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How to Write a College Scholarship Essay: A Guide With Examples

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A scholarship essay is a type of admission writing that aims to convince a scholarship committee or foundation that a student is a worthy recipient of financial aid. The purpose of a scholarship essay is to demonstrate a student's academic excellence, leadership abilities, community involvement, and financial need (if applicable).

Writing an outstanding scholarship essay is a key factor in winning yourself a grant application. This will also secure your financial positions. In this article we will talk about key elements of an essay for your scholarship. Clear step-by-step guide on how to write one will be provided as well. We will also answer some popular questions.

Hopefully this information from our scholarship essay writing service will help you succeed with an application. Let us get into it together!  

How to Write a Good Scholarship Essay: Essential Steps

Sometimes you need a little push, some good scholarship essay tips. After all, this work is important for an application to be accepted. Better make it a good one, right?

That is why you must tell a compelling story, provide original ideas and persuasive arguments so the reader agrees with you. Sounds challenging? No worries, we have collected a few tips for you. Several examples and templates will be provided below as well. Stay with us and you will find some information that will help you do your best when writing this piece of writing. Wonder if it is different from a college essay? Yes, it is completely another assignment.

Step 1. Examine the Application Requirements Before Writing a Scholarship Essay

Before starting to write an essay for college scholarship, it is useful that you check out all requirements for the application. Pay attention to the details and find out whether you meet all of them, e.g:

  1. Grades received for specific courses of GPA during the whole time of studying.
  2. Participation in certain activities, such as athletics.
  3. Your family’s financial status, etc.

Analyze the requirements first and then decide whether you are going to make the application. If yes, proceed with writing.

Step 2. Create a Strong Scholarship Essay Outline

Starting with an outline is a sure-fire way to build an excellent and logical structure of your story. Here is how you write scholarship essay outline:

  1. In the beginning, organize your thoughts and write down the main thesis.
  2. Put all the main points organized as sections and subsections in the middle. Add just a few words per each point, no need in writing full sentences.
  3. A brief conclusion should be made at the end.

Review an outline so you can detect any inconsistencies or logical gaps. Make corrections. Once done, proceed with the full text. Look at different essay outline examples for a better understanding.

Step 3. Be Clear and Concise in Your Scholarship Essay

This scholarship essay should demonstrate your writing skills and experience. At the same time, it must be quite readable and understandable. Describe all details in a straightforward manner and don’t create an overly complicated structure. Be brief, don't include any irrelevant facts or ideas but, on the other hand, don’t skip any important details. Make your writing sound professional, maintain a respectful tone and avoid using any profane language or slang.

Step 4. Create Strong Start for your Scholarship Essay

This is how to start a scholarship essay:

  1. Begin with a strong introduction to hook an audience. Try a surprising first line to make them curious.
  2. Make it relevant to the assignment. Give an audience a quick preview of what they can expect from an assignment. Show that you follow the required topic.
  3. Explain that all the questions provoked by your start would be answered later in text. Make sure there is a logical transition to the main part.

Step 5. Make a Clear Body for Your Scholarship Essay

Aim to maintain a good and logical structure while writing a scholarship essay. Follow an outline and stick to the plan. It is important to make sure that the reader can follow your narrative without too much effort.

When creating a body for your essay, you should:  

  • Split your body paragraph into several parts. This way you can explain your main idea more thoroughly.
  • Tell about your personal experience. Share your hobbies and interests. Explain what makes you attend college and why you need the scholarship.

Add evidence and quotes supporting an opinion. Again, don’t give too much detail otherwise your reader could get tired. Don’t forget about proper formatting, citation and grammar.

Step 6. Summarize Your Scholarship Essay Conclusion

A good conclusion makes your ideas clearer for the reader. This is how to end a scholarship essay:

  1. Ensure that all questions from the introduction get answered.
  2. Show some progress and highlight the effort made to find these answers.
  3. Make assumptions about future, the meaning of your story and its possible outcomes.
  4. Write a clear closing sentence in the end.
  5. Keep it short.
  6. Express gratitude to the committee for taking their time to review this essay.

Step 7. Proofread and Edit Your Scholarship Essay

Quality of text is crucial! You are not likely to win a scholarship with essay that has grammar mistakes, missing words or inconsistent formatting. While making a plan, consider leaving some time for reviewing and editing your work after you complete it. Good idea will be asking your family member or friend to proofread it for you. Another way to find mistakes or logical gaps is to read an assignment out loud: your ear can spot something an eye didn’t catch.

Scholarship Essay Format: Basic Rules of Use

First, check provided guidelines on how to format scholarship essay. If there are none, just follow standard professional style and format. Make sure your writing piece is complete and easy for understanding. Use one of the popular format styles: APA paper format, MLA, or Chicago style essay. Save it as a .pdf file to keep the formatting.

Scholarship Essay Template: The Best and Full

Here's a scholarship essay template that you can use to write your own piece. Use the following structure but stand by your own plan:

  1. Introduction
    1. Tell about yourself, making a ‘hook’
    2. Mention the grant you are applying for
  2. Background
    1. Tell about yourself, give examples of your personal traits and interests
    2. Describe your situation. Put the focus on how you overcome your challenges
  3. Your objectives and goals
    1. Mention your major and explain why you have selected it
    2. Talk about your future goals
    3. Highlight your relevant experience including research, work or volunteering
  4. Talk about your need
    1. Explain why you need this grant
    2. Explain how it will help you
  5. Conclusion
    1. Restate your main idea
    2. Talk about the positive impact you could make after receiving the scholarship
    3. Express gratitude to the committee.

Free Scholarship Essay Examples

Do you need real scholarship essay example that was written for a specific college? We’ve got a few ones for you! Feel free to check these samples out and see if they can bring you some fresh ideas or an inspiration to pursue your goals. Scroll down to access all available examples.

Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself

This is an example of scholarship essay about yourself. Self-reflection and analysis is an important element of education. You can speak about the challenges you meet when you study and about the ways to overcome them. Show some emotions when appropriate but make sure to include only relevant details.

Scholarship Essay About Myself
Healthcare and Nursing
Paper type:
Scholarship Essay
1.78 MB

Scholarship Essay Sample About Why I Deserve the Scholarship

Are you looking for a scholarship essay about why I deserve the scholarship? This is naturally the first idea that comes to mind in such situation. In fact, students are typically expected to explain their needs and why they have made an application. This way you can show your level by displaying strong arguments and logic. Let’s start!

Why I deserve the scholarship
Healthcare and Nursing
Paper type:
Scholarship Essay
1.17 MB

Scholarship Essay Examples About Career Goals

Finally, here is an example of a scholarship essay about career goals. It might be easy for you to write persuasive text based on your hopes and plans on finding your own path in this world. Just keep in mind that such assignments require serious work on the outline to make them well-structured and suitable for scholarship applications.

Scholarship Essay about Career Goals
Finance, Accounting and Banking
Paper type:
Scholarship Essay
1.41 MB

Scholarship Essays: Final Thoughts

In this article, we have provided you with basic information about the scholarship essay: its purpose, its general structure and tips on how to start and how to complete a proper one. Keep this information in mind when writing your piece. Plan it thoroughly, use your skills and experience and follow our guidelines. A well-written academic work could ensure the success of an application!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarship Essay

1. How do you write a 500-word scholarship essay?

When writing a 500-word scholarship essay, the most important part is making proper structure and following a good plan. Here are the recommended steps:

  1. Create a thesis.
  2. Write the introduction.
  3. Write the body paragraphs.
  4. Wrap it up with conclusion.

After completing your text you can add more details or remove unnecessary ones.

2. How many paragraphs should a scholarship essay have?

Typically, there are no strict requirements regarding scholarship essay paragraphs. In general, an assignment should consist of 3 or more paragraphs. Their quantity is defined by your plan and structure of an outline. Just make sure you have formatted it properly and added all necessary details.

3. How long should a scholarship essay be?

Brevity is very important when it comes to scholarship applications. In most cases, scholarship essay should be kept to 500 words or less. Try to plan beforehand to include your descriptions, arguments and explanations into this volume. If you have doubts, ask your peers or mentor for advice.

4. What is the difference between a scholarship essay and a college essay?

The differences between a scholarship essay and college essay:

  • Purpose: you can write about your personality in an assignment for college. Grant application should focus on your goals which can be fulfilled by getting the grant.
  • Length: up to 500 words for grant essay and up to 650 words for college essay.
  • Approach: when applying for grant, speak about contribution you could make. A written piece for college can focus on your personal reflection from entering new community.
  • Prompt: it can be broad for a paper for college. An application for grant must focus on your needs, goals and positive impact you can make.
Article posted on:May 10, 2022
Article updated on:May 13, 2024


Leave your comment here:
6/25/2022 9:47 AM
Hi there. I'm writing my scholarship essay and I have a question. Do I need to create a title page for my scholarship essay?
6/25/2022 11:47 AM
Hi David,

Scholarship essay cover page is usually unnecessary unless there are special scholarship essay format instructions to do so. You can optionally include a title if you're attaching an essay as a Word or PDF document.
7/7/2022 8:26 AM
Thank you for the awesome samples of essay for scholarship you provided in your article. I've read all of them and they inspired me a lot! It was a nightmare for me to write something about myself. But not anymore! Now I realize that the sky is the limit and I can write about anything I want. Thanks for the motivation!
7/7/2022 9:00 AM
Hi Kate,

We are very happy to hear it! You make us want to do better. Good luck in your further academic pursuits!