Writing a scholarship application essay can be a challenging task, especially when applying to highly competitive scholarships. Crafting an essay that stands out is key to increasing your chances of winning a scholarship. In this blog post, we will discuss the essential components of a winning scholarship application essay, and provide tips and tricks for making your essay stand out from the rest. So let’s get started and learn how to write a winning scholarship application essay!
What is a Scholarship Essay?
A scholarship essay is written in response to a specific prompt or questions that are asked by the college or organisation offering the scholarship. The essay is meant to highlight the unique qualities and experiences of the applicant that set them apart from other applicants. A successful scholarship essay often shares personal stories and experiences that demonstrate an applicant’s qualifications for the scholarship.
Scholarship Essay Format
A standard scholarship essay generally follows this format:
- Font can be Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman and Verdana
- Font size must be between 10 to 12 pt
- Use 1.5 or double line spacing
- There should be an indent before each new paragraph
- Margin size should be one inch on all sides
Formatting is an important part of a scholarship essay as it shows the organisation that you have understood the instructions and follow it properly.
Understanding the Scholarship Requirements
The most important step in writing a winning scholarship application essay is understanding the scholarship requirements. Make sure you read through the requirements carefully and focus on the key points the scholarship committee is looking for. Pay particular attention to the deadlines for submission, the length of the essay, the topics and focus, the criteria for judging, and the format requirements. It’s easy to overlook an important requirement and then bear the consequences of it. Once you understand the requirements, the next step is to develop a clear theme and focus for your essay. Pick something that resonates with you and is meaningful, and then use your research and writing skills to make your essay unique. A good topic should be relevant, timely, and engaging. It should also align with the goals of the scholarship and provide insight into who you are as a person.
Researching the Scholarship Organization
Now that you know what your essay needs to have, it’s time to take the next step: researching the scholarship organisation. Learning about the organisation and why they are giving out scholarships can help you understand their mission and identify how you could fit in. Finally, make sure you understand the criteria of selection so you can highlight how your experience meets those requirements.
Researching the scholarship organisation can be a great way to not only tailor your essay, but also show that you have put thought into why they should choose you as a recipient.
Creating an Outline for your Essay
An effective way to plan your essay and make sure all of your points are covered is to create an outline for your essay. Here’s how to write a winning scholarship application essay by creating an outline.
Step 1: Brainstorm your goals and experiences
Before you can create an outline for your essay, you must brainstorm your experiences and goals that relate to the scholarship you are applying for. Identify any unique experiences you have had or goals you have achieved that could be relevant to your essay. Make a list of all of these experiences and goals and set aside some time to reflect on them and decide which ones are most important to include in your essay.
Step 2: Determine the essay structure
Once you have identified your experiences and goals that relate to the scholarship you are applying for, it’s time to decide how to structure your essay. Break it down into sections such as an introduction, body, and conclusion. Defining the structure of your essay will help you organise your thoughts and create an effective outline.
Now that you have identified your experiences and goals and determined the structure of your essay, it’s time to create an outline. A good outline will keep your essay organised and ensure that all of your points are included. Start by writing down the main points and sub-points of your essay, as well as any important supporting evidence or arguments. After that, you can break down each of your points into smaller sections and further detail what you want to say in each section.
Personalising your Essay with a Strong Introduction
One of the most important elements of a successful scholarship essay is the introduction. An effective introduction immediately captures the reader’s attention and sets the stage for the rest of your essay. It should be concise, yet captivating, and clearly explain why you are the best candidate for the scholarship.
Your introduction should also include your personal story. Scholarship committees are looking for applicants who have a unique story to tell and who have faced adversity and overcome it. By providing details of any difficult experiences you have faced over the course of your life, you can show the committee that you are resilient and have the potential to succeed.
Demonstrating your Financial Need
Demonstrating your financial need is one of the most important parts of your scholarship application essay. After all, why should anyone give you money if they don’t know how badly you need it?
Take some time to explain how much financial assistance you need and why. Make it clear how winning the scholarship will make a difference in your future, and frame it in terms of how it will benefit not just you but also the world around you. For instance, instead of talking about how you want to win the award so that you can buy a car, talk about how getting the scholarship will allow you to attend college and gain an education that will enable you to become a successful businessperson or doctor and contribute to society.
Highlighting your Achievements and Goals
Highlighting your achievements and goals is another essential part of a successful scholarship essay. Be sure to include information such as honours and awards you have received, any leadership positions you have held, and any significant community service you have been involved in. You should also explain your academic goals and how the scholarship will help you achieve them.
Showing a clear purpose behind why you need the money and how it will benefit not only yourself but those around shows the reader that the scholarship isn’t a donation but rather an investment in your future.
Telling Your Personal Story
When you’re telling your personal story, it’s important to show how you have grown over time. Show how you have learned from your experiences and how these lessons have shaped your life. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? Having a clear narrative that outlines the obstacles you faced and the lessons you learned from overcoming them is key to a winning essay.
Be sure to also include why this scholarship is important to you. Connect yourself to the scholarship in meaningful ways by emphasising why it matters to you personally, what goals or dreams have driven your path forward, and how this scholarship will help make those dreams come true.
Proofreading and Editing your Essay
Once you’ve added the finishing touches to your scholarship application essay, take the time to proofread and edit it. After all, an application essay is a reflection of who you are and how well you can communicate. A few simple steps can make a big difference in how your essay is received by scholarship selection committees and readers.
Look over your essay one last time and make any necessary changes. Make sure that your essay is grammatically correct, spellchecked, concise, and clear. If possible, have someone like your friends or family or hire someone to read through it for feedback before submitting the final version. It is also helpful to use a spelling or grammar checker if available.
Submitting Your Application and Following Up
Once you have written and revised your article, it’s time to submit your application to the organisation. Make sure to double-check all dates, deadlines, and eligibility requirements before submitting. Confirm that you have included all the required documents in your application.
Don’t forget to follow up after submitting your application. Your follow-up can be as simple as a brief email thanking them for considering your application, or it might involve calling the organisation directly and asking about the status of your submission. Whatever method you choose, make sure to be consistent and cognizant of any deadlines that may have been communicated during the process.
By following these tips, you will be able to write a winning scholarship essay that will help you stand out from the crowd and make the best use of the opportunity to receive a scholarship. Good luck!