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Great Scholarship Essay

ESSAY PROMPT: What differentiates you from the hundreds of DACA students who apply to our scholarship? Use one of those opportunities to tell us something else we cannot see just by looking at your grades, test scores, and transcripts.

great scholarship essay

You can start writing your winning scholarship essay today and submit it to thousands of scholarship applications, all in one place. Sign up for Going Merry today to put your pro scholarship essay writing skills to practice. Going Merry is your one-stop scholarship shop to search and apply for scholarships to get you on the right foot for funding your future.

Some scholarship essays may be for specific organizations like nonprofits and companies that want to help students pay for college. Other scholarship essays are for specific colleges and universities that offer merit scholarships to incoming first year students. Whatever the case, a strong scholarship essay is an important way to distinguish yourself from other students in the scholarship review process.

Essays -- including Scholarship essays -- are especially important as more and more colleges go "test-optional" and do not require students to submit ACT or SAT scores. For test-optional colleges, essays become even more important parts of the admissions and oftentimes, the merit scholarship selection process. Note that every college is different and some test-optional colleges may still require test scores for merit aid. It is always best to double-check each college's specific policy to be sure.

Keep on reading to see three awesome examples of scholarship essays that worked with expert analysis on why they worked. Afterward, we will recap some of the best practices that you can use when you are writing your own scholarship essays.

This biographical essay helps us become acquainted with you in ways different from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It demonstrates your ability to organize thoughts and express yourself. We are looking for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student.

To apply for the scholarship, you must submit an original essay of up to 1,500 words that describes how medical equipment technology has changed the face of a college course and curriculum. Entries can also include a look toward the future and how this area of study will continue to evolve and advance.

The third scholarship essay is from Abdullah and was written for an Emory University scholarship opportunity. Many colleges require students to write an essay for college-specific scholarship opportunities, so this is something that you may encounter in your own scholarship search.

You are probably already thinking about how you are going to write your own scholarship essays! Feel free to refer back to these scholarship essay examples and the analysis as you continue to write your essays. Below are some tips to help you write scholarship essays that will connect with scholarship essay readers.

Find scholarships that are aligned to your experiences, interests, and background! The more specifically aligned the scholarship is to you, the better the chance that you will have to win. Ultimately the scholarship committee is looking to support a specific type of student for their scholarship and you will want your story and voice to come through. Starting your scholarship writing process with scholarships that are aligned to your interests, experiences, and background is the best way to ensure that your essays can be as personal as possible.

Students respond to the scholarship essay prompt by focusing on stories that reveal their character and strengths. So once you have an understanding of the organization awarding the scholarship, you can begin to brainstorm potential stories that will reveal your unique treats to the scholarship reader.

Once you have identified potential stories and built them out into specific moments, your next step is to ensure that the essay is clearly structured. Every story should have a beginning, middle, and end. At Story2, we refer to these as the Magnet, the Pivot, and the Glow. The "Magnet" is the beginning of the essay that is meant to hook the reader. The "Pivot" is the turning point of the essay where you reveal your unique character. The "Glow" of the essay is the final action that leaves the reader wanting to know more about you.

Once you have completed a draft of your scholarship essay, you should be sure to carefully proofread the essay. Better yet, you can have a trusted outside reader give the scholarship essay a second read. Keep in mind that additional readers are useful for proofreading and general feedback, but you should maintain ownership over your voice in the essay.

One of the best strategies for revising your essay is something that we call "focus out". When you "focus out" you replace general statements and cliches with specific details, dialogue, and description.

For more info about college admission and scholarship essays and interviews, sign up for self-paced courses and our award-winning StoryBuilder writing platform FREE. Want to stay up to date on the latest tips and resources? Follow us @story2 on Instagram!

Will Geiger is co-founder of A graduate of Wake Forest and Penn, Will was previously Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed over 10,000 admissions applications and essays and oversaw the merit aid program; Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut; and Marketing Manager at Story2.

And it may sound obvious, but do NOT deviate from the prompt. Your ability to address a highly specific topic is part of what scholarship committees will assess. It can be easy for your thoughts to meander, but stick directly to the prompt.

Many scholarship providers also feature previous scholarship winners on their website, sometimes with the essay (or an excerpt from it) that won. Study what the scholarship provider says about those previous winners to get an idea of which of your qualities to highlight in your essay.

We suggest that you take an essay of yours (or any piece of written work, really) and run a word/character count on it so that you can get a feel for various lengths. Microsoft Word and Google Docs have functions for this, but you can also use a letter counter like this one.

DO take firm stances on causes that you believe in and articulate how winning this scholarship will help you advocate for them. For example, you can certainly discuss your commitment to advocating for gender equality or against wage inequality.

To easily find them, download Scholly Search, the #1 scholarship app that instantly matches you with hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in scholarships based on your interests, accomplishments, and traits!

You can also check out the rest of our blog where we share tips on topics, like how to find jobs with tuition reimbursement programs, understand and apply for FAFSA, and win scholarships like the National Merit Scholarship.

Read it for content and organization of the information. At this point, it is probably too long. What can you eliminate and/or incorporate? Are you redundant? Are you too brief? Does this essay paint an accurate picture of YOU?

Writing is an extremely important part of success in high school, college, and life in general. For some students, writing is also an intricate part of who they are and how they express themselves. If you are someone who loves English class and is genuinely excited about a new creative writing assignment, then you should keep reading! Writing scholarships, creative writing scholarships, and essay scholarships are great ways to put your talent to use.

Top 66 Writing & Essay Scholarships in February 2023These scholarships have passed through the Scholarships360 Review ProcessThe Scholarships360 Research Team reviews all scholarships individually and strives to exclude any scholarship where any of the below applies:

Creative writing scholarships are a subset of writing scholarships that support students who enjoy writing poetry, fictional stories, plays, and generally using their imagination to guide their writing.

Some colleges and universities may also offer specific scholarships and financial aid to students with a talent in creative writing! Check with the colleges on your list for these college-specific creative writing opportunities!

The Kenyon Writing Award is a great example of this type of scholarship. High school seniors can apply for this scholarship program at Kenyon College which offers up to $15,000 per year of merit based aid. It is based off of your portfolio and does not take into account financial need, high school GPA, or other factors. Submissions typically have to be in by January of your senior year.

Too often, students think they can simply take their college application essays, tweak a few words, and send in essentially the same essay. Although college application essays and scholarship essays may have similar prompts (they both ask you to describe yourself in a positive light), the wording is often different enough that the same material will not transfer from one prompt to the other without major revision.

Most scholarship committees want to know how the money they award will be used. Although you should not include an itemized list of your impending college expenses, you should mention the college you plan on attending and your intended major, if it is appropriate for the prompt given. Scholarship committees want to see that you have goals and a plan to achieve them. If you are currently undecided, feel free to discuss a career area of interest or two, and address what you have done so far to explore your career options.

Many students tend to get secretive about their writing and are embarrassed to have others look over essays for them. This is not the time to exhibit this behavior. Instead, have an adult look over your essay for you and help you with editing. Scholarship committees dislike essays full of grammatical errors and typos. An error-filled essay says the writer didn't care enough about the essay to take the time to proofread it. If you don't take the time to proofread, the committee won't take the time to read it.


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