How to write a scholarship essay

What are the best strategies for writing a compelling scholarship essay?


Carefully read and understand the essay prompt or question. Pay attention to the specific instructions, requirements, and any key themes or topics the scholarship committee is looking for.


Scholarship Application Essay Tips

Writing Your Scholarship Application Essay

1. Plan Ahead

  • Avoid procrastination.
  • Give yourself ample time to review and edit your essay.
  • Be mindful of the deadline (e.g., received vs. postmark date).

2. Highlight Your Accomplishments

  • Be clear and concise.
  • Avoid bragging or over-selling yourself.

3. State Your Financial Need

  • Describe your financial situation.
  • Mention if you work.
  • Indicate if you receive family support or financial aid.

4. Keep It Simple

  • Use concise language.
  • Avoid unnecessary information just to “fill the page.”

5. Make It Easy for Your Reader

  • Have someone else read your essay for clarity.
  • Write in complete sentences and paragraphs.
  • Spell check your essay to ensure correct usage of words (e.g., “two,” “to,” “too”; “there,” “their,” “they’re”; “its,” “it’s”).

Organize Your Thoughts

  • Who are you?
  • Why are you who you are?
  • What are you doing?
  • What have you done?
  • Where are you now?
  • Where are you going?
  • How will you get there?
  • Why do you need a scholarship?
  • How will it make a difference?
  • How did you decide to continue your education?

Essay Outline

1. Introductory Sentence

  • State your name.
  • Mention your current status at Pierce College.

2. Educational Objectives and Career Goals

  • Identify your major.
  • Explain why you chose this major.
  • Describe what you plan to do with a degree in this field.
  • Outline your chosen career path.Example:
    “I have always enjoyed working with computers and I love to write. I’m pursuing a career in technical writing, which allows me to follow both interests—focusing on a viable career and doing something I enjoy.”

3. Brief Background

  • Introduce yourself (beyond your name)—family, children, siblings, etc.
  • Explain how you got to where you are today.
  • Highlight what is important to you.
  • Mention extra-curricular interests, volunteer work, hobbies—things that make you stand out.
  • Include academic accomplishments: GPA, course difficulty, course types, etc.Examples:
    “During my free time, I volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Tacoma as a Big Sister.”
    “Much of my free time is spent with my children, teaching them by example that education is important.”
    “I am currently enrolled in 16 credit hours and work two part-time jobs.”

4. Financial Need

  • Explain why you need a scholarship.
  • Describe how it will make a difference.Examples:
    “Although I work two part-time jobs, I find it difficult to meet the financial demands of supporting myself and paying for an education. A scholarship will allow me to continue with school in the fall.”
    “My parents provide me with room and board, but because I have younger siblings, they cannot help me with my educational expenses. The money I earn at the car wash part-time is barely enough to cover my books and supplies. A scholarship would help a great deal.”
    “Receiving a scholarship would allow me to reduce the number of hours I work at the daycare, giving me more time to concentrate on my studies.”

5. Conclusion

  • Conclude with a simple sentence or two.
  • Mention how your education to date has impacted you.
  • End with a “thank you for allowing me the opportunity to apply.”

Writing Your Essay

1. Start Writing

  • Begin with the first sentence (often the hardest part) and then write everything you think is important. Don’t worry about length at this stage. Use your outline as a guide.Example:
    “My name is Paula Henson and I am applying for a scholarship for the Fall Quarter 2015. My educational objective is to graduate in 2016 with an Associate Degree in Marketing (or transfer to the University of Washington and obtain a degree in Business to pursue a career in Accounting).”

2. Review and Edit

  • Revisit what you’ve written.
  • Read for content and organization. Trim any redundant or unnecessary information. Ensure the essay paints an accurate picture of you.

3. Spell Check

  • Ensure correct spelling and word usage.

4. Get Feedback

  • Have someone else read your essay. Ask if it accurately represents you and seek their feedback.

5. Final Review

  • Read it one last time and spell check again.

Remember: The essay is your chance to communicate your needs, accomplishments, and goals. Scholarship reviewers should be able to read your essay and feel as if they know you personally.


Detailed information buddy. You should open a scool


Thank you for sharing those excellent scholarship essay writing tips. @Brown
Keeping the essay simple, organized, and easy to read is excellent guidance. Concise language, logical flow, and error-free writing demonstrate your communication skills and respect for the committee’s time. Having others review the essay for clarity is a wise idea.

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You make an excellent point about the importance of carefully reading and understanding the scholarship essay prompt or question. This is a crucial first step that many applicants may overlook, to their detriment.

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Writing a compelling scholarship essay requires careful planning and effective strategies.

First, you need to give yourself enough time to brainstorm, outline, and revise your essay. Waiting until the last minute can result in a rushed and less impactful essay.

Also, Review your essay for clarity, coherence, grammar, and spelling. Ensure smooth idea flow and good structure. Seek feedback from teachers, mentors, or peers for further improvement.

Great review! I will say @Amelia Highlight your accomplishments clearly but avoid bragging.

This bragging may cost your scholarship for stating your financial need and keeping your language simple.