Scholarships make education more affordable since they offer financial rewards for academic success. Regardless of the degree you are aiming for, you should consider applying for a scholarship. Why? Let’s find out! 

What Constitutes a Winning Scholarship Essay?

The application process is typically highly competitive, so you need to stand out from the crowd with your essay. If you highlight a few things mentioned below, you have all chances to submit a winning application. 

  • Major accomplishments

Pick a few major accomplishments that can impress the admissions officers and include them in your paper. It’s important to note that your achievements must match the main theme of the scholarship program you are applying for. 

You should include accomplishments even if they haven’t been formally recognized, like having a part-time job in high school, helping an elderly neighbor, or mentoring a child. But don’t embellish the facts or invent achievements.

  • Distinguishing talents 

Think about what skills set you apart. Whether you have top-notch leadership skills, can do computer programming, or speak a second language, mention anything that may help you accomplish your goals. 

It would be also great to explain how you developed those skills. If you help the admissions board understand how hard you’ve worked, this will reveal your commitment and perseverance. Remember that scholarship committees are usually looking for individuality, so they want to know how your skill set makes you unique. 

  • Strongest personality traits

All people have some strong personality traits that guide them throughout life. Some of us are extremely confident, while others are very reliable. Explain how your strengths make you a good candidate for a scholarship and provide examples of some challenging situations that were resolved thanks to your strong traits. 

  • Extracurricular activities

List the activities outside the classroom you were engaged in and explain why you chose them. You should also write how they enriched your academic experience and contributed to your social or personal life. Besides, you should demonstrate to the committee how these extracurriculars prepared you for your future in college. 

  • Moments of realization

Think about life-changing moments of epiphany in your life. There must be some big realizations when you suddenly reveal something important about yourself. So write about them, describing what triggered your insights and what changes you made as a result.

So now that you know what constitutes a great scholarship essay, you may want to take a look at some winning scholarship essay examples. If you’re not sure how to start your scholarship essay or what you should write in it, these essay samples will help.

Scholarship Application Essay Example #1

It is believed that our adult goals and determinations are rooted in our childhood. When I was a child, I liked to observe strangers and think up the stories of their lives based on the way they looked, behaved and interacted with each other. I paid attention to their emotions, mimics, gestures, mood, tone of voice, etc. and tried to guess what kind of family and social level they belonged to. As I grew up, I noticed certain tendencies and similarities in human behaviors which indicated the same social and human development factors, and I became interested in the scientific approach of human personality and relationships analysis.
Ever since then, I have always cherished a dream to become a professional in the field of Human Development and Family Studies. Social science will enable me to better understand gender roles and family dynamics as well as have a better insight into my own life. I am also interested in the impact that a certain family structure has on the stages of human development. I would like to turn my research to the variations of family structure and factors that influence them, including single parenthood, social levels, race, and economic disadvantages. I am well aware that the program in Human Development and Family Studies is oriented towards the analysis of human behavior from two perspectives: our functioning as a part of the family and within other environmental influences and the development of our lifespan from childhood to elderly years.

If I begin to study family dynamics from a broader approach, it will help me to analyze my life experiences, achievements and failures in a deeper context. Also, since I have been always questioning the factors that determine a “happy” family and the classification of a stable, successful family, The Human Development and Family Studies program will well suit my areas of research interests and my determination for a better quality approach to family structure and community building on a multidisciplinary basis. As an addition, I have been informed that some of the special opportunities for the students of the Human Development and Family Studies course include participating in career classes, conducting individual research with faculty members and being involved in service and professional organizations. I am very interested in researching the complex interconnections between different social situations and human development, as well as its triggering and influencing factors. That is why I feel like the above mentioned program perfectly corresponds to my intended academic and career goals. Moreover, an excellent academic background given me by this course will enable me to apply my acquired knowledge in order to improve people’s lives by developing, implementing and evaluating interventions designed for this purpose.
As my long-term career goal is dedicating myself to social work, I think that the chosen program will make me equipped for participating and launching different projects focused on maternal and paternal needs as well as prepare me to work in community services for families, youth, children. I am confident that I will gain an excellent foundation for becoming a highly-educated and human-oriented specialist and achieve my career goals.

Scholarship Application Essay Example #2

I am applying for the Cincinnati State Scholarship as I need financial support to pursue an education in Engineering. I should be chosen for this scholarship because I satisfied all the eligibility criteria, and I am prepared to follow all requirements pertaining to the scholarship. I graduated from high school (Ohio Connection Academy, Milford, OH) in 2011 and was accepted in 2015 at Cincinnati State (Cincinnati, OH) for an Associate degree program in Software Engineering Technology. I am enrolled for the preparatory year and should start the real program next year (2016 - 2017 Fall).  I am a US citizen who is registered with the Selective Service and holds a valid social security number. I am not accountable for any student loan and have not been convicted of any charges of illegal drug usage. I need financial support to contribute toward the cost of my education. Each credit account for 147$ and the program includes about 70 credits. I currently work 32 hours a week and additional 8-16 hours on weekends sometimes to cover the fees for my education and related expenses as well as to cover my daily subsistence. The scholarship will guarantee the payment of the school fees and allow me to reduce the working hours and concentrate more on my studies. Not worrying to have enough money for the cost of the program will relieve any related stress and encourage a successful completion of my degree. Since 2007 (when I was still in high school) I have been involved in a family business working together with my father and six of my brothers to generate income to cover my needs and help our family. We are a large family, and my parents cannot afford to cover the education of all children. The duties of the job include home painting and remodeling as well as setting up wallpaper and graphics in residential and commercial properties. On some other occasions, I was involved in part time or short term jobs as e.g. a Bank Teller (The GE Credit Union, Milford, OH), Customer Service Agent (Men’s Warehouse, Milford, OH) and Drive-thru food seller (Sonic Drive-In, Milford, OH).
I believe that I deserve the scholarship more than the other candidates because of my strong commitment to my studies and my personal circumstances. I am very dedicated to the program, and so far I have obtained only A grades in the foundation, FYE and mathematics classes. This proves that despite being very busy trying to generate money to fund my education, I am able to manage and get excellent marks. I think that my motivation to succeed should be encouraged in such a way that I am not tempted to drop because of financial issues. Many people do not have to start working at a very young age to cover their own needs as I did. While my friends were playing and having fun, I was working. This developed a success oriented character, and I believe I will succeed and my own children will not have to go through the same difficult path.
My shortcoming goals are to complete an associate degree program in Software Engineering Technology. Later, I wish to pursue a postgraduate degree in the same field and get a job as a Software Engineer. By helping to pay my study fees, the scholarship will contribute to the realization of my education and career dreams as well as providing to the society a well-trained engineer. In the current world, Engineering is beneficial in many ways. It vast field that deals with the design, development and usage of various machines, and structures. By applying engineering methodologies, creative ideas are used to produce an instrument that has a practical and meaningful usage. I would like to be one of those successful engineers who significantly contribute to improving people's lifestyles. 
My life circumstances develop in me the desire to help others attain better life conditions. So in the church I attend, I am active in the community service activities helping mainly with the collection, delivery, and distribution of bread. I have also participated in Relay For Life and was able to raise over 350$ for activities aiming at fighting cancer. This was done by setting up a booth and selling cotton candy and popcorn.
I believe that the scholarship will be significantly beneficial for my education and personal life and I am looking forward to a positive outcome of my application.

Scholarship Application Essay Example #3

There is a belief going around that all people are ultimately one. In other words, it is the people themselves that make up the norms, rules, classes and judgments that separate them from each other. However, the good news is that if people can create things that separate them from each other, they can also recreate them to promote greater unity.
This is where nursing comes in. As an aspiring nurse, I believe that caring for and promoting other people’s health actually foster’s great unity between them. That is why I have clarified my educational and professional career goals in this field. Health care presents a win-win situation for all concerned: the clients get their needs met while the caregivers experience a sense of fulfillment that words simply cannot describe.
The passion for reaching out to others and helping them has always been there. I volunteered for community service when I was younger, often serving in such contexts as the Dayton Metro Libraries, food pantries, walk-a-thons and the local community church, where I assisted the elderly members with their chores. Part of this comes from my parents’ influence, both of whom work in the field of health care.  I have observed the fun, joy and fulfillment that they have experienced in their work and I desire the same thing for myself.
After I earn my degree and graduate, I plan to work in a hospital setting as a registered nurse and amass field experience while living out my dream to be of professional service to others. The interesting thing is that the application seems to have preceded the theory. I will simply add the theoretical and specialized knowledge to the practical application that has been going on for some time. Though I intend to continue giving back to my community, I am feeling the growing desire to professionalize what I have been doing for years.
After working for a little while, I also intend to specialize in a particular niche that involves caring for the elderly either as a personal nurse or as a staff member of a nursing home or similar institution.  The time I spent with the elderly of the community church has influenced me to this day—I intend to deepen my understanding of care giving with respect to them and learning more advanced skills that will enable me to  care more effectively for them than I do now.   
Another alternative niche involves the direct opposite: caring for little children. Part of my community service in the past had me teaching little children how to read. There are different challenges involved and there was a bit of adjustment on my part depending on the child in question. However, it paid off in the long run. The feeling of fulfillment that I received from seeing the children learn and grow was different from the feeling I received from helping the elderly with their chores, yet it was no less meaningful.
While it is good to dream and to make plans, there are still expenses to consider. Dreams have a certain cost attached to them, which is why I am applying for a scholarship. I would rather seek help outside of my family since my parents have financial concerns of their own and are unable to assist me. Therefore, a scholarship will make a huge difference in my journey to turn my dream into reality. I already have the inclination, the head and the heart to excel in the field—all I need help with now is the funding. With financial assistance, I can focus on what I do best: excelling at whatever I put my mind to.
To conclude, my immersion in the field of nursing transcends the boundaries of a career—it is a mission, a calling to a higher purpose. Someone once told me that my greatest joy lies at the point where my skills and passions meet the world’s greatest needs. I know I have found precisely that.

Bonus: If you’re looking for a 200-word scholarship essay example, you can find it in our guide on how to write a 200-word essay.

Some Important Points to Keep in Mind 

While writing a scholarship essay, remember that it shouldn’t look like a report with general statements. On the contrary, it must be personal since you need to demonstrate your individuality. Write about yourself in detail, so you will stand out from the crowd. 

It’s also crucial to follow all the instructions given by a committee. You need to ensure that you stick to all the essential guidelines, so your application will be considered. Hence, double-check your work and make it meet all the requirements set by the scholarship provider. 

Since such essays are not usually allowed to be longer than a page, you don’t have room for non-essential information. Therefore, you should stay focused and brief (take a look at the sample scholarship essays above). Try to get straight to the point because this is much appreciated by the committees that look through hundreds or even thousands of applications.

Why You Should Apply For Scholarships

First of all, a scholarship can help you to fully enjoy the education process. Apart from covering your costs, it sometimes enables taking advantage of some opportunities to expand your knowledge and experience outside the academic settings. For example, you may get a chance to engage in internships or travel abroad programs. Did you know that the Fulbright Scholar Program gives students the opportunity to conduct studies in one of 155 countries? What’s more, receiving a scholarship can make you a more appealing candidate to admissions committees if you are going to continue your academic education later. 

Also, listing a scholarship in your resume can add value to it. It definitely boosts your chances to receive a job offer from top companies in a certain field. In addition, you may have some professional benefits since potential employers will see you as a more effective employee, especially if the scholarship helped you develop specific skills. Besides, it’s not that hard to get a scholarship, especially if you use a professional scholarship writing service that will write a perfect essay sample for you. There’s always a lot competition for scholarships, so some students benefit from academic writing services and purchase scholarship essay samples from professionals. It’s important to note that during hiring, companies usually give priority consideration to previous interns or even make a direct job offer once the internship program ends. 

Another positive aspect of applying for a scholarship is financial aid. This is probably one of the main reasons why young people seek a scholarship. Money awards can help you avoid study loans and a pile of debt after graduation, so don’t neglect financial support!

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