You've spent who-knows-how-long finding scholarships. You've searched through books and the Internet, you've contacted local organizations and spoken to your counselors. You have a list of awards that are perfect for you. Now it's time to actually win the money. To do so, you will need to fill out applications and more likely than not, write an essay.
As with applying to college, the scholarship essay can either make or break your chances of winning. This guide outlines the steps you need to take to ensure that your essay gives you the best chance of winning. And winning the scholarship is, after all, what it's all about! Let's get started.
Make sure your essay fits the theme.
Let's say that you are applying for an award based on community service. In the application, you list all of the community service groups that you belong to and service project awards that you've won. But in the essay you vent about your disgust for the homeless and how they should find jobs instead of blocking your passage on sidewalks. Your essay may be brilliantly conceived and written, but if its message is not in line with the rest of your application, it will create a conflicting message and keep you out of the winners' bracket.
So how do you know what the theme of your essay should be? The answer is actually quite simple and goes back to why you decided to apply for the scholarship in the first place:
The theme of your essay is almost always determined by the purpose of the award or why the organization is giving away the money.
Once you know this, you can choose which aspect of your life to highlight in the essay.
Answer the underlying question.
Have you ever been asked one question but felt there was an underlying question that was really being asked? Maybe your mom asked you something like, "Tell me about your new friend Karen." But what she really was asking is, "Tell me about your new friend Karen. Are her 12 earrings and tattoo-laden arms a sign that you shouldn't be spending so much time with her?" In most cases, the essay question is just a springboard for you to answer the real question the scholarship judges want addressed. An organization giving an award for students who plan to study business might ask, "Why do you want to study business?" But the underlying question they are asking is, "Why do you want to study business, and why are you the best future business person we should gift with our hard-earned money?"
For every scholarship that you attempt to win, you will be competing with students who share similar backgrounds and goals. If you are applying to an award that supports students who want to become doctors, you can bet that 99% of the students applying also want to become doctors. Therefore, the goal of every scholarship judge is to determine the best applicant out of a pool of applicants who at first glance look very similar. Use the essay question as a way to prove to the scholarship committee that you are the worthiest applicant for the award.
Share a slice of life.
As you are explaining why you deserve to win, it is important that you also reveal something about yourself. Obviously, in the short space of 500 to 1,000 words, you can't cover everything about you. This is why one of the most effective techniques is to share a "slice of your life." In other words, don't try to explain everything. Just focus on one aspect of your life. If you are writing about your involvement in an activity, it may be tempting to summarize your involvement over the years and list numerous accomplishments. However, this would sound more like a resume (which by the way you should include with every application) and it would not tell the judges anything new. However, if you focus on just one aspect of an experience, you could spend some time going below the surface and share something about who you are, which would be far more memorable. In other words, you would be sharing a slice of your life.
Want to know more about this topic?
Having a hard time starting up your scholarship essay? Looking for inspiration and references? What you need is a well-researched and high-quality scholarship essay template. Scholarship essays should not be considered a burden because they are your gateway to land entrance into a prestigious university with a lot of advantages and perks that come with the scholarship.
It is inevitable, however, that because of the pressures and tension surrounding you, it becomes so hard to start your composition. You don’t have to worry about that. We have an array of scholarship templates you can refer to in order to fuel you up in writing a winning and stunning Scholarship Essay for your future.
Winning Scholarship Essay Example
Free Scholarship Essay Template
Sample Scholarship Application Essay
College Scholarship Essay Example
High School Scholarship Essay Example
Scholarship Personal Essays Example
PMI Charleston Scholarship Essay
Downloadable Stellar Scholarship Essays Templates
There is really no hard and fast rule regarding scholarship essays. It truly depends on the applicant or writer with respect to the preferences and interests of the institution you are applying to. Some universities and organizations set a specific format, while others give you the freedom to come up with your own. Regardless of the format, it is the content and technique that you showcase in your essay that will matter. Here are some of our featured templates to help you get started:
- Winning Scholarship Essay Sample
- Scholarship Application Essays
- College Scholarship Essay Samples
- High School Scholarship Essay Samples
- Scholarship Personal Essays Sample
- PMI Charleston Scholarship Essay
- Scholarship Essay Outline
As you can see, our templates and samples will guide you through the writing process from the making of the outline and application to the writing of the essay. Every bit of your work must showcase who you are as a student and as a person. Feel free to download and explore our samples and templates.
Scholarship Essay Outline
Key Points to Remember about Scholarship Essays
From our list of samples and templates, you may wonder what makes an essay stand out and give you the results you intend. Writers around the world have their own opinion about the issue. Some say it is a matter of substance, while others point to the format and writing techniques. Also, the work vary from topic to topic because there are essays that allow you to dig deeper into your creative minds. On the one hand, there are also others that demand technicalities and overwhelming research.
Here are some key points that you may live by and remember based on research:
- If you are given a certain topic, make sure to familiarize and research on it. Nothing compares to a well-researched write-up. Every argument must be backed up with proof and evidence not just purely hearsay and opinions. On the other hand, if you are given the liberty to choose a topic, choose a topic that you are passionate about. In this way, everything will just flow naturally.
- Take note of the important sections of the essay such as the introduction, the body, the analysis, and the conclusion. Always make sure that each parts complement one another. It should be cohesive and consistent.
These are just some points that you may consider. You can even add your own along the way. So feel free to download and make use of our samples.
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