Scholarship Essay Writing Guide - Format, Examples & Tips

Written by

Rebecca Bennett

9 mins read
scholarship essay

Applying for scholarships can be a daunting task. The competition is fierce, and you need to submit a high-quality essay if you want to increase your chances of winning. Essay writing is hard and if you are writing it for gaining financial aid, the difficulty increases even more.

A scholarship essay can be one of the most important pieces of your application. It is your opportunity to show the judges why you deserve the scholarship and how it will help you achieve your goals.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to write a scholarship essay that will help you stand out from the competition. We will cover everything from how to start a scholarship essay to what format to use. Moreover, we will provide some examples of winning scholarship essays.

So read on and learn everything you need to know about writing a stellar scholarship essay.

What is a Scholarship Essay?

A scholarship essay is an essay that you write in order to apply for a scholarship. The purpose of the essay is to show the committee why you deserve to win the scholarship award. It is different from writing a college application essay since it is written for a different purpose.

In order to do this, you need to highlight your accomplishments, skills, and goals. You might also need to demonstrate why you need that form of financial aid. The best way to do this is by writing a compelling and convincing essay.

A convincing scholarship essay will not only state your personality and skills but also show how it aligns with the organization's interests.

You have one chance to make a first impression on these committees, so the better of an idea they get about who you are as a person, the more likely is that your request won't be declined.

Scholarship essays are often the most important part of an application, giving scholarship committees insight into who you are and your dedication to your goals.

Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that your essay is up-to-scratch with the best possible writing skills.

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How to Start a Scholarship Essay?

Before you write your essay, here are some things you should start off with to make your writing process easier:

  • 1. Essay Planning is Key

    The first thing you need to do before writing your essay is planning. Write down the deadlines and requirements for your scholarship essay on an actual calendar. You should know how to start an essay on a strong ground for a desirable effect. This way, you can plan enough time to brainstorm ideas or proofread them before submitting them so that they will not be too rushed at a last-minute stage.

  • 2. Keep Your Target Audience in Mind

    To create a winning scholarship essay, you need to know what your target audience, which is the scholarship committee, is looking for. The more you understand their needs and expectations of an ideal candidate, the better the chance that a scholarship will be granted to you.

  • 3. Understand the Essay Requirements

    The first step before starting an essay is reading the requirements carefully and making sure that you follow the correct scholarship format. Look at the word count and formatting styles required. Keep these aspects in mind when creating your essay outline and composing your essay.

  • 4. Choose a Prompt that Resonates with You

    To make your writing more engaging, try choosing a prompt that interests you. You will show off your personality and enthusiasm in what you write if it reflects who are as well.

    Once you choose an essay prompt, stick to it. Be clear about what the prompt is asking and respond in accordance with all parts of the prompt.

  • 5. Research the Scholarship Program

    Get to know the scholarship committee by researching their mission and motivation for giving out scholarships. This will help you put more meaning behind any essays you write.

    You can also check out their prior scholarship winners to get better insights into how to win that scholarship opportunity.

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How to Write a Scholarship Essay?

Look at the steps below to learn how to write a good scholarship essay:

  • 1. Answer These Questions

    When you start writing your scholarship essay, think about answering the following questions:

    • Who are you?
    • What has shaped who you are today?
    • What are your beliefs and passions, and how do they align with the organization's interests?
    • What are your goals?
    • Why are you committed to these goals, and what evidence can you provide to show this dedication?
    • How will a scholarship make a difference in your life and enable you to achieve your goals?
  • 2. Create an Essay Outline

    Once you have an idea of what to include in your essay, create an outline to organize your thoughts. Your outline will help you in writing your essay clearly and effectively.

    Your scholarship essay will follow the same essay outline as any other essay, with three parts: an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.

  • 3. Compose an Engaging Introduction

    Now that you have your outline, get to writing your essay. Firstly, write a hooking introduction that grabs the attention of the readers immediately.

    State your name and the place where you are applying. Give a little background information about yourself. It should be followed by something that will keep the readers curious enough for them to read on.

  • 4. Construct the Main Body of Your Essay

    Next, divide your essay into paragraphs. Make sure to include all of the information and answers in the main body of your essay that will be looked for by a scholarship committee.

    The main body should not only answer questions but also make arguments about why you deserve the scholarship.

    Here are some points you can consider to include:

    • Discuss your career goals; why you chose this field and what do you aim to achieve from it?
    • Talk about the obstacles you’ve faced in life and how you overcame them.
    • Showcase your strengths and weaknesses.
    • Give examples from your real life to make your arguments more authentic and credible.
    • Expand on what you’ve learned from your experiences.
    • Provide reasons for how a scholarship will make a difference to you.
  • 5. Conclude Strongly

    Finally, how to end a scholarship essay? Wrap up your essay by taking what you've said all along and adding to your points.

    You can talk about how your life experiences and education have impacted you so far, how you’ve grown, and what you wish to achieve in the future. Lastly, thank the readers for their time and consideration.

    Related: Easy to Understand Steps on How To Write A Conclusion

  • 6. Proofread and Edit

    Proofread your essay several times and look out for spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Ensure that your sentences are cohesive and your tone is consistent.

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Scholarship Essay Format

If a format is not specified for your scholarship application essay, follow the guidelines below:

  • Your essay should be double-spaced.
  • Use a legible font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.
  • Keep the font size between 10-12-points.
  • Left align your text.
  • Indent the first sentence of every paragraph.
  • You will also need to include a header with your name, course title, and phone number.
  • Make sure to leave one-inch margins on all sides of the page.

“How long should a scholarship essay be?”

When it comes to the length of your essay, there is no hard and fast rule. However, most scholarship essays are between 450 to 500 words. This should give you enough space to tell your story without being too long-winded.

Check out this scholarship essay template to know how to properly structure your own:

Scholarship Essay Template

Scholarship Essay Template

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Winning Scholarship Essay Examples

Now that you know how to write a scholarship essay, let’s take a look at some examples of winning essays. These will give you an idea of what a successful essay looks like.

300 Word Scholarship Essay

300 Word Scholarship Essay

250 Word Essay on Why I Deserve a Scholarship

250 Word Essay on Why I Deserve a Scholarship

Scholarship Essay Example About Yourself

Scholarship Essay Example About Yourself

Scholarship Essay Example for Financial Need

Scholarship Essay Example for Financial Need

Scholarship Essay for a High School Student

Scholarship Essay for a High School Student

Scholarship Essay for Master Degree

Scholarship Essay for Master Degree

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Scholarship Essay Topics 2022

When it comes to choosing a topic for your scholarship essay, it is important to choose something that is unique and interesting. You will also want to make sure that your essay stands out from the rest.

Here are some potential currently trending topics for your scholarship essay:

  • How has My Family Background Influenced Who I am Today
  • A Whole New World of Opportunities Awaits Me
  • My Experience in Community Service
  • My Adoption: A Chance at a New Beginning for Me
  • My Vision for the Future
  • How I Got Into Medical School While Living in Poverty
  • The Volunteer Work that Taught Me to Value Life
  • How I Overcame the Biggest Adversity in My Life
  • What Makes Me Unique?
  • The Traits That Will Help Me Succeed in School and at Workplace

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Tips for Writing a Scholarship Essay

Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of winning a scholarship with your essay:

  • Start early. The earlier you start writing, the more time you will have to edit and revise your essay.
  • You should also make sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all of the guidelines.
  • It is also important to be creative and original with your essay. Try to give a unique perspective on the prompt given to you.
  • Connect with the reader by sharing your own personal experiences and what you have learned from them.
  • Make sure to state your accomplishments without sounding like you are bragging.
  • Proofread your essay before you submit it. This will help to ensure that there are no grammar or spelling errors.
  • Use simple language that you are comfortable with while writing your essay.
  • The transitions between paragraphs should be clear and easy to understand.

The scholarship essay is one of the most important parts of your application process. It’s your chance to show the selection committee why you deserve the scholarship and how it will benefit you in the future.

This can be a daunting task, but with a little guidance, you can write an essay that will make you stand out from the competition.

The tips we’ve shared in this blog post should give you a good starting point. You can learn how to perfectly format and structure your essay with this guide and get assistance from the expertly-written essay examples we’ve provided.

If you need more guidance, our team at YourEssayWriter.net is here to help. We will appoint only an expert essay writer who knows how to write a winning scholarship essay that will impress the judges.

So if you need some assistance getting started, or just want someone to check over your work before submission, contact us today. We would be happy to help!