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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sample essay for scholarship pdf

Examples

Scholarship Essay

sample essay for scholarship pdf

Essays are compositions of widescale function. Essay writing is also often a part of academic examinations or a composition that helps someone express his/her ideas to the world. Commonly, essays are written to pass school; however, there is a form of document that can also take someone into school.

What is a Scholarship Essay?

A scholarship essay is a personal statement written as part of a scholarship application. It’s designed to demonstrate your values, qualities, and suitability for the scholarship on offer, responding to specific prompts or questions posed by the scholarship provider. The essay is a critical component of the application process, allowing the selection committee to understand more about you, your background, and your educational goals.

Format of Scholarship Essay

  • Introduction : Introduces the main idea or response to the essay prompt, includes a hook to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Body Paragraphs : Provide detailed examples and experiences that showcase your qualifications, achievements, and how you align with the scholarship’s values.
  • Conclusion : Summarizes your essay, reinforces how the scholarship will help you achieve your educational goals, and includes a thank you to the scholarship committee.

How Do You Write a Scholarship Essay?

  • Understand the Topic : Grasp what the scholarship committee seeks in responses.
  • Plan Your Essay : Brainstorm ideas that showcase your strengths and alignment with the scholarship’s goals.
  • Compelling Introduction : Draw readers in with an engaging start that introduces your main point.
  • Develop the Body : Use specific examples and experiences to demonstrate your qualifications and how you meet the scholarship criteria.
  • Conclude Effectively : Summarize key points and express how the scholarship will aid your educational or career ambitions.
  • Proofread : Ensure your essay is clear, error-free, and impactful.

Types of Scholarships Essay

  • Merit-Based Essays : Focus on academic achievements, leadership qualities, or artistic talents.
  • Need-Based Essays : Highlight financial need and how the scholarship would support educational goals.
  • Personal Statement Essays : Reflect on personal experiences, challenges overcome, and personal growth.
  • Career Goal Essays : Discuss professional aspirations and how education will help achieve them.
  • Community Service Essays : Describe involvement in community service or volunteer work and its impact.

10+Scholarship Essay Examples

Scholarship self introduction essay.

Scholarship Self Introduction Essay

Sample Scholarship Essay in PDF

Sample-Scholarship-Essay-in-PDF1

Scholarship Personal Essay Sample

Scholarship-Personal-Essay-Sample1

Education Scholarship Essay Sample

Education Scholarship Essay Sample

Scholarship Personal Statement Essay Example

Scholarship-Personal-Statement-Essay-Example1

Student Scholarship Personal Statement Essay

Student Scholarship Personal Statement Essay

Scholarship Essay Example

Scholarship-Essay-Example1

Field of Study Scholarship Essay

Field-of-Study-Scholarship-Essay

Sample Scholarship Essay Outline

Sample-Scholarship-Essay-Outline

Simple Scholarship Essay Sample

Simple-Scholarship-Essay-Sample

Sample Scholarship Essays

Sample-Scholarship-Essays

What do scholarship essays want to hear?

Scholarship essays seek to understand the applicant’s unique experiences, achievements, and aspirations. They want to hear a genuine, compelling story that showcases your character, resilience, and how you’ve overcome challenges. Essays should also reflect your academic and career goals, demonstrating how the scholarship will help achieve them.

What are the essay requirements for scholarships?

Essay requirements for scholarships vary but typically include a word limit, specific formatting guidelines (e.g., font type, size), and a prompt or theme to address. They may ask you to discuss personal achievements, challenges you’ve overcome, your career goals, or why you deserve the scholarship. Always follow the provided instructions carefully.

How do you start a strong scholarship essay?

To start a strong scholarship essay, open with an engaging hook that captures the reader’s attention. This could be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a brief anecdote related to the essay prompt. The goal is to make the scholarship committee want to read more about you and what you have to say.

What should be the first sentence of a scholarship essay?

The first sentence of a scholarship essay should be captivating and thought-provoking. It could introduce a pivotal moment, a personal insight, or a question that hints at the essay’s theme. This sentence sets the tone for your essay and encourages the reader to continue reading.

Do I put my name on a scholarship essay?

Whether you put your name on a scholarship essay depends on the specific instructions provided by the scholarship provider. Some may request that you include your name and other identifying details, while others may prefer anonymous submissions for unbiased evaluation. Always follow the application guidelines

What is the importance of a scholarship essay?

The reason why it is essential for you to make sure that you will create a comprehensive and detailed scholarship essay is due to the benefits that it can provide to your scholarship application. Some of the importance of a scholarship essay include the following: it can help the committee know more about you ,  it can showcase your writing skills and other abilities.

How to format your scholarship essay?

Aside from the content of your scholarship essay, its outline format and choosing what type of format essay you use like,  MLA format essay , APA essay , or even Chicago style  format are also of importance. Be aware of your word count. Do not use any fancy fonts as it can make the essay look informal. Make sure that your font size can make your discussion easy to read. Your margin should be an inch from the document’s top, bottom, and sides. The margin that you will use in the document can play a big part in the overall appearance of the letter.

How to write a 500 word essay?

Be thoroughly acquainted with the directions in your essay, completely comprehend the essay prompt, identify important points and keywords, compose a compelling introduction, craft an interesting body, remarkably close your scholarship essay, and proofread.

A scholarship essay is an important document that is used in the processes of a scholarship application. This letter may be simple but it can provide a lot of difference with regards the decision on whether an individual will be approved for a scholarship grant or not. A scholarship essay is a composition written by an applicant to avail the perks of a certain education-supporting program. Considering that this document will be one of the bases of one’s admission, facilitators of the scholarship program you are applying for may give you specific instructions regarding the format of your essay.

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How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

sample essay for scholarship pdf

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.

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sample essay for scholarship pdf

Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

sample essay for scholarship pdf

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

As an admissions officer, I reviewed thousands of essays for students seeking admission and scholarships. The essay is one of the most important parts of the scholarship application process–a strong essay can go a long way. However, with so much competition, it is important for your scholarship essay to stand out. That’s why it’s important for you to start a scholarship essay off right!

There are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that your essay is engaging from the very first sentence. In fact, beginning your essay with an exciting opening is one of the most important things you can do, because it will immediately distinguish your essay from the others. 

Keep on reading to learn more about how you can nail the very first sentence and start your essay off right!

Engage the reader with the first sentence

No matter what type of essay you are writing, you will want to ensure that the very first line grabs the attention of the reader. One of the biggest mistakes that students make when starting their essay is simply restating the prompt. This is bland and boring. 

Now, you might be wondering, “how do I engage the reader with the very first line of my essay?”. The good news is that there are several ways that you can do this that are very simple to do. 

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

Begin with dialogue

First, you could begin your essay with conversation. This can be an interesting and unexpected way to start your scholarship essay. Maybe someone asked you an unexpected question? Perhaps you were having an interesting conversation with a friend or family member? Either way, dialogue can be a powerful tool to start your essay.

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Put the reader in your shoes.

Alternatively, you can choose to start your essay by placing the reader right in your shoes and show them something from your life. Appeal to the senses and show the reader what you see, hear, smell, or taste. These specific details will help your essay come to life and make it even more memorable. 

Also recommended: What’s the best scholarship essay format?

Scholarship essay introduction example

Next,  we’ll look at a specific example of how you can open up your essay. Let’s say you are applying for the Questbridge scholarship program . One of the essays that you will be asked is:

We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most influenced you. How are they shaping your future aspirations?

You might be tempted to rephrase the question and start your essay with something like:

“I have grown up in a rural context and this has formed my aspirations and allowed me to accomplish academic success…”

This is generic and will not engage your reader at all. 

Instead, what if you started off your essay with something like this:

“I look outside my bedroom window and see Henry, my favorite chicken, pecking at something in the dirt.” 

Makes a big difference, right? As a reader, you are probably wondering: why does this person have chickens outside their bedroom window? Why did they name this particular chicken Henry?

See also: Here are our top writing & essay scholarships for students!

Keep the ending of your essay in mind as you write the opening

While crafting your opening, be open to ideas about how to close your essay. There is no need to stress about the ending now, but being mindful of effective ways to end an essay is always a good idea. Say you are opening your scholarship essay with Henry the chicken. Is there a way for Henry to make an impactful appearance at the end of the essay to close things out in a way that perfectly wraps everything up? The key is for the essay ending to be meaningful and memorable for the reader. 

Don’t miss: Our free scholarship search tool

If you can’t think of a “wow” scholarship essay beginning, keep writing!

Sometimes, we know what we want to say, point by point, but we are not ready to be creative when it comes to opening an essay. In that case, keep writing! There is always the option of going back and crafting an engaging opening after your essay is written. Simply write your main idea where the first paragraph would be to guide you as you write. After, go back when your creative juices are flowing, and craft the amazing opening (and closing) that your scholarship essay deserves!

Final thoughts

As shown, there are many questions that we as readers will have after reading an engaging essay opening such as the one just shared; We want to learn more about the student who is writing this essay. After all, as a writer trying to stand out in a pile of essays, that is our main goal. 

We hope that you have a better understanding of how to start a scholarship essay so you can maximize your chances of winning scholarships!

Additional resources

Scholarships360 is the go-to for all things college admissions and scholarships! Wondering how to write a 250 word essay and how to write a 500 word essay ? Curious how to write an essay about yourself ? Wow, do we have the resources to help! Additionally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help you finance your college education. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors! 

Key Takeaways

  • The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading 
  • Engage the reader by appealing to the senses
  • Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you
  • Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning

Frequently asked questions about how to start a scholarship essay

What is an essay hook, how long should my scholarship essay be.

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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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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 ...

Do you have any great scholarship essay examples? Share them below!

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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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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!

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  • 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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  • Applying For Scholarships

About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)

Jennifer Finetti Sep 28, 2022

About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)

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A popular scholarship essay prompt is “Tell us about yourself.” This question is relatively open-ended, which may make it difficult to answer at first glance. What should I tell them about myself? My struggles, my goals, my passions…? These may all be fitting topics, depending on the scholarship. We’ll show you some scholarship essay examples about yourself, along with writing tips to guide you along the way.

What they want to know about you

As you prepare to write, think of the topics the scholarship committee would be interested in. These may include:

  • Your current degree, as it applies to your overall career goals. You can explain why you chose your current educational path and what you want to do with that.
  • Your short-term and long-term professional goals . Frame your answer as if to say “Where will you be in 5 years? Where will you be in 10 years?” Scholarship committees like to reward people with defined aspirations.
  • Past experiences that sparked your passions. You could talk about an influential person in your life, but make sure most of the essay focuses on you. After all, you are talking about yourself.
  • Something about you that relates to their organization. With any scholarship essay, you should try to connect yourself with the organization providing the funding. Don’t force a connection. Find one that naturally fits. Mention hobbies, experiences and goals that match what the review committee is looking for.
  • Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants. This may be volunteer experience, career specialties, situational differences (growing up in an area that didn’t encourage education), etc.

Show off your skillset

Note that you do not have to throw all this information into one essay. Choose the elements that best fit the scholarship. If you were on the review board, what would you want to learn about each applicant? What would make you choose one applicant over another? Keep this in mind as you develop your thoughts.

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What they don’t want to know about you

There is plenty of information you could include in an about yourself scholarship essay. There is just as much information to avoid though. Some topics to keep out of your essay include:

  • False information. Do not make up stories or fabricate goals to fit the prompt. The scholarship committee can instantly tell when someone is lying, and they will disqualify you immediately.
  • Past struggles that do not pertain to the essay topic. You can briefly mention struggles from your past, as long as you mention how you’ve learned from them. Do not make your essay a long story about the hard life you’ve led. Focus on your triumphs, not your obstacles.
  • Vague goals and aspirations. Scholarships are usually given to students who have a plan. If you say, “I’m not sure what I’m doing yet,” the committee will select a more motivated candidate. If you have a plan and a backup plan, that’s fine. Just make sure you mention both options and show which one you favor.
  • Cliché stories that most people tell. There is something that makes you stand out as a person. Use that to your advantage. Don’t rely on generic information they’ll find with other applicants.
  • Unrelated elements of your personal life. In most cases, you should not mention your significant other in the essay. You might mention a spouse if you need to reference your children or a turning point in your life, but these personal details do not fit most essays. Any information that seems frivolous or ill-placed should be removed from the essay.

Read through your essay carefully. If you stop at one point to say, “Why did I mention that?” get rid of the corresponding information. Showcase the best elements about yourself in a fluid and cohesive manner.

Short scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (100 Words)

With 100 words, you can only focus on one or two elements of your life. Think about your biggest selling points – the things that show you are the ideal candidate. Start by introducing yourself and your educational status. Then jump into the main topic of the essay. You may not have room to mention how the scholarship will help your education. Instead, mention how your education can help your career. The other information will be implied.

My name is Christian Wood. I am a high school senior who will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. I want to become an online journalist. My goal is to work for the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, or another news outlet that has a strong online presence. Most people already get their news on the internet, and the industry will be even bigger by the time I graduate. Getting a degree in journalism with a focus on digital media will set me up for a fulfilling, fast-paced career fit for the future.

Word Count: 96

Medium scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (250 Words)

With a mid-length scholarship essay, you have more space to explain how your past has influenced your present and future goals. You should have rom for an intro paragraph, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion (maybe incorporated into the last body paragraph). Think of a few main points you want to touch on, and write those down first. If you still have room, you can add more details about yourself.

My name is Sarah, and I spent most of my childhood on the wrong medication. I experienced a problem common in clinical psychology – misdiagnosis. Professionals provide inaccurate diagnoses for many reasons – f rom antiquated testing methods to limited education. I want to open my own psychological testing facility and help change that. Therefore, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology.  I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child because I had trouble focusing in school. The medication m y doctor prescribed to me only made me numb to the world around me. I couldn’t think or process emotions, or had no emotions at all. After several years my parents finally decided to get a second opinion. I saw a specialist and she concluded that I didn’t have ADHD , but a combination of dyslexia and dysgraphia (difficulties with reading and writing). She sent us to a therapist who helped me learn how to work around my conditions, and my life improved tremendously. I went from being a lifeless student with barely passing grades to an honor roll student full of joy and excitement. Unfortunately, my story is not one of a kind. There are countless children in America who are put on mind-altering medications that do not adequately address their needs. I cannot help all of those children, but I can provide a better alternative for the ones in my area. Through proper education, funded by financial aid, I can learn about psychological evaluations and provide the most accurate diagnoses possible.

Word Count: 249

Long scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (500 Words)

Scholarship essays that are 500 words or longer let you tell the whole story. You can discuss your past, present and future in a comprehensive manner. Avoid rambling and make sure each topic contributes to the overall essay. If one piece feels out of place, remove it and elaborate more on the existing elements. By the end of the essay, the reader should have a full understanding of who you are and what you want to accomplish.

My name is Sierra Breault, and I am a junior at Murray State University. I am double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Forensics Science, and I will graduate in 2024 with two bachelor degrees. My career goal is in social justice, so I can contribute to criminal justice reform. I want to ensure that those who commit crimes are treated fairly.  I come from a small town where excessive force and even death by cop incidents are often committed, especially against minorities. A few years ago, one of my relatives was charged for a crime although the crime scene evidence wasn’t properly obtained, catalogued and analyzed.  This experience played a big part in my wish to study criminal justice. I started exploring the career more when I decided that a desk job just wasn’t for me. Throughout high school I struggled because of the routine nature of it all. I saw the same people and attended the same classes every single day. I knew I didn’t want a job that would be that stagnant. That’s when I got the idea to work in law enforcement, because there would always be a new challenge for me to tackle. After researching the field even more, I set my sights on crime scene investigation. I have performed much better academically in college than I ever did in high school. That’s because there is no routine to the experience. Every week, I have new projects to complete, tests to study for, and activities to try. I have been involved with the campus Crime Stoppers organization all three years of college, and I was elected president for the upcoming term. This lets me work closely with law enforcement to supplement my college education and further my career.   After graduating, I will apply for work as a dispatcher in a state organization, such as the Department of Criminal Investigation. While my ultimate goal is to work as a forensic analyst or crime scene investigator, those positions usually only go to people within the organization. Dispatch is the most direct option for career entry, giving me the best chance to pursue my dream career. I am applying for this scholarship to help me finish the last two years of my degrees. As a college junior and soon-to-be senior, my scholarship opportunities are limited. Most awards are reserved for freshmen. I took advantage of those early on, and I have one recurring scholarship that covers half of my tuition. However, I need additional financial aid to cover the remainder of my academic costs. I appreciate your consideration, and I hope that you can help me pursue a profession in criminal justice. This is my passion, and I have a clear plan to turn that passion into a lifelong career.

Word Count: 463

YOU SHOULD ALSO READ

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Essay: How Will This Scholarship Help You Achieve Your Goals (W/Example)

Scholarship Essay Examples – Career Goals

Financial Need Scholarship Essay Examples

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  • 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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What’s the right scholarship essay format and structure?

Many scholarships require you to submit at least one essay–and maybe you’ve already got that covered . But now you’re wondering: how should your essay be formatted? Should it be double-spaced or single-spaced? Should you include a title? Should you include the prompt? What does a typical scholarship essay format look like?

Although you don’t have to worry about essay formatting at Going Merry ( we’ll structure and submit your application for you , with our pre-filled forms!), maybe you’re also applying to some other scholarships too. So we’re here to help you understand how to format your scholarship essay.

Where do I start? 

Does a scholarship essay need a title , how should a scholarship essay be formatted what font should i use , how should a scholarship essay be structured can i get a template or outline, scholarship essay format at a glance, should scholarship essays be double-spaced , start writing.

Scholarship essay format research

You’ll need to dive into a personal experience or tell your story of an accomplishment, a hobby, an interest to the scholarship provider, showing them your experience with a structured and descriptive essay. Create an outline of your essay (this can be old school, with pen and paper!), write it out, and then ensure you’re formatting it professionally and properly.  (Need more scholarship essay tips? Try these.)

This depends on the essay submission format.

If there is a text box entry, you can just copy and paste the body of your essay, without a title. This is the case, for example, when applying for scholarships through Going Merry .

If you’re attaching an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can optionally include a title, but this is usually unnecessary unless there are special scholarship essay format instructions to do so. (One popular reason you might need to do this is if the prompt is to write about any topic of your choice, or to choose your own prompt. In this case, to give the reader more context before you begin your essay, a title may be helpful.)

If you are required to create a title, we recommend doing one of two things:

  • Think of a title early on. Write down that title, write your essay, and then circle back to the title to tweak it as needed. -OR-
  • Write your essay and then come up with a title . Your creativity might be fresher once you’ve answered the prompt and included the meat and potatoes of the scholarship essay, which might help you come up with a suitable title at the end.

Also, don’t stress! While a clever title can improve your essay, it’s hardly a make-or-break. A very descriptive title that summarizes the prompt would work fine, as long as your essay is strong. 

Relatedly, you don’t need to include the essay question or prompt at the top of your essay. The scholarship committee will know what the topic or prompt is!

(Want inspiration from winners? Check out these winning scholarship essays .)

Scholarship essay format tips

If you’re writing your essay in a document to upload to your Going Merry profile , or to submit to a scholarship application on a provider’s website , and the scholarship provider doesn’t have explicit guidelines, it’s best to just follow a standard professional style and format. That means using 1-inch page margins, 12-point font size double-spaced (or 1.5 spaced), and a “standard” font like Times New Roman in classic (default) black. Don’t get creative with fonts or colors here. You want the content of your essay to be what stands out, rather than your unorthodox formatting.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how to best structure a good scholarship essay. In fact, you can see how wide-ranging these winning essays are. In fact, how to best answer and structure your essay depends partially on the essay and partially on your personal writing style. 

However, one pretty common way of structuring your scholarship essay is how Going Merry winner John Flowers Jr did it . Here’s the template/outline:

  • Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) : Draw the audience in with an attention-grabbing opening sentence related to the prompt. Introduce your main points that you’ll be sharing later in your essay.
  • Example of an opening sentence from a Going Merry scholarship winner: “My parents were never given a shot at having an education beyond high school.” This tells us about the student’s parents and how it might have influenced the student’s decision to apply to college, setting the tone for the essay.
  • Introductory paragraph: “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. They had to start life at an early age. I want to succeed in college for them and for me. I want them to be proud of me for doing a task that they weren’t able to do.” – This expresses John’s understanding of what his parents had to do, and that they did not get a chance to attend college. John also expresses his determination, and his drive to attend college to do something for his parents.
  • Body (1-3 paragraphs) – Expand on your main points. Back up your information with evidence, examples, and facts. This is where you’re encouraged to share details of how you got to where you are today, what inspired your hobbies, interests, or drive to attend college, and how the scholarship will help you achieve your academic and/or personal goals. Remember to use specifics rather than make general statements!
  • Conclusion (1 paragraph): Explain how winning this scholarship would help support your goals (and maybe also have wider community impact) 
  • An excerpt from John’s conclusion: “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.” – John explains how valuable this scholarship is for him, not just monetarily, but also how it will help him achieve his goals.

Student formatting his scholarship essay

  • Read the scholarship essay format guidelines carefully, to check if the scholarship includes instructions
  • If you’re submitting your scholarship essay outside of the Going Merry platform, set up your document with a 1-inch margin
  • Aim for a 12-point font
  • The best font to use is Times New Roman. Other good options include Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, and Verdana
  • Always get a second opinion on the scholarship essay format for grammar, punctuation, spelling, structure, etc.
  • Online form
  • Going Merry scholarship platform (apply to thousands of scholarships and upload your scholarship essay)

You’re probably used to double-spacing your high school papers and essays. Since adding line spacing can make essays more readable, using 1.5-spacing or double-spacing is a good idea if you’re attaching an essay as a Word doc or PDF. But again, unless the scholarship provider has specified this information, it’s not mandatory.

More important is to not leave your essay as one block of text. Instead, we recommend separating paragraphs when you’re starting a new thought or idea.

For scholarship essays on Going Merry, you won’t have to worry about formatting because we will do this for you whenever you submit applications through our platform.

We know you’re going to rock your essay with these scholarship essay format guidelines, so get to it! It’s best to start writing your essay as early as possible to give yourself time to review the essay, ask someone (like a parent, guidance counselor, or friend) to proofread your essay, and then make sure to submit it on time. (On Going Merry , we’ll send you deadline reminders on your favorited scholarships and draft applications, so you won’t miss them!)

When you’re ready to apply for scholarships, sign up for Going Merry ! You’ll create a free student profile, enter your information once, and then we’ll match you with thousands of scholarships that you can apply to with just the click of a button. Don’t worry about entering your information twice – we’ll pre-fill this for you!

If you need additional resources to accompany this scholarship essay format guide, check out these related blog posts for more writing tips:

  • How to answer “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”
  • How to Write the Best Personal Statement
  • 10 Tips for Writing An Essay About Yourself
  • How to Write a Career Goals Essay
  • 6 Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays About Academic Goals
  • College Essay Guy: How to write a scholarship essay
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    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.

  3. 16 Scholarship Essay Examples to Help You Win Scholarship

    This scholarship essay serves as a testament to the transformative power of education and the unwavering dedication I bring to achieving my goals. By delving into my personal story, passions, and commitment to making a difference, I aim to showcase why I am a deserving candidate for this scholarship.

  4. 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.

  5. 9 Scholarship Essay Examples

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    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.

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    Time away from a draft offers clarity. Read the draft as if you're the most skeptical person you can imagine. Look for opportunities to add detail, clarify, emphasize an idea, and delete irrelevant details. Rearrange a few times. Move the conclusion or the "so what" point to the beginning. Try bookending an anecdote with information about ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Scholarship Essay Examples

    Sample scholarship essays. The sample scholarship essays below were submitted for a scholarship essay contest we hosted and chosen as winners. Read through their essays, and we will give you some pointers to help craft a strong scholarship essay of your own. Sample scholarship essay #1. By Grace G.

  14. PDF Writing a Scholarship Essay

    Scholarship decisions are made very. quickly; you need to immediately. make yourself stand out. The judges can read all the "facts". about you on the application; the. essay is where they can discover. your heart and soul. The essay is an introduction to who you are, what you value, how you. see the world, what you hope to.

  15. PDF Easy and Free Scholarship Essay Samples

    Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship $7,500 by Steven Fisher. 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.

  16. PDF How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    Create goals for the writing. For example, your goal in responding to an essay might be to: . Demonstrate personal traits in myself that are similar to the personal. traits of the person for whom the scholarship is named. (The Brower. Youth Award is given in honor of David Brower, to "honor his lifetime.

  17. PDF Sample Scholarship Essay Outline

    iii. How will a scholarship help you achieve your educational goals? b. What are your long-term career goal(s) ? i. What can/will you do with your degree? ii. How will a scholarship help you achieve your long-term career goals? IV. Native Community a. What is your community involvement? i. What extracurricular/volunteer activities do you do? ii.

  18. PDF Scholarship Essay Outline

    a. State why you need this scholarship b. State how this scholarship will help you. 5. Conclusion a. Highlight an item or two from your essay. b. Thank the judges (optional) Final Essay Tips • Always read over the instructions & requirements of the scholarship • Proofread your essay • Keep the essay simple & short (no more than one to two ...

  19. 12 Successful Scholarship Essay Examples To Learn From

    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 ...

  20. Write A "Tell Us About Yourself" Scholarship Essay (3 Examples)

    Short scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (100 Words) With 100 words, you can only focus on one or two elements of your life. Think about your biggest selling points - the things that show you are the ideal candidate. Start by introducing yourself and your educational status.

  21. Scholarship Essay Format: Guidelines, Structure and Examples

    Scholarship essay format at a glance. Read the scholarship essay format guidelines carefully, to check if the scholarship includes instructions. If you're submitting your scholarship essay outside of the Going Merry platform, set up your document with a 1-inch margin. Aim for a 12-point font. The best font to use is Times New Roman.

  22. PDF Why I Deserve this Scholarship Essay

    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.

  23. 50 Free Scholarship Application Templates & Forms

    To save time and effort, you can avail of scholarship letter samples. Many of these are very effective in convincing groups that reward scholarships. ... Consider the following items that should be part of your scholarship application: Essay ... 48 Phone & Email Contact List Templates [Word, Excel, PDF] 24 Free Printable Graph Paper Templates ...