Caleb S.
Caleb S.

How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay

8 min read

Published on: Apr 3, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 20, 2023

Scholarship Essay

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Hundreds of thousands of students apply for scholarships every year. Whenever it comes to pay for college, the scholarship is the best form of financial aid students can ever get. Scholarships offer students free money that they never have to repay.

But, let’s face it, students looking for financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid often must have to compete with several other candidates. Additionally, completing the scholarship application, especially writing the essay, is overwhelming.

The scholarship essay is arguably an essential part of the whole application. It should be well organized, properly structured, and well thought out.

Here, we’ll walk through some fantastic examples to explain how to write a winning scholarship essay. Read on to learn how you can write your winning scholarship essay.

What is a Scholarship Essay?

The scholarship essay is an opportunity for you to make a case for yourself and show the scholarship committee why you deserve to win this scholarship. It is your chance to let your experiences and personality shine through.

It allows you to stand out from the pool of other candidates. The scholarship essays are written to persuade the scholarship committee officers.

It helps you reveal your personality and show the officer why you are the right fit for the scholarship. It is the only chance to prove yourself as the deserving candidate to win the award.

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How To Write A Scholarship Essay?

Scholarships play a significant role in helping students to pay for college. For students, there is a lot on the line of scholarship. Sometimes they get an outstanding financial aid amount, and sometimes they fight for a minimal award.

The committee members have seen some fantastic essays as well as noticed some common mistakes in scholarship essays. When it comes to writing a persuasive and good scholarship essay, nobody is natural.

The essay question can be overwhelming, or there are not sufficient resources to turn to for guidance. But all of this is quite good news as scholarship essay writing is tough for everyone. But, getting just a little better at it will put you that much further ahead of the competition.

So how do you do that?

Below is a step-by-step process of how to write a winning scholarship essay. We’ll walk you through the process in phases, and we’ll teach you the lesson, how you can maximize your chance of landing a scholarship award of your own.

Follow these steps to write a unique and impressive scholarship essay.

  1. Pick The Right Scholarship

    Before you write a scholarship essay, you need to find the right scholarship that is appropriate for you. One of the biggest mistakes that students make is choosing the wrong scholarship.

    They work hard to write the scholarship essay, but they don’t put enough effort into finding the right scholarship for themselves. It is the wrong approach, and it’s unlikely to produce any good results.

    The scholarship review committee receives hundreds of essays every year from which they choose the best suitable candidate. They review several impressive essays, but they only look for someone who’s the right fit.

    What does that mean?

    Well, as you know, most of the scholarships are designed for a specific group of people or have some particular purpose in mind. For example, photographer scholarships are intended for photographers around the world.

    If you are not a good photographer or your accomplishments aren’t the type of achievements they are looking for, you are not going to get the scholarship.

    Think of it this way: A computer scientist won’t get a scholarship designed for a football player. A history buff won’t get a scholarship that is intended for a math genius. A soccer player - no matter how good - won’t get a scholarship that is designed for a master painter. It’s that simple.

    Instead of applying for a slew of scholarships that don’t match up with your particular talent, focus on the few that do. You’ll save yourself a lot of wasted effort, and you can devote that time and attention to the scholarship that offers you the best chance of success.

  2. Understand The Scholarship Prompt

    Before you actually start writing your scholarship application essay, you need to understand the prompt. Take some time to figure out what the scholarship committee is looking for, and then give it to them. To do this, pick apart the essay prompt and try to understand what it explicitly asks for.

  3. Plan Your Essay In Advance

    Once you start writing your essay, you don’t need to rush it. Plan it in advance, give it enough time to make it perfect. Don’t wait until the last minute to write your essay. The essay writing process needs proper planning, time, and effort.

    Take some time to decide what you should write in your essay. No matter what the essay prompt is, the scholarship committee wants to get to know you so that they can decide whether you are the right fit or not.

  4. Write Like Your Essay Is Being Graded

    When you are writing your essay, imagine that you are turning in the essay to be graded. Write your scholarship essay as you write your high school essays that were being graded. Follow all the formal rules of essay composition and structure it according to the format. Make sure it is free of any grammar mistakes; paragraphs are correctly structured.

  5. Get Personal And Be Specific

    According to the experts, the key to a successful scholarship essay is to make it personal by including impactful details. A genuine essay that offers an insight into the applicant’s life on a deeper level stands out from the pool of other applicants. Personalized essays help you shine among the competitor applicants.

    Successful scholarship essays often include the details of who the applicant is and paints the picture of their life. Most of the successful essays are more about who the applicant as a person is and less about what they do. The scholarship essay is a kind of opportunity for applicants to make sense of something by themselves.

  6. Tell A Story And Tailor It To The Prompt

    Hook the reader from the beginning with your essay by telling your unique and impressive story. Tell your story but don’t deviate from the essay prompt; instead, make it tailored to the prompt.

    The story should feel real and true to your life. Share personal and tangible details of your life and other interesting information to make your essay impressive and compelling.

  7. Follow The Directions

    The greatest mistake you can make in your scholarship essay is not able to follow the directions. That means keeping your essay limited to the word count, following the formatting specifications, and so on. For example, if the word limit is 500 words, you need to stick to the 500 words.

    While you write your essay, make sure to follow the directions given by the scholarship committee. Answer the prompt in detail but make sure to stay within the word limit and follow the formatting instructions.

Scholarship Essay Examples

The given above step by step process of how to write a scholarship essay will help you write a good essay. However, the best way to understand the procedure is to look for some free essays and scholarship essay examples from past winners.

Here we are sharing some successful sample scholarship essays so that you can learn from what they did well. Take some time to analyze the writing style, organization of strong points, and consider how you can improve.

Scholarship Essay Topics

Here is the list of the most common scholarship essay prompts:

  • Why should we choose you?
  • Tell us something unique about yourself.
  • How will this scholarship help you?
  • What have you planned to give back to society once you graduate?
  • Tell us about a time when you have failed at something, what lesson you have learned from that failure?
  • What will you do if you don’t get into any college?
  • What are your career goals?
  • How do you face obstacles?
  • Tell us about a time when something changed your life entirely.
  • Why do you want to attend college?

Tips To Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

By following the step-by-step process given above, you can quickly write a great scholarship essay. However, if you follow these tips for writing your essay, you can easily make it stand out from competitor essays.

  • Start brainstorming and writing as early as possible.
  • Plan far in advance and know your audience.
  • Follow the instructions and answer the prompt.
  • Start with a strong hook statement that grabs the reader’s attention immediately and hooks them with your story.
  • Follow the essay composition rules and organize your information in a proper structure.
  • Stay positive and keep it personal.
  • Use real-life examples and show real emotions.
  • Write a good college essay and reuse it for similar scholarship essay prompts. It will not only save your time but result in a better essay.
  • Look for scholarship opportunities that perfectly match your achievements.
  • Focus on the ten scholarship offers that are the right fit for you instead of focusing on irrelevant scholarship opportunities and wasting your time.
  • Put the effort in, do everything you can do to distinguish yourself.
  • Avoid dull, dreary, or ‘happily ever after’ kind of conclusions.
  • Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Follow the step-by-step process and these fantastic tips, and you’ll quickly write an impressive essay that lets you win the scholarship. However, if you still need some help, you can contact a professional essay writer.

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Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers! is a professional essay writing service that you can trust for writing your scholarship essays. Feel free to contact us anytime, as we are available 24/7 to help you with academic writing. Place your order to buy an amazing and impressive scholarship essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to start a personal scholarship essay?

Following are the ways to start a personal scholarship essay:

  • Introduce Yourself. Be sure to mention your name and for which scholarship you are writing your essay
  • Provide a Brief Background
  • Highlight Accomplishments
  • Express Need
  • Conclude Your Story.
Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Marketing, Law)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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