Example essay

10 tips for writing a winning scholarship essay

Studying abroad can be an expensive affair for international students, but scholarships can provide some respite. Scholarship applications typically require students to write a scholarship essay to show the admissions committee why they deserve funding.

Although competitive, the essay gives you a platform to demonstrate your strengths, goals, and accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom.

It takes a lot of thought to produce a winning scholarship essay, but with the cost of tuition increasing every year – tuition fees for an academic year at a US university can range from $40,000 to $52,000, while fees at a UK university can range from £9,250 to £30,000, depending on the major of the course – the results can be worth it. effort.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy, here’s 10 tips for writing a scholarship essay:

The scholarship essay gives students a platform to demonstrate their strengths, goals, and accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom. Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP

Scholarship Essay Tip 1: Highlight What Makes You Unique

There is no perfect scholarship essay or writing formula, but the vast majority of winning essays give the scholarship committee a good idea of ​​what drives you, your passions, and what you want to do. of your education.

In short, write who you are to the scholarship judges. Make them believe in you and your story.

Fellowship Writing Tip 2: Read the Statement and Identify Key Themes

Your scholarship essay prompt can be a sentence or a question. From there, identify the theme and what you should develop. It can be about leadership, your impact, or even the community.

You could write about some experiences and accomplishments, how and why you chose to get involved in these activities, challenges you faced and how you overcame them, and lessons learned from the experience.

The more you understand these themes, the more examples you can include to showcase your skills and abilities and how you used them.

For example, 2013 QS Leadership Fellowship Winner Hayley CappThe statement of the essay was: “Where I have demonstrated responsible leadership or innovation, and how it has made a difference in my community or in my work.”

Capp founded a branch of Enactus – “where people work either with social enterprises or to create a social enterprise, using business and entrepreneurial skills to develop solutions to social problems and make a difference in communities” – at his university during his undergraduate studies cycle.

In her scholarship essay, Capp used her experience working with Enactus members in Uganda to design strategies to tackle high levels of youth unemployment.

Scholarship Essay Tip 3: Be Passionate

Some writing prompts will give you free rein to write about any topic, giving you the edge of writing about something you love or that means a lot to you.

For example, your prompt might ask you to describe your accomplishments that you are most proud of. You can discuss your volunteer experiences, or perhaps caring for a sick family member despite a busy schedule. An understanding of your family situation can give the admissions committee a holistic view of you as a sport, extracurricular activity, or even community service. can be a privilege which requires resources that a candidate may or may not have access to.

Because Joy ZhouThe additional scholarship essay asked him to describe an experience with an extracurricular activity of his choice. She wrote about how she managed to start a Science Olympiad club at her high school despite many challenges, including objections from the athletic director.

“Try to go with something you’ve been doing for a long time and think if there’s anything weird or different about your experience, or if there’s an aspect of that experience that you can use to sum up the entirety of your experience doing the extracurricular activity or if there is a burning passion, you can also write about it,” advises Zhou.

Vanderbilt University awarded Zhou a full scholarship.

Scholarship Essay Tip 4: Learn What Motivates Judges

Why do judges or universities give this scholarship? You need to dig deep to understand their motivations behind the scholarship and what their mission is, whether to increase equity or the competitive advantage of the university.

Take a look at previous scholarship winners and read their essays or excerpts, and you’ll get a better idea of ​​what appeals to the scholarship committee the most.

Have a better understanding of what The research scholarship committee will give you a better chance than writing an essay by shooting in the dark.

Scholarship Essay Tip 5: Create a Strong Hook

The start of your essay should have a solid hook. A powerful opening sentence will help you attract a reader and convince them to read the rest of your essay.

Ritesh Verma wanted to become a millionaire, so he studied stock market trends and professional trades and even made money in two years. He felt he was ready to go even further so he asked his parents to open an Ameritrade account but “the stock market took it in a week”.

He started his trial with, “It was ironic that my life shattered into a million pieces, or so I thought. What is this dream? Well, I myself had a millionaire vision, realizing this millionaire trader lifestyle that is our ties on the internet.

His essay helped him win a higher value scholarship US$100,000 to study at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Scholarship Essay Tip 6: Be aware of the word limit

Many scholarships will have a word limit, so stick to it – it’s there for a reason. If you exceed the word count, your scholarship essay, no matter how large and well-written, may be disqualified.

You can keep track of your word count when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. There are also apps to help you keep track of your words, including letter counter.

Scholarship Writing Tip 7: Plan, Plan, Plan

Your main goal is to make your scholarship essay stand out from the competition. One surefire tip is to plan what happens in your essay.

Create a structure (introduction, body, and conclusion) that works for you – a winning scholarship essay can vary in its structure, so you need to decide what would work for you based on your content and writing style.

Scholarship Essay Tip 8: Persuasive Writing

This might interest you if you’ve never heard of the persuasive “writing triangle”: ethos, pathos, and logos. An excellent scholarly essay uses this triangle for maximum persuasive effect, as these three techniques are excellent for grabbing the reader’s attention.

Ethos uses credibility or reliability to establish your knowledge on the subject. Your life experiences – which most scholarship essays ask about (thankfully!) – are a form of ethos, so use them to your advantage.

Pathos uses emotional appeals like creativity and imagination. For example, you may be asked to talk about an imaginary future and how you are going to make it a better one with your invention or your strengths.

Finally, logos refer to the use of logic to make your arguments more factual. Your scholarship essay can include key statistics on a related social issue that you want to discuss.

Scholarship Writing Tip 9: Be Realistic and Specific

Why do you deserve a scholarship? This can be a difficult question to answer, especially for a need-based scholarship, because you may find it difficult to decide how honest you want to be about your financial or family situation that led you to apply for a scholarship in the first place.

It is important to note that you should never lie in your essay. If you know that what you want to get out of your scholarship is funding for your education, state that in your essay. Explain how the scholarship can help you achieve your goals.

Scholarship Essay Tip 10: Revise

Above all, make an effort to revise your scholarship essay. Take breaks as much as possible and look at your essay with fresh eyes. That way, you’ll find more ways to revise your essay to make sure the final copy reads and flows well.

Find someone you can trust – your teacher, a friend or a counselor – to read your draft. Sometimes they will find mistakes you missed and can give you feedback on how to improve it.

All in all, we understand that writing a scholarship essay is not easy, but with these tips, we hope you will find it easier. All my wishes!


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