Writing a personal essay for a scholarship can be one of the toughest tasks that you will have. The problem is there is not a one size fits all solution that will help you to write something that is going to be successful. Every scholarship has specific requirements on the applicants as well as expectations for your essay. You will always need to carefully read the requirements for your essay and follow them to the letter.
Winning Scholarship Essay: What You Should Include
Always start the writing process by carefully reviewing not only the instructions for the essay but also the information around the scholarship itself to identify what they value in applicants. Make a list of what they are looking for so that you can reflect those expectations in your writing.
The following will run through what you will need to include within a typical essay. Remember that is it has a prompt you must answer that prompt fully:
- What are your academic and career goals? They will want to see that you have a clear idea of what you want to study and your reasons why. They will also want to see where those studies are going to take you beyond your studies for your future career. The clearer your vision for your future the more likely they are to treat your application favorably.
- What are your significant personal achievements? What makes you the person that you are and why are you going to succeed at what you want for your future? Show what you have already achieved and how that has Motivated and changed you for the better.
- What has influenced you? What are your background and other experience has made you the person that you are today? Have you had to overcome some form of disadvantage or another challenge in your life to get to where you are today?
- Prove your financial need: you will need to demonstrate that you have a need for their scholarship to be able to continue your studies. They will also want to understand how you have funded your studies through to now and what the impact will be if you do not receive a scholarship.
Successful Scholarship Essay: What You Should Avoid
- Don’t use clichés: the committee members will probably be reading hundreds of applications. So clichés that they will have already read many times will not impress.
- Don’t lie: while it may be tempting to lie to make your application more worthy there is always a good chance that you will be caught out.
- Overly wordy and flowery writing: the committee will want an essay that is concisely written and that makes a clear point. They will not want to have to decipher complex sentences.
- Errors in your writing: always ensure that your writing is carefully proofread so that you will make the right first impression.
- Don’t use slang: the essay must be understandable by anyone and that means using formal English rather than any acronyms and slang.
List of Popular Scholarship Essay Topics
- Leaving My Home Country: A Journey to a New World, Language, and Culture.
- How struggling to find a full-time job has taught me to be particularly selective in my career and academic decisions.
- Stepping Outside the Box to Find New People, Ideas and Dreams.
- My Adoption: A Chance at a Whole New World of Possibilities.
- How being a scientist can become an eye-opening experience and why everyone has equal chances to succeed in science disciplines.
- Choosing the Role Models Who Set the Course for My Future.
- How did I become a dedicated and passionate student? What experiences have persuaded me that I have to continue my education?
- How being a nurse has changed my perceptions of the world.
- How I graduated from college while living beyond the poverty line.
- Why Science Ended Up Being My Favorite Class—And How Society Can Get More Girls Into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Programs.
- Why I believe my parents to be the key driver behind my academic and career successes.
- Volunteering Through the Ages: Taking Part in a Historical Trend Towards Charity and Helping the Less Fortunate.
- Juggling Two Jobs, Sports and Volunteer Work: How I Learned From a Hectic Few Years.
- How Swimming Taught Me the Values of Commitment and Dedication.
- Speaking Clearly: Discovering a Passion By Volunteering With a Speech Therapist.
- Dreaming the Impossible and Achieving the Improbable.
- How I left my comfort zone and started a new life at the edge of success.
- Ending Discrimination by Working With Organizations to Use More Diverse Hiring Methods.
- An Ambitious Future: How My Environmental Degree Will Help to Limit Hunger in the World.
- The Impact of Diversity on College Campuses and Workforce Hiring Processes.
- How being in foster care gave me a unique opportunity to live a full life.
- The Gentleman’s C: Not Enough for the Modern College Student.
- How I became a school entrepreneur and earned my first $1,000.
- Testing the Waters: A Journey Into the Political Realm Through Personal Activism.
- The Economic Reasons Why Scholarships Increase the Price of Higher Education And Why I Will Still Need to Get One Anyway.
- Learning From the Best: How My Science Teacher Changed My Life.
- My Hero: A Mother, Cook, Driver, Worker, Caregiver, and Artist Rolled Into One Person.
- Jumping From Base to Base: The Benefits of a Military Career in Higher Education.
- Why scholarships are unfair to students but why they still need them to become a success in life.
- Experiencing the World: How Volunteering Abroad Changed My Life.