Entering a college is a deed worthy of praise. Not only does one get a degree to build a great career, one acquires knowledge that helps improve society. To get into the world of lectures and papers, a student-to-be must write an essay for scholarship first.
Well, can’t anyone write my paper for me while I’m doing my part-time job? Sure, you can ask your friends to compose a scholarship essay for you, but it won’t be authentic. Oftentimes, your best buddies know nothing about essay writing principles or your goals and talents. Yet, we advise you to learn everything about writing or leave writing a scholarship essay to professionals.
While completing forms and collecting documents, use your chance to get a scholarship. Why do so? The scholarship is rare, but the lucky ones who get it reduce their student loans immensely. Also, with a scholarship in your pocket, you can focus on your studies and leave a part-time job.
How to compose a perfect scholarship essay that grabs the admission committee’s attention? Check the tips below.
What Is a Scholarship Essay?
A college scholarship essay or a scholarship application letter is a type of essay sent to the scholarship provider to persuade them of one's significant need to receive a scholarship. In the United States, 22% of undergraduates got a merit-based scholarship, while up to 37% received a scholarship based on their financial needs. The most popular types of scholarships are as follows.
- Merit-based. These scholarships are offered to students who have showcased outstanding accomplishments in the academic field.
- Need-based. These scholarships are for applicants from the lower-middle class whose family incomes are below the subsistence minimum.
- Government scholarships. The most versatile type in the scholarship system. You can apply for a government scholarship if you're a head of a multi-children family or were in the foster care system.
- Activity-based. This type includes amazing college scholarship essay examples from students that have excelled at community service and volunteering.
- Military scholarships. The name of this particular scholarship says it all. One can apply for a military scholarship if one is a veteran or reserve officer.
Regardless of your scholarship type, the demands for an impeccable scholarship essay example will be as follows.
- The essay focuses on your personality. Scholarship essays aim to show the reader the best sides of you as an individual.
- Beliefs and values. There is no example of a scholarship essay that wouldn't describe your values as a potential academic member.
- A scholarship application letter is shorter than 500 words. Keep your essay concise and straight to the point.
- A scholarship essay has a specific prompt. A college or a scholarship organization will commonly offer you a list of topics to choose from.
- Career aspirations and interests. Last but not least are your career dreams and hobbies. Oh, and don't forget about your accomplishments! If you're a new Mozart in the making, mention your sonatas.
- A scholarship essay has a well-defined structure. Start writing with an Intro, proceed with the Body, and finish with the Conclusion.
Scared of writing your first scholarship letter? Check the best efficient tips on writing a scholarship application essay below.
How to Start a Scholarship Essay?
Timing. To follow the deadline, you must set aside plenty of time. We advise you to start composing your scholarship essay as soon as possible:
- There is a drafting stage.
- The actual writing will happen.
- You'll have to revise and proofread what you've written to keep your writing free of grammar and punctuation mistakes.
Meanwhile, you can contact a paper writing service to get more academic tips. Sometimes, the drafting stage will be longer than the writing one, and vice versa. Still, wondering how to start a scholarship essay with ease? Follow the algorithm below.
- Time. Allocate as much time as you can to keep a moderate pace.
- Silence. Find peaceful, distraction-free surroundings or turn on lo-fi music for better concentration.
- Instructions. Keep your guidelines open to check the requirements once you get confused.
- Samples. Find a few winning scholarship essay examples and explore them in terms of structure and content.
Check the tips on scholarship letter structure in the chapter below.
Tips on Scholarship Essay Structure
To make your essay stand out, start with a fabulous outline with three parts following formal writing rules. Sure, you can use an 'I' pronoun, but there is a big 'no' when it comes to slang or colloquiums. So, how to write a scholarship essay with a perfect traditional outline that makes the admission committee happy?
First, make sure your scholarship essay starts with a strong Intro hook. Second, make sure the Body paragraphs of your scholarship essay outline tell the reader how you can benefit from studying in the particular college. Third, don't forget to mention what you can contribute to the college community! End your scholarship essay with a concluding paragraph as a restatement of your ideas and hopes.
The killer scholarship essay samples will have an outstanding Intro. This is a part where the reader gets a chance to meet you. There is no need to introduce yourself directly in this part. Doing so will make your scholarship essay sound artificial. Don't use words whose meanings you don't know. Be original and creative.
An introduction in a scholarship application essay is a story about your choice to follow a specific path. Tell the reader about that particular day that inspired you to become a doctor or an artist. The basic rules to follow while composing your Intro are as follows.
- Be honest and authentic.
- Tell a story of your life that is truthful and engaging. In other words, appeal to the reader's emotions.
- The last sentence should be a thesis statement. It must tell the reader about the main idea of your application letter.
The Body of your scholarship essay will constitute around 80% of the whole structure regardless of the format. This is where all your forgotten accomplishments and awards come to life. This part aims to persuade the admission committee members of your competence. The idea you must prove is that you deserve the additional financial support that the institution provides.
Which things to include in the Body of your scholarship essay?
- Academic achievements and any other field-related accomplishments. Have you ever won an artistic or athletic award? Mention it!
- Volunteering and community service. Your intentions to stand for the most vulnerable and your kindness should be rewarded.
- Motivation and goals. Do you want to be a psychotherapist out of a pure desire to help others? Write about it.
We advise you to devote a separate paragraph to how the college can benefit from your participation. For example, what will the college community get if they accept you as a student?
- Academic community. Tell the reader about your academic projects.
- Volunteering. Do you have plans to volunteer as a tutor or a college event manager?
- Art and music. Will you enrich the cultural campus life?
Make this part of your scholarship essay memorable. How to end a scholarship essay with dignity and efficiency? The concluding paragraph should not be a place for begging the college committee to give you financial aid. The Conclusion should be of a similar size as your Introduction. Both sections will make up around 20% of the entire scholarship essay. While writing the Conclusion, keep in mind the following things.
- Restate the thesis statement. In other words, remind the reader why you're applying for a scholarship.
- Plan for the future. Examine how you can apply the knowledge you got.
- Learn from the past. Summarize what life taught you about your career aspirations and choices.
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Practical Scholarship Essay Tips
The formula for a perfect essay is 'structure+content+organization.' Follow the strict structure as discussed above, and keep your paragraphs coherent regarding the content. As for the organization, upgrade it by learning the formatting rules.
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Get Familiar With the Prompt
A prompt is a list of possible questions you'll have to answer to win the heart of the scholarship committee. For example, a traditional scholarship essay prompt will contain the following questions.
- Why have you decided to apply for this specialization?
- Which strengths and weaknesses do you have as a part of your personality?
- Which things shaped you as a person?
The list might go on and on depending on the committee's curiosity and meticulousness. Relate questions to the scholarship essay paragraphs. For instance, the first question in the list above will go to the Intro part, while the second and the third will make a perfect Body paragraph.
Choose a Topic
So, there is a list of topics in front of you. How to choose the one that will let you shine bright like a diamond?
- Choose a topic you're most comfortable with. There is no need to write about your future career if the best topic to discuss is 'My Dreams and Hopes for the Future.
- Catch the essence of the topic and relate it to the overall college experience. Let's take 'How to Change the World for Better'. How to write a scholarship essay on this topic? Write down how college can help you reach your goals. For instance, you dream of a world free of pollution. Write down how a degree in Environmental Studies can make your dream closer to reality.
Write a Hook
An effective opening sentence grabs the reader's attention and holds it till the last sentence of the concluding paragraph. Appeal to the reader's emotions to let the reader relate to your ideas and experiences on a personal level. How to write a scholarship essay with a great attention grabber?
- Statistics. Use shocking numbers that will surprise the reader.
- Life stories. Let's be honest - people love stories. You don't have to be dramatic here; stay honest and relate the story to your career choice.
- Jokes. Yeap, you can be witty and funny - just be appropriate with your jokes.
Once you've written your scholarship application letter, it's time for proper formatting!
Scholarship Essay Formatting
Is there a typical formatting sample all applicants must follow? Yeap, there is. It is less detailed than you might expect, and the rules are pretty general. However, some correspond to college essay writing as we know it.
For instance, all essays' structure must contain the Intro, Body, and Conclusion. But you already know about it, right? So the question is should a scholarship essay format be different from a common one? Let's dive into the answer.
- Including a title is not always necessary if there is only one topic instead of a long list. However, if the instructions ask you to add the topic in the beginning, do so.
- If the guidelines aren't explicit, go with standard 1-inch margins, Times New Roman font, and 12-point size. You can also opt for Arial, Verdana, or Tahoma fonts.
- Keep the text double-spaced rather than single-spaced. Why do so? All because the space is associated with readability. The bigger the gap between the lines is, the easier it is to read your application letter.
- Avoid bright font colors or any 'cartoonish' fonts. Stay as official as you can.
- Choose a proper format. If the instructions ask you to save your essay into PDF, there is no need to go for other formats like Word doc. If you fail to follow the instructions, there is a high chance that the scholarship committees won't accept it.
- Make sure you send your scholarship essay through an appropriate email or online form. Most essays are sent through online forms. However, some colleges may ask applicants to send essays via traditional mail. If an applicant sends their scholarship essay through more than one channel, there is a higher chance that the college will receive it.
If you've followed all formatting rules strictly, there is an opportunity for you'll enter 59% - the number of graduates with a scholarship letter who won the award in the end. Sure, crafting a scholarship essay is a meticulous and often daunting task. But isn't the prize worth the time and effort? This is why we're moving to the last stage, about concluding the process.
How to Conclude the Essay
If there is a beginning, there is always an ending. Composing an essay conclusion is much easier and quicker than creating a brand-new introduction. While writing the concluding paragraph, you work with existing scholarship essay material. The steps to writing a strong conclusion are as follows.
- Restate the thesis statement and summarize the ideas discussed in your application letter. Yeap, everything is like a traditional academic essay.
- Restate how college can help you achieve your dreams and career goals.
- Express gratitude to the admission committee for the opportunity they gave you. Thank them for reading your scholarship essay, and mention that you're looking forward to hearing from them.
- Mention what you've learned from the past to emphasize your personal and professional growth. Write down how the college will benefit from you being a part of their community. Again, the Conclusion is all about restating.
- Keep your Conclusion similar to Introduction when it comes to size.
- Don't forget about revising and proofreading your Conclusion. Use online software for this purpose, like Grammarly or Hemingway.
Why is the Conclusion part so important? Because all things that we remember best are either in the beginning or the end. This is how human memory is programmed, and we advise you to use this principle to ripe the benefits while writing your scholarship essay.
Congrats! Now that you've written your scholarship application letter, it's time to wait for the answer from the admission committee. Whether it's a rejection or acceptance letter, writing your first scholarship essay is always worth it.
Sure, you can buy essay online, but you'll never feel the whole writing experience. Meanwhile, the more you engage in the academic essay writing process, the easier it will be for you to compose essays and papers later as a college student.
While writing your essay, don't forget three components: structure, content, and organization. Keep in mind that staying authentic is a must. Imagine if you boast about victories you never had, and the scholarship essay readers learn about your lie.
What we advise is for you to emphasize your real traits and accomplishments. Follow the instructions closely, watch out for grammar mistakes, and stay real in your writing.
You also might be interested in reading about how to write a French Revolution essay. The article contains a lot of interesting information.
We hope the article was helpful to you. Good luck!