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.

Merit-Based Scholarships

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. 

Finding scholarships

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.

Organization

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

Essay prompt:.

Summarize your life experiences and any challenges that have impacted your path to higher education. (250 Words) 

Essay Example:

I vividly remember the first day of First Grade because I didn’t know the Pledge of Allegiance like the rest of my classmates. Growing up in a Hispanic household, I had never learned what the pledge was. This was the beginning of several years of disconnect. 

From receiving weird looks when I told classmates my family opened Christmas gifts at midnight, to my parents’ confusion when I didn’t want them to speak Spanish in public, both sides of my life never understood the other. As a result, I always felt out of place in school, like I was behind in some way because I didn’t share the same upbringing as my classmates. In contrast, academics felt like a level playing field, something we were all learning together in the same way.

While I couldn’t tell you who won the super bowl, I could do mathematics or read just as well, if not better, than my classmates. Socially, I always felt out of place, but academically I was always comfortable, and as a result, I tried to excel in that area of my life. That desire to succeed created the relentless work ethic I have today and the appreciation I have for education.

Despite the lack of emphasis from my parents on schoolwork, I developed this sense of responsibility and persistence to pursue an education. Although my family’s Hispanic culture made my life difficult when I was younger, it made me a more resilient person.

More scholarship essay examples

Shpe scholarship essay example #2.

Discuss your educational and career aspirations as well as your ability to complete and achieve these goals. (250 words)

Using a degree in engineering, I hope to work on improving sustainability and efficiency in the aerospace industry by creating cheaper, safer, and more environmentally-conscious options.

Recently, Pratt and Whitney designed an engine that is 16% more efficient and will release 3600 less metric tons per airplane per year. Excitingly, it also greatly reduces the noise footprint of an airplane. Innovations like these will allow the aerospace industry to evolve and improve while reducing negative environmental impact. I hope to work at the forefront of this innovation, pushing the boundaries of improved engine performance and efficiency. 

Last semester, I started working in the Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory on campus to learn more about turbines. Some current projects in the lab involve new turbine cooling techniques and additive manufactured heat exchangers. Throughout the course of my undergraduate career, I hope to learn more about the barriers facing improved engine and turbine efficiency. Following undergraduate, I plan to attend graduate school to gain a deeper knowledge of these topics. Following graduate school, I may go into industry working on turbines and jet engines. Due to beginning research early, I believe graduate school is an attainable educational goal.

The potential ability to make a difference in the environmental impact of the aerospace industry is exciting. To accomplish this, I know studying Mechanical Engineering will give me the skills necessary to fulfill my career goals.

Both of these scholarship essay examples use specific details to highlight the writer’s strengths, experiences, and accolades. In reading these winning scholarship essay examples, we get a sense of who the writer is both as a person and as a student. 

Scholarship Essay Sample about “Why I deserve the scholarship”

Another scholarship essay prompt you may come across is “why I deserve this scholarship.” A good scholarship essay clearly highlights why you deserve to win the scholarship and provides evidence to support your argument. 

Below, you’ll find scholarship essay samples about why I deserve the scholarship. You can use these as a guide to help you tackle your own scholarship essays. 

Here’s the first of our scholarship essay examples, which was used for the Park Scholarship: 

The Park Scholarship is an investment in the potential of young people. It prepares scholars to make lifelong contributions to communities, states, nations, and the world. Tell us a story that illustrates your potential to make these lifelong contributions. (What have you done that should compel us to invest in you?) (Max. 3,990 characters including spaces.)

Park scholarship essay example.

Coming from a Venezuelan family, I have always been able to connect with total strangers through Spanish. Whether I’m eating at a restaurant or volunteering, I am constantly stumbling upon other Spanish speakers. The ability to converse in their language allows me to bond with them in a way I couldn’t in English, something I do not take for granted. 

Because of my experience, I believe that learning a foreign language is an incredibly important skill. Being able to speak in a second language allows a person to understand another community and reach out to people within that community. Additionally, speaking a second language assists in appreciating other cultures. This appreciation is important for fostering open-mindedness, something America as a whole struggles with today. 

In my school district, foreign language classes are not offered until late middle school. Once in high school, many students drop the class. In addition, those who stay in the class often find that the classes provide little more than a basic understanding of the language and then become discouraged in their learning. On a larger scale, this issue affects America as a whole. Second language programs often come second in terms of funding and planning and are not encouraged as rigorously as other academic courses. As a result, many Americans are ignorant to the benefits of bilingualism and are unable to understand the viewpoint of those who are multilingual.

After my freshman year of high school, my frustration with my community’s lack of priority for second language learning culminated in my desire to take some sort of action to promote foreign language education. In my sophomore year, a classmate and I created and ran an introductory Spanish program, Spanish in the Spring, at my local library for young children in the district. I spent hours at home creating lesson plans, activities, themes, and advertisements for the program. I placed heavy emphasis on cultural aspects and the importance of the Spanish language in America and the world as a whole.

My purpose for this program was to introduce children at a young age to learning a foreign language, so their desire to learn would continue throughout their life. Through the program, I was also able to share my belief of the importance of learning a second language with the children, as well as their parents. After the final day of the program, I was thrilled when one parent mentioned their desire to learn a foreign language program themself. I felt that if I made an impact on one person or family, the entire program was worthwhile. 

Unfortunately, this past spring I was unable to continue the Spanish in the Spring program due to library scheduling restraints. However, I hopefully plan to offer the program again this spring with some changes that will improve and expand the experience. One of these changes will include the immersion of parents into the experience to encourage foreign language education as a family activity.

While this program was only offered once, the impact was immeasurable, for the children, for the cause of foreign language education, and for me.

This is another scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship. In it, the writer clearly and directly answers the prompt—that is, they highlight their potential to make a lifelong impact on members of their community. 

Ready for another scholarship essay example? Here’s the next one: 

How will a ScholarSHPE impact your life and education? (200 Words)

Shpe scholarship essay example.

Receiving a ScholarSHPE will give me the gift of time and opportunities. My parents are unable to support me financially throughout college due to large amounts of accrued debt. A ScholarSHPE will reduce my financial stress and allow me to improve my overall health as a result. It will also prevent the need to work several hours a week at a part-time job to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses, which will limit what I can do academically and outside of class. A ScholarSHPE will allow me to spend more time on research pursuits, engineering extracurriculars, volunteer work, and school work, instead of long hours at a part-time job. 

This essay sample is fairly straightforward. In it, the writer follows a clear scholarship essay format, explicitly answering the prompt. 

UC Berkeley Scholarships essay examples

Let’s look at some school-specific merit scholarship essay examples. 

At the University of California – Berkeley , students can apply for a variety of merit scholarships. These scholarships can help offset the cost of UC Berkeley tuition. 

Below, we’ve included various scholarship essay examples for the UC Berkeley scholarships. These UC Berkeley scholarships can help students cover their college tuition costs. This can make the UC Berkeley tuition less of a barrier for students hoping to attend. 

You’ll find a variety of UC Berkeley scholarships that can help you afford UC Berkeley tuition. Available UC Berkeley scholarships include: 

  • Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Fiat Lux Scholarship
  • Middle Class Scholarship
  • Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship

These are just a few ways to cover the cost of UC Berkeley tuition. UC Berkeley students also receive more than $10 million per year in outside scholarships to cover college tuition costs. If you are interested in exploring non-UC Berkeley scholarships, check out this list of outside scholarship resources . 

To help you get started, check out our winning UC Berkeley scholarship essay examples. The authors of these scholarship essay examples about financial need all won money to help cover their UC Berkeley tuition.

UC Berkeley scholarship essay examples

I am grateful to realize how fortunate I am today. All the loved ones around me and their acts of kindness have given me such a great life. I also realize the sacrifices that those around me have had to give up in order for me to succeed. It is because of this that I have realized what “paying it forward” truly means. I have been given the opportunity to make an impact in my community and I have fully taken advantage of this opportunity. I have been a volunteer for the Buddyball Sports Organization, which is a non-profit sports organization dedicated to providing the opportunity for children with developmental disabilities to play sports.

Growing up, watching and playing sports has been one of my greatest pleasures of life, so teaching these less fortunate kids has been something I have enjoyed doing every single weekend. On top of this, I am also both a volunteer at the South Orangetown Ambulance Corps and the Nyack Hospital. With the desire to pursue a career in the medical field, volunteering at these places has given me a great idea of what my career could look like in the near future. While all of these volunteer activities have had a significant impact on me, little did I know that this summer would truly make a lasting difference in my life. 

This past summer, my family decided to go on a vacation to India to visit my relatives. This was the first time in my life that I was going to India and this was only because my grandmother came down with Parkinson’s disease and was extremely sick. Little did I know at that time that my visit to India would be a life-changing experience. Never could have I imagined such a filthy village. Everywhere I looked, there was garbage and to make matters worse, no one seemed to do anything to try to ameliorate the repugnant image of my home country.

While I realized on my flight home that I was not going to be able to make a difference and help my community back in India, there was nothing stopping me from doing so right here in Rockland County, New York. When I was told that I would have the opportunity to help organize and direct “Make a Difference Rockland,” I joyfully accepted! Make a Difference Rockland is a free public meet and greet for all local non-profits and other government agencies in an attempt to promote different community service opportunities within the public. By gathering all the local non-profit organizations and giving them a chance to present themselves, people learn more about all of the local community service opportunities that are available to them. This way, the community will be able to recruit volunteers and will not have to suffer through calamitous conditions.

As one of the people in charge of organizing, it was my responsibility to adequately contact, invite and help prepare for hundreds of people. Once I gathered their contact information, I had to ask each one of these places if they would be interested in joining the fair. If interested, I had to also prepare a table for them to present themselves at the fair. The feeling of bringing all of these community service groups together brought me a feeling of happiness that I will never forget. 

The best scholarship essays will teach the reader about who the writer is, what they care about, and why they deserve a scholarship. The essay above does just that—it highlights the writer’s background and describes how they give back to their community. 

Next, let’s dig into a few more scholarship essay examples. 

If you’re interested in more descriptive essay examples, keep reading. 

Reading a ton of winning scholarship essay examples is a great way to pick up on what makes them winners. Over time, you’ll start to notice how the details, tone, and flow all work together to tell a story.

Below, you’ll find a few more scholarship essay examples. Our first one is from the NC Parks Scholarship. Here’s the prompt:

What do you do to serve your community? Why do you do the service that you do? What impact have you made? What challenges or insights have your service contributions given you? (Max. 3,990 characters including spaces.) 

Community-focused scholarship essay example #1.

“What are the boys like in high school?” “Is it easy to get a boyfriend?” Sighing, the other frustrated leaders and I look at each other as we read the questions posed by the younger girls. Every year at Girls’ Night Out (GNO), a program that introduces and prepares eighth-grade girls for high school, the girls question the leaders about relationships and dating ad nauseum, irritating other leaders to the point of ignoring the questions. 

Giving each question a careful and deliberate answer is often difficult, but instead of disregarding the issue, I try to offer my most sincere and honest advice. Originally, when I began as a group leader in the program I would give the same response, “You shouldn’t worry about boys. Instead, enjoy your friends, and do things you enjoy.” While that advice is true, it is often not the answer that will satisfy the girls. Through many years in the program, I have learned that advice is not “one size fits all”; it must be individualized to the person’s needs. Now, when faced with a question about dating, I respond with more questions before giving “words of wisdom”.

Many times I am able to understand the perspective of the middle school student, allowing me to give advice accordingly. Supplying proper advice about sensitive topics is one of the most impactful parts of GNO. As a role model and positive influence for the girls, I largely impact their ideas and perception of the environment when entering high school. In addition to teaching the students valuable lessons, volunteering at GNO has taught me that various perspectives may present themselves identically. To better understand those around me, it is important that I look beyond the surface for the other person’s viewpoint.

Beyond understanding other viewpoints from GNO, I have learned from other service that understanding a person’s situation is essential for providing exceptional assistance. Through Key Club, I volunteer many times a year at the local food pantry. As a volunteer, I help the recipients “shop” at the small grocery store using a point system. The process takes up a lot of time because shoppers do not always know what they want. Originally I  thought this was a poor design. I believed it would be much more efficient to just hand out the food rather than giving out points and shopping with the food pantry recipients.

Upon expressing my opinion to one of the adult food pantry staff, he explained to me that the grocery store aspect of the store taught the recipients life skills. Additionally, by giving them autonomy over what food they “bought”, they retained a sort of independence, an important skill to have if they find themselves above the income level required to use the food pantry.

The next time I volunteered I took note of the skills presented. Budgeting of points, deciding whether or not they needed something, determining the quality of the fruit, and decision-making of choosing extra food or toiletries, were all skills that those above the poverty line have ingrained. For those who have been using food pantries and other assistance for prolonged periods of time, these skills are not so natural. As a result, teaching the people means after they no longer need the services of the food pantry, they have valuable skills necessary for their independence.

From this experience, I learned an important lesson: helping people is not just giving them what they need at the moment, but understanding what they will need in the future and providing that as well. After realizing this, I emphasize the abilities that the food pantry teaches whenever I dedicate my time. By doing that, I am positively affecting the development of those skills. 

When reflecting on the various ways I have served my community, one thing stands out to me: I always understand another viewpoint or gain a new perspective afterwards. For me, the ability to look at something from different angles is an unparalleled talent, and one of the most important skills a person can have.

Describe your volunteer or community experience with SHPE or other organizations and any internships you have held.  (250 Words)

Community-focused scholarship essay example #2.

In SHPE, I have been involved in planning the Penn State College of Engineering STEP-UP (Student Transition Engineering Program at University Park) Program as a chair. The STEP-UP program helps students from Penn State branch campuses smoothly transition to the University Park campus through a 3-day program in the spring. The program introduces them to engineering resources, other engineering students, and provides professional development. Due to COVID-19, this year it was held virtually. 

Within the Society of Women Engineers and the Women in Engineering Program, I have volunteered at different STEM events in the community for elementary school students. I am also currently serving as an Envoy (a mentorship and logistical position) for the Women in Engineering Program Orientation. Additionally, I participate in many of SWE’s service events, such as donating and collecting donations, cleaning up areas on and around campus, and visiting nursing homes.

On campus, I am also involved with Engineering Ambassadors (EA), a group that does STEM outreach around Pennsylvania from the elementary school to high school level. EA goes virtually or in person to schools, does engineering presentations and activities, and answers questions.

Prior to COVID-19, I had secured an internship with Pratt and Whitney, however, they had to cancel their internship program. As a result, I was fortunate enough to obtain a Process Quality Engineering internship at Brentwood Industries for summer 2020.

Both of these scholarship essay examples highlight how the writers have given back to their communities. These winning scholarship essay examples highlight the writers’ strengths. In doing so, they highlight why these writers deserve help with college tuition costs. 

Reflecting on scholarship essay format

As important as the content of your essay is, your scholarship essay format is equally important. As you write, be sure to adhere to the scholarship essay format guidelines provided to you. 

However, there are some things all of the best scholarship essays have in common. Here are some general tips, tricks, and outlines to help you in your own writing process.

Three scholarship essay writing tips:

  • Word counts are hard to adhere to, but the other applicants must adhere to them, too. Make sure every word counts. 
  • When you write a solid essay, you can repurpose some of your key points, including specific anecdotes and details, in other scholarship applications.
  • Writing a good essay helps you solidify who you are and what you want. This sets you up for success in the scholarship application process and beyond. 

Three essential elements to include in your essay:

  • State your goals. Scholarship committees are investing in your future and your potential. To take a chance on you, they need to know your plan and what you want to do with your award. 
  • Establish an implicit or explicit link between your goals and the scholarship you are applying for. Describe to the committee how the specific scholarship will help you attain your goals. Give them a tangible reason as to why you deserve their investment. 
  • Share your story. Use personal details about your experiences that highlight your identity and objectives. How have you pursued your goals and prepared for your future? How will the scholarship help you going forward? Get personal and be honest.

Storytelling in your essay

Some of the best scholarship essays utilize good storytelling strategies. You should share the details of your personal story in a narrative, using a logical order. Remember, telling personal details about yourself and your goals does not mean simply restating your resume!

By the end of the essay, the scholarship committee should have an in-depth sense of why you applied. You should reveal:

  • When and how you arrived at your future goals
  • Your motivations to accomplish these objectives
  • What traits or skills you have developed along the way
  • The meaningful experiences that drive you to your goals
  • Any personal challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them
  • What has shaped you and your worldview

These details humanize you and show your complexity as a person and an applicant. It’s helpful to use anecdotes and personal experiences to give life to facts and details about yourself. Sharing real-life experiences will help make your essay more interesting and more fun to read.

Creating your scholarship essay format

Once you have thought about what you want to say, start thinking about your scholarship essay format. You may start by making a list of what your reader may be interested in:

  • How you spend your time
  • Your accomplishments
  • What your passions are, etc.

Start by brainstorming everything you may want to include in your essay. Then, think about whether the stories you include support your arguments. Ask yourself, “What did I learn?” or “How did this get me closer to my goals?”. These reflections help the reader connect to your purpose for writing. 

Make sure to organize your thoughts in a narrative order. However, there isn’t just one way to write an essay. So, don’t limit yourself to one version of your story. You may find yourself writing multiple drafts before you get to your final scholarship essay format.

Editing and proofreading your essay

When you think you have finished, be sure to proofread and edit to ensure it’s ready to be submitted. Check that you’ve adhered to all the scholarship essay format guidelines (like the word count). 

Reviewing also includes getting input from others! An outside reader’s opinion can help you confirm your essay effectively communicates your ideas.

Tips for scholarship essays

You may notice some similarities between the scholarship essay examples about yourself we’ve provided. That’s because the authors of the best scholarship essays all use similar strategies to make their essays great. 

Here are 5 tips from U.S. News to help you make all of your scholarship essays stand out:

Tips for writing stand-out scholarship essays

1. get personal and be specific.

The best scholarship essays will share an authentic story with impactful details. The key is to be yourself and not shy away from personal details. The more the committee gets to know about you, the more likely they are to invest in your future. You want your essay to offer a genuine, in-depth look into who you are as a person.

2. Tell a story

Your essay should be more than a collection of facts—it should tell a story. That means having a solid introduction that grabs the reader’s attention from the very start. Then, you should include a logical flow of experiences or details. By the end of your essay, you want your reader to have learned something valuable about you.  

3. Tailor the scholarship essay to the prompt

Some of your scholarship essay prompts may be similar across different scholarship applications. However, it’s important that your essay is specific to each prompt and answers the question entirely. While you can repurpose an essay you’ve already written as inspiration or a starting point, be extra attentive when doing so.

4. Don’t tailor yourself to the reader

Many students fall into the trap of telling a story they think scholarship foundation committees want to hear. Instead, stay true to yourself as you craft your scholarship application essays. Don’t tell your reader what you think they want to hear—just tell them who you are. 

5. Follow directions

This final tip may arguably be the most important. Above all else, students should follow instructions. This means adhering to the scholarship essay format guidelines and word count. It also means answering the essay prompt in its entirety. Application readers can be easily frustrated by a student’s failure to follow directions. This could reflect poorly on you and your essay in the long run. 

Use these tips to guide you as you approach the scholarship essay format. 

Scholarship Essay Examples – Final Thoughts

We hope our roundup of scholarship essay examples has shown you how to approach your scholarship applications. With rising college costs, scholarships should be a part of your college financial planning process. Take the time to do your own scholarship search based on your specific interests. You can find plenty of scholarships to apply to on scholarships websites and college financial aid pages. There are many different scholarships websites to help you with your search. 

Save this guide

Feel free to save this guide and review our scholarship essay examples about yourself and about financial need. You can always look back on our scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship when writing your own essay. 

Start with an outline that organizes your thoughts. Then, make sure your essay is clear and concise. Be original and honest, and include personal details and anecdotes when appropriate. State why you deserve to win the scholarship. Then, support your claim in a way that makes a scholarship committee invested in your future. 

We’re here to help

Don’t forget to proofread your essay and ask others for their feedback. When in doubt, reach out to our advisors at CollegeAdvisor. Our team is always here to help support you find and apply for scholarships!

This article was written by Bailey Bennet. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.

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How to Write a Scholarship Essay (with Examples)

September 27, 2023

While applying to college, many students are faced with an additional, daunting task: how to write a scholarship essay. Financial need, already a sensitive subject, can become a stressful factor in the process alongside other existential unknowns. Luckily, scholarship essays will not require you to go tiptoeing around the taboo topic of money. Furthermore, most scholarship essay prompts more or less resemble standard supplemental essay questions. The trick then is to make your scholarship essay stand out. The following article and scholarship essay example will offer up pointers for anyone striving to win a college scholarship.

Organizing Scholarship Essays by Prompt

You may feel like melting into a lump of despair when facing a browser full of tabbed scholarships. The best way to avoid getting overwhelmed is to organize and analyze a list of prompts. Why? Because your first goal is not simply to figure out how to write a scholarship essay. Rather, you’ll want to know how to save time while writing complex and relevant scholarship essays.

As you look over the various prompts, you’ll notice that some sound fairly open-ended, while others ask for something quite specific. In response, you should annotate each prompt with thematic keywords. This will help you figure out when you can use the same essay for several prompts.

Your annotated list may look something like the following…

Sample Scholarship Essay Prompts

1) “Explain something that made a big impact in your life.”

  • Keywords: event , personal development, growth, background

2) “We’re committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad. Please describe how you and/or your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.”

  • Keywords: minority, diversity, identity, study abroad

3) “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”

  • Keywords: background, identity, interest, talent

Sample Scholarship Essay Prompts, Continued

4) “Please explain a personal hardship or catastrophic life event that you have experienced. How did you manage to overcome this obstacle? What did you learn and how did you grow from it?”

  • Keywords: event, personal development, growth, challenge, background

5) Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way.

  • Keywords: world development, challenge, future

6) “Tell us three things that are important to you. How did you arrive at this list? Will these things be important to you in ten years? Why?”

  • Keywords: background, values, interest, development, identity, future

Scholarship Essay Prompts ( Continued)

7) “What does it mean to you to be part of a minority community? What challenges has it brought and how have you overcome them? What are the benefits?”

  • Keywords: minority, community, challenge, growth

8) “Please explain how your experience volunteering and participating in community service has shaped your perspective on humanity. Elaborate on how these experiences have influenced your future ambitions and career choice.”

  • Keywords: community service, humanity, community, background, future, values, career

9) “Discuss in your essay any challenges or obstacles you have dealt with and overcome in life and how this will help you succeed in college and beyond. Describe how volunteer, community service or extra-curricular activities have shaped who you are today and what it has taught you. May also include future educational plans and career goals.”

  • Keywords: challenge, future, community service, interests, value, personal growth, career

How to Write a Scholarship Essay through Prompt Analysis

Let’s compare some prompts by keywords. You’ll notice that some prompts have a lot of overlap, such as prompts 1 and 4. Both have event, personal development, growth, and background as keywords . Prompt 4 includes the additional keyword challenge . This prompt explicitly asks you to explain how you have “overcome” a “personal hardship or catastrophic life event.” While prompt 1 is not so specific, it would be easy, even natural, to include this narrative arc in your response. This means depicting how you faced the thing that “made a big impact in your life.” In other words, these two essay prompts, though worded differently, allow you to tell the same story.

Other prompts provide potential overlap. In this case, it’s up to you to find and interpret these moments. You may consider the values, strengths, interests, and experiences you wish to relate. For example, prompts 7, 8, and 9 all mention community through different approaches. While prompt 7 focuses on one’s past involvement in a minority community, prompts 8 and 9 are more future-facing, and don’t mention minorities.

Scholarship Essay Examples (Continued)

Here, your best strategy involves answering prompts 8 and 9 together in a single scholarship essay. To do so, the essay would need to detail “a challenge or obstacle you have dealt with” (9) which has thus “shaped your perspective on humanity” (8). This narrative arc will thus inform your “future” educational and career plans (8 and 9). Note that prompt 9 allows you to mention extra-curriculars. However, I wouldn’t recommend it, since this would make your essay less relevant to prompt 8. After your essay is written, adapt it to align with prompt 7. Consider condensing the part about the future into one final sentence and focusing more on minority aspects of your community.

How to Scholarship Essay Avoid Burnout

The above tactic will allow you to avoid burnout by strategizing your essay approach ahead of time. In turn, you’ll be able to maximize your efforts from the get-go. You’ll also likely find that your essays become more complex and nuanced when you consider several prompts at once.

The next step involves editing. Refer back to the prompt, once you have a draft written. Ask yourself, did I answer the question fully? Do I need to edit this essay further to emphasize a particular point? Do I need to cut the essay down to fit a new word count? Contrarily do I need to bulk it up? If so, are there other essays in my portfolio from which I can borrow material? Strategic editing will allow you to respond to a large number of essays during peak essay-writing season.

Finally, you’ll notice that most essays require a word count between 250 to 600 words. It’s often easier to write a longer essay first. This will allow you to go into greater detail without censoring your ideas. You may find yourself including dialogue, scenery, emotions, and all sorts of other specifics that make an essay personal. As you whittle down this essay to comply with a similar prompt, you’ll want to identify which pieces of the essay do the most work to get your message across. Don’t simply condense everything by eliminating details, for details are often the most memorable aspects of an essay. More on this next.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay Using the Three Fs

The three Fs can be applied to any college essay, though they are particularily useful in scholarship essays. Why? Because the three Fs will enable you to impress readers and beat out other applicants. Ultimately, they’ll help you win financial support. Think of the three Fs as a checklist to go over, once you’ve completed an essay draft. Ask yourself, is my essay fabulous? Flawless? Fearless?

How to Write a Scholarship Essay (Continued)

If your essay is fabulous , it glitters with personality. It is detailed, unique, and does its best to highlight your impressive journey. If your essay lacks a little fab, ask yourself, how can I make this essay more enjoyable and memorable to read? If your essay is flawless , it lacks all spelling, syntactic and grammatical errors. It answers every aspect of the essay prompt, and leaves no room for vagueness or misunderstandings. To avoid flaws, give your essay to several people to proofread. Finally, if your essay is fearless , it is not afraid to get a little vulnerable. This may sound contradictory to the first F. On the contrary, this fearlessness refers to the confidence to tell your own story. A fearless story isn’t afraid to go deep, add complexity, or get emotional. It is unafraid to show why its author deserves a financial boost.

Scholarship Essay Example

Now that we’ve established how to approach the scholarship essay, let’s dive into a scholarship essay example. The scholarship essay below stems from a prompt we saw above: Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way (500 words).

My generation is growing up in a time of increased global turmoil. We’ve witnessed Brexit, the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, a series of refugee crises, and the invasion of Ukraine. It’s easy to liken this moment to Europe in the 1930s, which saw a spike in fascism and propaganda (their version of fake news). Only now, my generation must also contend with the hottest summers on record, raging forest fires, and the beginning of the 6 th extinction. It’s no wonder we deal with it all through increased skepticism and existential dread.

While I don’t have a simple solution, I believe most problems stem from ignorance. Xenophobia and racism, offshoots of ignorance, can be overcome by exposing isolated groups of people to greater diversity. This begins in the classroom. While dictators are hard to dispose of, education provides critical thinking skills, which allow citizens to make informed decisions when electing officials. Finally, developing a willingness to learn at an early age creates an instinct to continue learning throughout life. We desperately need intellectual flexibility if we are going to adapt to the planet’s needs as a world population and put a stop to industry-led fossil fuel burning.

Scholarship Essay Example (Continued)

The change I’d like to make is free, enhanced education for everyone, at every level, from elementary school to post-doctorate research institutes. To do so, I suggest defunding national militaries and channeling this spending into schools. Imagine if 80% of the 877 billion dollars the U.S. military spends annually went into learning. Combating fascism and climate change would look more feasible. And yet, no leader would agree to making their country more vulnerable by relinquishing arms and armies. Change must come from the people.

As the planet continues to heats up, and conflict over land increases, we must work together. The first step towards increased education is communicating this need for education: through journalism, on social media, in the streets. Next, I suggest lobbying politicians for incremental change. Finally, I believe a global grassroots movement to implement future-focused education, led by activists, educators, and philanthropists, would make this theoretical idea a tangible reality.

Last year, my mother, who never received a college education, decided to offer free gardening courses in our backyard. I quickly joined in. While teaching a handful of neighbors how to provide year-round food for pollinators may seem trivial, I’ve already seen positive repercussions. One conservative neighbor has set up an organization that collects and redistributes leftover produce from the markets to refugees. Another neighbor is now teaching middle schoolers how to cook and compost. These efforts have brought unusual strangers together and given visibility to our movement, #futurefocusededucation. I’ve seen it firsthand. The more we educate, the sooner we can combine our knowledge to create solutions.

Scholarship Essay Example Dissected

This scholarship essay succeeds at answering all parts of the prompt. It includes the change the author wants to make, and inevitable obstacles she’d face at the governmental and international level. These obstacles may sound insurmountable. Yet the essay shows that individuals are not powerless to enact change when they work together towards a common goal. The author provides various thoughtful steps we might take in order to prioritize education and peaceful collaboration.

Finally, the author portrays herself as someone personally invested in the political, humanitarian, and environmental state of the world. She proves that she’s already begun to make the changes she wants to see at the microscopic level. Overall, readers of this scholarship essay can see that this student is invested in bettering the world. This student would make for a proactive participant in her academic environment.

What’s Next?

Now that you have some inkling of how to write a scholarship essay and have reviewed of our scholarship essay examples, you may want to delve into more aid-related articles on the College Transitions Dataverse. You can read up on Need-Based Financial Aid Grants , and learn about Selective Colleges with Generous Scholarships . Furthermore, you may want to create your own Scholarship Timeline , in order to stay on top of the various deadlines. Good luck!

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Kaylen Baker

With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.

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  • Writing Tips

​How to Write a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

​How to Write a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

  • 6-minute read
  • 22nd August 2022

Writing a scholarship essay can seem like a daunting task. For many students , higher education isn’t possible without financial aid, and scholarships are especially valuable because the money awarded doesn’t have to be paid back.

Even though the stakes are high, there are a few manageable steps you can take to ensure you write a great essay to submit with your scholarship applications. We have a few top tips to help you get started, along with writing examples to demonstrate some key points. Check out our guide below to learn more.

A scholarship essay is a great opportunity to present yourself and your accomplishments in an impactful way. It is, therefore, essential to be aware of each scholarship deadline so you can allow sufficient time for the writing process, which typically includes the following:

·   Read the essay prompt and brainstorm ideas.

·   Create an outline covering the key points you want to address.

·   Write a draft and seek feedback from trusted teachers, family, or friends.

·   Make any necessary revisions and proofread before submitting your final draft.

Scholarship review committees will be able to tell if you rushed through your essay, so give yourself the best chance of winning an award by staying organized and on schedule!

Who and What?

Researching the scholarship provider and diligently reviewing the essay prompts can help you write an essay that makes you stand out as a top candidate.

1. Who are you writing to?

Learn more about the organization offering the scholarship and why the scholarship fund was created.

For instance, a scholarship may honor its organization’s founder, and the founder’s qualities (e.g., integrity, good citizenship, and leadership) might be the same values guiding the scholarship program as a way to continue the founder’s legacy.

If you identify with any of the same qualities, you can incorporate those keywords into your essay to demonstrate your shared values. Remember to remain authentic, though!

2. What are you writing about?

You must read the essay prompt carefully to identify precisely what you need to accomplish with your essay.

Some prompts ask about your career goals and how you plan to achieve them or your achievements and the challenges you overcame to reach them.

You’ll write about common topics across multiple scholarship applications – some may even be similar to your college admission essay – so you can repurpose your essays as long as you’re diligent about tailoring each one to its prompt.

Your application will likely require other items such as transcripts and test scores, but the essay is your chance to offer something entirely unique. Write about key experiences that highlight who you are and what you’ve accomplished, or you could mention something you’re passionate about.

Remember to follow any specific instructions regarding length and formatting, and be sure to answer all questions listed in the prompt. It can hurt your chances if you’re unable to show the committee that you’re detail-oriented and can follow directions.

Structuring Your Essay

Your essay should follow a standard format that includes a clear beginning, middle, and end. Typically, you should:

·   Establish your main idea in the introduction.

·   Include a separate body paragraph for each key point that supports your main idea.

·   Draw it all together and revisit your main idea in the conclusion.

Scholarship committees read thousands of essays each year. And often, there are hundreds of applicants for an award that can only go to a select few candidates. Writing a powerful introduction and conclusion gives you a chance to make a lasting impression.

1. Introduction

Write an introduction that hooks the reader and encourages them to stay engaged till the end of your essay. Don’t be afraid to add personal, tangible details and an anecdote .

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For example, if you’re writing about your career goals, demonstrate why you’ve chosen that career:

It was the biggest game of the season, and the stands were packed despite the bitter cold. My heart was beating louder than all of the cheers, and I was filled with the anticipation that one more run into the end zone would give us the championship. Everything went silent during that run when the tackle shattered both my leg and my dreams.

My world has always revolved around being an athlete – until one day it couldn’t. I spent many frustrating months rehabilitating, but I got through it because of my dedicated physical therapist, who helped me recover both physically and mentally after a devastating loss. And it was that profound experience that led me to pursue a career in the exercise sciences.

2. Conclusion

The conclusion is the last thing your reader will see, so it’s another opportunity for you to make your essay memorable.

Rather than summarizing with a general statement such as “this is why you should award me a scholarship,” perhaps explain what the financial assistance will help you achieve:

My parents never had the opportunity to go to college, and neither did their parents. I watched them work hard every day just to make ends meet, and I often questioned whether I could achieve anything more. Nevertheless, I spent four years working as hard as I saw my parents work, and I beat the odds by getting accepted to college. A scholarship could be invaluable for me, as it would allow me to attend and be successful without having to worry about finances.

Persuasive Writing

While you don’t want your scholarship essay to be overly informal, you’re certainly allowed to add some creativity and personal details to help persuade your readers.

One of the best ways to do so is by writing with the modes of persuasion ; that is, ethos, pathos, and logos.

Demonstrate your credibility. Use your real-life experiences and interesting details to establish, for example, how you’ve contributed to your community:

I saw how much bullying was impacting so many students at my school, so I founded my high school’s first anti-bullying club and organized campaigns to bring attention to the harm that people can cause one another.

Evoke an emotional response. The “show, don’t tell ” writing technique, which involves using descriptive words when discussing actions and emotions, can be especially useful here:

During one of our first awareness assemblies, the theater was completely silent as I read aloud anonymous stories from students about the scars bullying had left on their lives. Tears were stinging in my eyes as I described the struggles my classmates were facing, but I persevered to give a voice to those who didn’t have one.

Convey your point with reason and facts. Use statistics to demonstrate what you’ve accomplished:

In the first year alone, our club improved students’ feelings of safety and acceptance at our school by 53%.

Proofreading and Editing

Don’t forget the importance of proofreading your essay, as spelling and grammar mistakes can leave a bad impression on your reader. Our expert editors can help ensure your writing is clear, concise, and error-free. Give yourself a better chance at impressing scholarship committees by submitting a free trial document today!

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Scholarship Essay Writing

Scholarship Essay Examples

Barbara P

Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Students: Tips Included

37 min read

Published on: Mar 14, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

Scholarship Essay Examples

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Scholarship Essay - A Complete Writing Guide

Scholarship Essay Format - A Complete Guide

Most Popular Scholarship Essay Prompts & Questions

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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. 

On This Page On This Page -->

Scholarship Essay Examples Financial Need

Why this scholarship essay worked.

This scholarship essay example effectively conveys the applicant's financial need and their determination to overcome the challenges associated with it. Here's why this essay worked:

  • Personal Storytelling: The essay begins with a personal anecdote that establishes a connection between the applicant's background and financial constraints. This helps create empathy and demonstrates the genuine impact of financial challenges on their educational journey.
  • Resilience and Resourcefulness: The applicant showcases their resilience and resourcefulness in navigating financial hardships. They highlight their proactive approach to seeking part-time employment and actively pursuing scholarships.
  • Academic Commitment: Despite the financial strain, the applicant emphasizes their commitment to academic excellence by maintaining a high GPA. This showcases their dedication and ability to prioritize their studies amidst challenging circumstances.
  • Community Involvement : The essay also highlights the applicant's involvement in community service. This demonstrates their desire to give back and make a positive impact.
  • Connection to Scholarship: The applicant clearly articulates how receiving the scholarship would benefit them. This demonstrates a strong alignment between their goals and the purpose of the scholarship.

Want more examples, check out these winning scholarship essay examples.

Financial Aid Scholarship Essay

Scholarship Essay for Financial Need

Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself

Why this essay worked.

This scholarship essay worked for several reasons, such as:

  • It effectively showcases the applicant's passion for mathematics, community engagement, and resilience.
  • It compellingly conveyed the applicant's dedication, ambition, and potential for making a positive impact. This makes them a deserving candidate for the scholarship.
  • Clear connection to the scholarship's goals and how it would further the applicant's educational journey and impact.

Here are some scholarship essay examples about yourself; get an idea from them, and create a successful essay.

Scholarship Essay Example About Yourself

Scholarship Essay About Yourself

Scholarship Essay Examples for Nursing

Why this essay worked.

This essay worked due to its compelling portrayal of the applicant's genuine passion for nursing, coupled with their unwavering dedication to making a positive impact in patient care.

The essay effectively demonstrates the applicant's well-rounded preparation for a nursing career and their clear alignment with the goals and mission of the scholarship, making them a strong candidate for consideration.

Below are some more examples of scholarship essays for nursing.

Nursing Scholarship Essay

Scholarship Essay for Nursing

Scholarship Essay Examples About Career Goals

This essay worked for the following reasons:

  • Clear and Specific Career Goals: The essay effectively outlines the applicant's career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist specializing in mental health support. The clarity and specificity of the goal demonstrate a well-defined path and a strong sense of purpose.
  • Demonstrated Preparation and Commitment: The essay showcases the applicant's comprehensive preparation for their career goals. It also demonstrates their readiness and dedication to excel in the field.
  • Alignment with Scholarship Objectives: The essay effectively highlights how the scholarship will contribute to the applicant's career aspirations. This includes attending conferences, workshops, and advanced training programs.

If you find difficulty writing the scholarship essay about career goals, get help from the below-mentioned examples, and submit a well-written essay.

Scholarship Essay Examples About Leadership

Three reasons why this essay worked are:

  • Demonstrated Leadership Experience : This essay effectively highlights the applicant's practical experience in leadership roles, showcasing their ability to lead teams, organize events, and coordinate volunteers.
  • Commitment to Personal Growth : The essay demonstrates the applicant's proactive approach to leadership development by seeking formal training and participating in workshops focused on honing their skills. 
  • Emphasis on Collaboration and Empowerment: The essay emphasizes the applicant's belief in collaborative leadership. It promotes inclusivity and empowers team members to contribute their unique perspectives. 

Here we gather some good scholarship essay examples about leadership that help in your writing.

Leadership Scholarship Essay Example

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Scholarship Essay Examples About Community Service

Here are the reasons:

  • Genuine Passion and Commitment: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's genuine passion for community service, highlighting their long-standing involvement and the transformative impact it has had on their life. 
  • Integration of Service with Education: The essay demonstrates the applicant's proactive approach to integrating their passion for community service with their educational pursuits.
  • Aspiration for Social Change: The essay goes beyond personal experiences and highlights the applicant's aspirations for broader social change.

Here is an excellent community service scholarship essa y that can help you write for community college.

Scholarship Essay Example about Community Service

High School Scholarship Essay Examples

  • Clear and Convincing Goals: The essay effectively communicates the applicant's strong desire to pursue higher education despite financial constraints.
  • Demonstrated Leadership and Well-Roundedness: The essay showcases the applicant's involvement in extracurricular activities. It highlights their ability to balance academic responsibilities with active participation in clubs, sports teams, and community service initiatives.
  • Emphasis on Giving Back and Community Engagement: The essay not only focuses on the applicant's personal aspirations but also highlights their commitment to giving back to their community.

The following are the best high school scholarship essay examples, use this for your help, and write an attention-grabbing essay.

Scholarship Essay Example for High School

Scholarship Essay for High School

Scholarship Essay Examples for University

Why this essay works.

Three reasons why this essay works are:

  • Strong Personal Motivation: The essay effectively communicates the applicant's unwavering commitment and determination to pursue a university education.
  • Articulation of Long-Term Goals and Social Impact: The essay goes beyond highlighting the applicant's academic achievements and financial needs. It emphasizes the applicant's desire to contribute to their community and make a positive impact on society.
  • The connection between Scholarship and Applicant's Potential: The essay effectively illustrates how receiving the scholarship would directly address the financial burden. Plus, it will enable the applicant to fully embrace the university experience.

Here are some excellent scholarship essay examples for university students that help you in writing the essay.

Scholarship Essay Example for University Students

Scholarship Essay Examples for Engineering

This essay worked because of the following reasons:

  • Passion and Commitment: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's deep passion for engineering. It also shows their genuine commitment to making a positive impact in this field.
  • Alignment with Scholarship Objectives: It clearly establishes the connection between the scholarship and the applicant's goals in engineering.
  • Future Impact and Growth: It also communicates the applicant's aspiration to contribute to the field of engineering and make a positive difference in the world.

The following is another scholarship essay example that can help you in creating the perfect essay on your own.

Scholarship Essay Examples for Masters

This essay worked for several reasons:

  • Clear Purpose and Goal: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's clear purpose and goal of pursuing a master's degree. It highlights the transformative impact that a master's degree can have on personal and professional growth.
  • Financial Need and Scholarship Alignment : The essay addresses the financial challenges associated with pursuing a master's degree. It demonstrates the direct alignment between the scholarship and the applicant's needs.
  • Impact and Giving Back : The essay goes beyond personal aspirations and emphasizes the applicant's intention to make a broader impact on their community and society.

Here is an example that you can use as a guide and write a perfect scholarship essay.

Why Should You Receive this Scholarship Essay Examples

Three brief reasons why this essay worked are:

  • Clear and Convincing Arguments : The essay presents concise and compelling arguments to support the applicant's case for receiving the scholarship.
  • Personal Connection : It demonstrates how receiving the scholarship would directly impact the applicant's academic journey
  • Gratitude and Future Commitment : It expresses sincere gratitude for the opportunity and emphasizes the applicant's commitment to making the most of the scholarship.

Here is an example, take help from them for your scholarship essay.

Why Should You Receive this Scholarship Essay Example

Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples

  • Compelling Personal Story: The essay effectively presents the applicant's personal story and highlights their dedication and commitment to their education
  • Addressing Academic Excellence and Financial Need : The essay successfully addresses both academic excellence and financial need, which are two crucial aspects considered by scholarship committees.
  • Commitment to Making an Impact: The essay goes beyond the applicant's personal goals and emphasizes their dedication to making a positive impact in their community. 

Here’s 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 !

We also have a team of experienced and professional essay writers who can provide personal essay writing service with valuable insights. 

Hire our college paper writing service  today and take the next step towards securing the financial aid you deserve.

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10 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples From Real Students

Make your application shine.

Only at the ice rink could I be myself; the feeling of the cold rink breeze embracing me, the ripping sound of blades touching the ice, even the occasional ice burning my skin as I fell—these were my few constants.

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. 

Start early

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!

Be professional

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.

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.

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 more involved I became, the more I learned as a leader and as a person.

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. 

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.

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. 

If this devastating experience has taught me anything, it is this: financial planning for these situations is absolutely invaluable.

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. 

As I’ve grown I’ve learned to fight my own monsters but I now also battle the ones that frighten my parents, the monsters of a world that they weren’t born into.

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. 

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

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. 

Only at the ice rink could I be myself; the feeling of the cold rink breeze embracing me, the ripping sound of blades touching the ice, even the occasional ice burning my skin as I fell—these were my few constants.

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. 

My growth as a person was exponential. I rewrote so many areas of my life where I didn’t do things I wanted because of social conditioning.

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. 

This is a tremendous goal, but for me, it is an opportunity to make a difference – in my neighborhood and for my Spanish community.

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. 

By raising awareness of racial disparities that occur everywhere, I might encourage a new wave of change in our country ...

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Need money for college? These scholarship essay examples will help your application stand out over the competition!

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A Complete Guide on How To Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

03.05.2022 • 10 min read

Bob Patterson

Former Stanford Director of Admissions

Here’s how to write a scholarship essay. Learn what it is and why it is important in this step-by-step guide with tips and examples.

In This Article

Scholarships 101

Writing the best scholarship essays, step-by-step to a great scholarship essay, 15 scholarship essay tips.

Scholarships have come a long way since 1643, when Lady Anne Radcliffe Mowlson established the first scholarship program at Harvard University. Once unknown, they’re now a term used so frequently and so ubiquitously that they’ve almost become a central element to funding a higher education. With college costs having tripled in the last 20 years , scholarships give students like you a way to make college dreams more affordable.

Grants and scholarships appear under the larger term “Gift Aid” which, as its title suggests, is a gift of aid. It’s money awarded to you with the purpose of reducing the cost of your education without ever having to be repaid. The funding for this aid can come from the government, colleges themselves, and private organizations, and can range anywhere from $100 to $100,000 or more. The aid may come with certain requirements, such as ensuring you keep a 3.5 GPA or play on the college football team. All you may need to do is complete a scholarship application, write an essay, and then accept. One example is the Don't Text and Drive Scholarship . You can qualify for $1,000 by simply completing an easy online application and writing a 140-character pledge to not text and drive.

Grants vs Scholarships

How to get a grant differs from getting a scholarship. It’s important to know the difference. The main thing to remember is that grants are often need-based; meaning they are awarded to you based on your family’s finances. Then scholarships are mainly merit-based; meaning they are awarded to you because you have a particular quality, such as academic ability or athletic promise, in which the university is interested.

Competing for Scholarships

When it comes to applying for and receiving scholarships, competition is always fierce—especially so for international students. The odds of receiving a scholarship can range from 1 in 8 to 1 in 500 . But don’t let that discourage you! If you don’t try, you won’t receive anything; but if you do try, there’s a chance.

Last year alone, the students we worked with received:

$120,000 from the University of Southern California

$100,000 from George Washington University

$100,000 from Goucher College

$68,000 from Northeastern University

$60,000 from American University

$48,000 from the New School Parsons School of Design

$40,000 from the University of California San Diego

$13,000 from NYU

Application Requirements

The application process for individual scholarships differs substantially, and often there are countless forms to fill out, essays to write, and preparation to do ahead of time. On the other hand, some simply require you to apply by a certain date. For example, applying by USC’s December 1 deadline automatically ensures that they consider you for all of their merit scholarships. Planning ahead and doing your research are essential if you’re looking for a scholarship; they can appear in the most unlikely of places.

After you’ve done all your research, figured out your deadlines, and read the essay requirements, it’s probably time to think about writing. All scholarships will have different focuses and requirements depending on why the scholarship exists. But each essay is your chance to share your story: why you’re submitting a scholarship application and why you should be the one to benefit from it. These essays are your chance to show a scholarship committee who you are and why you’re here.

Example Essay Prompts

Tell the scholarship committee about yourself. What differentiates you from the hundreds of students who apply to our scholarship? Why are you unique?

Leadership & Initiative

Tell us about a time you positively contributed to group efforts, where you stepped up as leader in your high school, or made a positive contribution to your community.

Overcoming Challenges

Tell us about a time you failed or something didn’t go to plan; what did you learn from the experience? Describe how you were changed by a circumstance, obstacle, or conflict in your life and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Describe an experience where you collaborated/interacted with people whose beliefs differed from yours, perhaps during a volunteering experience or as part of community service; what happened?

Topic-Based

Describe your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide. Describe a social entrepreneurship endeavor that you hope to make (or have started to make) a reality. What is the one technology resource you hope will shape tomorrow’s world?

What are the circumstances that have impacted your life financially and emotionally to date? What impact would this financial aid/scholarship have on your education? How would you aim to use this scholarship to your benefit or to the benefit of others? Why do you deserve this scholarship?

Future Goals

Why do you want to go to college? Why is your college application important to you? What are your short-term and long-term goals? What is it that you want to achieve and how will a college education help you get there? Describe your high school experience and how you hope your college one will be different.

Focus on Sharing Your Experiences

Whether you write about your personal background, your high school experience, a community service opportunity, or your career goals, your scholarship essay is about you and your experiences. Keep your focus on what the question is asking and how your personal experiences can answer it.

modes of persuasion graphic - ethos, pathos and logos

Many students find “ ethos, pathos, and logos ” useful to consider; you want to create an essay that is believable and has both emotion and reason. You need to be the authority on your own life, creating a world for the reader to imagine themselves in, while also giving them logical, tangible experiences to hold on to. Personally, I like the Mary Poppins jumping into the painting approach: you’re drawing a world on the pavement for admissions to jump into. Your story becomes real because it envelops them—they’re getting an insight into your life, your experiences, and your emotions. By the end of the essay, they understand you.

After reading the question, pick out all the keywords and write down as many relevant personal experiences as you can think of. Make connections, go on tangents, explore in and around the theme, and find your compelling story. Sometimes it’s useful to pick a few ideas and explore them thoroughly before you choose the one that works best–sometimes the best ideas come out of nowhere.

Find Your Structure & Outline

Every good essay—whether the word count is 150 or 1500—needs an introduction, somebody paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction needs to be the thing that “hooks” the reader in. The middle needs to add some detail, and the conclusion wraps everything up. The story doesn’t have to be linear, but the structure does.

If you’ve got the idea, the writing process will come. Just don’t be afraid! You have to start somewhere, so just write and keep writing. Don’t delete anything in that first draft—even if you hate it or it sounds cheesy. Don’t worry about starting at the beginning—sometimes the middle or the end are good places to start. Also, don’t be afraid to go back a step and brainstorm some more. Most importantly, you should trust yourself.

Edit & Rewrite

A key part of the scholarship essay writing process is editing and rewriting. Essays don’t happen overnight. They require hard work to get right. This step is where you develop your ideas, clarify your thoughts, and find the right structure. You want to ensure that your scholarship essay is easy to read, flowing from one sentence to another and from each structural component to the next. Put it down, come back to it later with fresh eyes, and read it as if you were reading it for the first time. Does it work? Keep going over your essay until you can say “yes” to that question.

Typos, grammatical mistakes, and spelling mistakes are your enemy. Even the most beautiful content can be a letdown by using “their” when you meant “there.” Ensure you check and double check your essay for mistakes and don’t be afraid of using spellcheck, something like Grammarly, or asking a family member to help you. Proofreading should be the final step in your scholarship essay. Once you’ve done everything you can think of to make it the best essay for you, consider it done and don’t look back.

1. Be honest.

These are your scholarship applications and your college future; start with the truth.

2. Follow your passion.

Write about something you love! Not only will it land better with a scholarship committee, but it will actually be easier to write.

3. Focus on what you learned.

The story is important, but what you learned and took from the experience is essential. Colleges want to know that you’ll bring everything you’ve learned with you to college.

4. Self-reflection is key.

Without oversharing, preaching or lecturing, really think critically about what makes you, you. Ask your friends and family members for your best qualities. Think about what you love learning or doing, and be specific—focus in on a particular activity, experience, or personality trait that defines you.

5. Edit, edit, edit.

Proofread, proofread, proofread. Again and again. The little mistakes can make a big difference.

6. Keep it personal.

It may be that you’re applying for a specific scholarship that means you need to connect with a particular social issue, high school experience, technological advancement, or subject. Colleges will be interested in your experience and how you relate to that particular topic or issue.

7. Don’t be afraid to re-use something you’ve already written.

It’s likely you’ve already written something about yourself as part of your application process; as long as they address the prompt and are specific to that scholarship program/university, you can re-use all scholarship essays!

8. Show, don’t tell.

Really paint a picture with your words, describe your emotions, and help the reader imagine everything you experienced.

9. Focus on yourself.

There will be many deserving college students, but focus on what you can bring to the program/scholarship and why your experience is something admissions need to hear. It’s not about other students, it’s about you!

10. Negative experiences aren’t off-limits.

As long as you can describe the positive elements in the negative experience and focus on what you’ve learned, this strategy can really work. Sometimes you learn more from the challenges you overcome.

11. Follow instructions & answer the essay prompt.

It’s an easy thing to forget, but don’t get carried away. Return to the prompt and make sure you do as you’re asked. This includes sticking to the word count.

12. Define your goals.

Ask yourself who you want to become and what skills or personality traits you want to develop. Focus on how this particular college education will help you get there.

13. Do your research.

The most successful scholarship essays will mention specific details about that college, program, major, and other opportunities that you can take advantage of. Read it back to yourself and ask: could this have been written about anywhere? (Try to avoid cliches too.)

14. Have fun!

See any application as an opportunity to share something about yourself in your own words with admissions. These essays are something you have control over.

15. Embrace yourself.

Be yourself and use your own voice. It’s the most powerful tool you have.

About the Author

Bob Patterson is a former Director of Admissions at Stanford University, UNC Chapel Hill, and UC Berkeley; Daisy Hill is the co-author of Uni in the USA…and beyond published by the Good Schools Guide 2019. Together, they have established MyGuidED, a new educational tool for students looking to apply to university (launching 2023).

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How to Write a Scholarship Essay and Win

A young man smiling at his computer.

For a college student, scholarships are the best assistance to financial aid. However, as a college sophomore, I had no desire to write essays that had nothing to do with my school curriculum.

My days of writing essays for enjoyment departed when 5-page minimums became necessary to pass a class. But, I have recognized that scholarships are a resourceful way to boost financial aid IF you dedicate your time to them.

By practicing some or all of these skills I did to win my first scholarship, your college education could be a source of not only financial freedom but also income. Now, when you are writing a personal statement or essay for a scholarship, you should repeat this mantra: 

“This scholarship will pay for my education. I will win this scholarship.”

A big part of receiving my scholarship came from manifestation. When I worked towards my scholarship, I immediately began telling myself I would win the scholarship (I have the TikTok drafts to prove it).

Telling yourself that you already have what you desire pushes the drive to obtain said desire. Affirming your wants only pulls them closer. Setting your mind up mentally for success is key to achieving what you manifest. 

Now that you believe in your ability to win, you have to begin putting in the work. My scholarship required that I 1) Have a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, 2) Be African American, 3) Be a college sophomore or junior, 4) major in business or science, and 5) attend two or more NSLS Speaker Broadcasts.

So, when you are applying for a scholarship, make sure you check off ALL boxes of the eligibilities! Be sure to read the rules and policies of each scholarship you apply to, even if they are a page or two long, as it will help you in the long run.

When you have checked off the eligibility requirements, it is time for the longest part of the scholarship: the essay/personal statement. Most scholarships have a word or page count, and this is the time when you shine.

I have learned that essay and personal statement scholarships are gems, as most people avoid these because they have to write. Do not let this dissuade you.

The best part about personal statements/essays is that they give the writing material, and it’s either about where you see yourself in the future, the scholarship company, your interest, or something random.

In the case of my scholarship, I had to write a personal statement on my career interest and goals. So, here are the steps I followed for my personal statement.

  • Be honest. As obvious as it sounds, you want to write about something that applies to yourself or your future self. Even though you may never encounter the scholarship committee, write something you would not be ashamed to speak aloud! Not to mention, you’ll have much more conviction and passion if it is something you have done or see yourself doing.
  • Outline/write a rough draft. Realistically, we would all love to be able to open our computers and type the perfect essay and submit it. But, it is better to have a rough draft before you compose a final. When I wrote my personal statement, I sectioned it out; 1) my past and current achievements, 2) how my current achievements play into my career goals 3) how my career will influence my future and my community. Treating the personal statement/essay like a memoir helped create a flow for my paper.  Outlining your essay before writing your rough draft will produce a story-like flow, grabbing the attention of the scholarship committee! 
  • Get your rough draft revised. Now, you may read your essay and think it is perfect, but there is no shame in getting a fresh set of eyes. Throughout my high school and college freshman career, I was stubborn about going to the writing resource center and only used Grammarly to revise my paper. Having your work checked may feel embarrassing, but you have nothing to fear. Paid professionals and staff in writing centers, schools, and universities work to help you improve your craft. If you want helpful criticism and an elevated chance at winning, have a tutor or teacher review your paper. 
  • Rework your rough draft (a.k.a “the final draft”). With your revised rough draft, you will enter the final stages of the winning essay. You can use the same process in step 1, digging deeper for enriching material to help your paper reach the word count. Remember, do not make your personal statement or essay extremely personal. Although the goal is to tell the scholarship committee about yourself, you do not want to sound too eager or revealing. A general rule of thumb is if you would not feel comfortable reading it out loud, it might be too much (of course, still have it revised with resource centers for accuracy). 
  • Get your final draft checked. Did you think you only had to get revised once? The more you get your paper checked, the better! While you are getting your paper checked, be sure to engage with the tutors and ask them questions about your essay to ensure you understand their criticisms and resolutions to your work.
  • Turn in your paper. You’ve done it! You have completed the scholarship statement, and now you can submit it.

Now that you have the steps to submit a winning personal statement, here are a couple of tips as you write the essay and apply for scholarships in general.

  • Start on your essay as soon as it opens! Working on your scholarship far from the deadline is essential for time management and accuracy. Giving yourself enough time to outline, write, and revise your essay will heighten your chances of winning and build your writing skills.
  • Indent your paragraphs. Writing in paragraphs helps transition your essay/personal statement and builds character. Not to mention, it shows the scholarship committee that you know how to format a paper!
  • Write a general essay/personal statement. A great rule of thumb is that scholarship essays can be reused (it is your work). Your foundation paper can be about yourself and your career goals, academics, why you pursued your major, and how you will prompt change with your education. 
  • Apply to “you” specific scholarships. When applying for scholarships, research scholarships that speak to you as an individual. For instance, if you are a junior in high school and you play soccer, research High School Athlete Scholarships or Soccer Scholarships. If you are a college student, research scholarships for your major (Public Health Scholarships). You can also research scholarships that apply to general interests or hobbies. With more individuality in your search, you make it easier to write your paper. 
  • Apply to as many scholarships as you can. Winning scholarships is like the lottery; you only win if you play. By applying to multiple scholarships, you steadily increase your chances of winning. Plus, it boosts your writing creativity, but be sure not to overload yourself!
  • Never stop applying! As tireless as it is to apply for scholarships, never stop ! Your chances can only improve if you continue applying. Aim to apply for 3-5 scholarships a month, and watch those Congratulations come in. Great scholarship websites are: 
  • UNCF (United Negro College Fund)
  • Scholarship Owl

Companies such as McDonald’s, Delta, and Amazon offer scholarships for employees, their families, and students.

Scholarships are a wise tool for financial freedom as you pursue higher education. Although they may be uninviting based on word or page count minimum, do not let this intimidate you.

Just think about how relieving it would be to have that money for tuition, books, and housing. If you garner enough scholarships, your university could end up rebating you for the surplus (which is more money for you!).

Anticipating the bigger picture of scholarships and what they can do for you is more splendid than what is holding you back. If I could go back to my sophomore year of high school, I would have begun researching for scholarships immediately.

As a college sophomore, I implore you to take that first step and apply for a scholarship that requires a writing piece. Do not be afraid to go out and search for those scholarships, and remember that you have what it takes to be a winner!

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Author: Harper Cooper

Hi! My name is Harper. I am a rising sophomore at Xavier University of Louisiana, majoring in Biology on a Pre Med track. I live in Atlanta, GA and I enjoy live music, reading, writing, and lifting. I am the founder of Black Women Do STEAM, an organization focused on uplifting and promoting Black Women in the STEAM field. I am also a mental health advocate, with aspirations to open up a sexual and mental health clinic.

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How To Write A Scholarship Essay - Scholarship Essay Examples

Published: 30 Jun 2020 Scholarship Application 123,259 views

How To Write A Scholarship Essay - Scholarship Essay Examples

Looking for how to write a good scholarship essay for your scholarship application? This article contains all you need to know with scholarship essay examples.

Hey folks. How are you doing? So today we are going to hit the road on the journey of composing a stellar scholarship essay. Do you know why? Writing a scholarship essay is a capital stage of the scholarship application process. With a well – constructed essay, you would introduce yourself to the university in question as an adept applicant who is fit for a scholarship award and a tenacious candidate who would make the best out of his/ her studies. So it’s time to learn, apply and win!

These are the following sub-topics of the article:

  • What is a scholarship essay
  • The Perfect guide to scholarship essay
  • How to structure and format a scholarship essay
  • How to tailor your scholarship essay to the topic given
  • Three winning scholarship essay examples
  • Different types of scholarship essay
  • 4 reasons why you should use a scholarship template
  • Tips for using a scholarship essay template
  • Scholarship essay Dos’ and Donts’
  • How to use a scholarship essay

WHAT IS A SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY?

A scholarship application essay is a statement that aims at persuading the university, a high school or a college that you deserve the scholarship. As simple as that! It is a stage where you explain the reasons for choosing to study a particular course in college. You express your intentions, your struggles, your motivation, your career drive, your purpose and the impact that the course of study would have on your personal and professional goals. You are also entitled to purport your reasons for a financial aid. They say that while the scholarship application is cold and informs, the scholarship essay is heartwarming and persuades. In essence, YOU TELL YOUR STORY. Now, there are thousands of scholarship essays that are religiously screened by the university board. How can you make your winning scholarship application essay exceptional, mind -  captivating and impossibly irresistible?

THE PERFECT 8 – STEP GUIDE TO WRITING A WINNING SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY

Plan and know your audience in advance.

A menacing mistake that you have to avoid as an applicant is to wait for the last minute before you proceed with applying for scholarship. If you fall into that trap, there is an immense possibility that the quality of your essay would be poor and would ruin the chance of gaining an admission to a higher institution. Instead of committing this error, why don’t you set up a calendar for each scholarship you applying for before the deadline? In that way, you ensure a professionally written scholarship application essay.

As you plan for the process, you also need to be abreast of what the board is looking for in suitable candidates. Conduct a research in the strengths, achievements or awards of the university and the competencies of past winning candidates. Find ways in which you can tailor your strengths with the assets that the board is looking for.

Follow the Instructions and choose the topic that interest you the most

Don’t peruse or read the scholarship essay outline in a haste. Ensure that you are circumspect in following the directions given. If details, such as word count, are neglected, then you may impair your chances of getting an admission in the institution of your choice.

From the scholarship essay outline, choose the topic that interests you the most. A topic that you are passionate about will serve as an enabler to give your very best at the writing scholarship essay that thrills.

Keep a good structure and create a strong introduction

Make sure that your thoughts and ideas pertaining to the topic you have chosen are penned down. When constructing your scholarship application essay, your sentences shouldn’t be in disarray. Rather, they should follow a logical order that can carry the reader along. Also, your introductory sentences should be impactful. They are the first to be read so they own the strongest part of the scholarship application essay. Which of the following invites you the most?

A : I started high school when I was just 10 years old and the faces in class were so unfamiliar.

B: I was just 10 years old when I cowardly stepped into the first class of the high school. Who would have thought that the faces marked the most defining part of my life!

Which of the previous sentences appealed to you the most? That’s right! Unlike the A sentence, the B sentence made you wonder why and how the faces in class defined an important part of the writer’s life. That’s exactly how the university board should feel about your essay. Make them wonder “why” and “how”! 

Show Emotions

One unique way in which the reader connects with the writer is by understanding the emotions that are delineated. Express your weaknesses, your soft spots and narrate how your experiences challenged you to become a better you. The university board wants to know about your vulnerabilities and how you can overcome them. This would depict self awareness – a quality that is highly appreciated by the universities.

Share Real – life examples

What would make your scholarship application essay even more delectable is using real life examples. In the process of writing your scholarship essay, dramatize the scenes of your experience in a way that convey suspense, adventure or empathy. Writing a scholarship essay in that manner will encourage the reader to stay glued to your essay.

Write a conclusion that leaves much to be desired.

Writing a scholarship essay is one thing but keeping your readers inspired is another. While other applicants would compose a conclusion that seems to be the summary of the entire essay, decorate the concluding part with attention - grabbing sentences or leave a question unanswered!

Edit and Proofread

As much as we want to believe that we have completed an essay unerringly, you have to be very cautious with your work. Read and proofread as much as possible. Seek for the assistance of your family and friend to read the essay out loud and detect errors (if any) on the tone or style of the essay.

Make Good use of the Available Scholarship Essays Online

There are copious examples of winning scholarship essay outlines that can guide you further in writing a scholarship essay in a decorous way. As this article progresses, you would encounter some examples of scholarship essays that are worth looking up to.

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HOW TO STRUCTURE AND FORMAT THE SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY

Now that you have the perfect guide to composing an essay, it’s time to structure your format. What is a format? A format is a way of formally arranging and developing ideas. A format can help you to organize your scholarship essay by checking to see if and how ideas connect to each other and whether some points need more support.

  • Identify the topic :  As it was earlier mentioned, choose a topic that interests you the most. When you do so, you will be able to express your ideas appropriately
  • Figure out the main points : When you are done, it would be wise to deliberate on the ideas. Ask yourself: Why is this topic important? Did the scenes around this topic make me recount ebullient or demoralizing thoughts? This is where you have to be more specific
  • Arrange the main points in a logical order and use them in the outline: Depending on the progress of the essay, the order can be changed later
  • Create sub – points beneath each major idea : There should be at least two sub - points for each main idea. In that way, you can maintain a savory flow for your essay
  • Evaluate the format : Give your structure one more glance. Are your ideas or points properly arranged? Can they guide you to well - established paragraphs? Do they sound equivocal?

HOW TO TAILOR YOUR SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY TO THE TOPIC GIVEN?

Writing a scholarship essay can quite daunting! So you may choose to compose an essay and employ it for every scholarship you apply for! But remember – the judges at the university board are willful at digging out the students’ passion. A generic essay will only decimate your efforts. So you have to tailor your essay with the topic chosen from the scholarship essay outline. How?

If your topic is concerned with community service, construct your essay in a way that shows how appreciative you are and how you are using the scholarship as a means of giving back to the community. If the essay prompt requires you to express how important education is to you be veracious and relate the challenges you had to overcome to be able to apply for a scholarship. You can express that you are so vehement that you could never throw in the towel on education.  Do you get the idea?

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIP ESSAYS (WITH EXAMPLES)

Interesting fact! There are diverse types of scholarship essays. Some essay prompts will require you to express how a scholarship would be a means to your career advancement. These would be in the category of scholarship essay examples about career goals. Various essay prompts will request that you relate the ways through which a scholarship would serve your educational goals. These would be in the category of college scholarship essay. Others will allow you to write an essay that describes your finanacial needs. Another type is the college scholarship essay. That's the financial need essay The most common essay prompt is the “Tell us about yourself” essay. Let’s start with that.

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Tell us about yourself (with examples)

This is an open – ended question with lots of gaps to fill in. You might ask: What should I tell about myself? Are they asking about my passion, my strengths, my education. Well although the question may sound tricky, you can be guided with the following areas that might interest your scholarship committee. They may include your current degree (as it applies to your overall goals), your short term and long term professional goals, your past experiences that sparked your passions or something about you that relate to the institution.

Well, of course you are not expected to share information in all the aforementioned areas of discussion. But this would serve as a manual in choosing the elements that best fit the scholarship.

These essays are usually short scholarship essays. For example ( scholarshiptab.com ):

“ My name is David Luis. I am a high school senior who will be attending the University of Oxford. I am getting a degree in Marketing so I can become a digital marketer. My goal is to work for Amazon, Google, Huffington Post, or another company that has a strong online presence. The internet is already where most people shop, and the industry will be even bigger by the time I graduate. Getting a degree in marketing with a focus on digital marketing will set me up for a fulfilling, fast-paced career fit for the future.”

See? Simple. Concise. Understandable!

Here is a medium scholarship essay of a “Tell us About yourself” essay prompt

My name is Joy, and I spent the better part of my childhood on the wrong medication. I am a survivor of a common problem in clinical psychology – misdiagnosis. From antiquated testing methods to limited education, there are many reasons why professionals provide inaccurate diagnoses. I want to help change that. Therefore, I am pursuing a Ph.D . in Clinical Neuropsychology so I can open my own psychological testing facility.

I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child because I had trouble focusing in school. My doctor prescribed medication to improve my symptoms, but all it did was make me numb to the world around me. I couldn’t think or process emotions, and most of the time, I had no emotions at all. I went through this for several years until my parents finally decided to get a second opinion.

They took me to someone who specialized in psychological testing for children. Her evaluation showed that I didn’t have ADHD at all, just a combination of dyslexia and dysgraphia (difficulties with reading and writing). She put us in touch with 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.

Simple. Convincing. Narrative

Statement of financial need essay

This is the type that required you to write an essay describing your financial need. In this case you are expected to relate the nature of your financial need. It is advisable that you maintain a positive tone throughout the essay, not self - pity. While composing your essay, don't be dismissive of other people's financial deficiency. Show respect in everything you write while you are writing an essay describing your financial need. Furthermore, ensure that you tell your story with honesty. Don't use a tone that will make you sound needy. Rather, if you have a room for further disclosure, you can discuss your career goals. Want a scholarship essay sample on financial need?

Here is an example of a short scholarship essay on financial needs essay

I am the first person in my family to graduate high school, and thus the first to attend college. Both of my parents dropped out of school when they were teenagers. Because of their limited education, they have always worked in entry-level positions, earning barely enough to put food on the table. My first job I got was at the age of 12 delivering papers, and I have worked hard ever since to relieve pressure from my family.

I enrolled in Mississippi’s HELP program during my senior year, which covers tuition and fees at select colleges in the state. I also have a Federal Pell Grant to cover my housing. However, I still need funding for books, supplies, and transportation to campus as needed. I am an engineering student, and our classes come with high fees. My parents cannot contribute to my college expenses, and I cannot work much while I’m in school. This scholarship would help me avoid costly student loans that could take years to repay.

Writing an essay describing your financial need may be tasky. However you know why you need some financial assistance. Tap into your circumstances and construct a perfect essay

Scholarship essay examples about career goals:

In your scholarship application essay, you may be asked to explain your career goals. Why? Well, it is logical that a scholarship committee would want to know how investing in your education will help your goals. What can you do to win their hearts?

This may be like college scholarship essay examples. Tie in the career goals with your scholarship. See how you can relate the two. Be precise about your career goals and discuss how your education will help you achieve your career goals. Below you will see scholarship essay examples about career goals

Here is a short scholarship essay on career goals:

My name is Julie Peters, and I am currently a sophomore at Texas Tech University. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Companion Animal Science to complete my Pre-Vet qualifications. After undergraduate school, I plan to transfer to Texas A&M to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

My goal is to become a veterinarian, primarily serving rescue organizations and animal shelters. I was born and raised in the south, where it is common for people to abandon animals in rural areas. Those animals then go into a rescue – emaciated, frightened, and confused. I want to work with rescues to provide affordable veterinary medicine to the animals they save. This scholarship would help me continue my education and potentially save thousands of abandoned animals in the future.

Another medium sized scholarship essay for career goals is the following

My name is Patrick Holden and I am a first-year freshman at the University of Michigan. I am studying the field of Linguistics with the goal of become a high school English teacher. I will either major in English and minor in Linguistics or major in Linguistics with a minor in English. After I have completed my core courses in college, I will be able to take more classes related these fields and narrow down my degree decision.

I did not always want to be an English teacher. I always saw myself in some sort of corporate office, perhaps as an executive assistant or a loan officer at a bank. My father works in the finance office for a car dealership and my mother works at a call center. I assumed I would follow a similar, albeit boring, path in life.

In my junior year of high school, everything changed. My English teacher inspired me in ways I could have never imagined. She got me to love writing, literature, etymology, and everything about the English language. She made me want to be a better student in all of my classes, and she helped me see the value of education. I decided then that I wanted to inspire other students just as she did for me.

Since both of my parents are working-class citizens, they do not have much money to contribute toward my college expenses. I have earned a tuition scholarship based on my ACT score, but I still need additional funding for books and supplies. English majors have particularly high book costs because we have to purchase multiple books for each class. With the help of this scholarship, I could afford to continue my degree and become an English teacher.

There are a lot more types, eg college scholarship essay examples. These are all found on the Internet.

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REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD USE A SCHOLARSHIP ESSSAY TEMPLATE

The guide and scholarship essay format earlier mentioned in this article can serve as a scholarship template. Now, you might believe that there is no need to compose an essay that is structured in a specific way. But hey! You have to impress the scholarship board, right? So why don’t do so in the right way? Here are four reasons why you should use a scholarship essay template on a college scholarship essay, for instance.

1. It helps you plan properly . If you don’t have a structured scholarship essay, you may not plan for it as appropriately as you should be. And that’s definitely not a time saver. But a scholarship essay template will help in composing an essay in an amazing manner and promptly.

2. Some scholarships use the same essay prompts. As you have seen in the previous section of the article, most essay prompts are being repeated. Statement of purpose for scholarship, financial needs essays, college scholarship essay or scholarship essay examples with career goals can be asked many times from various scholarship boards. Having this mind, a template would give a hitch on what to write and how to express it.

3. You may go out of point. Remember, we said that you should choose a topic that you are most passionate about (for example, statement of purpose for scholarship). Well, for the same reason you have a zest for the topic in question, you may pour your thoughts openly without a coordinated manner. Simply put, you may not know when to stop. So a scholarship template will definitely save you from all that stress and help you keep a coherent content.

4. A template may help you in following the instructions . A scholarship outline is always given for the candidates to follow. Now templates such as that of the scholarship with career goals or high school scholarship essay will have similar instructions embedded in order to keep you on track. These templates will give you a great scholarship essay help.

DO'S AND DONT'S FOR SCHOLARSHIP ESSAYS

We want you to get that scholarship and study in the place you desire. That's why we want you to be extra chart with your essay. There are some things you can do and there are some things you just have to avoid. So here is an extra scholarship essay help.

DO'S for a scholarship essay

Do be original: While you make sure that your essay is magnetizing, don't lose your identity in the process. In writing a statement of purpose for scholarship, write boldly, be original. Don't be afraid about telling your story. Be humble and bold

  • Do Talk about your Achievement: Before you gave the scholarship a try, you must have had some worthwhile accomplishments. Relate them. Make sure you keep that humble tone and relate them with the topic
  • Do write in a captivating way: Your message should be clear, concise, concrete and compelling

Dont's for your scholarship essay

  • Don't start every sentence with “I”: This may be quite tempting. Keep in mind, though, you have an audience (the scholarship committee). Explain how awarding you for a scholarship would be benefit the school
  • Don't get too complex: Your scholarship doesn't have to be verbose. For instance in a scholarship essay sample on financial need Try to use a professional, polished top e but at the same time, compose it in a way that is simple and understanding
  • Don't be too generic: Get specific and be unique. Don't beat around the bush. Constructively detailed experiences are a great way to win the hearts of the committee.

HOW TO USE A SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY TEMPLATE

If you are still wondering, how to use a scholarship essay template, then we have included copious of them in this article. Since a scholarship essay could be that thing you need to make your scholarship hunting process a successful one, then creating a selling scholarship essay becomes really important. Writing an impressive scholarship essay such as writing an essay describing your financial need for the first time could be really challenging, but using a template makes it easy for you to edit and personalize your scholarship essay. Check out The Perfect 8 – Step Guide to Writing Scholarship and Different Types of Scholarship Essays sections. Use the tips in this article to write the perfect scholarship essay that can help you stand out from other applicant.  For example, there are scholarship essay example on financial need and college scholarship essay examples

THREE WINNING EXAMPLES ON SCHOLARSHIP ESSAYS

We can't leave you without some real life examples of thrilling Scholarship Essays. So here are some of them to give you an idea of what the scholarship committee is looking for.

1.  Scholarship Success  by 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.“

Comments? It shares a personal story of realization. Gabby 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. She reflects on her previous fears and explains how she’s moved past those to grow.

2. Who is a “Good” Doctor? by Joseph Lee

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.”

Comments? It's a captivating story. It's personal and believable. He composed an essay in a way that showed how a big ordeal in his life shifted his perspective.

3. Life Happens Scholarship by Emily Trader

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 .”

Comments? He shares how hardships made him who he is today. He includes emotional details and  at the same time plans for the future. He confirms that his citizenship isn't a bottle neck but he strives to provide for his family.

As you can see, scholarship essay is an inexhaustible topic. Yet, with so many tips, guide, Dos and Dont's, we are confident that you will do a great job in creating an exceptional story on college scholarship essay examples. The aforementioned examples on scholarship essay sample on financial need are also available to give a taste of what a committee is looking for. If you need help on scholarship essay, it's more than available. We have the perfect scholarship essay help

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Top 10 scholarship essay prompts and how to answer them (with infographic)

Checking each scholarship application’s questions and essays can be time-consuming. But what if you could find out what the most common essay topics were–and then reuse those same scholarship essays across multiple applications?

Well, Going Merry can help you do just that. We took a random sample of about 700 scholarship applications on our scholarship platform and categorized the prompts for any essays requiring 250 or more words. Finally, we ran the numbers to find out what the top 10 most common scholarship essay prompts are. 

These 10 topics represented a whopping 90% of all scholarship essay prompts. So that means if you had these 10 essays ready to go, you could apply to the vast majority of scholarships with very little additional work, especially when you use Going Merry’s auto-filled application forms .  

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Most Common Scholarship Essay Prompts.

  • Here’s an excerpt of the winning scholarship essay from John Flowers Jr.:

2. How have you contributed to your community?

3. tell us about yourself., 4. tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it., 5. what are your academic and/or career goals, 6. what impact has sports had on your life.

  • And here’s a winning essay on this scholarship topic from Jesús Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez:

Here’s an example of a winning scholarship essay from Gabby DeMott in which a student developed a new understanding of herself and others.

Here’s a winning going merry scholarship essay from daniel gill on what makes him unique (hint: he brings puppetry and education together with expressive arts):, 10. why do you want to study/pursue [x], download the top 10 scholarship essay prompts, more resources related to writing for college, ready to start writing some of these top scholarship essay prompts.

Answering scholarship essay prompts

1. How will this scholarship help you?

You should answer this scholarship essay prompt by explaining how the award money will help you in at least one of the following ways: financially , professionally, and/or academically. 

Financially, you can share family hardships or goals on how you plan to use the money to help pay for portions of college – for textbooks, tuition, a laptop, or other school supplies. 

Professionally, the scholarship might help you pursue a degree in a field you’re interested in. If you’re a first-generation student, you can highlight that this would help you pursue both academic and career dreams as the first in your family.

For example, John Flowers Jr., a Going Merry scholarship winner , described in his scholarship essay that the award would help him be able to pay for his books. 

“Winning this scholarship will make a difference to me because it will allow me to cover college financial issues that may hold me back from reaching my career. Being less stressed about worrying about college fees will allow me to focus more of my attention in class to earn the credits, and not worry about how I’m going to pay for the class.”

Here’s an excerpt of the winning scholarship essay from John Flowers Jr. :

My parents were never given a shot at having an education beyond high school. They were never given a shot to show their full potential and make a difference in the world  […] Being young and seeing my parents struggle is hard for me. It’s challenging seeing the people you love go through a hard time and you can’t do anything about it. […] But then I realized I can do something about it. I can get good grades in school. I can take college level courses throughout high school. I can attend a 4-year university and earn my bachelor’s degree in Business Entrepreneurship. That was my thought process as a Freshman.  Now being a Senior I turned those “I cans” into “I did.” I DID get good grades all through school. I DID take college level courses. I will be walking straight out of high school with 17 college credit hours.  […] I DID get into a 4-year university; and 4 years from now I want to be able to say I DID earn my bachelor’s degree in Business Entrepreneurship. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to take care of my parents the way they have been taking care of my all my life; and nothing would make me better as a person than to be able to say I did this. […] Winning this scholarship will make a difference to me because it will allow me to cover college financial issues that may hold me back from reaching my career. Being less stressed about worrying about college fees will allow me to focus more of my attention in class to earn the credits, and not worry about how I’m going to pay for the class. Even book fees will add up over time due to how many different classes there are. Being able to use this scholarship to pay for books that are required for a certain class will be a big help, especially for a student who has lots of classes that have to be taken.

This is a common essay prompt for community service scholarships . In this essay, describe your experience in community service, explain how you’ve given back, or share volunteer opportunities you’ve participated in. For example, if you’ve organized a community donation box and taken the donations to a nonprofit organization, share how you got involved in that and how it helped the community. 

Two more things to mention–even when they’re not explicitly asked: 

  • How have you learned or grown due to your community service? Scholarship committees want to know how this work has contributed to your character. 
  • How do you plan to continue to support your community in the future? Bonus points if your college plans (which they’d be partially funding!) help you further contribute. Sometimes this is easy because your intended career path is service-oriented (for example, if you want to be a nurse, doctor, teacher, or social worker), but other times you may wish to give back on the side (for instance, by doing pro-bono work if you want to be a lawyer). 

You have a lot of creative freedom with this scholarship prompt! But don’t get too crazy. Generally, this kind of “open-ended” prompt is a bit of a trick. In the end, the scholarship committee still wants to know: 

  • What motivates you to do (study or pursue a career in) what you plan to do? Remember, they’re funding your future, so they want to know about your plans and why you’re passionate about them. 
  • What kind of (good) characteristics do you have? They’re ultimately choosing people to invest in, so they want you to be a good person. Characteristics you might want to show are empathy, service, leadership, perseverance, or determination. 
  • What kind of successes have you had in the past? This is your chance to brag about what you’ve accomplished so far. 

This essay topic is quite similar to writing a college personal statement , except that with this one, you want to more explicitly tie things back to your future plans.

essay for getting scholarship

Scholarship providers understand that no student is perfect, and they want to know how you learned from a failure – this can be an academic, professional, or personal failure. Break down how you failed, why you failed, and how it made you better. You can also reveal something you learned from that failure, such as what you would do differently in the future, so you don’t run into that situation again, or how that moment changed your life and how you picked yourself up. This is a moment to show how you can learn and persevere. 

If the essay is very short (say, 100-300 words), be clear and concise. Explain what you want to study, and then what kind of career you want to lead afterwards. Be sure to save room for 1-2 sentences explaining why you’re motivated to pursue that path. 

If you have a longer essay (for example, 500-1000 words), take the time to describe what inspired you to pursue certain academic and/or career goals. For example: One of your parents has always owned his or her own business and now you’re inspired to be an entrepreneur, to pursue a degree in business. Describe that moment of realization when you decided that would be your career goal. Maybe a conversation with that parent sparked inspiration to pursue that, or maybe it was simply watching them work as you grew up. Looking to the future, how do you plan to pursue that career goal? How will the scholarship award help you pursue it? Tell a story; paint a picture. Get creative with it!

Check out these blog posts for additional information on writing an essay about your academic goals and/or career goals .

This essay prompt is generally for scholarships supporting student-athletes.

So if you played sports throughout high school, share how it’s affected your life, You can reflect on experiences with teammates (if it’s a team sport), what you learned (or gained) from practices or meets/competitions, any injuries you had to overcome, how you balanced athletics and academics, how it affected your schedule (early-morning wake-ups, anyone?), and time with your coach(es) or sports mentors. 

You’ll also want to look forwards and not just backwards. How will you take your sports experiences with you, into college and beyond? Maybe there’s a direct connection: being on a team inspired you to one day pursue a career in sports and eventually coach. Or the effects can be more indirect: You’ve learned time management skills that will help you in college, or you’ve learned teamwork skills that will help you when you begin working.

7. Why do you deserve this scholarship?

Scholarship providers are basically asking, “Why should it be you?” with this scholarship essay prompt. Paint a picture of why you’re the most deserving student for this scholarship award. 

You’ll want to establish at least these two things:

  • You’ve proven yourself as high-achieving (in the past). Discuss accomplishments you’re proud of or any accolades (honors, awards, or simply verbal compliments) you’ve received. 
  • You’re driven to succeed (in the future). Show that you’ve got clear future plans and the gusto to make them happen. 

In addition to that, a strong essay will show at least one of these additional traits: 

  • You’re passionate. If you’ve got a good story to explain your motivation for your studies or future career plans, now’s the time to tell that tale. Here’s the moment to wow the scholarship committee with why you care more than anyone else, and why. 
  • You’re unique. Scholarship committees love finding someone who’s just different and stands out from the rest. If you’ve had an unusual upbringing or an uncommon interest, lean into that. (For instance, scholarship winner Daniel Gill wrote about his passion for using puppetry to help autistic children — now that’s cool and unique!)
  • You’ve got a particular financial need . For need-based scholarships, this essay question may in part be asking you why your financial need is greater than other applicants’.

Want more tips? We have a whole separate post dedicated to answering this scholarship essay prompt.

And here’s a winning essay on this scholarship topic from Jesús Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez :

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 Jesús 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 led 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.

Researching scholarship essay prompts

8. Tell us about a time when you had a belief or idea challenged.

Have you studied abroad? Visited a foreign country on a family trip? Had a thought-provoking discussion with a teacher, religious leader, or friend? Think about an experience or a moment that challenged – or even changed – one of your beliefs or ideas. Explain what your original understanding of the idea was, when that idea was challenged, and how you felt about it afterward. Scholarship providers are interested in seeing reflection and growth, so expanding on every detail, including where you were, who you were with, and what you were feeling, can help tell your story in your essay.

There were only a few minutes to go and our eyes were glued to 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.

9. How are you unique? (Discuss your background, identity, interest, or talent) 

Everyone has a trait, a quirk, an activity that makes them unique, whether it’s sports, their upbringing, their hobbies, or interests. Go into as much detail as you feel comfortable to answer this scholarship essay prompt.

Share a story about your family culture, how you were raised, moments that shaped you into being who you are today. If sports is your thing, for example, share how playing sports at a young age taught you about teamwork, working with a coach, discipline and structure. If you couldn’t play sports due to an injury or a disability, explain how you felt when you learned that you had to find other ways to thrive and how it affected your actions.

Sometimes we think that a topic has been written about so many times that it doesn’t matter, but what makes you unique – your story, your history – is your story to tell.

As an Expressive Arts specialist, I use puppet play and the arts (with three to five-year-olds) to teach sharing, identifying and working with feelings, making friends, mindfulness, and asking for what you need in peaceful ways. Additionally, I perform developmentally appropriate puppet shows in classrooms about fairness, valuing difference (including differences in gender expression and skin tone), and peaceful conflict resolution. By teaching diversity, equity, and inclusion through puppetry, I feel that I am making a difference. In this work, I have noticed an unexplained phenomenon. Educational puppetry is particularly effective in helping children with ASD develop social and communication skills. One girl with ASD in my school refused to follow the daily routine until a parrot puppet helped guide her through the transitions. Through puppet play, a boy with impulse control challenges learned to manage his feelings and stop hitting other children. One boy with Autism showed remarkable progress with puppet play. Now in Kindergarten, his ability to communicate and make friends makes his academic success possible. Teachers value this work; it reinforces the social and emotional teaching they practice daily. One teacher told me, “What you do with puppets and our kids is amazing. You need to share this work beyond our preschool.” Application Questions and Answers My goal is to support young children with Autism in public school settings develop the social-emotional skills they need for academic and personal success. I aim to accomplish this by creating and implementing evidence-based strategies that use puppets as intervention tools. A Masters and Credential in ECSE, and the Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate program I will complete, are essential to broadening my impact. The program will provide me with the theoretical foundation, the student teaching experiences, the credentials, and the academic community required to work with children and families in public school settings. For example, as part of the ECSE Program Masters and Credential Roadmap, I am taking the Seminar in Educational Research course. I am learning how to conduct scholarly research, a fundamental skill in creating innovative approaches that work. I am eager to apply the knowledge and skills I learn at SFSU toward helping more children open doors to connection. Additionally, I am learning leadership skills by volunteering for SFSU’s Early Childhood Special Education Conference. Most conference attendees are undergraduate students, interested in working with young children at-risk and with disabilities. As Co-Chair of the Presenter Committee, I am recruiting dynamic and engaging speakers who will lead workshops. I am eager to apply all of the knowledge and skills I learn at SFSU toward helping more children open doors to connection. I am at a critical juncture in my path. Helping children who experience social disconnection integrate into their classrooms, is my passion. This scholarship will help me work toward a world where every child has access to education and all children know they belong.

Reflect on what inspires you to want to pursue a certain field of study. If you’re interested in studying psychology and pursuing a career as a psychologist, for example, explain how you enjoy understanding how and why people make certain decisions, how you became fascinated by the science behind it.

Another example: Let’s say you’re interested in pursuing a career in communications. This might seem like a broader category, but you can highlight your love for writing, your ability to pick up on details in and out of school, and presenting this in a way that makes sense to the people around you. Just be careful not to get stuck in broad generalities. For this essay prompt in particular, many applicants will often have the same basic answer as you. So you’ll want to use specific anecdotes to make your essay stand out. 

essay for getting scholarship

Check out these blog posts to continue researching how to answer scholarship essay prompts:

  • How to write an essay about yourself
  • Writing about your career goals 
  • How to write the best personal statement
  • Write a winning scholarship essay about your academic goals
  • Scholarship essay format and structure

Now that you have a better understanding of how to answer these scholarship essay prompts, it’s time to put your knowledge in motion with your scholarship applications. Sign up for a free Going Merry profile where you can upload your scholarship essays. You’ll enter your information once – such as your expected graduation year, what you plan to study in college, and your location – and then we’ll match you with thousands of scholarships. You can even sort scholarships by competitiveness, location, amount, and deadline!

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Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples 2023

Jennifer Finetti Aug 3, 2022

Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples 2023

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One of the most popular scholarship essay questions is “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” Answering such a question can be difficult because you don’t want to sound too needy or greedy. Your essay must stand out from the competition while still being humble and appreciative. Check out these essay writing tips, along with a scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship.

Tips for writing a “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” essay

Your essay will be unique to your experiences, but there are some general guidelines you should follow. Here are tips for writing a “why I’m deserving scholarship” essay:

  • Explain how the scholarship money would contribute to your long-term goals. You’re asking the scholarship committee to invest in your future. They want to ensure their investment goes to a worthy cause. Explain how your education will play a role in your career and overall goals after graduation.
  • Focus on the purpose of the scholarship. While writing your essay, keep in mind what the scholarship is for and where it comes from. Tailor your response to the scholarship so it resonates with the review committee.
  • Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. This may be your only chance to tell the committee about your achievements. Showing your past success will instill confidence about your future success.
  • Use a thesis statement, just like you would with any other essay. You should refer back to the thesis throughout the essay and tie it into the conclusion. If you have trouble creating the thesis at the beginning, write the rest of the essay first. Read through, see what stands out the most, and then write an intro with a cohesive thesis.
  • When explaining obstacles in your life, focus on how you overcame them. Show that you’re a problem solver, able to persevere through any situation. You can mention difficulties from your past, but turn the attention to what you did as a result of them.
  • Avoid generalizations. Generic statements like “I deserve this because I am a hard worker” aren’t enough. Every applicant is a hard worker, has ‘good grades,’ etc. What makes you different, special and memorable? That should be the topic of your scholarship essay.
  • Support your statements with examples. Instead of saying, “I’m a hard worker,” say, “I upheld two jobs while I was in high school to support my family, and I still maintained a 3.75 GPA.” This is no longer a generalization. It is an achievement specific to your life and upbringing.
  • Use positive language. Phrases like ‘well-prepared,’ ‘qualified candidate’ and ‘specialized training’ showcase achievements in a positive light. Even in a negative situation, show the positive way you got through it.
  • Avoid words like ‘very’ and ‘really.’ You can typically find a one-word substitute that sounds more professional. Very hard turns into difficult. Very good becomes exceptional. Here is an excellent guide for modifiers that replace very .
  • Take a one-day break before you edit. Once you have a solid draft written, do not jump straight into editing. Wait a day before looking over your essay. This will let you read the essay with fresh eyes so you can catch inconsistencies, grammar mistakes, and more.

Student preparing for college and writing essays

Example 1: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (100 words)

With a 100 word scholarship essay, you need to jump into the thesis as quickly as possible. There is not enough space for a lengthy introduction. Use concise language, and showcase your biggest achievements/goals. You should have enough sentences to break into two small paragraphs, though one may only be two to three sentences.

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I believe I deserve this scholarship because I am an innovative problem solver. As the student council president, I helped re-organize my school library to better accommodate students’ needs. I worked with staff to categorize books to better reflect current school subjects.  I will use the same leadership mindset to obtain my business degree with a focus on project management. My goal is to work in construction management to increase efficiency in low-income housing development. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I will receive, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems within my community.

Word Count: 98

Example 2: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (250 words)

A 250-word scholarship essay usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs. The introduction can have a short lead-in, but it should arrive at the thesis quickly. The body paragraphs should support the assertion made in the first paragraph (the reason you deserve the scholarship). The conclusion should summarize the essay collectively, and it may include a statement of appreciation.

One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Nurse practitioners often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. With this scholarship, I could continue my training to become a nurse practitioner and provide attainable medical services to underserved communities. Growing up in a small Montana farming town, the closest hospital was 45 minutes away. The only local family doctor charged whatever he wanted because he was the sole provider. My parents relied on home remedies to treat any ailment my brother and I developed. This is when my passion for medicine first took form. Minimal medical care was not a concern until my father went to the hospital for severe stomach problems. These were the result of Crohn’s disease, a condition that can be managed with treatment. Because my father had not been to the doctor in years, the flare up was highly aggressive. It took months to get it under control and get him on preventative medication. I decided to go to college to help people like my father. As a nurse practitioner I can practice medicine without charging a fortune for my services. I plan to serve in rural communities where hospitals and doctors are limited or non-existent. I am grateful to be considered for this scholarship opportunity, and should I be selected, I will use it to advance my medical education.

Word Count: 248

essay for getting scholarship

Example 3: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (500 words)

With a 500-word scholarship essay, you have room to tell your story and create an experience for the reader. Use several introductory sentences to lead into your thesis and set the tone for the essay. The body paragraph should flow in a logical manner, most often chronologically. Then the conclusion should re-emphasize the thesis and leave the scholarship committee with something to remember.

Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” And while I never define my obstacles as ‘failures,’ I mark my success by my repeated perseverance through adversity. I have faced several challenges over the years, from dyslexia to homelessness; yet I continued to earn exemplary grades and graduate at the top of my class. I deserve this scholarship because I have the strength and determination to achieve my goals, no matter what hurdles I have to overcome. I was not born a gifted student. Testing and assignments were always difficult for me, whether I studied or not. In second grade, my parents had me tested for learning disabilities. The psychologist said that I had a hyperactivity disorder and prescribed medication to suppress my energy. After two years abiding by that treatment, I was re-evaluated and diagnosed with dyslexia. This helped me get the treatment I needed, and I finally made progress in school. Shortly after I learned how to study with dyslexia, my father lost his job. He was the sole breadwinner for the household, and I was soon on the street with my mother and two younger siblings. I got a job in newspaper delivery, one of the few fields that will hire a 12-year-old. My father found odd jobs to bring money to the family, and together we were eventually able to pay for a two-bedroom apartment to live in. I was valedictorian that school year, and I maintained a perfect attendance record. Like my father, I knew I had to do whatever was necessary to succeed and thrive. In high school, I developed an interest for psychology. I noticed patterns in behaviors, both in myself and in the people around me. I asked my child therapist, the one who officially diagnosed me with dyslexia, if I could work at his clinic over the summers. He allowed me to intern at his counseling center my junior and senior year, and I gained valuable insight into the business side of psychology. I am now entering the second year of my psychology degree. I plan to complete my bachelor’s degree and earn a Doctorate of Neuropsychology in the years that follow. My focus is on psychological testing, specifically for children with autism or learning disabilities. I spent years struggling in school because of a preventable misdiagnosis.  I want to ensure that other children do not face the same struggles in their future. Why do I deserve this scholarship? Because I have the passion and determination to become a trusted member of the psychological community. With my education, I can help children get the treatment they need at an early age, giving the best chance at finding their own success. You’re not just helping me get through college. You’re improving the quality of life for countless families to come. I appreciate your consideration, and I look forward to building a lasting relationship with your organization.

Word Count: 492

You Should Also Read…

How to Write a Scholarship Motivation Letter

Why Are You Applying to This Scholarship Essay (with Example)

How to Write a Scholarship Essay Introduction (With Example)

How to End a Scholarship Essay

How to Write a Great 250-Word Essay

How to Write a Great 500 Word Essay

5 People Who Should Review Your Scholarship Essays

  • Scholarship Essay

Jennifer Finetti

Jennifer Finetti

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

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Scholarship Essay Writing

Scholarship Essay Examples

Cathy A.

12 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Aspiring Students

18 min read

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Scholarship Essay Prompts 2024 For Students

Scholarships can be the key to your dreams of higher education, but the process often begins with one crucial step - the scholarship essay. 

A scholarship essay is not just another requirement. It is your chance to stand out from the competition and convince the selection committee that you are the perfect candidate deserving of their support.

However, crafting a winning scholarship essay is not an easy task. You are in competition with hundreds of applicants, and you need to get a lot of things right to stand out.

But don’t worry; reading some winning samples can help you understand how to write better scholarship essays. 

This blog presents 12 remarkable scholarship essay examples to inspire your success. These real-life essays, written by scholarship recipients, offer invaluable insights and strategies to help you secure funding for your education. 

So read on!

Arrow Down

  • 1. Financial Need Scholarship Essay Example for College
  • 2. Leadership Scholarship Essay Examples
  • 3. Scholarship Essay Example for Engineering
  • 4. Nursing Scholarship Essay Example 
  • 5. Scholarship Essay About Yourself
  • 6. Winning Scholarship Essay Examples
  • 7. Tips to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay 

Financial Need Scholarship Essay Example for College

Students often apply for financial assistance scholarships for their college education. Such scholarships require you to provide compelling reasons as to why you deserve financial aid. 

Here is an example that successfully caters to this question:

Why This Scholarship Essay Succeeded

This scholarship essay effectively conveys the applicant's financial need while also highlighting their determination and commitment to education. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:

  • Personal Story: The essay starts with a personal story about growing up in a single-parent household, providing context for the financial need. This makes the essay relatable and emotionally engaging.
  • Specific Financial Challenges: The essay details the specific financial challenges the applicant faces, such as tuition, textbooks, and living expenses. Specificity adds credibility to the financial need.
  • Explains the Significance of the Scholarship for Education: The essay explains how receiving the scholarship would positively impact the applicant's education, allowing them to focus more on studies and extracurricular activities.

Leadership Scholarship Essay Examples

When applying to programs for training young leaders, they often require you to write an essay. Here is a leadership scholarship essay sample:

Why This Scholarship Essay Worked

This leadership scholarship essay effectively showcases the applicant's leadership journey, growth, and suitability for the scholarship. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:

  • Personal Growth: The essay highlights the applicant's personal growth and development through their leadership experiences, demonstrating a clear understanding of what leadership entails.
  • Specific Examples: The applicant provides specific examples of challenges faced and initiatives undertaken as a leader, adding credibility to their claims.
  • Lessons Learned: The essay discusses the lessons learned, emphasizing qualities such as communication, teamwork, and empathy, which are essential for effective leadership.
  • Alignment with Scholarship: The essay explains how the scholarship will support the applicant's continued leadership growth and commitment to making a positive impact.

Scholarship Essay Example for Engineering

Engineering schools have a strong vetting process to ensure that they only let in serious students. Writing a scholarship essay is their way of judging a student’s interests and capabilities. 

Check out this catchy sample:

Why this Engineering Scholarship Essay Worked

Here are some key elements that contributed to the essay’s success:

  • Passion and Dedication: The essay clearly communicates the applicant's deep passion for engineering, emphasizing their lifelong commitment to the field.
  • Specific Examples: The applicant provides specific examples of their experiences in engineering, such as the cooling system project and the sustainable housing initiative, demonstrating their practical application of engineering skills.
  • Financial Need: The essay briefly touches upon the financial challenges faced by the applicant, which adds context to their need for financial support.
  • Impact and Contribution: The essay discusses how receiving the scholarship will enable the applicant to focus more on their studies and research projects, emphasizing their desire to contribute meaningfully to the field of engineering.

Nursing Scholarship Essay Example 

Nursing institutions require hard-working and committed pupils. That’s why the scholarship essay is an essential part of their application process.

So, what does a good nursing scholarship essay look like? Here’s an example:

Why This Nursing Scholarship Essay Succeeded

This nursing scholarship essay effectively conveys the applicant's passion for nursing and their commitment to patient-centered care. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:

  • Passion for Nursing: The essay clearly communicates the applicant's passion for nursing, emphasizing personal experiences that ignited this passion.
  • Continuous Learning: The essay highlights the applicant's commitment to ongoing learning and professional growth, which is essential in the nursing field.
  • Community Engagement: The applicant showcases their involvement in community health initiatives and volunteering, demonstrating a dedication to improving healthcare beyond the clinical setting.
  • Leadership Experience: The essay discusses leadership roles within the nursing program, emphasizing the applicant's understanding of nursing as a leadership role in healthcare.
  • Impactful Clinical Experience: The inclusion of the palliative care unit experience adds a unique perspective. It also adds an emotionally resonant dimension to the essay, highlighting the applicant's dedication to patient-centered care.

Scholarship Essay About Yourself

Some scholarship essays require a more personal touch. Scholarship committees are interested to learn about your experiences and how you express them. 

Here is an example of an essay focusing on the applicant’s life experiences.

This scholarship essay effectively highlights the applicant's personal experiences and qualities that make them a suitable candidate for the scholarship. Here are some key elements that contributed to its success:

  • Values and Background: The essay begins by establishing the applicant's background and values, emphasizing the importance of education and family sacrifices.
  • Academic Excellence: The applicant showcases their commitment to academic excellence, including being named valedictorian, which adds credibility to their dedication to learning.
  • Passion and Career Goals: The essay highlights the applicant's interest in psychology and mental health, revealing their career aspirations and a deep sense of purpose.
  • Courage to Grow: The essay concludes with a strong commitment to education and the desire to use it as a tool for positive change in their community.

Winning Scholarship Essay Examples

You have read five scholarship essay examples with a complete analysis of why they were successful. Here are some more excellent examples that stand out due to similar reasons.

Read these samples and ask yourself, can you figure out why these essays catch the readers’ attention?

Sample Scholarship Essays

Sometimes, scholarship essays require a limited word count. You should always read the instructions and requirements of an essay before writing. 

Here are two scholarship essay samples with different word limits.

500-Words Scholarship Essay Example About Career Goals

250 Words Scholarship Essay Example

Scholarship Essay Examples for Different Academic Levels

These scholarship essay examples cater to various academic levels. They demonstrate how students at different stages of their education can craft successful essays.

Scholarship Essay Example For High School Students

Scholarship Essay Example For College Application

Masters Scholarship Essay Example For Students

Scholarship Essay Examples - Why You Deserve This

These examples focus on explaining why the applicants deserve the scholarship, emphasizing their qualifications, achievements, and aspirations.

Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Example

Why Should You Receive This Scholarship

There are many different prompts you can be assigned for your scholarship essay, so better be prepared. Check out this list of scholarship essay prompts to get a better idea!

Tips to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay 

The following are some useful tips and suggestions for writing a successful scholarship essay:

  • Understand the Prompt: Carefully read and understand the essay prompt. Ensure that your response directly addresses the specific questions or topics provided. Tailor your essay to the scholarship's requirements.
  • Plan and Organize: Start with an essay outline . Identify key points you want to cover and the structure of your essay. A well-organized essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion is more engaging and easier to follow.
  • Be Authentic: Be true to yourself and your experiences. Authenticity resonates with scholarship committees. Share your genuine motivations, goals, and challenges, as it makes your essay more relatable.
  • Address Your Audience: Consider your audience, that is the scholarship selection committees. Tailor your essay to their expectations and values, emphasizing how you align with the scholarship's mission and goals.
  • Highlight Achievements and Impact: Showcase your accomplishments, both academic and extracurricular, and discuss the impact they've had on your life and your community. Explain how the scholarship will enable you to achieve even more.
  • Express Your Passion: Demonstrate your passion for your field of study or the cause the scholarship supports. Explain why you are deeply committed and how the scholarship will help you make a significant contribution.
  • Follow Instructions: Pay close attention to any specific instructions or requirements provided by the scholarship organization. Failure to comply with guidelines can lead to disqualification.
  • Revise and Rewrite: After an initial draft, take time to revise and rewrite your essay. Don't hesitate to make substantial changes if necessary to improve clarity, coherence, and impact.
  • Seek Feedback: Have someone else, such as a teacher, mentor, or family member, review your essay. Fresh perspectives can identify areas for improvement.

To conclude,

These essay examples were a good way to start. You’ve read and learnt the qualities that made them successful. Now, it’s your time to apply what you’ve learnt to your own scholarship essays.

Remember, crafting a winning scholarship essay takes time and effort. Be authentic and convey your aspirations, achievements, and the impact you hope to make. With dedication and these valuable tips, you can create a compelling scholarship essay that helps you achieve your education goals.

In addition, we understand that writing a scholarship essay can be incredibly difficult due to the high stakes. But don’t let the stress takeover, let our professional scholarship essay writing service handle it. 

Our expert writers have written hundreds of successful scholarship essays with a high rate of success. Don't wait any longer, get in touch with our paper writer service today and let us help you achieve your academic goals!

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Top 64 Writing & Essay Scholarships in May 2024

essay for getting scholarship

Will Geiger is the co-founder of Scholarships360 and has a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. He is a former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed 10,000 admissions applications and essays. Will also managed the Kenyon College merit scholarship program and served on the financial aid appeals committee. He has also worked as an Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut. Will earned his master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree in history from Wake Forest University.

Learn about our editorial policies

Writing is an extremely important part of success in high school, college, and life in general. For some students, writing is also an intricate part of who they are and how they express themselves. If you are someone who loves English class and is genuinely excited about a new creative writing assignment, then you should keep reading! Writing scholarships, creative writing scholarships, and essay scholarships are great ways to put your talent to use.

Whether you are planning on attending community college, a four-year program, or graduate school, we’ve got opportunities for you. Keep on reading to learn about the top scholarships for writers and creative writers including eligibility, award amounts, and deadlines!

Why choose Scholarships360

We helped over 4 million students find scholarships in 2023

We've spent over 4,000 hours reviewing 3,000 scholarship programs

13+ years of experience helping students make smart education decisions

The Scholarships360 Research Team reviews all scholarships individually and strives to exclude any scholarship where any of the below applies:

  • The scholarship requires a fee to apply
  • The scholarship provider’s privacy policy allows for the misuse of student data
  • The scholarship requires paid membership in an organization (with certain exceptions for reputable trade organizations and others)
  • Student are required to sign up for a site or service to apply*
  • The scholarship seems primarily used for lead generation** or idea harvesting purposes***
  • The scholarship website has many grammatical errors and/or advertisements
  • The scholarship or scholarship providing organization seem untrustworthy
  • There is no evidence the scholarship was previously awarded
  • The scholarship has not been awarded in the past 12 months
  • There is no available contact information

If you believe a scholarship has been published in error, please reach out to [email protected] and we’ll take a look!

* There are certain exceptions to this, for example if the sponsoring organization is a major corporation or nonprofit with its own scholarship application system. ** Lead generation scholarships will require students to sign up for an app or website and require minimal (if any) application requirements. ***Idea harvesting scholarships will require students to submit blog posts or other materials that companies may use for marketing purposes.

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$10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

$10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Scholarships360

The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high… Show More

The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high school student who hopes to go to college, a graduate student who’s in a master’s program, or an adult learner who wants to return to school, you are eligible for our no essay scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to students who get the most out of Scholarships360 scholarships and content. You will be a strong applicant if you apply to scholarships with the Scholarships360 platform. Finalists for this scholarship will be interviewed about their process for funding their education. Show Less

$2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship

$2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for…

Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for school.

“Mom to Scholar” Scholarship for Mothers

“Mom to Scholar” Scholarship for Mothers This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Maria Geiger

The “Mom to Scholar'' Scholarship for Mothers is open to mothers who want to begin or resume their journey towards earning a technical or college… Show More

The “Mom to Scholar'' Scholarship for Mothers is open to mothers who want to begin or resume their journey towards earning a technical or college degree. This scholarship is funded by Scholarships360’s own Maria Geiger, who started her journey toward a B.A. at the same time that her oldest son Will started college. Maria knows firsthand how challenging it is to raise a family, have a job outside the home, and attend college, but would not change the way she did things for the world. Mothers who have a desire to earn their college degree bring unique perspectives that greatly enhance their learning experiences; for some, motherhood is a vocation that enlightens like no other. If you are a mother over the age of 35 who feels that the time is right to begin your academic or career journey, please apply! Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We look forward to reading your application! Show Less

$40,000 Build a College List Scholarship

$40,000 Build a College List Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by The College Board

Create a college list with six schools you're considering - no minimum GPA or essay required!

“Gutsy Graduate Student” Essay Scholarship

“Gutsy Graduate Student” Essay Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Ok, so first question–why is this scholarship named the “Gutsy” Graduate Student Essay Scholarship? If you are enrolled in graduate school (during the 2024-25 academic… Show More

Ok, so first question–why is this scholarship named the “Gutsy” Graduate Student Essay Scholarship? If you are enrolled in graduate school (during the 2024-25 academic year) or have heard stories from those enrolled, you already know! “Gutsy” means courageous and determined, which nearly all successful graduate students are. Why else would one continue on with rigorous academics while often living on a shoestring? The rewards of graduate school are numerous, especially the more focused and advanced level of specialized study in your chosen field. Learning with like-minded people who share your passion is fulfilling, and the networking is awesome. The flipside of graduate school is the costly student loans to fund it. With this in mind, the "Gutsy" Graduate Student Essay Scholarship aims to help out a passionate graduate student who is actively looking for ways to fund their higher education journey. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. Good luck on your educational journey, and we hope to read your application!  Show Less

Niche $25,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

Niche $25,000 “No Essay” Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Niche

Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

“College Here I Come” Essay Scholarship for High School Seniors

“College Here I Come” Essay Scholarship for High School Seniors This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

The "College Here I Come" Scholarship for Class of 2024 is open to just who you think: high school seniors graduating in the class of… Show More

The "College Here I Come" Scholarship for Class of 2024 is open to just who you think: high school seniors graduating in the class of 2024! Here at Scholarships360, scholarships are our passion–we know that you can never have enough of them! After all, scholarships are essentially “free money” to help fund your education. We want to help out a lucky high school senior who is just starting out on their higher education journey and actively looking for ways to fund it. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We hope that you apply and look forward to reading your application! Show Less

“Making Waves” Scholarship for Women

“Making Waves” Scholarship for Women This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Are you a woman in high school, college, or graduate school enrolled during the 2024-25 academic year? If so, let us help you! Our $500… Show More

Are you a woman in high school, college, or graduate school enrolled during the 2024-25 academic year? If so, let us help you! Our $500 “Making Waves” Scholarship for Women aims to help women cover the costs of pursuing their dreams. Whether that dream is starting a business, learning a foreign language, or attending college on the path to fulfilling your dream, the scholarship will cover those costs and make your journey a little easier. No matter your goals, we want to help out a woman who is passionate about their higher education journey and actively looking for ways to fund it. In order to apply, simply write an essay about how the $500 “Making Waves” Scholarship for Women will help you fulfill your dreams. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We encourage you to apply and look forward to reading your essay. Good luck! Show Less

$25k “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship

$25k “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Bold.org

Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.

“Tuition Solution” Scholarship for STEM Students

“Tuition Solution” Scholarship for STEM Students This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Do you like figuring out solutions to difficult problems? Well, if you’re a current or aspiring STEM major, we have one for you! Our $500… Show More

Do you like figuring out solutions to difficult problems? Well, if you’re a current or aspiring STEM major, we have one for you! Our $500 “Tuition Solution” Scholarship is meant for high school juniors and seniors (graduating class of 2024 or 2025), as well as undergraduate and graduate students enrolled during the 2023-24 academic year who are looking for ways to fund their postsecondary education in STEM. In order to apply, you must write an essay about how your passion for STEM started and how the scholarship will help you fulfill your dreams. No matter which STEM field ignites your interest, we look forward to reading your essays. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. Apply today - it’s time to cell-e-brate you! Show Less

“A Helping Hand” Scholarship

“A Helping Hand” Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

At Scholarships360, we know how hard it can be to pay off the hefty costs of a college tuition. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult… Show More

At Scholarships360, we know how hard it can be to pay off the hefty costs of a college tuition. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult for students coming from low-income backgrounds or for those who demonstrate financial need. This is where our “A Helping Hand” Scholarship comes in! We're offering a $500 scholarship to help out a low-income student who is passionate about their higher education journey and is actively looking for ways to fund it. This award is open to high school juniors and seniors (graduating class of 2024 and 2025), as well as undergraduate and graduate students enrolled during the 2024-25 academic year. In order to apply, students should submit an essay detailing how winning the scholarship would help you fulfill your dreams. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We look forward to reading your application! Show Less

$10,000 CollegeXpress Scholarship

$10,000 CollegeXpress Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by CollegeXpress

Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

“Follow Your Own Path” Essay Scholarship

“Follow Your Own Path” Essay Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

At Scholarships360, our mission is to help students find and fund their postsecondary education. We know that students have a variety of educational and career… Show More

At Scholarships360, our mission is to help students find and fund their postsecondary education. We know that students have a variety of educational and career interests and aspirations. That is why we are offering the “Follow Your Own Path” Essay Scholarship. This scholarship aims to support all current postsecondary students, regardless of the type of education they are pursuing. Thus, no matter your own unique educational path, we hope you apply for this $500 scholarship. In order to apply for the “Follow Your Own Path” Essay Scholarship, students must submit an essay about their career ambitions. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We look forward to reading your application! Show Less

“Commencing at Community College” Essay Scholarship

“Commencing at Community College” Essay Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Community college, also known as two-year college, is a golden opportunity for the right student. These schools offer an affordable education to a diverse range… Show More

Community college, also known as two-year college, is a golden opportunity for the right student. These schools offer an affordable education to a diverse range of students in a wide range of majors. If starting your postsecondary education at a community college is right for you, we have a scholarship just for you! The “Commencing at Community College” Essay Scholarship aims to financially support community college students who are passionate about their higher education journeys and actively looking for ways to fund it. In order to apply for the “Commencing at Community College” Essay Scholarship, students must submit an essay explaining how earning their degree at community college will help them achieve their educational and career goals. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We look forward to reading your application!  Show Less

$1,000 Appily Easy College Money Scholarship

$1,000 Appily Easy College Money Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Appily

This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be… Show More

This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be awarded each month. Show Less

“Outstanding Undergraduate” Essay Scholarship

“Outstanding Undergraduate” Essay Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

The U.S. is home to over 2,000 four-year universities offering bachelor’s degrees. However, attending such universities can sometimes come with hefty costs that can deter… Show More

The U.S. is home to over 2,000 four-year universities offering bachelor’s degrees. However, attending such universities can sometimes come with hefty costs that can deter students from attending. If you’re in a situation similar to this, we may just have the perfect scholarship opportunity for you: the “Outstanding Undergraduate” Essay Scholarship! With this scholarship, we aim to help out a lucky undergraduate student (enrolled during the 2024-25 academic year) who is passionate about their higher education journey and actively looking for ways to fund it. The scholarship is open to any U.S. citizen who is enrolled as an undergraduate at a four-year university in the U.S. during the 2023-24 academic year. In order to apply, submit an essay explaining how earning your bachelor’s degree will help you achieve your educational and career goals. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We look forward to reading your application! Show Less

Ocean Awareness Art Contest

Ocean Awareness Art Contest This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs

Are you an 11–18 year old passionate about the creative arts and/or the environment? Consider applying for Bow Seat's Ocean Awareness Contest! The 2024 Ocean… Show More

Are you an 11–18 year old passionate about the creative arts and/or the environment? Consider applying for Bow Seat's Ocean Awareness Contest! The 2024 Ocean Awareness Contest – Tell Your Climate Story – encourages students to become climate witnesses and creatively share their personal experiences about our changing climate reality. Submit works of visual art, creative writing, poetry, spoken word, music, dance, film, and more for a chance to win cash awards of up to $1,000 and to join the world’s largest environmental youth community for the creative arts! Show Less

$5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship

$5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Christian Connector

Students applying to the $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship must be current high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, or 2027) interested in attending a Christian…

Students applying to the $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship must be current high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, or 2027) interested in attending a Christian university or college.

Ayn Rand Institute Novel Essay Contest (Atlas Shrugged)

Ayn Rand Institute Novel Essay Contest (Atlas Shrugged) This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

Offered by Ayn Rand Institute

Are you a high school, undergraduate, or graduate student with a passion for reading, writing, and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand? If so, we may… Show More

Are you a high school, undergraduate, or graduate student with a passion for reading, writing, and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand? If so, we may just have the perfect opportunity for you: the Ayn Rand Institute Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest! Each year, the contest asks its applicants to write an 800 - 1,600 word essay in which they analyze and make an argument about an aspect or plot point of the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Nine prizes of varying amounts are awarded each year, with a grand prize of $25,000! If you’re familiar with Atlas Shrugged, can make a convincing argument, and want to make some cash, we encourage you to apply! Show Less

Minecraft Scholarship

Minecraft Scholarship

Offered by Apex Hosting

Are you a high school or college student with a love for Minecraft? If so, we may just have the perfect opportunity for you: the… Show More

Are you a high school or college student with a love for Minecraft? If so, we may just have the perfect opportunity for you: the Minecraft Scholarship! Each year, the scholarship offers $2,000 to one applicant who best writes about how Minecraft can positively influence one’s education and career development. The scholarship is offered by Apex Hosting, a Minecraft server provider dedicated to supporting both new and experienced server administrators. If you’re a high schooler or college student with a love for Minecraft, it’s time to put your passion to good use and apply to the Minecraft Scholarship! Show Less

Top 10 essay scholarships in 2024

Our editors hand-picked the following 10 essay scholarships with an eye for large awards, prestigious organizations, and scholarships that are open to a wide variety of students. Apply with confidence to the following essay scholarships:

  • Jack Kent Cooke College Scholarship – For high school seniors with financial need, worth up to $55,000 per year
  • Questbridge College Match – For high school seniors with financial need, offers a full ride to college
  • The Gates Scholarship – For low-income minority high school seniors, offers a full ride to college
  • Tylenol Future Care Scholarship – For students enrolling in medical, nursing, or pharmacy school, worth $5,000-$10,000
  • Regeneron Science Talent Search – For high school seniors interested in pursuing an individual STEM research project. Worth anywhere between $2,000 and $250,000
  • Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship – For high school seniors pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, computer information systems, or a business field. Worth up to $20,000
  • Horatio Alger Undergraduate Scholarships – For high school students with high financial need, worth up to $49,000
  • Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship – For high school seniors with high financial need who plan to study computer science in college. Worth $10,000 per year
  • Ron Brown Scholarship – For Black high school seniors who plan to study global entrepreneurship and/or community engagement. Worth $10,000 per year
  • Dream.US Opportunity Scholarship – For undocumented high school seniors and college freshmen with high financial need living in a state where public colleges do not offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. Worth $20,000 per year

Creative writing scholarships

Are you a writer who loves fiction, poetry, and screenplays? If so, you can put those talents to use by applying for creative writing scholarships.

Creative writing scholarships are a subset of writing scholarships that support students who enjoy writing poetry, fictional stories, plays, and generally using their imagination to guide their writing.

Here are the top creative writing college scholarships that you can apply for:

HelpTeaching.com Scholarship

  • Eligibility: High school and college students who submit a educational short story or informational article (400-800 words) for young students
  • Amount : $1,000
  • Deadline: June 1st of every year

Cancer Unwrapped Teen Writing Contest

  • Eligibility: Teens aged 9-12 who write about their own cancer journey or a family member in a maximum of 1,500 words.
  • Deadline: Late March

YouthPLAYS New Voices One-Act Competition for Young Playwrights

  • Eligibility: Students 19 years old or younger who submit an original one-act play between 10-40 minutes in length (10-page minimum). Multiple winners may receive up to $250 and publication by YouthPLAYS.
  • Amount: $250 and publication by YouthPLAYS
  • Deadline: Early May

National High School Poetry Contest

  •   Eligibility:  U.S. high school students who submit a poem 20 lines or less that is unpublished, the sole work of the entrant, and not entered in any other concurrent contest.
  • Amount: Up to $500.
  • Deadline:  Rolling

The Narrative Prize

  • Eligibility: Students who submit a short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction.
  • Amount: $4,000
  • Deadline:  Mid-June

Also see:  Top writing summer programs for high school students

College-specific creative writing scholarships

Some colleges and universities may also offer specific scholarships and financial aid to students with a talent in creative writing! Check with the colleges on your list for these college-specific creative writing opportunities!

Note that some of these scholarships may have requirements for winning students that stipulate that they take a certain number of creative writing classes when enrolled in the college.

Kenyon Writing Award

High school seniors can apply for this scholarship program at Kenyon College which offers up to $15,000 per year of merit based aid. It is based off of your portfolio and does not take into account financial need, high school GPA , or other factors. Submissions typically have to be in by January of your senior year.

Related:  How to answer scholarship essay questions about your career goals

Barbara Caras Memorial Scholarship for Film Students

The scholarship is open to students in Sarasota or Manatee County, Florida who have completed at least one full year at an accredited Florida College and are majoring in Film, Computer Animation, Creative Writing, Motion Design, or Illustration. Five recipients will earn a $2,000 award. The application deadline is July 31st of the current year.

Lycoming College Creative Writing Scholarship

The scholarship is open to students majoring in Creative Writing at Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA and must submit five poems and/or a short story not to exceed ten pages. Six recipients will be selected and can earn up to $3,000. The scholarship deadline for the Fall 2023 Class is March 1, 2023.  

Arkansas Tech University Gwaltney Scholarship

The scholarship is open to ATU students who submit individual works of fiction to the Department of English. Recipients earn a one-time cash award every year. The deadline to submit your entry is 2 weeks before the end of the spring semester.

Lake Forest College Carnegie English Essay Contest

The contest is open to first-year students of Lake Forest College who plan to study English either through the literature or creative writing track and submit an essay, between 500 and 1,000 words answering a designated prompt. Four winners will be awarded $2,500 annually. Submission deadline is March 1, 2023.

Austin Peay State University Creative Writing Scholarships

The scholarships are open to undergraduate and incoming APSU students who email a 10-20 page manuscript of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction, to Lakota Withrow at [email protected] . Awards are for $600 or $1,200. The deadline to apply is March 18th.

Scholarship essay resources

When it comes to writing and essay scholarships, your writing skills will be put to the test. You’ll have to adapt your writing to specific styles in order to effectively and succinctly communicate your ambitions and potential. We have a host of resources to help you perform well in this arena and stand out from the crowd.

  • How to start your scholarship essay (with examples)
  • How to write a “why do you deserve this scholarship?” essay
  • What’s the best scholarship essay format?
  • How to write a 250 word essay
  • How to write a 500 word essay
  • How to write an essay about yourself

Frequently asked questions about writing scholarships

Do i have to major in english to earn a writing or essay scholarship, where can i get help proofreading my scholarship essays, how much should i write if there is no word limit on the application, explore these other scholarship categories:.

  • Scholarships for English majors
  • Easy scholarships
  • Top scholarships for high school seniors
  • Top creative writing scholarships
  • Top scholarships for journalism students
  • Top short story scholarships

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COMMENTS

  1. 14 Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Thousands 2024

    Scholarship Essay Example #5. Questbridge Finalist essay earning $3,000 in application waivers plus $3000 in local scholarships by Jordan Sanchez. Prompt: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

  2. How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

    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.

  3. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    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.

  4. Scholarship Essay Examples That Actually Worked: Sample Essays

    Why This Scholarship Essay Example Worked: 4. Going Merry Scholarship Success Story by Jesus Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez. Why This Scholarship Essay Example Worked: 5. Why College Is Important to Me by Nicole Kuznetsov. Why This Scholarship Essay Example Worked: 6. Financial Literacy for Hispanic Women by Rosaisha Ozoria.

  5. 9 Scholarship Essay Examples

    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 ...

  6. How to Write a Scholarship Essay (with Examples)

    Sample Scholarship Essay Prompts. 1) "Explain something that made a big impact in your life.". Keywords: event, personal development, growth, background. 2) "We're committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad.

  7. How to Write a Scholarship Essay: Complete Guide + Examples

    Approach #1: Use the resources above to write a great essay that spells out your big dreams, then end with 1-3 sentences describing specifically how you'll use the scholarship money. (We'll call this the "I have big dreams and you can help" approach.) Approach #2: Explain your financial situation in detail, then end with 1-3 sentences ...

  8. How to Write a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

    Structuring Your Essay. Your essay should follow a standard format that includes a clear beginning, middle, and end. Typically, you should: · Establish your main idea in the introduction. · Include a separate body paragraph for each key point that supports your main idea. · Draw it all together and revisit your main idea in the conclusion.

  9. How to write a winning scholarship essay

    3. Fill your scholarship essay with keywords/synonyms of keywords used in the scholarship statement. Using the keywords from the scholarship statement throughout your essay will demonstrate your commitment to addressing the question being asked. For instance, I made a special effort to ensure references to 'leadership'; 'innovation' and ...

  10. How To Write a Winning Scholarship Essay: The Ultimate Guide

    It's a good idea to prepare to write this essay at least three times. First, there's a rough draft that should be carefully proofread. Students can ask a teacher or other professional to also look at their paper. Then students should repeat this process once or twice more until they're happy with the results.

  11. How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay

    8 Tips to Write a Scholarship Essay. 1. Start Early. The sooner you start exploring scholarship opportunities, the more time you'll have to get organized. It's a common myth that you have to ...

  12. 16 Scholarship Essay Examples to Help You Win Scholarship

    This scholarship essay serves as a testament to my unwavering determination to overcome these obstacles and achieve my academic goals. By awarding me this scholarship, you would not only be investing in my future but also in the potential for positive change that education can bring to individuals and communities.

  13. How to Write a "How Will This Scholarship Help You Achieve Your Goals

    As long as you touch on these three areas, feel free to structure your essay however you see fit. Let's talk about how you can address each of these components and put together a stellar essay. 1. Define your goals. Scholarship providers want to hear about your vision for your future self and how you plan to get there.

  14. Scholarship Essay Examples

    The scholarship essay is no exception to that rule. Winning scholarship essays are not necessarily identical in structure, but there is a standard structure you can use to get started. Introduction: You have 1-2 paragraphs to work with for your introduction. The goal of this section is to entice the readers and clearly present your thesis ...

  15. 10 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples From Real Students

    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.

  16. A Complete Guide on How To Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

    Not only will it land better with a scholarship committee, but it will actually be easier to write. 3. Focus on what you learned. The story is important, but what you learned and took from the experience is essential. Colleges want to know that you'll bring everything you've learned with you to college.

  17. How to Write a Scholarship Essay and Win

    Now that you believe in your ability to win, you have to begin putting in the work. My scholarship required that I 1) Have a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, 2) Be African American, 3) Be a college sophomore or junior, 4) major in business or science, and 5) attend two or more NSLS Speaker Broadcasts. So, when you are applying for a scholarship ...

  18. How To Write A Scholarship Essay

    In the process of writing your scholarship essay, dramatize the scenes of your experience in a way that convey suspense, adventure or empathy. Writing a scholarship essay in that manner will encourage the reader to stay glued to your essay. Write a conclusion that leaves much to be desired.

  19. Top 10 Scholarship Essay Prompts: How to Answer + Infographic

    4. Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it. Scholarship providers understand that no student is perfect, and they want to know how you learned from a failure - this can be an academic, professional, or personal failure. Break down how you failed, why you failed, and how it made you better.

  20. Why You Deserve This Scholarship Essay (3 Sample Answers)

    Example 1: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (100 words) With a 100 word scholarship essay, you need to jump into the thesis as quickly as possible. There is not enough space for a lengthy introduction. Use concise language, and showcase your biggest achievements/goals. You should have enough sentences to break into two small paragraphs ...

  21. 12 Successful Scholarship Essay Examples To Learn From

    Scholarship Essay Example for Engineering. 4. Nursing Scholarship Essay Example. 5. Scholarship Essay About Yourself. 6. Winning Scholarship Essay Examples. 7. Tips to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay.

  22. Scholarship Essay Prompts and How to Make Yours Stand Out

    Let's explore these common scholarship essay prompts below: 1. Describe Your Academic and/or Career Goals. These kinds of prompts are an opportunity to weave your story into your response. Start by explaining what field of study you chose and what inspired you to pursue it. For example, you could tell the story about:

  23. Top 64 Writing & Essay Scholarships in May 2024

    Austin Peay State University Creative Writing Scholarships. The scholarships are open to undergraduate and incoming APSU students who email a 10-20 page manuscript of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction, to Lakota Withrow at [email protected]. Awards are for $600 or $1,200. The deadline to apply is March 18th.