Writing a scholarship essay is the hardest part of applying for a scholarship. A scholarship essay would have been easy to scrape off if not that it is the most important part. There are two stages of scholarship application: the actual application and the essay. While your application informs the scholarship board, your essay tells them why they should choose you. Your essay tells them why you deserve that scholarship out of thousands of other applicants.
In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to write a scholarship essay that will stand out among others.
How to Write an Essay for Scholarship
Writing scholarship essay is less about your writing skills and more about you, your persona. Writing a winning scholarship essay paper only needs tips and tricks. So, how can you write a winning essay for a scholarship?
- Begin with a strong, catchy introduction; if the introduction doesn’t get them, the rest of the essay probably won’t either. Instead, your introduction must capture their attention and get them interested enough to keep reading.
- Follow a good structure, let the essay flow, create an outline to organize your thoughts, write down the main points, then develop the points under sections.
- Your conclusion should be as hooking as your introduction; it should not be boring.
- Proofread your essay and fizzle out writing mistakes and grammatical errors; better still, give a professional to help you.
How Long Should My Scholarship Essay Be?
Scholarship essays are usually 500 words or less; this makes reviewing them easier for the scholarship committee. Ignoring stipulated word count for scholarship essays is one of the reasons many students get rejected. Most scholarship essays don’t get rejected because they were not good but because they did not follow this simple rule. Brilliant or not, if the essay does not obey the word-count rule, it will be rejected; it doesn’t even get the chance to be read.
What is the Standard Scholarship Essay Format?
Scholarship essays, unless specified otherwise, typically follow a standard professional style as seen below:
- Spacing: double or 1.5 at least.
- Font: Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, Tahoma, or Verdana.
- Font color: black.
- Font size: 12.
- Margin: one inch for the sides, top, bottom of the document.
- Submission: through email, online form, or mail, depending on the instructions.
Scholarship Essay Tips to Help You Write a Winning Paper
Big grammars or elegant gestures don’t make a winning scholarship essay; following instructions, and helpful tips do. To set your scholarship essay up for winning, you should:
- Put yourself, your vulnerabilities even, into the essay – don’t sound robotic; they want to know who you really are.
- Don’t just tell them about your experiences; show them; include real-life scenarios and examples in your essay.
- Maintain an inspirational, positive, and optimistic tone throughout the scholarship essay.
- Take advantage of resources such as scholarship essay examples, essay-writing guides like this one, and writing centers.
- Seek help from professional writers, academic professionals, and people who have won scholarships before. Such people can effectively guide you on how to write an essay for a scholarship.
How To Set Up a Scholarship Essay
The way you set up a scholarship essay ultimately depends on the instructions the essay comes with and your writing style. Below, we provide a template that most scholarship essays follow:
- Introduction – that one-paragraph introduction that decides the fate of your scholarship essay. Make it catchy, hooking, and informative; get the readers curious.
- The Body – The body of a scholarship essay should be around 1 to 3 paragraphs, and it should be an elaboration of your points. This is where you sell yourself to the committee, telling them why you deserve the scholarship opportunity. Share real-life experiences, hobbies, interests, challenges, and vulnerabilities; avoid making general statements, be specific.
- The Conclusion – should be one paragraph explaining how the scholarship will help you achieve your goals.
Scholarship Essay Sample
If there is such thing as a typical high school student, I am probably not one. I am college bound, which is clearly not unusual, but it is taken a lot for me to get there. My background is not ripe with relatives who have been to college at all, let alone intending to pursue graduate studies as I would like to one day.
Because higher education is not an automatic presumption in my family, I have had to work very hard to carve out the time needed to excel academically in high school. At home, I have been given much responsibility with respect to caring for my younger siblings and doing added things like cooking and cleaning. There are somedays when I feel that it supposed to be my greatest priority, and I have to silently juggle my desire to do my best in preparation for college and to honor what my family has asked of me.
Because of these dual responsibilities—to myself, and to my family, I have not had the time to find work afterschool and on the weekends. The scholarship funds will allow me to bridge the large gap between what my family and I can afford to pay for my post-high school education, and its actual cost. Despite having to balance my school and family obligations, I have also done my part in the community, assisting at my siblings’ school as a volunteer and older student mentor. I am also active in community programs such as literacy for people of all ages, where I help guide people who are emerging readers. This is important to me, as I have learned early on that a solid reading foundation is the key to unlocking most doors in life.
Because my goals after high school are extensive, I believe that I will make any scholarship donor proud; through my success in undergraduate studies, as well as later on in graduate school, and as a person committed to returning to their home community, and truly giving back in an effort to be a part of positive change.
In conclusion, the secret to writing a winning scholarship essay is in the tips and the instructions. There are several writing centers online and offline that offer guidance and insightful essay tips that you can take advantage of. Once you can write a stellar scholarship essay, you have a high chance of winning that scholarship!