples
Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Students: Tips Included
37 min read
Published on: Mar 14, 2021
Last updated on: Jul 20, 2023
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Many students face financial barriers when it comes to pursuing higher education. The rising costs of tuition, books, and other educational expenses can be overwhelming.
This is why the scholarships offer a lifeline by providing financial aid to students, but the competition is fierce.
That's where CollegeEssay.org comes in.
In this blog post, we are providing scholarship essay examples that will inspire and guide you in creating your own exceptional essay.
These examples serve as beacons of success, offering valuable insights into the art of scholarship essay writing.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
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.
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10 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples From Real Students
Make your application shine.
Writing a scholarship essay can be intimidating. The competition is fierce and the stakes are high, so students are bound to feel the pressure. It may be helpful, therefore, to look at essays that were successful. What did those students do to impress the committee? These scholarship essay examples will give you a better idea of how to make an application shine!
Tips for Writing a Scholarship Essay
We’ve put together a whole guide for how to write a scholarship essay , so if you haven’t read it already, definitely give it a look! In addition, here are some quick tips to help students get started.
Carefully read the rules
The last thing you need is to be disqualified from winning a scholarship because you didn’t do the right thing.
Don’t wait until the last minute to start researching and applying for scholarships. Give yourself plenty of time to work through the process.
Get to know the provider
Think of the scholarship provider as your target audience. You want to tailor your essay to impress them, so do your research. What kinds of candidates are they looking for? What causes do they support? Dig deep for the information you need!
Think about who you are, what you want to say, and how to appeal to the scholarship committee. Write everything down and then choose the best ideas.
The scholarship committee will be reviewing many applications. How can you make yours unforgettable? Highlight your strongest assets, share hard lessons if they showcase your growth as a person and/or student, and be honest. Never lie in a scholarship essay!
Consider this the most important academic paper you’ve ever written. Don’t use slang or casual language. Submit a properly formatted essay that’s been well-edited and proofread by multiple people.
One last tip
Don’t reuse scholarship essays! Yes, it’s time-consuming, but students need to put the same effort into every application. Use the same process and it will get faster and easier every time!
Scholarship Essay Examples
Afc visionary scholarship essay by nicole kuznetsov.
Award Amount: $5,000
Essay prompt: Why do you want to go to college? Why is it important to you?
Why it was successful: The beauty of this essay is that it’s well-organized and simple. Nicole Kuznetsov chose to outline her story by using chronology and provided a clean, concise story following a linear path.
North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship Essay by Christine Fung
Award Amount: $1,000
Why it was successful: Christine Fung masterfully shared how her upbringing instilled strong values, a love for education, and a passion for medicine .
The Bill Browning Scholarship Essay by Gabby DeMott
Award Amount: $10,000
Essay prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Why it was successful: Gabby DeMott shared her experiences with personal growth and overcoming fears in Germany. She also appealed to the very human feeling of wanting to belong in a way that was inspiring.
Life Happens Scholarship Essay by Emily Trader
Award Amount: $15,000
Essay prompt: How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally? Be sure to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans, and explain how the lack of adequate (or any) life insurance coverage has impacted your family’s financial situation.
Why it was successful: Emily Trader fully addressed the prompt in honest, beautiful detail. She knew her audience and tailored her essay to appeal to them while telling her compelling story.
Change a Life Foundation Scholarship Essay by Isabella Mendez-Figueroa
Essay prompt: Please explain how your experience volunteering and participating in community service has shaped your perspective on humanity. Elaborate on how these experiences have influenced your future ambitions and career choice.
Why it was successful: Isabella Mendez-Figueroa shared an empowering story about her parents overcoming financial adversity so that she and her sister could be the first in their family to go to college.
Giva Scholarship Essay by Joseph Lee
Essay prompt: Who is (or what makes) a good doctor?
Why it was successful: Joseph Lee offered a captivating , personal story that was essentially a list of things that make someone a good doctor without it feeling boring or calculated.
New York University College of Arts and Science Scholarship by Ana
Award amount: $39,500
Essay prompt: Explain something that made a big impact in your life.
Why it was successful: Ana discussed how early experiences w ith learning difficult things has contributed to her passion for teaching and supporting students.
The Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship Essay by Steven Fisher
Award amount: $7,500
Essay prompt: The Fund for Education Abroad is committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad. Please describe how you and/or your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.
Why it was successful: Steven Fisher’s powerful essay connected his realizations about his own sexual identity with embracing the beautiful diversity found all around the world.
Women’s World Banking Founder’s Scholarship Essay by Rosaisha Ozoria
Essay prompt: Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide.
Why it was successful: Rosaisha Ozoria focused on a very specific topic , financial literacy for Hispanic women, and emphasized its importance and relevance to her own life.
The Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship Essay by Famyrah Lafortune
Award amount: $3,500
Essay prompt: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way.
Why it was successful: Famyrah Lafortune starts with a strong statement about ending racial inequality and then details the steps she’ll take to make it happen.
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5 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out
When writing a scholarship essay, follow these tips to win the most money for college.
Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out
Writing a scholarship essay isn't like writing an essay for a high school class, experts warn.
Students hoping to earn scholarships, a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid, often must compete with hundreds of other applicants and sometimes for a very limited number of awards.
Free financial aid plays a significant role in helping students in the U.S. pay for college. According to the 2019 How America Pays for College report from Sallie Mae, 31% of college costs in 2018-2019 were paid for with money that does not need to be repaid; three-fifths of that were scholarships and two-fifths were grants.
To get the most of this highly desirable aid, students can take advantage of a few expert-recommended strategies to make their application stand out. Below are a few tips for writing scholarship essays that pack a punch.
Get Personal and Be Specific
The key to a successful scholarship essay is making it personal, experts say, and including impactful details. An essay that feels genuine and offers insights into who the applicant is on a deeper level will stand out in a crowd of academic essays that may be boring for readers who review hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications.
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Scholarships awarded by the Pride Foundation, for example, require an application that involves multiple essays in which students are asked to describe themselves, what they plan to study and the kinds of work they hope to do. The social justice-focused philanthropic foundation aims to support the LGBTQ community in the Northwest region and awards more than 60 scholarships for any accredited postsecondary school or program, according to its website.
College scholarships had an average award amount of about $5,000 to $8,000 last year, says Katelen Kellogg, the foundation's communications and outreach manager. She says the scholarships are for LGBTQ or strongly LGBTQ-allied students who are residents of the Pacific Northwest.
Kellogg, who helps read essays from applicants each year, says the scholarship essays that stand out to her include "details that paint the picture of their lives." She says the most successful essays are "less about something you do and more about who you are as a person."
Eden Shore, a volunteer manager at the Pride Foundation who also has experience reading hundreds of scholarship essays, says the writing process should be meaningful for students – and that comes across in the essay.
"Your essay can be an opportunity for you to make sense of something yourself," Shore says. "Illustrate you can thoughtfully reflect."
Tell a Story
A standout essay hooks the reader from the first sentence, says Monica Matthews, author of the scholarship guide, "How to Win College Scholarships."
Think about the structure of the essay, and how the reader can be drawn in by it, experts say. The story should feel real and true to the student's life.
"Students need to begin with a hook and share personal and tangible details about their life," Matthews wrote in an email. "Simply stating that they have helped others, for example, does not let the judges see the kind of person that they really are. Writing about specific experiences with real-life situations using interesting details makes compelling and memorable essays."
Tailor the Scholarship Essay to the Prompt
In some cases, it may be acceptable and even smart to repurpose an essay the student has already written and use it for another application. But experts say students should exercise caution.
"Many times, students try to re-purpose essays from the admissions process for scholarship essays, and the result ends up being so-so," Colleen Paparella Ganjian, an independent educational consultant and founder of DC College Counseling in Virginia, wrote in an email.
Instead, essays should be on topic and specific to the unique question being asked and the organization to which students are applying.
A typical scholarship essay topic will likely ask students about their career goals and their plan to achieve those goals, Matthews says. Other essay prompts might ask students what they've done to make their community a better place or to describe a personal achievement and how they overcame challenges to reach it.
Don't Tailor Yourself to the Reader
Students often feel they need to project a certain image or side of themselves in scholarship applications and essays. This isn't always necessary.
"The only person an applicant has to be is themselves," Shore says of applicants to the Pride Foundation Scholarship.
The trap of tailoring themselves can be particularly tempting for students who are nontraditional or have an international background, says Mandee Heller Adler, founder and president of International College Counselors based in Florida.
"Don't shy away from talking about your culture, traditions, and experiences. If you're an international applicant , a minority, or non-traditional student, don't try to 'Americanize' or 'mainstream' your application," Heller Adler wrote in an email. "Scholarship committees like diversity, and the goal is to stand out and not appear to be like all the other applicants. Don't be afraid to expand on details about your culture that are meaningful to you and essential to understanding who you are."
The greatest frustration in reading scholarship application essays, Shore says, is when students fail to follow directions. This means taking note of any formatting specifications, length restrictions and answering the question posed.
"Make sure you're answering the question that has been asked and stay within the word limit you're given," Shore says. "Longer doesn't necessarily mean better. If students are bored by the essay they write, the reader will be too."
Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for College center.
12 Ways to Win a Scholarship
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- Applying For Scholarships
About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)
Jennifer Finetti Sep 28, 2022
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A popular scholarship essay prompt is “Tell us about yourself.” This question is relatively open-ended, which may make it difficult to answer at first glance. What should I tell them about myself? My struggles, my goals, my passions…? These may all be fitting topics, depending on the scholarship. We’ll show you some scholarship essay examples about yourself, along with writing tips to guide you along the way.
What they want to know about you
As you prepare to write, think of the topics the scholarship committee would be interested in. These may include:
- Your current degree, as it applies to your overall career goals. You can explain why you chose your current educational path and what you want to do with that.
- Your short-term and long-term professional goals . Frame your answer as if to say “Where will you be in 5 years? Where will you be in 10 years?” Scholarship committees like to reward people with defined aspirations.
- Past experiences that sparked your passions. You could talk about an influential person in your life, but make sure most of the essay focuses on you. After all, you are talking about yourself.
- Something about you that relates to their organization. With any scholarship essay, you should try to connect yourself with the organization providing the funding. Don’t force a connection. Find one that naturally fits. Mention hobbies, experiences and goals that match what the review committee is looking for.
- Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants. This may be volunteer experience, career specialties, situational differences (growing up in an area that didn’t encourage education), etc.
Note that you do not have to throw all this information into one essay. Choose the elements that best fit the scholarship. If you were on the review board, what would you want to learn about each applicant? What would make you choose one applicant over another? Keep this in mind as you develop your thoughts.
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What they don’t want to know about you
There is plenty of information you could include in an about yourself scholarship essay. There is just as much information to avoid though. Some topics to keep out of your essay include:
- False information. Do not make up stories or fabricate goals to fit the prompt. The scholarship committee can instantly tell when someone is lying, and they will disqualify you immediately.
- Past struggles that do not pertain to the essay topic. You can briefly mention struggles from your past, as long as you mention how you’ve learned from them. Do not make your essay a long story about the hard life you’ve led. Focus on your triumphs, not your obstacles.
- Vague goals and aspirations. Scholarships are usually given to students who have a plan. If you say, “I’m not sure what I’m doing yet,” the committee will select a more motivated candidate. If you have a plan and a backup plan, that’s fine. Just make sure you mention both options and show which one you favor.
- Cliché stories that most people tell. There is something that makes you stand out as a person. Use that to your advantage. Don’t rely on generic information they’ll find with other applicants.
- Unrelated elements of your personal life. In most cases, you should not mention your significant other in the essay. You might mention a spouse if you need to reference your children or a turning point in your life, but these personal details do not fit most essays. Any information that seems frivolous or ill-placed should be removed from the essay.
Read through your essay carefully. If you stop at one point to say, “Why did I mention that?” get rid of the corresponding information. Showcase the best elements about yourself in a fluid and cohesive manner.
Short scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (100 Words)
With 100 words, you can only focus on one or two elements of your life. Think about your biggest selling points – the things that show you are the ideal candidate. Start by introducing yourself and your educational status. Then jump into the main topic of the essay. You may not have room to mention how the scholarship will help your education. Instead, mention how your education can help your career. The other information will be implied.
My name is Christian Wood. I am a high school senior who will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. I want to become an online journalist. My goal is to work for the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, or another news outlet that has a strong online presence. Most people already get their news on the internet, and the industry will be even bigger by the time I graduate. Getting a degree in journalism with a focus on digital media will set me up for a fulfilling, fast-paced career fit for the future.
Word Count: 96
Medium scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (250 Words)
With a mid-length scholarship essay, you have more space to explain how your past has influenced your present and future goals. You should have rom for an intro paragraph, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion (maybe incorporated into the last body paragraph). Think of a few main points you want to touch on, and write those down first. If you still have room, you can add more details about yourself.
My name is Sarah, and I spent most of my childhood on the wrong medication. I experienced a problem common in clinical psychology – misdiagnosis. Professionals provide inaccurate diagnoses for many reasons – f rom antiquated testing methods to limited education. I want to open my own psychological testing facility and help change that. Therefore, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child because I had trouble focusing in school. The medication m y doctor prescribed to me only made me numb to the world around me. I couldn’t think or process emotions, or had no emotions at all. After several years my parents finally decided to get a second opinion. I saw a specialist and she concluded that I didn’t have ADHD , but a combination of dyslexia and dysgraphia (difficulties with reading and writing). She sent us to a therapist who helped me learn how to work around my conditions, and my life improved tremendously. I went from being a lifeless student with barely passing grades to an honor roll student full of joy and excitement. Unfortunately, my story is not one of a kind. There are countless children in America who are put on mind-altering medications that do not adequately address their needs. I cannot help all of those children, but I can provide a better alternative for the ones in my area. Through proper education, funded by financial aid, I can learn about psychological evaluations and provide the most accurate diagnoses possible.
Word Count: 249
Long scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (500 Words)
Scholarship essays that are 500 words or longer let you tell the whole story. You can discuss your past, present and future in a comprehensive manner. Avoid rambling and make sure each topic contributes to the overall essay. If one piece feels out of place, remove it and elaborate more on the existing elements. By the end of the essay, the reader should have a full understanding of who you are and what you want to accomplish.
My name is Sierra Breault, and I am a junior at Murray State University. I am double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Forensics Science, and I will graduate in 2024 with two bachelor degrees. My career goal is in social justice, so I can contribute to criminal justice reform. I want to ensure that those who commit crimes are treated fairly. I come from a small town where excessive force and even death by cop incidents are often committed, especially against minorities. A few years ago, one of my relatives was charged for a crime although the crime scene evidence wasn’t properly obtained, catalogued and analyzed. This experience played a big part in my wish to study criminal justice. I started exploring the career more when I decided that a desk job just wasn’t for me. Throughout high school I struggled because of the routine nature of it all. I saw the same people and attended the same classes every single day. I knew I didn’t want a job that would be that stagnant. That’s when I got the idea to work in law enforcement, because there would always be a new challenge for me to tackle. After researching the field even more, I set my sights on crime scene investigation. I have performed much better academically in college than I ever did in high school. That’s because there is no routine to the experience. Every week, I have new projects to complete, tests to study for, and activities to try. I have been involved with the campus Crime Stoppers organization all three years of college, and I was elected president for the upcoming term. This lets me work closely with law enforcement to supplement my college education and further my career. After graduating, I will apply for work as a dispatcher in a state organization, such as the Department of Criminal Investigation. While my ultimate goal is to work as a forensic analyst or crime scene investigator, those positions usually only go to people within the organization. Dispatch is the most direct option for career entry, giving me the best chance to pursue my dream career. I am applying for this scholarship to help me finish the last two years of my degrees. As a college junior and soon-to-be senior, my scholarship opportunities are limited. Most awards are reserved for freshmen. I took advantage of those early on, and I have one recurring scholarship that covers half of my tuition. However, I need additional financial aid to cover the remainder of my academic costs. I appreciate your consideration, and I hope that you can help me pursue a profession in criminal justice. This is my passion, and I have a clear plan to turn that passion into a lifelong career.
Word Count: 463
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- 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.
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How to write a compelling scholarship essay
You’ve made the decision that you’re going to business school and found you’re eligible for a scholarship. Next up–how do I actually write a compelling scholarship essay? Transmitting your achievement, inspirations, and not to mention that je nais se quoi –French for a uniquely distinctive and attractive quality–into paper can seem daunting. However, once you know the rules of the game, this can be easily tackled.
Originality will always be the key to what sets you apart from other applicants. But the first thing you’ll need in order to be awarded financial support is to understand the scholarship criteria and themes. Is there a specific topic to talk about? Are there particular traits you can draw from the school’s ethos? Is there an exact number of words to fulfill? And crucially–when are the deadlines?
After you’ve taken some time to absorb the above, you’ll naturally start developing a plan of attack for your scholarship essay. When you’re ready to start writing, a good structure will help you strengthen your case of why you should be awarded the scholarship.
To write a compelling scholarship essay, the structure you should follow is:
1. Stick to a subject that fits your profile:
Depending on the school that you’re applying to, you are usually able to work on either an open subject scholarship essay or nominated profile that fits with the school’s “DNA”.
The following scholarships and awards are available to undergraduate applicants:
Global Generation Scholarship:
For applicants who bring a unique global perspective to our school community through their international experiences or multilingualism.
Entrepreneurial Impact Scholarship:
For budding candidates who have a true entrepreneurial spirit and put ideas into action.
Growth Mindset Scholarship :
For forward-thinking individuals that demonstrate a growth mindset, personal development, and achievement in the face of adversity.
Future Leader Scholarship :
For aspiring business leaders who have the desire and potential to achieve significant success as future leaders in any industry.
Technology & Innovation Scholarship :
For creative applicants who have a strong desire to learn about the technology and innovative ideas that will shape tomorrow’s world.
DECA Scholarship :
For DECA member students from around the world who are emerging as the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders.
The Social Impact Award :
For socially conscious individuals who have a strong passion for social entrepreneurship and have demonstrated the ability to implement solutions to benefit society.
Visionary Women Award :
For female students who have outstanding drive, talent, and vision.
Academic Excellence Award:
Exceptionally strong candidates will be automatically selected for this award based on their pre-undergraduate results.
The following scholarships are available to graduate applicants:
For applicants who have had and will have a positive impact in making the world a better place.
For candidates that have excelled in their studies, earning an outstanding GPA.
For aspiring business leaders who have worked full time for a minimum of one year in a large global corporation.
For professionals that have had an internship or volunteering experience and have demonstrated involvement, leadership, or had a role in the outcome of an entrepreneurial project.
Women in Business:
For female applicants who have work or internship experience or have led a team in an international environment.
Future Leader (masters only):
For students who have demonstrated enthusiasm and a natural aptitude to lead.
Senior Leader (MBA and Executive MBA only) :
For students who have demonstrated leadership of high-performing teams in an international arena.
2. Organize your examples: Find linkages
Hult’s scholarship essay requires you to point out examples of how you link to the subject or embody the attributes of the profile you chose. It could be referring to work experiences and talking about a particular role, academic achievements, or extra-curricular activities and projects.
Once having the above details, you need to keep in mind that you have a word limit, otherwise the application will be rejected. So be sure to pick the best of!
3. Know your audience: Be human
Before you type a single word, remember that the Admissions Committee takes time to read each one of the applications received in order to make their decision. Be humble and personable, and adding authentic gratitude to the reader, is a good way of acknowledging your audience.
4. Plan an essay structure: Introduce your story, a body of examples, and reinforce
For any essay, a clear structure is vital. It will ensure your thoughts have an organized flow and allows readers to follow your story. Start by engaging the Committee with your story–who you are and your journey–then develop the body with any examples of challenges and obstacles you encountered. Don’t forget to include what you learned from the experience or how you persevered, and most importantly how this shows your eligibility.
5. Are you a Hult fit?
The Admissions Committee is looking for a specific candidate. Again, be sure you know what that is and constantly reinforce throughout your essay how that candidate is you. At Hult, we look for students who are bold, have a global mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, and seek to challenge the status quo. So, what are you bringing to the classroom? What about your challenges and experiences makes you different? What are your ambitions and how will a Hult degree help you get there?
6. Close strongly
The closing is the reinforcement of why this all matters. Bring your story together and emphasize key points in the essay. They’re your final words so talk from the heart and be honest about your needs.
7. Review it and ask someone to proof
Don’t let spelling mistakes get in the way of a strong scholarship essay. Ensure it reads well. Review your essay and read it out loud so you can feel the flow of your words. Finally, do a test run and ask a teacher, colleague, or family member to proofread and give feedback.
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Scholarship Essay Writing
Scholarship Essay Format
Scholarship Essay Format - Samples & Writing Tips
Published on: Mar 10, 2019
Last updated on: Dec 28, 2022
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Applying for a 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. If you are applying for a scholarship, you have to write a scholarship essay , and having the format right is even more critical.
Writing a perfect scholarship essay is a real challenge. Often students get distracted by the content requirements of the essay and neglect the format details.
The correct scholarship essay formatting can help them set apart from the crowd and increase their chances of winning the scholarship.
To get the format right, we are here to help you understand how to write a college scholarship essay format.
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 essay nicely.
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 scholarship essay, written and formatted correctly, 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.
Formatting for scholarship essays is different from college essays. Keep in mind that the scholarship essay is about you and not about someone else. So, it is important to approach scholarship essays differently to present your views in an organized manner.
Importance of Scholarship Essay Format
Scholarship committee members have a lot of essays to review. Setting a standard format for all the students helps them save time in going through all the essays.
Students usually do not pay attention to the format of the scholarship essay. No doubt, the content of an essay is very important, like having a strong thesis statement , detailed body paragraphs, and a strong essay conclusion . But getting the format correct is equally important.
You need to make sure that your scholarship essay is formatted according to the required guidelines. The following sections will help you understand the proper scholarship essay formatting step by step. You will also find a scholarship essay format pdf to understand the concept even better.
How to Write a Scholarship Essay Format?
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.
Here are the guidelines that you need to follow for formatting your scholarship essay.
- All text should be double spaced.
- Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana font is appropriate to use.
- If not specified, font size between 10 and 12 points should be used.
- One 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.
Don’t forget to follow the instructed word count by the scholarship committee. Scholarship committee members don’t read essays longer than ¾ to a page in length.
It is important to get closer to the required word limit, such as if you are asked to write a 300-word scholarship essay, it is appropriate to end your essay with 295- 305 words.
You can also create an outline for your scholarship essay before writing to ensure you properly format your essay.
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.
Here is how you can structure a scholarship essay.
It is the first paragraph of the essay to draw the reader’s attention. It should be related to the scholarship essay prompt . Introduce the key points that you will be discussing in the body section of your essay.
It is a three-paragraph section in which you expand on the ideas you have introduced in the intro. Provide facts, evidence, and examples in support of your claims.
It is the last paragraph in which you need to explain how the scholarship will help you achieve your goals.
Scholarship Essay Format Samples
Following the above guidelines can set you on the right track. Still, having a basic scholarship essay format sample at hand is important for success.
Look at the following examples to make the whole scholarship essay formatting process even more smooth.
Scholarship Essay Format Template
There is no one formula to structure a good scholarship essay. However, you can see different guidelines for writing and formatting winning essays.
The best way to structure your essay depends on the essay and your writing style.
However, there are some general scholarship essay format guidelines that you can follow for your scholarship essay.
Here, you can also find a scholarship essay template to guide you in writing a great scholarship essay.
Scholarship Essay - Template
Scholarship Essay Format Example
To write a perfect scholarship essay, make sure you use professional language and formal format throughout.
Below you can find an interesting scholarship paper format example to help you learn the perfect formatting of a scholarship essay.
Scholarship Essay Format - Example
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.
- Read the scholarship essay prompt of your role models carefully to check what instructions it includes.
- If not specified, use font sizes 10pt and 12pt.
- If there is any page requirement, such as when you are asked to write a one-page essay, you should not use double spacing unless requested. For that, there is a one-page scholarship essay format that you need to follow.
- To start a new paragraph, either indent a new line or add an extra blank, but you shouldn’t do both.
- You are probably used to double-spacing your high school essays. Double-spacing your essay can make it more readable. So it is a good approach to apply 1.5 or double spacing to your scholarship essay as well.
- In scholarship essays, there is no need to include the essay question at the top. Scholarship committee members know what the essay question or prompt is.
- Always double-check your scholarship essay for spelling or grammar mistakes, as this can easily decrease your chances of success. Then, read your essay aloud or ask your family member or friend to revise it for you.
Refer to the above formatting guide every time you write a scholarship essay. And 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.
Get Expert Help for Your Scholarship Essay
Scholarships are a great opportunity for students to receive money for studies and forget their financial issues. However, thousands of students apply to these scholarships, and only a few students get aid.
However, you can hire a professional essay writing service to maximize your chances!
It is very crucial to convince the college committee members that you deserve the scholarship. A perfect solution is to go for the best college admission essay writing service .
Our expert college admission essay writer will make sure you submit a high-quality scholarship essay written and formatted according to the required guidelines.
Contact our essay writer online now and experience what the best scholarship essay help is!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a short essay for a scholarship.
Scholarship essays are usually limited to 500 words or fewer. It makes it easier for committees to examine hundreds (often thousands!) of entries and ensures that students stay on topic.
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
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How to write a Scholarship Essay - Examples
Scholarship Essays should use this formatting unless specified otherwise:
- Two to three pages in length
- Double spaced
- Times New Roman font
- 12 point font
- One-inch top, bottom, and side margins
These scholarship essay examples are provided for insight on how to write a scholarship essay.
Scholarship Essay Example 1 addresses the following question: "Choose a book or books that have affected you deeply and explain why." In this case, the applicant has chosen the novel Germinal by Emile Zola. The essay is strong and well-written, although not without its flaws.
Scholarship Essay Example 1
The scholarship essay example 2 question (Who has been the most influential person in your life?) is a common scholarship prompt. The example posted here is a winning scholarship submission that deals effectively and affectionately with the question.
Scholarship Essay Example 2
Essay examples 3 and 4 are in response to (e.g, "Why do you want to go to college" or "Describe a major hurdle or obstacle you've had to overcome".). Both examples deal with the same theme (sick parent) but utilize different approaches. In addition, one is a 500-word response and the other is a 1,000-word response.
Scholarship Essay Example 3
Scholarship essay example 4.
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.
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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 .
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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 .
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- Scholarships /
What is a Scholarship Essay?
- Updated on
- Oct 19, 2022
Scholarships are one of the most convenient methods to ease the financial stress for students who plan to study abroad. However, the majority of the scholarships come with an essay that requires writers to explain “ Why do they deserve the scholarship ”. This helps the scholarship committee shortlist who really deserves the scholarship. The essay must reflect on certain points that can help you earn the particular scholarship. In this blog, we will discuss the scholarship essay format and tips for an effective essay with scholarship essay Examples.
This Blog Includes:
How to write a scholarship essay, scholarship essay format, points to add in your scholarship essay, tips for scholarship essay, essay to study abroad, essay to study in india.
Also Read: Top Scholarships to Study Online
Scholarships are programmes that offer needy students financial aid. Whether you are in high school or in college, these programmes are available to students at all levels. You must write essays in order to be considered for the majority of scholarships. Your opportunity to persuade the scholarship committee that you deserve financial aid will come in the form of the scholarship essay you submit. You must present a distinctive perspective on yourself in your scholarship essay in addition to your academic accomplishments, GPA, and achievements. You must demonstrate your writing abilities and do so in an interesting way, regardless of the essay prompt. The award money will go to the essay that captures the scholarship committee’s attention and keeps them reading.
Essays are written on various topics however there are some fundamental ways to write an essay. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you in penning down a remarkable scholarship essay:
- Take more time than needed to write your scholarship essay because great things take time. Write the essay in a relaxed atmosphere rather than in a haste manner.
- Understand the essay question asked and answer that in a comprehensive and to the point manner.
- Be clear about the question asked in the scholarship statement as it lays the foundation of the essay.
- Write it in a genuine and authentic manner and don’t give false details just to impress the scholarship committee. As in the long term it is honesty and authenticity which makes an individual stand out.
- Research about the scholarship committee and understand what they actually desire from the applicant tp write your essay on similar lines to grab the scholarship.
A pervasive and generalised scholarship format exists tells you what to include while penning down a scholarship essay. The format of the scholarship essay should ideally be like the following-
- In a Scholarship Essay, first, the applicant has to elucidate upon their personal background.
- For the second paragraph, they get to write about their educational background in a brief and comprehensive manner.
- The Third paragraph must explain why they want to get the scholarship and course for which they have applied.
- In the last paragraph, the applicant explains why they are suitable for the scholarship and the course for which they have applied.
Before moving on to the Scholarship Essay Examples, read about Report Writing Examples and Tips!
While writing your scholarship essay, you must include components that have worked out before for others. Together, the points mentioned below thread your scholarship essay into a story of a candidate worth giving a chance-
- Leadership – Funding parties go for the candidates that have leadership qualities all the time. You can write in your essay that you are a leader but how will you prove it? That is why we suggest that you add certain special circumstances where you took the lead and got success.
- Extracurricular – Maintaining academic records is a lesser important criterion when it comes to scholarship. Anyone can be book smart and get higher grades. Your overall performance in various other aspects of life- sports, community, skills, etc that add value to your scholarship essay.
- Community – We talked about community in extracurricular but the significance of your connection to the community is much larger. Scholarships, funded by organisations, governments or universities, wish to invest in a candidate who puts community needs before his/her own. Try adding instances of community service (working with NGOs, cleaning drives, campaigns, etc) without sounding boastful about the same.
- Emotion – Subtle emotions make a scholarship essay worth reading till the end. At the end of the day, the main purpose of it is to sell your story to earn the scholarship. So add those subtle yet important emotions of perseverance, patience and dedication quietly into your scholarship essay.
Popular Scholarships to Study in London
Here are some tips/hacks that will help you write a good scholarship essay-
- Know the word limit so you don’t overwrite.
- Don’t start with a quote as it will eat up space for your profile.
- Keep the tone formal yet descriptive .
- Make notes of what you wish to add before you start on your first draft.
- Avoid overcrowding of achievements and only add those relevant to your course and scholarship nature.
- Use communicative vocabulary and don’t add difficult words to sound more formal or knowledgeable.
- Your conclusion should be brief with a thank you.
- Research about the scholarship provider and their motive so that you can match your essay to that.
- Don’t oversell yourself as it only bores the reader.
- Read the scholarship statement thoroughly to know what they expect out of you and your scholarship essay.
- Emphasize how the scholarship will be instrumental in achieving your dreams.
- Proofread the scholarship essay draft more than a couple of times to avoid silly mistakes.
Scholarship Essay Examples
It is really important to learn how to express and elaborate our views and passion in a scholarship essay. It also serves as a medium to communicate one’s goals and dreams. To reach your dream University, mastering the art of writing scholarship essays is crucial. Given below are two samples for a scholarship essay to study abroad and a scholarship essay to study in India.
I have always been a people person right from my childhood and every friend and family member of mine used to compliment me on my people’s skills like empathy, compassion, altruism, and patience. During my teen years, I slowly and steadily realized that destiny is unfolding the answers to my unresolved questions and I realised after profound analysis and contemplation that careers that involve dealing with people are the best fit for a person like me. I have always been proactive in volunteering activities so I genuinely understand the value of kindness and communication skills. I can clearly recall my school days when my friends used to come up to me for sharing their problems and I used to empathize with them and patiently listen to what they are going through and during those moments, a huge sense of satisfaction dawned upon me when I used to see my friends happy because I helped them feel better.
Instances like these gave a boost to my decision of pursuing a Psychology major in my Bachelors and during my bachelors apart from scoring High marks in my semester exams, I did numerous practical learning based internships, published my research paper on well-being in the workplace, and worked as an HR intern in 3-4 well-known firms to get practical insights into Organizational Psychology. I was an associate member in the Enactus and Placement cell of my college which developed my personality to a great extent and honed my communication skills in the best possible manner.
I have a strong desire to pursue an MA in Organizational Psychology and receive this scholarship. I have also had a genuine interest in the well-being of people in their workplace and thus, helping them lead a balanced life. And adding on to that I come from a lower-middle-class family, so the high fee of prestigious Ivy League Universities is not affordable and that is the reason I am applying for the scholarship. Rest assured, I never believe in a victim mentality as my parents have always taught me to be a warrior and their encouragement has propelled me to walk the whole nine yards for my dream University
I strongly believe that I am the best fit for this scholarship as I have everything ranging from a high GPA to a Strong ECA, which makes the profile of a student remarkable.I have left no stone unturned in exploring things, developing skills, and shaping up my personality in the right direction.
To get admission to a prestigious university like yours in the USA would definitely help me scale up to huge heights of success and along with that, it is my commitment that I will leave no stone unturned in contributing positively to others’ lives through my work.
Right from my childhood, I have had the knack of explaining things well to people of any age group be it children, adolescents, or adults and because of my great public speaking skills, I have always won debate and oratory competitions. Everyone in my family and School used to appreciate my public speaking skills and confidence which I considered as a regular compliment but in my high school I was renowned for teaching my peers and they used to understand it so well and the smiles on my friends’ faces brought me immense satisfaction. In the first year of my college, I started teaching to students and that was a turning point in my life as from that moment I had decided that I will be a college professor
I have pursued a major in psychology and a minor in management in my bachelor’s and further pursued MBA in HR from Delhi University. I have an ardent desire to get a Scholarship and admission to an esteemed and top-notch University for the realisation of the dream which is really close to my heart. Adding on to that, I come from a lower-middle-class family, and affording the fees of top institutions would be really tough but problems bring with themselves potential opportunities. I will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of my dream. I have realised that my true calling lies in teaching school and college students and for fulfilling that dream of mine I want to pursue a B.ED and P.hD in Management.
As APJ Abdul Kalam said, rightly that the future of the nation lies in its young minds and I have always believed that I have the potential to shape up the young minds and help them channelize their energy in the right direction. I have great communication skills and a strong sense of altruism and putting these strengths of mine into use will help me contribute positively to society through my work. The above-mentioned reasons clearly illustrate why I am the best candidate for this course and scholarship.
Scholarships can be a godsend for a student who desires to pursue higher education and lead an extraordinary life. Writing an essay that is worthy of a scholarship will help you get the best grants. We hope that this article has given you a clearer understanding of how scholarship essays are produced and the techniques you should employ to write an essay that will convince the scholarship committee to select your essay as the winner.
Also Check out: Statement of Purpose: Format, Samples and Tips
Your essay must stay inside the allotted word count. Before composing the essay you will submit, draught it since you need to create the biggest effect possible given the word limit.
No, scholarships are not a requirement for admission, but they do offer financial assistance that lessens the load that students frequently bear.
Yes, the majority of scholarships are open to students from throughout the world. Find the ones that work best for your financial condition and will enable you to cover your living expenses while visiting the destination.
This was all about scholarship essay examples and format. We hope that now you have enough tips and the ways to pen down an impressive and genuine scholarship essay. If you further need help, our Leverage Edu experts are just a call away!
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Sample Scholarship Essays
If you’re applying for a scholarship, chances are you are going to need to write an essay. Very few scholarship programs are based solely on an application form or transcript. The essay is often the most important part of your application; it gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and your dedication to your goals. You’ll want to make sure that your scholarship essay is the best it can possibly be.
See the sample essays:
The book that made me a journalist, planners and searchers, saving the manatees.
Unless specified otherwise, scholarship essays should always use the following formatting:
- Double spaced
- Times New Roman font
- 12 point font
- One-inch top, bottom, and side margins
Other useful tips to keep in mind include:
- Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you completely understand them before you start writing.
- Think about what you are going to write and organize your thoughts into an outline.
- Write your essay by elaborating on each point you included in your outline.
- Use clear, concise, and simple language throughout your essay.
- When you are finished, read the question again and then read your essay to make sure that the essay addresses every point.
For more tips on writing a scholarship essay, check out our Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay .
I was taking a composition class, and we were learning how to write persuasive essays. Up until that point, I had had average grades, but I was always a good writer and my teacher immediately recognized this. The first paper I wrote for the class was about my experience going to an Indian reservation located near my uncle's ranch in southwest Colorado. I wrote of the severe poverty experienced by the people on the reservation, and the lack of access to voting booths during the most recent election. After reading this short story, my teacher approached me and asked about my future plans. No one had ever asked me this, and I wasn't sure how to answer. I said I liked writing and I liked thinking about people who are different from myself. She gave me a book and told me that if I had time to read it, she thought it would be something I would enjoy. I was actually quite surprised that a high school teacher was giving me a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It had never occurred to me that teachers would lie to students. The title intrigued me so much that on Friday night I found myself staying up almost all night reading, instead of going out with friends.
In short, the book discusses several instances in which typical American history classes do not tell the whole story. For example, the author addresses the way that American history classes do not usually address about the Vietnam War, even though it happened only a short time ago. This made me realize that we hadn't discussed the Vietnam War in my own history class! The book taught me that, like my story of the Indian reservation, there are always more stories beyond what we see on the surface and what we’re taught in school. I was inspired to continue to tell these stories and to make that my career.
For my next article for the class, I wrote about the practice of my own high school suspending students, sometimes indefinitely, for seemingly minor offenses such as tardiness and smoking. I found that the number of suspensions had increased by 200% at my school in just three years, and also discovered that students who are suspended after only one offense often drop out and some later end up in prison. The article caused quite a stir. The administration of my school dismissed it, but it caught the attention of my local newspaper. A local journalist worked with me to publish an updated and more thoroughly researched version of my article in the local newspaper. The article forced the school board to revisit their “zero tolerance” policy as well as reinstate some indefinitely suspended students. I won no favors with the administration and it was a difficult time for me, but it was also thrilling to see how one article can have such a direct effect on people’s lives . It reaffirmed my commitment to a career in journalism.
This is why I’m applying for this scholarship. Your organization has been providing young aspiring journalists with funds to further their skills and work to uncover the untold stories in our communities that need to be reported. I share your organization’s vision of working towards a more just and equitable world by uncovering stories of abuse of power. I have already demonstrated this commitment through my writing in high school and I look forward to pursuing a BA in this field at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. With your help, I will hone my natural instincts and inherent writing skills. I will become a better and more persuasive writer and I will learn the ethics of professional journalism.
I sincerely appreciate the committee’s time in evaluating my application and giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts
Being African, I recognize Africa’s need for home- grown talent in the form of “planners” (assistants with possible solutions) and “searchers” (those with desperate need) working towards international development. I represent both. Coming from Zimbabwe my greatest challenge is in helping to improve the livelihoods of developing nations through sustainable development and good governance principles. The need for policy-makers capable of employing cross-jurisdictional, and cross- disciplinary strategies to solve complex challenges cannot be under-emphasized; hence my application to this scholarship program.
After graduating from Africa University with an Honors degree in Sociology and Psychology, I am now seeking scholarship support to study in the United States at the Master’s level . My interest in democracy, elections, constitutionalism and development stems from my lasting interest in public policy issues. Accordingly, my current research interests in democracy and ethnic diversity require a deeper understanding of legal processes of constitutionalism and governance. As a Master’s student in the US, I intend to write articles on these subjects from the perspective of someone born, raised, and educated in Africa. I will bring a unique and much-needed perspective to my graduate program in the United States, and I will take the technical and theoretical knowledge from my graduate program back with me to Africa to further my career goals as a practitioner of good governance and community development.
To augment my theoretical understanding of governance and democratic practices, I worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programs Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department. This not only enhanced my project management skills, but also developed my skills in research and producing communication materials. ZESN is Zimbabwe’s biggest election observation organization, and I had the responsibility of monitoring the political environment and producing monthly publications on human rights issues and electoral processes . These publications were disseminated to various civil society organizations, donors and other stakeholders. Now I intend to develop my career in order to enhance Africa’s capacity to advocate, write and vote for representative constitutions.
I also participated in a fellowship program at Africa University, where I gained greater insight into social development by teaching courses on entrepreneurship, free market economics, and development in needy communities . I worked with women in rural areas of Zimbabwe to setup income-generating projects such as the jatropha soap-making project. Managing such a project gave me great insight into how many simple initiatives can transform lives.
Your organization has a history of awarding scholarships to promising young students from the developing world in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. I have already done some of this work but I want to continue, and with your assistance, I can . The multidisciplinary focus of the development programs I am applying to in the US will provide me with the necessary skills to creatively address the economic and social development challenges and develop sound public policies for Third World countries. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.
It is a cliché to say that I’ve always known what I want to do with my life, but in my case it happens to be true. When I first visited Sea World as a young child, I fell in love with marine animals in general. Specifically, I felt drawn to manatees. I was compelled by their placid and friendly nature. I knew then and there that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting these beautiful creatures.
Since that day in Orlando, I have spent much of my spare time learning everything there is to know about manatees. As a junior high and high school student, I attempted to read scholarly articles on manatees from scientific journals. I annoyed my friends and family with scientific facts about manatees-- such as that they are close relatives of elephants--at the dinner table. I watched documentaries, and even mapped their migration pattern on a wall map my sister gave me for my birthday.
When I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take part in a summer internship with Sea World, I fell even more in love with these gentle giants. I also learned a very important and valuable lesson: prior to this internship, I had imagined becoming a marine biologist, working directly with the animals in their care both in captivity and in the wild. However, during the internship, I discovered that this is not where my strengths lie. Unfortunately, I am not a strong student in science or math, which are required skills to become a marine biologist . Although this was a disheartening realization, I found that I possess other strengths can still be of great value to manatees and other endangered marine mammals: my skills as a public relations manager and communicator . During the internship, I helped write new lessons and presentations for elementary school groups visiting the park and developed a series of fun activities for children to help them learn more about manatees as well as conservation of endangered species in general. I also worked directly with the park’s conservation and communication director, and helped develop a new local outreach program designed to educate Floridians on how to avoid hitting a manatee when boating . My supervisor recommended me to the Save the Manatee Foundation so in addition to my full-time internship at Sea World, I interned with the Save the Manatee Foundation part-time . It was there that I witnessed the manatee rescue and conservation effort first hand, and worked directly with the marine biologists in developing fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns. I found that the foundation’s social media presence was lacking, and, using skills I learned from Sea World, I helped them raise over $5,000 through a Twitter challenge, which we linked to the various social media outlets of the World Wildlife Federation.
While I know that your organization typically awards scholarships to students planning to major in disciplines directly related to conservation such as environmental studies or zoology, I feel that the public relations side of conservation is just as important as the actual work done on the ground . Whether it is reducing one’s carbon footprint, or saving the manatees, these are efforts that, in order to be successful, must involve the larger public. In fact, the relative success of the environmental movement today is largely due to a massive global public relations campaign that turned environmentalism from something scientific and obscure into something that is both fashionable and accessible to just about anyone. However, that success is being challenged more than ever before--especially here in the US, where an equally strong anti-environmental public relations campaign has taken hold. Therefore, conservationists need to start getting more creative.
I want to be a part of this renewed effort and use my natural abilities as a communicator to push back against the rather formidable forces behind the anti-environmentalist movement. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting this non-traditional avenue towards global sustainability and conservation. I have already been accepted to one of the most prestigious communications undergraduate programs in the country and I plan to minor in environmental studies . In addition, I maintain a relationship with my former supervisors at Save the Manatee and Sea World, who will be invaluable resources for finding employment upon graduation. I thank the committee for thinking outside the box in considering my application.
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