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Scholarship Essay Examples

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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

scholarship essays 2015

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?

Scholarship Essay Examples

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

Scholarship Essay Examples

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”

Scholarship Essay Examples

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

Scholarship 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

Scholarship Essay Examples

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

scholarship essays 2015

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

Scholarship Essay Examples

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!

Scholarship Essay Examples

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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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By submitting my email address. i certify that i am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from the princeton review, and agree to terms of use., writing a winning college scholarship essay.

If you need more money to pay for college, chances are you will be applying for several college scholarships . A great scholarship essay helps the scholarship provider understand the real person behind the application and can be the key to winning the award (assuming you meet the other scholarship criteria).

Student writing scholarship essay

Scholarship Essays vs. College Essays

Scholarship essays are very similar to your college application essays in terms of strategy. Many scholarship hopefuls will share the same grades, test scores, and ambitions: the essay is your chance to shine (and grow that dream college fund!).

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

When you’re drafting your scholarship essay, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Start the essay writing process early.

Leave yourself plenty of time to produce a well thought-out entry. Take the time to brainstorm your ideas, create an outline, and edit your entry as you would for any essay writing assignment for your English class.

Read More: How to Craft an Unforgettable College Essay

2. Understand the scholarship provider’s overall mission and purpose.

Each scholarship provider is looking for students who meet certain criteria. Consider writing about an experience or interest that highlights your strong ties to the organization’s mission. Genuine passion and enthusiasm for your topic will show through in your essay writing.

3. Follow the scholarship essay instructions.

Make sure to follow all of the necessary steps and review them before submitting your scholarship essay. Trust us, some of the brightest students have missed out on the chance to earn scholarships dollars all because they neglected to follow instructions. You don’t want to fall into that category!

4. Steer clear from essay topics that focus on negativity or pessimism.

Scholarship committees would rather see how you overcame hardships and succeeded despite the obstacles in your path (or what you learned from the times you failed).

Read More: 200 Colleges That Pay You Back

5. Don’t be afraid to get personal.

Share something about who you are. This is your chance to elaborate on elsewhere on your application you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so. Telling your story makes an essay genuine and ultimately more memorable to the scholarship committee.

6. Seek out writing advice and feedback.

Asking teachers, counselors, family members, or trustworthy friends for feedback on your essay will result in a better final product.

7. Yes, spelling and grammar matter.

Scholarship committees do notice grammar mistakes . Eveny tiny errors can distract a reader from your overall message. Before you submit your application make sure you take the time to proofread your essay from beginning to end.

8. Don’t give up!

When you’re tired, take a break, but don’t throw in the towel! Our online essay writing tutors are here for you anytime you get discouraged. We can help with everything from brainstorming and outlining to revising the final draft.

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scholarship essays 2015

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

What’s covered:, why do scholarships require essays.

  • Types of scholarship essays

How to write a good scholarship essay

What about scholarships that don’t require an essay.

For many, scholarships are a critical part of paying for your college education. That’s why you want to make sure your scholarship applications receive nearly as much of your care and attention as your college applications do. Essays are a huge component of this.

Many scholarships are competitive, drawing highly qualified applicants with excellent grades and test scores. Essays are a way of differentiating students, learning more about their interests, and determining to whom the organization should give the award.

Scholarships are also born out of organizational missions, and the committee wants to see how your values align with theirs. Essays help illuminate these values. 

Types of scholarship essays 

You’ll encounter several different types of scholarship essays during your search. These are some of the most common varieties you will find.

Career and education goals

Some scholarships target people with particular career ambitions and anticipated majors. This essay prompt is common for those types of awards, as well as more general ones. To approach your essay, you should be authentic, describing your true motivations and why this professional path appeals to you. Let your passion for the industry, sector, or discipline shine through.

Life experiences/qualities/group affinity

When a scholarship targets people of particular demographics, make sure you highlight your affinity with this group in your essay. Describe how these characteristics have contributed to and in some cases shaped your journey — and will continue to do so in your future.

Connection with the institution/organization

Your connection with the institution or organization offering the scholarship often plays a large role in determining winners — so much so that they may ask you to describe why that organization is important to you in your essay. It’s important to do your homework, considering why various aspects of the institution appeal to you and why you want a scholarship from them.

Past writing sample

You may not need to write a new essay at all. The organization could ask you to submit a past writing sample instead. If this is the case, choose a piece that shows your real personality and aligns with the message and mission of the organization offering the scholarship.

1. Understand your audience.

Scholarship committees want to see essays from students who share their organization’s values. Before you apply, you need to do some research to understand what those values are. Consider how your interests and experiences align with what the organization is looking for, and make them clear throughout your essay.

2. Show your personality.

You should also use your voice in your essay. Give the scholarship committee insight into who you are as a person — what drives you, what motivates you, and what interests you. This will allow them to understand you on a deeper level and see your words as genuine.

3. Use anecdotes and examples.

As with your college essays, you’ll bring your experiences to life by using plenty of anecdotes and examples. These will help ground your essay and make it more compelling for your audience.

You may encounter scholarships that don’t require essays. While the applications may be less time-consuming, for the most part, you will need to ensure that your GPA, test scores, and extracurriculars are strong because they will usually play a large role in assessing applicants.

While we’re on the subject of no-essay scholarships, we encourage you to enter CollegeVine’s weekly $500+ scholarship drawings . To get started, you just need to create a free account. Increase your chances of winning by referring friends, peer-reviewing essays, and more.

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scholarship essays 2015

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How to Write a Scholarship Essay and Win

A young man smiling at his computer.

For a college student, scholarships are the best assistance to financial aid. However, as a college sophomore, I had no desire to write essays that had nothing to do with my school curriculum.

My days of writing essays for enjoyment departed when 5-page minimums became necessary to pass a class. But, I have recognized that scholarships are a resourceful way to boost financial aid IF you dedicate your time to them.

By practicing some or all of these skills I did to win my first scholarship, your college education could be a source of not only financial freedom but also income. Now, when you are writing a personal statement or essay for a scholarship, you should repeat this mantra: 

“This scholarship will pay for my education. I will win this scholarship.”

A big part of receiving my scholarship came from manifestation. When I worked towards my scholarship, I immediately began telling myself I would win the scholarship (I have the TikTok drafts to prove it).

Telling yourself that you already have what you desire pushes the drive to obtain said desire. Affirming your wants only pulls them closer. Setting your mind up mentally for success is key to achieving what you manifest. 

Now that you believe in your ability to win, you have to begin putting in the work. My scholarship required that I 1) Have a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, 2) Be African American, 3) Be a college sophomore or junior, 4) major in business or science, and 5) attend two or more NSLS Speaker Broadcasts.

So, when you are applying for a scholarship, make sure you check off ALL boxes of the eligibilities! Be sure to read the rules and policies of each scholarship you apply to, even if they are a page or two long, as it will help you in the long run.

When you have checked off the eligibility requirements, it is time for the longest part of the scholarship: the essay/personal statement. Most scholarships have a word or page count, and this is the time when you shine.

I have learned that essay and personal statement scholarships are gems, as most people avoid these because they have to write. Do not let this dissuade you.

The best part about personal statements/essays is that they give the writing material, and it’s either about where you see yourself in the future, the scholarship company, your interest, or something random.

In the case of my scholarship, I had to write a personal statement on my career interest and goals. So, here are the steps I followed for my personal statement.

  • Be honest. As obvious as it sounds, you want to write about something that applies to yourself or your future self. Even though you may never encounter the scholarship committee, write something you would not be ashamed to speak aloud! Not to mention, you’ll have much more conviction and passion if it is something you have done or see yourself doing.
  • Outline/write a rough draft. Realistically, we would all love to be able to open our computers and type the perfect essay and submit it. But, it is better to have a rough draft before you compose a final. When I wrote my personal statement, I sectioned it out; 1) my past and current achievements, 2) how my current achievements play into my career goals 3) how my career will influence my future and my community. Treating the personal statement/essay like a memoir helped create a flow for my paper.  Outlining your essay before writing your rough draft will produce a story-like flow, grabbing the attention of the scholarship committee! 
  • Get your rough draft revised. Now, you may read your essay and think it is perfect, but there is no shame in getting a fresh set of eyes. Throughout my high school and college freshman career, I was stubborn about going to the writing resource center and only used Grammarly to revise my paper. Having your work checked may feel embarrassing, but you have nothing to fear. Paid professionals and staff in writing centers, schools, and universities work to help you improve your craft. If you want helpful criticism and an elevated chance at winning, have a tutor or teacher review your paper. 
  • Rework your rough draft (a.k.a “the final draft”). With your revised rough draft, you will enter the final stages of the winning essay. You can use the same process in step 1, digging deeper for enriching material to help your paper reach the word count. Remember, do not make your personal statement or essay extremely personal. Although the goal is to tell the scholarship committee about yourself, you do not want to sound too eager or revealing. A general rule of thumb is if you would not feel comfortable reading it out loud, it might be too much (of course, still have it revised with resource centers for accuracy). 
  • Get your final draft checked. Did you think you only had to get revised once? The more you get your paper checked, the better! While you are getting your paper checked, be sure to engage with the tutors and ask them questions about your essay to ensure you understand their criticisms and resolutions to your work.
  • Turn in your paper. You’ve done it! You have completed the scholarship statement, and now you can submit it.

Now that you have the steps to submit a winning personal statement, here are a couple of tips as you write the essay and apply for scholarships in general.

  • Start on your essay as soon as it opens! Working on your scholarship far from the deadline is essential for time management and accuracy. Giving yourself enough time to outline, write, and revise your essay will heighten your chances of winning and build your writing skills.
  • Indent your paragraphs. Writing in paragraphs helps transition your essay/personal statement and builds character. Not to mention, it shows the scholarship committee that you know how to format a paper!
  • Write a general essay/personal statement. A great rule of thumb is that scholarship essays can be reused (it is your work). Your foundation paper can be about yourself and your career goals, academics, why you pursued your major, and how you will prompt change with your education. 
  • Apply to “you” specific scholarships. When applying for scholarships, research scholarships that speak to you as an individual. For instance, if you are a junior in high school and you play soccer, research High School Athlete Scholarships or Soccer Scholarships. If you are a college student, research scholarships for your major (Public Health Scholarships). You can also research scholarships that apply to general interests or hobbies. With more individuality in your search, you make it easier to write your paper. 
  • Apply to as many scholarships as you can. Winning scholarships is like the lottery; you only win if you play. By applying to multiple scholarships, you steadily increase your chances of winning. Plus, it boosts your writing creativity, but be sure not to overload yourself!
  • Never stop applying! As tireless as it is to apply for scholarships, never stop ! Your chances can only improve if you continue applying. Aim to apply for 3-5 scholarships a month, and watch those Congratulations come in. Great scholarship websites are: 
  • UNCF (United Negro College Fund)
  • Scholarship Owl

Companies such as McDonald’s, Delta, and Amazon offer scholarships for employees, their families, and students.

Scholarships are a wise tool for financial freedom as you pursue higher education. Although they may be uninviting based on word or page count minimum, do not let this intimidate you.

Just think about how relieving it would be to have that money for tuition, books, and housing. If you garner enough scholarships, your university could end up rebating you for the surplus (which is more money for you!).

Anticipating the bigger picture of scholarships and what they can do for you is more splendid than what is holding you back. If I could go back to my sophomore year of high school, I would have begun researching for scholarships immediately.

As a college sophomore, I implore you to take that first step and apply for a scholarship that requires a writing piece. Do not be afraid to go out and search for those scholarships, and remember that you have what it takes to be a winner!

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Author: Harper Cooper

Hi! My name is Harper. I am a rising sophomore at Xavier University of Louisiana, majoring in Biology on a Pre Med track. I live in Atlanta, GA and I enjoy live music, reading, writing, and lifting. I am the founder of Black Women Do STEAM, an organization focused on uplifting and promoting Black Women in the STEAM field. I am also a mental health advocate, with aspirations to open up a sexual and mental health clinic.

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As a parent, the thought of college expenses can be overwhelming, but with the right understanding and approach, paying for college can be manageable and less stressful for the whole family.

The FAFSA has undergone several changes this year, causing unexpected delays for both students and colleges.

Luckily, there are several ways to pay for college that’ll lighten the financial burden of your studies. Without further ado, let’s review a few ways to pay for college.

6 Awesome Scholarship Essays That Worked

When it comes to paying for college, scholarships are the best form of financial aid, since they offer students free money that never needs to be repaid. But let’s face it: completing scholarship applications, especially the essays, can feel overwhelming. The scholarship essay is arguably the most important part of the application and should be well-thought-out. In this article, we’ll walk  through five scholarship essay examples and explain why they worked, so that you can write your own winning scholarship essays .

Here are 6 winning scholarship essay examples that worked:

Why this scholarship essay example worked:, how could this essay have been better , want more resources on writing your scholarship essay, get started with your scholarship essay.

The essay is your chance to let your personality and life experiences shine through, giving you the opportunity to stand out from other applicants.

The best way to get an idea of what scholarship committees are looking for is to look over scholarship essay examples from past winners. Take some time to analyze the writing style, think about the strong points, and consider how you can improve. Below, we’ll show you just how you might dissect a scholarship essay.

Searching for scholarship essay examples

1. Going Merry Scholarship Success Story by Gabby DeMott

What’s a winning scholarship essay look like? Check out this Going Merry success story with Gabby DeMott.

ESSAY PROMPT: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

“There were only a few minutes to go and our eyes were glued to the screen. On the edge of our seats, clutching whoever happened to be next to us, we watched as the referee blew his whistle and the German players took their free kick. The ball was hit with precision and skill; it flew up over the Swedish players, past their goalie, and was caught safely in the back of the opposing team’s net. We all jumped up and screamed, a mixture of German and English, of excitement and relief, of pride and anticipation.

We stood, enraptured, for the last several minutes of the game as Germany kept its 2-1 lead over Sweden. The horde of us, Germans and Americans alike, hugged and cheered and made our way out onto the balcony, where we chanted “Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!” for the whole village, the whole country, the whole world to hear. 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.

My German friends didn’t care that we were from different countries; they didn’t care that we would only be staying for three weeks. They accepted us into their homes and their daily lives, their traditions and their celebrations. In watching that World Cup game, it didn’t matter that we were from different places; we were all cheering for the same team. The acceptance I felt in Germany extended beyond that living room. I came to the country on a three week exchange with ten other students from my school.

We each stayed with host families and attended the Wildermuth Gymnasium, which was surprisingly accommodating to a gaggle of loud American teenagers. The teachers were friendly and welcoming, the students treated us like ordinary peers, and even the people I interacted with in public were understanding.

Before coming to Germany I feared judgment based on my level of the language (which is nowhere near as good as the German students’ English) and American politics. It was intimidating to be in a country with limited knowledge of the language and the customs, even though everyone was welcoming. People did ask myself and the other students about the US’s political climate, but no one blamed us for it. They recognized that we were outsiders, that the place we came from had flaws, and they accepted us anyway.

Since that trip, I’ve found myself trying to provide that acceptance to people in my own country. For example, I work at a canoe livery and we receive a lot of visitors with limited English. Some of my coworkers will avoid such customers because they don’t want to take the time to explain things, to exercise patience with someone who may not understand them. If people had done this to me in Germany, my time there would have been much less enjoyable; in fact, I would have been offended.

So now when someone walks up to me at the livery and asks a question in English that isn’t perfect, I smile and welcome them. I take my time to make sure they understand, that they can have a good time, and that they feel accepted. It’s a small action, but I know firsthand that it can make a big impact, at my place of work and in the world. “

  • It shares a personal story of realization. Gabby’s essay throws us right in the middle of the action in her story, from her perspective. She paints a clear picture of where she is, how she feels, and what her goals were in that moment. She then goes on to explain the unity of the German and American students to introduce other people in the essay. LESSON TO TAKE : When including additional people in an essay, introduce them early on so you can continue telling your story in an organic way.
  • She reflects on her previous fears and explains how she’s moved past those to grow. In the fifth paragraph, Gabby shares how she feared judgment due to her level of the German language and American politics. As Gabby became more familiar with the host families and her German friends, she realizes they accepted her, and she relaxes. LESSON TO TAKE: Sharing a story in sequential order can help illustrate personal growth and how your character changed for the better.
  • She answers the prompt and demonstrates how she’ll put her newfound knowledge in action. Once Gabby realized her German friends and host family accepted her, regardless of her fears, that sparked a realization for her when she returned home to America. Gabby concludes her essay by explaining how she’s providing that same acceptance she received in another country to acquaintances and people in her country, to be patient, help them enjoy themselves, and to welcome them.  LESSON TO TAKE : Consider concluding your essay with a wrap-up of what you learned, and how you plan to apply that lesson in your life.

2. Who is a “Good” Doctor? by Joseph Lee

Below is a winning essay from Joseph Lee, Rush Medical College for the Giva Scholarship.

ESSAY PROMPT: Who is (or what makes) a good doctor?

“Had you asked me the same question one year ago, my answer would have been vastly different to the one I will give today. In the summer of 2012, with my first year of medical school completed, I embarked upon my last official summer vacation with two things in mind: a basketball tournament in Dallas and one in Atlanta. My closest friends and I had been playing in tournaments for the past 10 summers, and it was a sacred bond forged together in the name of competition. However, two weeks before our first tournament, I became instantly and overwhelmingly short of breath. Having been born to Korean immigrant parents, I was raised to utilize the hospital in emergency cases only, and I knew this was such a case. A few scans later, doctors discovered numerous pulmonary emboli (PE), caused by a subclavian deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and just like that, I was lying in a bed of a major hospital for a life threatening condition.

Fast forward a few months, and I am lying in a similar bed to treat the underlying cause of the subclavian DVT: a first rib removal. There is little that can adequately prepare someone physically, emotionally or spiritually to undergo surgery; and my thoughts continued to race in the days following. In addition to the expected physical pain, isolation, fear and frustration were a few of the emotions I experienced in the four day ordeal. The procedure went according to plan thanks to a skilled surgeon and his team, but the attributes that made the doctor “good” went far beyond his ability to operate.

“Wow. I’m glad you are feeling better” and “I can’t believe you went through that” are common reactions people have when they see the scars on my upper chest. Quite frankly, the past nine months have been difficult, literally full of blood, sweat and tears. But through it all, I have been able to maintain my positivity and gratitude knowing that I have gained the invaluable experience of being a patient and discovering the vulnerability and trust that patients give their doctors. Patients indulge information to doctors that they may have never told anyone in their life and in doing so, place a great deal of trust and responsibility in the hands of a doctor. Many patients will not understand the mechanism of disease behind their condition and anticipate that the doctor will explain to them and their family why it is that they are feeling the way they are and ultimately heal them. And that is precisely what my surgeon understood: the privilege of being able to care for patients and the intimacy of the doctor-patient relationship. And as I awoke to the care of my worried parents, the first thing they wanted to discuss was the details of the procedure that was methodically and patiently explained to them by my “good” doctor.

In study after study, patients have reported dissatisfaction with their medical care, not because of lack of knowledge or health outcome, but because their doctors did not show enough warmth in the encounter or listen to the patient’s questions and concerns. There are few times where a patient and their loved ones are more vulnerable and in need of compassion than when dealing with a hospitalization. And for some doctors, a patient may be another item on a checklist, but that patient is someone’s mother or father, son or daughter, sister or brother. My “good” doctor understood this and would often say “If you were my son…” when discussing treatment options, reflecting on the type of care he would want for his family and treating me similarly. Such ideals are rooted in love and compassion for patients, not as clients in the health care system, but as fellow human beings striving to make something of themselves and the world around them (I).

Unfortunately, the ordeal of living with a chronic illness or undergoing a major operation extends beyond the confines of the hospital. Whether it is creditors harassing patients for medical bills, prescriptions that need to be refilled, or lifestyle modifications that need to be made, the health care experience doesn’t end when a patient walks out of the hospital doors. It often takes merely a minute, as in the case of the “good” doctor who told me that as a student I could apply to get the procedure financially covered by the hospital. Such foresight in anticipating financial concerns and directing me on the next steps to be taken provided relief in the surmounting stress.

Lastly, the “good” doctor understands that as our patients are human, so are we. This means we will make mistakes, some of which can result in life-threatening consequences. With that said, the “good” doctor practices humility and honesty, apologizing and sharing as much information with patients as possible. Although no one strives to make mistakes, they will happen, and how one reacts to them is a distinguishing feature of the “good” doctor (II).

Of all the qualities I tried to explain in what makes a “good” doctor, there was no emphasis on skill and knowledge. And while being able to fulfill the duties of making the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment plans is expected, the intangibles of love, compassion, foresight and honesty is what makes a doctor, “good”. 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 “good” doctor.”

  • It tells a captivating story. This essay immediately pulls the reader in, immersing the audience right in the story. . We want to know how Joseph’s definition of a good doctor changed and why it did so. Hooking your reader from the first sentence of your essay or even the first paragraph is a surefire way to keep your reader engaged in the story you’re telling. The story itself is also told really well, with good pacing and just enough detail to elicit empathy without causing boredom. (He could have easily given too much scientific/medical detail!)  LESSON TO TAKE : When telling an anecdote, consider how much detail is the right amount, to make it engaging.
  • It’s a list, without you realizing it’s a list. After the first 2 paragraphs (which are mostly story-telling), the rest of the essay is effectively a list of ways that doctors are “good”: they recognize the intimacy and trust involved in the doctor-patient relationship (paragraphs 3-4), they anticipate future sources of patient stress (paragraph 5), and they exercise humility (paragraph 6). Joseph could have easily structured the essay simply by saying “There are 3 main things that make a doctor good” and then explaining each idea. However, that would have been much more boring! Instead, he expertly hides the list format, by couching it in an engaging story. LESSON TO TAKE: Not all list-type essays need to feel like lists.
  • It’s personal and believable. Joseph takes a negative personal experience, shows what he learned from it and how it caused him to grow as a person. Sometimes essays about singular, defining moments or experiences can seem blown out of proportion and thus not credible. This one feels right: a big ordeal in his life that has therefore shifted his perspective.  LESSON TO TAKE : Consider which personal stories to tell, and make sure the “size” of the story feels right.

3. Life Happens Scholarship by Emily Trader

Here is an example of a moving scholarship essay on the topic of family loss by Emily Trader for the Life Happens award.

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.

“When I was seventeen years old, my father lost his battle with kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. As long as I shall live, I do not believe that I will ever forget the first moment I saw my father’s once vibrant face in that cold and unforgiving casket. I won’t forget his lifeless and defeated hands, or how his pale lips would never utter another joke or speak to his grandchildren. Even though the day of his funeral was undoubtedly the worst day of my life, I wish I could relive it just to be with him one more time. Since that moment, I have felt as if all of my grief and longing resides underneath my skin with nothing to relieve the pressure. On September 8th, 2016, I lost my voice of reason, my confidant, my cheerleader, and my best friend.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had lost so much more. Upon my father’s passing, he left us with funeral and medical expenses that his insurance would not cover. Because he did not have any form of life insurance, the financial burden of his death was now the responsibility of my mother and me. Even though my mother works night shifts as a neonatal nurse and her commute is nearly two hours, she was forced to pick up extra shifts to support my family. Though I already had a job and I worked about ten hours a week, I now work anywhere from twenty-five to thirty-five hours a week, and I am also a full-time high honor student. Even though the death of my father forced me to realize the importance of cherishing time with my family, I do not see them very often because of our busy schedules. I also sacrificed my social life and the joy that every senior in high school should experience. Instead of football games and homecoming, I had to deal with mourning and the possibility that I would not attend college because of my family’s financial troubles.

If my father had a life insurance policy, we would not have to work ourselves to the bone and sacrifice our physical and emotional well-being to keep up with expenses. I would not have to worry so intensely about the future of my education on top of the crippling grief that I have felt over the last five months. If this devastating experience has taught me anything, it is this: financial planning for these situations is absolutely invaluable. I will not soon forget the stress and despair that I have experienced, and I now realize that to have a life insurance policy is to throw your surviving family members a crucial lifeline. Though no one can ever prepare you for the trauma of losing a parent, life insurance allows you to grieve without the constant stress of financial burden, and for that reason, it is an absolutely essential precaution.

I love and miss you so much, Dad. Thank God I will see you again.”

  • She answers the prompt . It would be easy to write an essay that just spoke to her grief, or to what her father was like and how much he meant to her. But the essay prompt asks applicants to reflect on how the loss has affected the student emotionally and financially. Emily does a great job of this, by connecting the financial parts (she and her mother needing to pick up extra hours of work), with the emotional (due to the work schedule, the family not being able to spend as much time together). She also addresses how this might affect her college plans. LESSON TO TAKE : 
  • She provides (beautiful) detail. The first paragraph immediately pulls the reader in because of the detailed description she provides (“ his lifeless and defeated hands”, “pale lips” ). Similarly, the specificity of how her family is shouldering the financial burden (e.g. her working 25-to-35-hour weeks) make it feel more real rather than generic.  LESSON TO TAKE : Use details and descriptions to make something feel more emotional and tangible.
  • She knows her audience . This scholarship is funded by Life Happens, an organization formed by seven leading insurance providers, in order to educate the public about important insurance planning topics. Clearly Emily researched the provider and understood that an essay that spoke to the importance of insurance planning would be well-received by the essay readers. LESSON TO TAKE : Research the scholarship provider and adjust your content to fit the organization’s or company’s mission statement (or business model).

4. Going Merry Scholarship Success Story by Jesus Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez

Jesús Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez wrote a winning scholarship essay (and video!) that he submitted on Going Merry . He earned an outstanding $40,000 through the Golden Door Scholarship.

ESSAY PROMPT: What differentiates you from the hundreds of DACA students who apply to our scholarship? Use one of those opportunities to tell us something else we cannot see just by looking at your grades, test scores, and transcripts.

“I always knew I was different than my friends in some way. Growing up, I struggled to speak English while everyone else had little to no problems. I needed extra help in school while my friends coasted by with ease. My friends would hop on planes and travel all around the world while I had to stay at home. At the age of 13 all of my friends started driving while I still couldn’t.

I built up the courage and asked my mother why I did not have access to the simple liberties everyone else did. My name Is Jesus Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez, and I was illegally brought to this country when I was just six years old. At the time I had no clue that I was breaking any laws, and I did not realize the fact that my life was going to change forever. Growing up with a different citizenship situation than my peers was and still is the biggest challenge I have to face in my life.

Looking back there is not a single thing that I would change. Knowing that I had to work harder than everyone else lead me to be the person that I am today. I took that fire inside of me, pushed myself, graduated first in my class with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, became a Kansas Scholar, and graduated High School with a semester’s worth of college credit. In November of 2016, everything began to look up for me. I received a work permit and a social security card all thanks to the DACA program. I was finally able to get my license, get a job, and most importantly attend college.

I plan to continue my success in the classroom and do everything to the best of my ability as I know that under my current circumstances it can all be ripped away from me at any moment. Growing up with my situation has taught me to not take advantage of a single opportunity. There has been continued support around me past and current and I know there are people out there rooting for my success. I will strive to be the first generation in my family to graduate from an American University and I will set a stepping stone for my future family so they will not have to struggle as I did. My citizenship is not a setback, it is a mere obstacle that I will always learn to work around if it means giving my future children a better life, just like my mother did for me.”

  • He shares how hardships made him who he is today. Right off the bat, Jesus sets the tone for his essay by sharing how he struggled to speak English and that he was not given the same opportunities as his peers. He shares his mother’s explanation on why he lived a different life, along with his honesty in the challenges of growing up with a different citizenship situation than the teens around him. LESSON TO TAKE : Share personal details (as you feel comfortable), and consider including a defining memory or conversation hat contributes to your story. This can help paint a picture of your beginnings or your inspirations.
  • He includes emotional details. Although Jesus grew up with hardships, he persevered and mentions he wouldn’t change anything. It may have taken a little longer than his peers to get his license, but he also excelled in school, pushed himself to graduate first in class, and take college courses on top of all that. LESSON TO TAKE : Tell your story with details, feelings, thoughts and emotions to explain where you came from and where you are now.
  • He plans for the future . Jesus shared his personal story with us, and then explains how he plans to continue his success without letting anything get in the way of his path. He goes on to say his citizenship is not a setback, and that he works to provide a better life for himself and for his future children. LESSON TO TAKE : Include your plan at the end of the essay. Consider how you’ve grown and how you will bring these lessons learned with you to help your future.

5. Why College Is Important to Me by Nicole Kuznetsov

Here’s an example of a simple yet creative and heartfelt essay on the popular prompt, Why is college important to you?

ESSAY PROMPT: Why do you want to go to college? Why is it important to you?

“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. I found comfort in the fact that my future had an easy-to-follow template: elementary, middle, and high school, college, job, family retirement, “happily ever after” ending. When I graduated from elementary school I was told I completed 25% of my education. During my middle school graduation, I was told I was halfway there and I know I’ll be told I’m 75% done when I throw my cap in the air this June. College was always factored into the percentage and the overall formula for life. And I never questioned its importance. I always figured it is important because it is necessary.

Going to college makes sense. From helping my parents land stable jobs after coming to America to giving my brother the chance to gain work experience at some of the top financial firms, college educations have shown their worth in my family. Yet I didn’t think about what actually goes on inside the magical universities until I entered high school. Applying to the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering was the first time I had actively made a decision in my education. With the encouragement of my parents and favorite science teacher who recognized that I would excel in the challenging environment of like-minded students, I applied. Four years later, I can confidently say they were right.

My class of twenty-six has shown me the benefits of a collaborative rather than a competitive environment, especially the impact that camaraderie with my peers has on our collective learning experience. Each student has an inspiring level of passion and motivation that made me excited to learn, work on projects, and participate in discussions both in and out of the classroom. I used my education to gain skills and open doors for myself such as an internship at my local hospital. I gained confidence in my abilities to communicate with individuals from strangers my age to practicing professionals. I was thinking longer and harder than I ever had before to solve individual problems and large-scale challenges. In all honesty, I was having fun.

Looking back on my years at the Academy I realize how big of an impact the school made on how I view education. I wasn’t coming to school to mark another day off my calendar and inch closer to finishing the next 25%. I came to school to learn and question and push myself. Now, as a senior, I’m excited. I’m thankful for the sample that my high school gave me of what learning is supposed to be like and thankful that it left me wanting more. I’m entering college in August with a new understanding of its importance. It is important because it is what I want for my future.”

  • It finds structure through chronology . This essay is basically structured like a chronological timeline: As a child, I believed this. Then I applied to this high school (my first active academic decision). Then the high school changed me. Now I’m a senior and I believe this. Not all stories are best told in time order, but the simplest stories often are. And simple stories provide structure, which scholarship committees love. LESSON TO TAKE: Consider structuring your essay like a timeline, emphasizing the milestones along the way that have led you to where you are today. 
  • It is simply told . While the essay is descriptive, it doesn’t try to get fancy with overly flowery language or unnecessarily long SAT words. And that’s the strength of it. For instance, this passage [“ College was always factored into the percentage and the overall formula for life. And I never questioned its importance. I always figured it is important because it is necessary” ] explains her child’s logic in a really clear and well-written way. 
  • It’s got (mostly) great topic sentences . We here at Going Merry love a good topic sentence– that is, a sentence at the beginning (or end) of a paragraph that summarizes the rest of the paragraph. It helps “signpost” the most important parts of your essay. Here, three of the four paragraphs (1, 2, and 4) have strong and concise topic sentences. “As a child, my life had structure” sets up the rest of the paragraph to explain what these structures and unquestioned rules were. “Going to college makes sense” sets up why college made sense to her parents. 

6. Financial Literacy for Hispanic Women by Rosaisha Ozoria

The inaugural Founder’s Scholarship supported by the New York Women’s Bond Club in honor of Michaela Walsh goes to two New York City public high school students who won an essay competition writing about their hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide . Winners of this scholarship won a trip to accompany Women’s World Banking to Amman, Jordan for their biennial gathering of WWB network members.

PROMPT: Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide.

WINNING ESSAY:

“Twice a week I head down to volunteer at the Los Sures Social Services office, situated next to the local senior citizen home, to help at the food pantry. We distribute food to people in my neighborhood. Many are familiar faces. Many are middle-aged Hispanic women with children dangling from their hips like grass skirts. These women are there as a result of their culture and lack of financial knowledge. In our Spanish culture, patriarchy prevents women from preparing for themselves as much as they should. This leads to Hispanic women having little or no money management skills. Financial illiteracy is a major issue in my neighborhood, and that is why I hope to give Hispanic women a chance for a better future through financial education.

While I was volunteering I met a woman who happened to live in the same building as my aunt. Unemployed with two young children, and a husband earning minimum wage at a fast food restaurant, she struggled to get by every day. I thought to myself – many in my community are just like her. Then I realized I could do something to help. How? I can start a financial literacy program, which teaches Hispanic women to earn and manage money. Once a woman becomes financially literate, she is capable of making good personal and professional decisions, empowering her to improve her family’s financial well-being. Moreover, such a program will help Hispanic women become competitive employees, even in a slow recovering economy such as the one we are experiencing now.

Participating in the 2013 Women’s World Banking Global Meeting in Amman, Jordan gives me access to invaluable resources that will help me achieve this goal. I hope to find mentors from a roomful of inspiring, experienced leaders who will offer me their guidance. Also, meeting accomplished women from other countries means access to new ideas and unique perspectives. And if I am lucky, I may even come across individuals who can provide financial support to jumpstart my financial literacy program for Hispanic women. Lastly, I will tell my idea to everyone I meet in Jordan, a baby step to help Hispanic women rise from poverty.

The world continues to change rapidly, especially with globalization. It is about time that Hispanic women strive for gender equality. Thus, it is essential that Hispanic women increase their roles and knowledge in finance. The women in my neighborhood shall no longer be left out. I will task myself to help these women become better, stronger and most importantly, take control of their lives. I want to be involved so that they can save themselves from any unforeseen financial crisis. This is a tremendous goal, but for me, it is an opportunity to make a difference – in my neighborhood and for my Spanish community.”

  • There is clear structure . Right off the bat, the introduction summarizes what the reader can expect to find in the body of the essay. In particular, the closing line of the first paragraph (“ Financial illiteracy is a major issue in my neighborhood, and that is why I hope to give Hispanic women a chance for a better future through financial education”) works as an effective topic sentence, tying together the anecdote and the reason she’s interested in networking with the scholarship provider, Women’s World Banking. The last 2 paragraphs also serve clear, independent purposes: the penultimate one establishes what she would do with the scholarship (the trip to Amman), and the final paragraph explains why her particular interest is important for the larger Hispanic community. LESSON TO TAKE: Clear structure helps the reader follow your point better (especially if they’re skimming, which scholarship essay readers almost definitely are!) So include a summarizing topic sentence at the beginning or end of your first paragraph, and make sure each subsequent paragraph serves a purpose that moves forward your argument or story. 
  • The author’s passion shines. Rosaisha, the scholarship winner, is clearly passionate about serving her Hispanic community of women.  And rather than simply saying that, she shows us how she cares by using personal examples from her volunteer work. LESSON TO TAKE : Show, don’t tell. Use specific personal examples, and don’t be afraid to show your emotions.
  • She stays positive.   Even though Rosaisha discusses what might be considered a  difficult and personal topic, she keeps the tone light and inspirational. She expresses hope and her desire to make a change in the world, answering the essay in a positive tone.  It’s important to make sure your essay is not too depressing to read. (Essays about personal trauma are a bad idea.) This is a scholarship provider, not a therapist! 

While this was a winning essay, we note that it did have two points of weakness: 

  • The second paragraph lacks a bit of structure. Her point ends up feeling a bit generic, and it’s unclear what she is thinking versus planning or actually doing . For instance, she realized she could start a financial literacy program. Did she then do so? It’s unclear. 
  • The last paragraph is again a bit general. Often scholarship committees want to see what concrete steps will be taken, using the scholarship award. Here she speaks in lofty terms about what goals she hopes to accomplish, without explaining ways she might accomplish this goal. 

For more information on writing a killer scholarship essay, check out our list of helpful tips .

Also check out these related blog posts: 

  • 6 tips for writing scholarship essays about academic goals
  • How to write the best personal statement, with examples
  • How to write an awesome essay about your career goals

Scholarship essay examples that worked

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Scholarship Essay Writing

Scholarship Essay Examples

Barbara P

Winning Scholarship Essay Examples for Students: Tips Included

37 min read

Published on: Mar 14, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

Scholarship Essay Examples

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Many students face financial barriers when it comes to pursuing higher education. The rising costs of tuition, books, and other educational expenses can be overwhelming. 

This is why the scholarships offer a lifeline by providing financial aid to students, but the competition is fierce. 

That's where CollegeEssay.org comes in. 

In this blog post, we are providing scholarship essay examples that will inspire and guide you in creating your own exceptional essay. 

These examples serve as beacons of success, offering valuable insights into the art of scholarship essay writing. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

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Scholarship Essay Examples Financial Need

Why this scholarship essay worked.

This scholarship essay example effectively conveys the applicant's financial need and their determination to overcome the challenges associated with it. Here's why this essay worked:

  • Personal Storytelling: The essay begins with a personal anecdote that establishes a connection between the applicant's background and financial constraints. This helps create empathy and demonstrates the genuine impact of financial challenges on their educational journey.
  • Resilience and Resourcefulness: The applicant showcases their resilience and resourcefulness in navigating financial hardships. They highlight their proactive approach to seeking part-time employment and actively pursuing scholarships.
  • Academic Commitment: Despite the financial strain, the applicant emphasizes their commitment to academic excellence by maintaining a high GPA. This showcases their dedication and ability to prioritize their studies amidst challenging circumstances.
  • Community Involvement : The essay also highlights the applicant's involvement in community service. This demonstrates their desire to give back and make a positive impact.
  • Connection to Scholarship: The applicant clearly articulates how receiving the scholarship would benefit them. This demonstrates a strong alignment between their goals and the purpose of the scholarship.

Want more examples, check out these winning scholarship essay examples.

Financial Aid Scholarship Essay

Scholarship Essay for Financial Need

Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself

Why this essay worked.

This scholarship essay worked for several reasons, such as:

  • It effectively showcases the applicant's passion for mathematics, community engagement, and resilience.
  • It compellingly conveyed the applicant's dedication, ambition, and potential for making a positive impact. This makes them a deserving candidate for the scholarship.
  • Clear connection to the scholarship's goals and how it would further the applicant's educational journey and impact.

Here are some scholarship essay examples about yourself; get an idea from them, and create a successful essay.

Scholarship Essay Example About Yourself

Scholarship Essay About Yourself

Scholarship Essay Examples for Nursing

Why this essay worked.

This essay worked due to its compelling portrayal of the applicant's genuine passion for nursing, coupled with their unwavering dedication to making a positive impact in patient care.

The essay effectively demonstrates the applicant's well-rounded preparation for a nursing career and their clear alignment with the goals and mission of the scholarship, making them a strong candidate for consideration.

Below are some more examples of scholarship essays for nursing.

Nursing Scholarship Essay

Scholarship Essay for Nursing

Scholarship Essay Examples About Career Goals

This essay worked for the following reasons:

  • Clear and Specific Career Goals: The essay effectively outlines the applicant's career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist specializing in mental health support. The clarity and specificity of the goal demonstrate a well-defined path and a strong sense of purpose.
  • Demonstrated Preparation and Commitment: The essay showcases the applicant's comprehensive preparation for their career goals. It also demonstrates their readiness and dedication to excel in the field.
  • Alignment with Scholarship Objectives: The essay effectively highlights how the scholarship will contribute to the applicant's career aspirations. This includes attending conferences, workshops, and advanced training programs.

If you find difficulty writing the scholarship essay about career goals, get help from the below-mentioned examples, and submit a well-written essay.

Scholarship Essay Examples About Leadership

Three reasons why this essay worked are:

  • Demonstrated Leadership Experience : This essay effectively highlights the applicant's practical experience in leadership roles, showcasing their ability to lead teams, organize events, and coordinate volunteers.
  • Commitment to Personal Growth : The essay demonstrates the applicant's proactive approach to leadership development by seeking formal training and participating in workshops focused on honing their skills. 
  • Emphasis on Collaboration and Empowerment: The essay emphasizes the applicant's belief in collaborative leadership. It promotes inclusivity and empowers team members to contribute their unique perspectives. 

Here we gather some good scholarship essay examples about leadership that help in your writing.

Leadership Scholarship Essay Example

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Scholarship Essay Examples About Community Service

Here are the reasons:

  • Genuine Passion and Commitment: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's genuine passion for community service, highlighting their long-standing involvement and the transformative impact it has had on their life. 
  • Integration of Service with Education: The essay demonstrates the applicant's proactive approach to integrating their passion for community service with their educational pursuits.
  • Aspiration for Social Change: The essay goes beyond personal experiences and highlights the applicant's aspirations for broader social change.

Here is an excellent community service scholarship essa y that can help you write for community college.

Scholarship Essay Example about Community Service

High School Scholarship Essay Examples

  • Clear and Convincing Goals: The essay effectively communicates the applicant's strong desire to pursue higher education despite financial constraints.
  • Demonstrated Leadership and Well-Roundedness: The essay showcases the applicant's involvement in extracurricular activities. It highlights their ability to balance academic responsibilities with active participation in clubs, sports teams, and community service initiatives.
  • Emphasis on Giving Back and Community Engagement: The essay not only focuses on the applicant's personal aspirations but also highlights their commitment to giving back to their community.

The following are the best high school scholarship essay examples, use this for your help, and write an attention-grabbing essay.

Scholarship Essay Example for High School

Scholarship Essay for High School

Scholarship Essay Examples for University

Why this essay works.

Three reasons why this essay works are:

  • Strong Personal Motivation: The essay effectively communicates the applicant's unwavering commitment and determination to pursue a university education.
  • Articulation of Long-Term Goals and Social Impact: The essay goes beyond highlighting the applicant's academic achievements and financial needs. It emphasizes the applicant's desire to contribute to their community and make a positive impact on society.
  • The connection between Scholarship and Applicant's Potential: The essay effectively illustrates how receiving the scholarship would directly address the financial burden. Plus, it will enable the applicant to fully embrace the university experience.

Here are some excellent scholarship essay examples for university students that help you in writing the essay.

Scholarship Essay Example for University Students

Scholarship Essay Examples for Engineering

This essay worked because of the following reasons:

  • Passion and Commitment: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's deep passion for engineering. It also shows their genuine commitment to making a positive impact in this field.
  • Alignment with Scholarship Objectives: It clearly establishes the connection between the scholarship and the applicant's goals in engineering.
  • Future Impact and Growth: It also communicates the applicant's aspiration to contribute to the field of engineering and make a positive difference in the world.

The following is another scholarship essay example that can help you in creating the perfect essay on your own.

Scholarship Essay Examples for Masters

This essay worked for several reasons:

  • Clear Purpose and Goal: The essay effectively conveys the applicant's clear purpose and goal of pursuing a master's degree. It highlights the transformative impact that a master's degree can have on personal and professional growth.
  • Financial Need and Scholarship Alignment : The essay addresses the financial challenges associated with pursuing a master's degree. It demonstrates the direct alignment between the scholarship and the applicant's needs.
  • Impact and Giving Back : The essay goes beyond personal aspirations and emphasizes the applicant's intention to make a broader impact on their community and society.

Here is an example that you can use as a guide and write a perfect scholarship essay.

Why Should You Receive this Scholarship Essay Examples

Three brief reasons why this essay worked are:

  • Clear and Convincing Arguments : The essay presents concise and compelling arguments to support the applicant's case for receiving the scholarship.
  • Personal Connection : It demonstrates how receiving the scholarship would directly impact the applicant's academic journey
  • Gratitude and Future Commitment : It expresses sincere gratitude for the opportunity and emphasizes the applicant's commitment to making the most of the scholarship.

Here is an example, take help from them for your scholarship essay.

Why Should You Receive this Scholarship Essay Example

Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples

  • Compelling Personal Story: The essay effectively presents the applicant's personal story and highlights their dedication and commitment to their education
  • Addressing Academic Excellence and Financial Need : The essay successfully addresses both academic excellence and financial need, which are two crucial aspects considered by scholarship committees.
  • Commitment to Making an Impact: The essay goes beyond the applicant's personal goals and emphasizes their dedication to making a positive impact in their community. 

Here’s another example for this scholarship essay below:

Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Example

Tips for Writing the Effective Scholarship Essay

When it comes to writing an effective scholarship essay, there are several key tips to keep in mind. 

By following these guidelines, you can maximize your chances of standing out and impressing scholarship selection committees. 

Here are some essential tips to help you craft a compelling scholarship essay:

  • Understand the Prompt

Take the time to thoroughly understand the essay prompt or topic provided by the scholarship provider. Pay attention to any specific instructions or guidelines given.

  • Research the Scholarship

Familiarize yourself with the organization or institution offering the scholarship. Understand their values, mission, and objectives. This knowledge will help you align your essay with their goals and demonstrate your fit for the scholarship.

  • Tell Your Unique Story

Use the essay as an opportunity to showcase your personal experiences, like obstacles you might encounter, achievements, and aspirations. Highlight what sets you apart from other applicants. Be authentic and genuine in conveying your story, like overcoming personal failures.

  • Start with a Compelling Introduction

Grab the reader's attention from the beginning with a strong and captivating introduction. Consider starting with a compelling anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful statement.

  • Structure Your Essay

Organize your essay into a clear and logical structure. Start with an introduction, followed by body paragraphs that support your main points, and end with a concise and impactful conclusion.

  • Be Concise and Specific

Scholarship essays often have a word or character limits, so make every word count. Be concise in your writing and avoid unnecessary fluff. Focus on providing specific examples and details that support your claims.

  • Showcase Your Achievements

Highlight your academic accomplishments, extracurricular involvements, community service, leadership roles, or any other relevant achievements. Link them to the values and goals of the scholarship.

  • Address the Selection Criteria

Ensure that your essay addresses the selection criteria specified by the scholarship provider. If they are looking for specific qualities or skills, tailor your essay to showcase how you possess those attributes.

In conclusion, writing an effective scholarship essay is a crucial step in securing the financial aid you need for your education. 

By following the tips outlined here, you can enhance your essay-writing skills and create a compelling narrative that captivates scholarship selection committees.

Be authentic, concise, and specific in your writing. Tailor your essay to align with the values and objectives of the scholarship provider. And above all, believe in yourself and your potential to make a difference through education.

If you're seeking further guidance and support in your scholarship essay writing journey, consider partnering with our AI essay writing tools !

We also have a team of experienced and professional essay writers who can provide personal essay writing service with valuable insights. 

Hire our college paper writing service  today and take the next step towards securing the financial aid you deserve.

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Congratulations to the 2015 Scholarship Essay Winners! The winning essays can be read below…

Ilijana Kalezic – Seton Hall University Law School – View Essay

Alexi Machek Velez – Rutgers School of Law – Camden – View Essay

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Veterans for Peace

Veterans for Peace

2015 Scholarship Winners and Essays

Simonson Lyric Nicole

Lyric Simonson, a 2015 Veterans For Peace scholarship winner from Riverdale High School in Muscoda.  Read her essay here .

Shaeden Carlin - Boscobel

Shaeden Carlin, a 2015 Veterans For Peace scholarship winner from Boscobel High School.  Read her essay here .

Jackie Culotta

Jackie Culotta, a 2015 Veterans For Peace scholarship winner from Baraboo High School.  Read her essay here .

sydney rabata

Sydney Rabata, a 2015 Veterans For Peace scholarship winner from Baraboo High School.  Read her essay here .

Pictured are 15 Class of 2015 students at River Valley High School, Spring Green, who wrote essays titled “Why I Believe War Is Not the Answer” in the Veterans for Peace Chapter 25 scholarship contest. They represent 12 percent of the total graduating class. Scholarship recipient was Joe Meinholz, fifth from left. Other received certificates of appreciation from Veterans for Peace, and a chocolate Dove Bar as a consolation prize. From left to right: Allison Gibson, Ashtonn Wahljohnson, Taylor Bettinger, Kayla Hackl, Meinholz, Jessica Sipes, Lydia Ishmael, Claire Kaukl, Taylor Genthe, Alexis Reutten, Abigail Korenchan, Hayley Cromie-Stettler, Paige Bailey, Alyssa Wastlick, and Michael Honer.

Pictured are 15 Class of 2015 students at River Valley High School, Spring Green, who wrote essays titled “Why I Believe War Is Not the Answer” in the Veterans for Peace Chapter 25 scholarship contest. They represent 12 percent of the total graduating class. Scholarship recipient was Joe Meinholz, fifth from left. Other received certificates of appreciation from Veterans for Peace, and a chocolate Dove Bar as a consolation prize. From left to right: Allison Gibson, Ashtonn Wahljohnson, Taylor Bettinger, Kayla Hackl, Meinholz, Jessica Sipes, Lydia Ishmael, Claire Kaukl, Taylor Genthe, Alexis Reutten, Abigail Korenchan, Hayley Cromie-Stettler, Paige Bailey, Alyssa Wastlick, and Michael Honer.  Read Joe’s essay here .

dressler dgvle 1

Zach Dressler, a 2015 Veterans For Peace scholarship winner from Dodgeville High School.  Read his essay  here .

2015 Jose Hernandez-0124

Jose Hernandez, Madison West High School senior, is the winner of the 2015 James Allen Peace Scholarship. Hernandez submitted the winning essay and receives a $1,200 scholarship to attend Madison Area Technical College (Madison College) this fall. He is focused on liberal studies, with a transfer to a 4-year institution to complete work in a social work or related field. This is the seventh year an award have been made to a Madison public high school senior. A total of six other rural high school scholarships were also awarded this spring. The Chapter is grateful for supplemental grant funding from the Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of the Capital Times, for scholarship assistance in 2015.  Read his essay here .

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Local News | Kingston Library offers two scholarships to…

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Local news | kingston library offers two scholarships to kingston high seniors.

The Kingston Library in Midtown Kingston can be seen on Wednesday, July 5, 2023. (Tania Barricklo/Daily Freeman)

KINGSTON, N.Y. — The Kingston Library Martin Laforse Memorial Scholarship Fund will offer two $1,000 scholarships to college-bound Kingston High School seniors, according to an announcement.

Students who wish to apply for the scholarship can receive an application at the school’s Guidance Office. Applicants are required to submit an essay in 500 words or less, reflecting on how a reading or library experience affected their life.

According to the announcement, scholarships will be awarded based not only on the quality of the essay but on the applicant’s current academic standing, as well as financial need and a letter of recommendation. Scholarship recipients will be announced during an award ceremony at Kingston High in early June.

The scholarship was formed in 2007 after the death of Martin Laforse, a long-time professor and trustee of the Board of Directors at Kingston Library.

Applications are due no later than Friday, April 12.

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 9 Scholarship Essay Examples

    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 ...

  4. How to Write a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

    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.

  5. How to Write a Scholarship Essay: Complete Guide + Examples

    Approach #1: Use the resources above to write a great essay that spells out your big dreams, then end with 1-3 sentences describing specifically how you'll use the scholarship money. (We'll call this the "I have big dreams and you can help" approach.) Approach #2: Explain your financial situation in detail, then end with 1-3 sentences ...

  6. Crafting Compelling Scholarship Essays: An In-Depth Guide to Making

    Absolutely, it can be extremely beneficial to have others review your essay. They can provide constructive criticism, catch any typos or grammatical errors, and provide an outside perspective to ensure your message is clear and compelling. Creating compelling scholarship essays can help you win college scholarships to pay for your education.

  7. Writing a Winning College Scholarship Essay

    When you're drafting your scholarship essay, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind: 1. Start the essay writing process early. Leave yourself plenty of time to produce a well thought-out entry. Take the time to brainstorm your ideas, create an outline, and edit your entry as you would for any essay writing assignment for your English class.

  8. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    2. Show your personality. You should also use your voice in your essay. Give the scholarship committee insight into who you are as a person — what drives you, what motivates you, and what interests you. This will allow them to understand you on a deeper level and see your words as genuine. 3.

  9. How to write a winning scholarship essay

    3. Fill your scholarship essay with keywords/synonyms of keywords used in the scholarship statement. Using the keywords from the scholarship statement throughout your essay will demonstrate your commitment to addressing the question being asked. For instance, I made a special effort to ensure references to 'leadership'; 'innovation' and ...

  10. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    Writing a first draft. Try to think of your essay as you on paper. Keep it true to you. While using a thesaurus may allow you to provide an eloquent reflection of yourself which also highlights your sagacious character…the judges will see right through that. Stick to the way you speak to present your own personality.

  11. How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay

    8 Tips to Write a Scholarship Essay. 1. Start Early. The sooner you start exploring scholarship opportunities, the more time you'll have to get organized. It's a common myth that you have to ...

  12. The Ultimate Guide To Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay

    It's a good idea to prepare to write this essay at least three times. First, there's a rough draft that should be carefully proofread. Students can ask a teacher or other professional to also look at their paper. Then students should repeat this process once or twice more until they're happy with the results.

  13. 14 Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Thousands 2023

    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.

  14. How to Write a Scholarship Essay and Win

    Now that you believe in your ability to win, you have to begin putting in the work. My scholarship required that I 1) Have a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, 2) Be African American, 3) Be a college sophomore or junior, 4) major in business or science, and 5) attend two or more NSLS Speaker Broadcasts. So, when you are applying for a scholarship ...

  15. 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.

  16. 6 Awesome Scholarship Essays That Worked

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 16 Scholarship Essay Examples to Help You Win Scholarship

    This scholarship essay provides insight into my deep commitment to community service, highlighting the transformative impact it has had on my life and how I aspire to continue making a difference through service-oriented initiatives. From a young age, I have been actively engaged in community service, recognizing its power to uplift individuals ...

  19. Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays

    What makes a good essay? A good essay shows your background, experiences, ambitions, and personality. It's your opportunity to make a strong and lasting impression. Scholarship essay tips can help: Make an outline to organize your thoughts. Create an essay with a strong introduction, followed by supporting arguments and an appropriate conclusion.

  20. Top 64 Writing & Essay Scholarships in March 2024

    Austin Peay State University Creative Writing Scholarships. The scholarships are open to undergraduate and incoming APSU students who email a 10-20 page manuscript of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction, to Lakota Withrow at [email protected]. Awards are for $600 or $1,200. The deadline to apply is March 18th.

  21. Essay Scholarships

    Deadline March 31, 2024. Sallie Mae is offering a straightforward monthly scholarship opportunity, awarding $2,000 to eligible entrants. No essays or account sign-ups are required—just a simple scholarship for individuals seeking financial assistance for their education. Scholarship Details Monthly award of $2,000.

  22. Scholarship Essays

    Congratulations to the 2015 Scholarship Essay Winners! The winning essays can be read below… Ilijana Kalezic - Seton Hall University Law School - View Essay Alexi Machek Velez - Rutgers School of Law - Camden - View Essay

  23. 2015 Scholarship Winners and Essays

    Pictured are 15 Class of 2015 students at River Valley High School, Spring Green, who wrote essays titled "Why I Believe War Is Not the Answer" in the Veterans for Peace Chapter 25 scholarship contest. They represent 12 percent of the total graduating class. Scholarship recipient was Joe Meinholz, fifth from left.

  24. PDF DR. ERNESTO GALARZA SCHOLARSHIP 2023 2024 (CLFSA will award multiple

    Length of Essay: 6‐7 pages, plus a cover page and a bibliography of the scholarship you consult. Mechanics: Use 1‐inch margins, 12‐point font (Times New Roman or Arial only). Include a cover page for your essay with your name, academic standing (undergrad/grad and year), and your major.

  25. Kingston Library offers two scholarships to Kingston High seniors

    KINGSTON, N.Y. — The Kingston Library Martin Laforse Memorial Scholarship Fund will offer two $1,000 scholarships to college-bound Kingston High School seniors, according to an announcement.