A Complete Guide to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
It takes a lot of effort to apply to a college. Most institutes require students to pass exams and write a perfect college essay. Everyone wants to see himself in the best college but paying for it might be troublesome. Thus, getting a scholarship or financial support is every student’s dream.
Luckily, high schools offer a lot of college scholarship opportunities for the financial aid of deserving students. However, if you plan to apply for a scholarship, it is a primary requirement to provide a professional scholarship essay with your application.
Half of your chances of getting financial assistance depend on the essay you provide. Therefore, follow the simple steps and tips below to write a compelling essay for getting a scholarship.
What is a Scholarship Essay?
A scholarship essay that you write to the committee members describing why you deserve the financial aid. It is written to persuade the admission officers committee. Moreover, such an essay gets submitted along with the scholarship application.
A good scholarship essay reveals your personality and ability on which the committee grants you the scholarship. Similarly, writing an essay about career goals will also state the objectives you want to achieve.
Thus, this essay is your only chance to prove yourself as the right candidate to receive local scholarships.
Moreover, these scholarships are usually offered by individual organizations. They aim to provide financial help for supporting education. Therefore, such essays should include the writer’s beliefs that align with the interest of the organization.
On the other hand, they are also referred to as scholarship application essays. Also, having perfect writing skills is very important to make your essay stand out.
It is important to know that the personal statement and scholarship essay are two different things. It contains some similarities while writing. However, you cannot call your statement a scholarship essay.
A personal statement is written while applying to a college or any other institute. It may or may not be a scholarship essay.
Difference Between Scholarship Essays and College Application Essays
Both the scholarship and college application essay describes the student’s personality, opinions, and beliefs. However, they are also different in the following ways.
- The purpose of the college application essay is to reflect the individual’s personality. However, a scholarship essay includes the interests of the organization that offers a scholarship.
- Moreover, the length of a scholarship essay is usually less than 500 words. But college essays can exceed up to 650 words.
- Prompts for college application essays are broader in contrast to scholarship essay prompts.
Scholarship Essay Format
A standard scholarship essay format follows the below-given pattern.
- Font can be Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, and Verdana
- Font size must be between 10 to 12pt
- Use 1.5 or double line spacing
- There should be an indent before each new paragraph
- Margin size should be one inch on all sides
- Long scholarship essays must include your last name and page numbers on the top left corner.
Formatting the essay shows the committee that you have understood and follow the proper instructions. No matter how great the content of your essay is, it is of no importance unless you format it correctly. Thus, it plays a vital role in drafting a perfect scholarship essay.
How Long Should a Scholarship Essay Be?
Usually, the length for a scholarship essay is 450-500 words. This is the standard word count that helps the committee members to review thousands of applications on the same topic.
How to Start a Scholarship Essay?
Follow the below-mentioned steps to start a scholarship essay perfectly.
1. Plan Your Essay
The first thing is to make sure that you are not writing the essay in a hurry. Give your essay the required time to make it the best. Waiting for the last minute to draft an essay will surely affect the quality. Thus, it is better to plan your essay.
Create a calendar containing the deadlines and requirements of your scholarship essay. It will help you make sure to have enough time for brainstorming and proofreading the essay.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Know your target audience before starting writing. Here, your audience is a scholarship committee. To produce an amazing scholarship essay, understand what they are looking for in an essay. Also, find out their expectations of an ideal candidate and make sure you fit into that picture.
However, do not sacrifice your voice and personality to cater to their expectations. Instead, focus on your strengths and modify them to become the ideal applicant.
Furthermore, make a list of keywords and important points that you want to include in your essay.
3. Read the Scholarship Essay Prompts Carefully
The foremost step before starting an essay is to read the essay prompts carefully. Moreover, it also requires the candidate to follow the correct scholarship essay format and word count. Also, double-check to make sure that you are responding to all the parts of the prompt thoroughly.
4. Choose a Topic of Your Interest
Try to choose a topic of interest instead of a topic you feel you should write about. This will reflect your personality and excitement in your writing piece. Similarly, choosing a topic that bores you will likely bore the audience as well.
5. Consider Reusing an Existing Essay
Some scholarship essays use the same essay prompt. Similarly, they also have questions that can be answered in the same way. Therefore, you can reuse an existing essay to write a new one.
How to Write a Scholarship Essay?
To write an exceptional scholarship essay, follow the simple steps given below.
- 1. Consider the Essay Questions
The first important step in writing a scholarship essay is to consider the following questions.
- Why are you applying for a specific scholarship?
- What makes you an ideal applicant among others?
- How do your beliefs and passion align with the organization’s interests?
- What are your career goals, and how are you planning to achieve them?
- What possible contributions will you make in the chosen field?
- What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your life?
- How did you overcome the challenges, and what lessons have you learned from them?
- What are your strengths?
The next step is to develop an outline for your scholarship essay. Make sure to arrange and design it in a way that is simple yet effective to the judges.
The following is the basic outline structure of a scholarship essay.
- Scholarship Essay Introduction
- Try to keep it precise and clear.
- Follow your hook with a strong thesis statement.
- Provide relevant background for the chosen topic.
- Try to avoid clichés.
- Convince the audience that your writing piece is worth reading.
- Scholarship Essay Body Paragraphs
- Obstacles - Mention the challenges of your life, and discuss how you overcome those challenges. It will give a dimension and meaning to your essay. Similarly, it is beneficial for the writer to connect with the audience emotionally and sensibly.
- Achievements, Strengths, and Motivations - Focus on your achievements and strengths that helped you deal with your life’s obstacles. Also, mention the motivations that encouraged you to work harder.
- Educational and Career Goals - Briefly write about your current educational goals, college, field of study, long-term career goals, degree, etc. Then, discuss why you need financial aid and how it will help towards your goals.
- Real-Life Experiences - Add real-life examples and experiences to make your essay attractive. Present any relevant, inspirational incidents well. Moreover, if you are stating facts, quote them in the light of real-world situations and your personal experiences.
- The Tone of Your Essay - Writing a scholarship essay requires you to present your perspectives and ideas. Therefore, try to keep your tone positive and inspirational. Also, mold your stories and incidents into learning experiences for others.
- Scholarship Essay Conclusion
The introduction of your writing decides whether the essay is worth reading or not. Thus, it should be very strong and convincing to make the committee stick to your essay.
The main purpose of the introduction is to give a quick preview of what your essay is about and why it is worth it.
The very first thing is to state your name and the place you are applying to. Next, choose a powerful hook to engage the admission officers. It must be followed by a sentence that gives the reader something to look for.
There should be unanswered questions to make them curious. But, in return, they have to continue reading to find the answers.
Moreover, other tips for writing a compelling introduction paragraph are as follows:
The main body is the longest section of your scholarship essay. It must include all the information and answers that the scholarship committee is looking for. Discuss the following essential elements to draft the body paragraphs.
Conclude your essay in a manner that will leave a mark on your readers. For example, do not repeat the information that you have provided in the body paragraphs. Instead, highlight the need for financial aid and your ability to use it in the best possible way.
Also, discuss what lesson you have learned from your weaknesses and past experiences. Then, explain how they have helped in your personal growth.
Similarly, you can also review and restate your introduction to your conclusion. Again, it is an effective approach to make the reader feel more connected.
Refer to the below-given scholarship essay template to learn how to write a good scholarship essay.
Scholarship Essay Outline Template
3. Write Your Scholarship Essay
After developing a detailed outline, start writing your essay. Make sure to follow the proper outline format and cover all the key ideas. Focus on meeting the instructed word count. Also, try to be concise and to the point.
Ensure that the scholarship essay sounds like your voice and answers the essay prompts correctly.
Take a break after completing your rough draft. Then, use the fresh mind to rewrite your sentences to make them perfect.
4. Proofread and Edit Your Scholarship Essay
After finishing the writing process, check and proofread your essay thoroughly. Go through it several times and look out for any spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes. Also, use the correct words to impress the committee.
Keep an eye out for missing or too many commas or other typos. If you notice repetitive terms, take help from the thesaurus to find acceptable replacements.
Having someone else proofread your work can also help in refining it even more. With this, you can determine the clarity of your point. Similarly, you can also identify whether your context makes sense to the overall idea or questions the reader.
Lastly, refine your final draft by incorporating valuable feedback and suggestions.
Scholarship Essay Examples
Here are some winning scholarship essay examples for you to understand better.
Describe the Financial Need for this Scholarship
Scholarship Essay Examples Financial Need
Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself
Scholarship Essay Examples About Career Goals
Scholarship Essay Sample About Why I Deserve The Scholarship
300 Word Scholarship Essay
Scholarship Essay Prompts
Below given are some interesting prompts and topics for you to write an amazing scholarship essay.
- The Person Who Influenced My Views
- The Goals I Will Achieve in 10 Years
- What I Do Best, My Biggest Success
- Learning From the Best: How My Science Teacher Changed My Life
- My Dreams
- My Inspiration
- The Destiny in My Hands
- The Doors I Have Opened
- My Adoption: A Chance at a Whole New World of Possibilities
- My Part-Time Jobs Efforts In High School
- Role Models Who Set the Course for My Future
- How Experiencing the World Has Changed My Life?
- Thinking Outside the Box: An Ambitious Future
- My Family Members - Key Driver Behind My Academic And Career Successes
- How I Graduated From College While Living Beyond The Poverty Line
Scholarship Essay Tips
Follow the writing tips given below to make your scholarship essay stand out.
- Your essay should follow a narrative structure.
- Outline your essay initially when you are in your planning phase.
- Make sure your outline describes every aspect given in the instructions.
- Have a special and critical eye for grammatical errors.
- Present yourself in an inspirational way.
- Emotionally connect with the reader by quoting real-life experiences and lessons.
- State your accomplishments without bragging about it.
- The transition between the paragraphs should be explicit and clear.
- Use simple and concise language throughout the essay.
- Use words you are familiar and comfortable with while writing your essay.
- Try to give a unique story.
- Shape your essay’s structure according to your prompt.
We know most students want to get enrolled in high studies but are unable to pay for college. Thus, they work hard to receive scholarships. For this, they are required to write an impressive scholarship essay.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use your college essay for scholarships?
You can use your college essay for a scholarship. Just edit it to fit the scholarship you're applying for and provide new insights that will make them say yes! Some prompts are similar, so writing from scratch isn't necessary- reuse what's already there instead of starting fresh every time.
Do scholarship essays need a title?
If you're uploading an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can provide a title. However, this is typically unnecessary unless there are specific scholarship essay style guidelines.
Can you copy and paste scholarship essays?
Don't copy-and-paste responses from other applications. It is important to take the initiative and write your own scholarship essay to impress the admission committee.