How to Write a Scholarship Essay

July 31, 2018
HandMadeWritings Staff

College years are a beautiful season. That being said, we have to admit that it is also quite pricey. Young people spend long hours working part-time during college and full-time after the graduation just to get out of the student loans. However, there is a bright side to all this…

Guides
how to write a scholarship essay

A high-quality scholarship essay can keep your pockets full. The truth is that you have a chance to qualify for financial aid from your college. And all it takes is an essay for scholarship crafted in accordance with the college’s requirements.

Already wondering how to get an essay that will help you grab a piece of that multi-billion scholarship pie? Handmade Writing has it all covered!

Game f Loans: The interest is coming

Not only we’ve gathered several scholarship essay examples but also created a list of scholarship essay format styles that will make the writing much easier and way more fun.

So, let’s get this show on the road!

Scholarship essay outlines

Like any other piece of academic writing, this paper requires a specific structure and outline. They help you keep your thoughts organized while walking the reader step by step through your paper.

Don’t view outlines as a boring routine part of the job. When done correctly, it can take your writing to a new level!

Typically, a scholarship essay consists of three main parts: an introduction, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each one of these parts has its own purpose and value. Thus, none should be ignored or underrated.

  1. An introduction. 
    When working on an introductory paragraph to your scholarship essay, consider three of its main parts: a hook, a thesis statement, and an engaging sentence to grab readers’ attention. The thesis statement for scholarship essay writing is at the core of a successful piece. It helps the audience understand what this text will focus on and how relevant it is to the main idea of your paper. It is in your best interest to make it as exciting as possible. If you want to find out more on how to craft a quality thesis statement, check our thesis statement guide.
  2. Main body paragraphs. 
    Each main body paragraph should begin with an argument that supports the thesis. Next comes the evidence that backs up the author’s position. And last but not least is a conclusion that briefly summarizes this paragraph’s main idea.
  3. A conclusion. 
    Even though it stands at the end of your piece, a conclusion plays a vital role in the overall success of a scholarship essay. It might be the only thing readers remember in the long run. So, you’d better make it memorable. Remind the audience of reasons to choose you a winner of their scholarship essay contests and promise they won’t regret it.

Remember that you don’t have to write too many details in an outline. Your only goal at this stage is to create a certain structure you will stick to while writing. Throw more ideas later on, while brainstorming or developing the first draft.

Vital elements of a scholarship essay outline

Now, let’s look at each part of an outline closer. We’ll show you tips for writing scholarship essays in practice.

By the way, check out our process essay guide to learn how to craft the best process papers ever!

How to start off a scholarship essay

If you don’t know how to start a scholarship essay, here is our first tip: identify the main idea of your essay. Here is what we mean.

Read the scholarship essay prompts carefully, preferably several times. Make sure you understand what exactly the admissions board wants you to focus on.

If there are no prompts, brainstorm answers to the following questions:

  • What makes me a perfect candidate for this scholarship?
  • Why should the college help me financially?
  • What achievements should I talk about when requesting the scholarship from this college?

These answers will help you find the best way to start a scholarship essay. They will guide you. So, open your essay with an answer to these questions. Present it in the thesis statement and move on to the next part.

Main body paragraphs

Now comes the time to learn how to write a personal statement essay for scholarships. Once you introduce the audience to the purpose of your essay, start the presentation the main point of which lies in creating a personal statement.

Depending on the size of your essay, you might split this part into several paragraphs. Each of them can have a headline and a short paragraph explaining it.

One of the worthy personal statement for scholarship sample essays we want to introduce you to is by University of Minnesota. It has everything a good scholarship application essay needs: a personal perspective, an engaging introduction, the clear structure, answers to the questions mentioned above, etc. So, give it a read and use the author’s example to apply to your writing.

To put it short, every paragraph should start with an argument that supports the thesis statement you talked about in an introduction. Next comes the evidence for the argument. In the case of this type of writing, it should base on your personal experience, achievements or aspirations. Finally, wrap up with a short conclusion to each individual paragraph.

How to end your essay

All good scholarship essays follow this structure. Now that you are working on a conclusion remember that it might be the only thing the admissions board members will remember after finishing your piece. So, you’d better make it memorable.

Proper college scholarship essay conclusions restate the thesis statement and all the arguments you used to support your position. Don’t make it too long. Just remind the board of what you were talking about above and move on to call them to action. In your case, an action you want to call them too is giving you the scholarship. Don’t sound pushy, yet don’t hesitate to remind about your request in the end.

Here is what the  University of Minnesota presented on their website as a good conclusion to a paper. It’s written by a determined single mother willing to study at their university. And it goes as follows:

“As a single parent with inconsistent child support, the Carol E. Macpherson scholarship would be of great assistance in supporting my goal to finish my degree. I work 25 hours a week and have chosen not to work full‐time to avoid daycare costs and to be there to provide guidance for my children after school. The Carol E. Macpherson Scholarship provides a chance for people who are struggling to return to school, to become the exception and succeed. I hope to become one of those special people.”

It sounds convincing and goes along with the overall message. We definitely recommend reading this scholarship essay and learning from it.

Scholarship essay examples

Now, we understand that learning the theory is important. But seeing real-life examples is a better way to learn.

That is why we’ve gathered a list of good scholarship essays we’re sure you will find useful too.

There might be several ways on how to write a good scholarship essay. It all starts with winning scholarship essay topics.   

“Why I deserve this scholarship” essay mainly focuses on your strengths. Your goal here is to present your strengths so that the admissions board understands how hard-working you are and how valuable your input into college life is. Thus, brainstorm ideas on how you make this college a better place or what you have done or want to do to strengthen the image of a particular educational establishment.

Here is one of amazing college scholarship essay examples presented by the San Diego State University.

“As an undergraduate student, I dedicated my best efforts toward my education, and as a result, I graduated with high honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara earning a B.A. in Communications. I soon attained full-time employment with the San Diego Center for Children, a residential treatment program for children with severe emotional disturbances. My main responsibilities are to aid children in learning and carrying out daily living skills, counsel them in their relations with peers and adults, serve as a responsible role model, and to work closely with other members of the treatment team, such as therapists and social workers implementing the Center’s programs.”

Here the author mentions what he is currently doing well and what makes him a #1 candidate for the scholarship. He is currently working hard in this area aiming to make a difference in the lives of people that need it the most. These are our “Why I deserve this scholarship” essay tips. But this is not the only topic you can opt for.

“How will this scholarship help you achieve your goals” essay is completely different at its core. This written piece should focus on how your college can help you achieve your personal or career goals. Even though here you should talk about your strengths and aspirations too, you should mainly focus on ways this particular educational establishment can help you.

The University of Michigan-Flint has offered the following example on their site.

“My life has been a struggle at times, but my hard work, determination, and enthusiasm for my education and my community has brought to UM Flint where I can pursue my dreams. I am the oldest of four children being raised by a single parent. My mother, Charlene Jackson, is a hardworking woman who struggles to keep food on the table; I work two jobs to help support my family, but we barely scrape by. Because my mom is endeavoring through these hard times, I try my best to keep my grades up, knowing that I have opportunities that my mother never had.”

The message is short and to the point. The author is an A-grade student who wants to obtain a degree but doesn’t have enough funds for it. In his case, the university can help him a lot.

You can also craft a study abroad scholarship essay. In it, you must explain why you deserve to get a scholarship to study abroad. While most students want to go abroad just to travel, this is not a good enough reason for the admissions board to pick you. Instead, you should do a background check on the educational establishment, curriculum, and extracurricular activities offered by the college and explain why you so desperately want to be a part of them.

“I am an undergraduate student of the ABC University. My major is English Literature with the focus on the Victorian and Post-colonialism authors. With literature being my passion, I am overwhelmed with an opportunity to participate at XYZ program. From the curriculum, I know that a significant part of our time at college will be dedicated to ABC, and I’m sure it’ll be not only a great experience but also a fantastic investment into my future career. I am hoping to write a dissertation after attending this program. That is why I am applying for the scholarship.”

Finally, there is another thing you cannot afford missing on your essay to get a scholarship. This thing is a proper scholarship essay format.

How to format a scholarship essay

If the format style is not specified by the university, opt for these scholarship essay guidelines:

Scholarship essay format guidelines

However, often the choice of the format for your essay depends on the university you apply for. Check out the requirements posted by the admissions board to make sure you are applying proper formatting.

Four most common formats for such an essay are APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard format styles. To learn more about each of these format styles for a scholarship essay, check out our essay format guide.

Scholarship essay tips

Keep these tips to writing a scholarship essay in mind when working on your piece:

  1. Focus on your own experience. This essay should explain what makes you stand out from other applicants and why this particular scholarship should be yours.
  2. Keep it short. Eliminate unnecessary details not answering the question of why choose you.
  3. Use proper structure. The structure can keep you organized. So, don’t underestimate its importance.
  4. Edit and proofread your essay. There is nothing like poor grammar or embarrassing spelling mistakes to kill a winning scholarship essay. So, once you finish working on the piece, consider proofreading it or asking friends or parents to help you out with it.
  5. Don’t postpone it till the last minute. Don’t risk the success of your project by writing it the last night. This is an important task, and you should dedicate enough time and effort to working on it.

Education is an expensive pleasure. However, you can always save some money by crafting a winning scholarship essay and getting the financial support from the college of your dream. So, use tips by HandMade Writing and write the best paper ever!

Contents

Subscribe for special offers