How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay to Make Your Teachers WOW

How to write a scholarship essay

Every student would be happy to get the extra money when at college. Scholarships are the best way of getting such a form of financial aid. Thus, students worry a lot when it comes to the completion of a scholarship application. To write a winning scholarship essay,\, you should learn all its peculiarities. This scholarship essay writing guide is focused on giving the most important and comprehensive tips and examples for writing scholarship essays of different lengths and on diverse topics. 

What Is a Scholarship Essay?

The scholarship essay is a piece of writing that should persuade a scholarship committee that you are the best candidate among all the applicants. Your scholarship application will inform and just a winning scholarship essay will show your true personality, what you are most proud of, and why you fit the best to win. 

Scholarship vs Grant

Scholarship and grant are the two notions that are often confused. Although both financial aids help students pay for their necessities related to higher education, for instance, tuition, room, or textbooks, the only similarity is that they do not need to be repaid.

Scholarships is a form of financial aid (which is often merit based) that is provided to prospective students based on their personal qualities.

Grant is a form of financial aid (which is mostly need based) that can be given to students, colleges and universities, business, or non-profit organizations. Grants for students are offered based on their family’s financial background. They are often provided by state or federal governments. 

What Should a Good Scholarship Essay Look Like? Essay Structure

Writing a scholarship essay, you should follow the classical essay structure. That is a five-parts essay with a clear introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. 

In the introductory part, represent yourself, add a hook and a thesis statement.  introductory paragraph. 

The main body should involve information about the challenges in your life and a story of how you have overcome them. 

In the concluding part of your scholarship essay, summarize all the main points, explain how you coped with difficulties and how it helped you grow. Also, tell how you will use this experience in your future life and career.

How to Create an Outline

Before you start writing your scholarship essay, you may create a detailed outline. It always helps as you express and organize all the ideas in your outline, and then just need to develop them.  An outline will allow you to categorize the prior points, to organize the proper paragraphs' order, and make sure that each idea will be fully developed. The creation of an outline will prevent you from getting stuck and losing the idea while writing. Check an outline of a college essay.


  • hook sentence
  • thesis statement

2.Main body

  • an argument
  • evidence  (details/examples/etc.)
  • an argument
  • evidence (details/examples/etc.)
  • closing sentence


  • Sum-up main points
  • Own reflection

Ideas for Effective Scholarship Essay Topics

There are no specific scholarship essay topics, the list is too broad to cover. The student should choose based on personal experience, years of life, goals, and skills. If the topic was not given, and you do not know what to write about, check out the list of topics for inspiration. 

  • Things you like and reasons for that
  • The ways you used to cope with challenges in your life
  • Sharing family history to stress the importance of education through generations
  • Personal achievements associated with the obtained skills
  • Talk about your background and who influenced you
  • Current events that have an impact on you
  • Share plans & goals to show why you need some financial aid
  • Things that you can change in the local community
  • How did a specific person inspire you to study

Remember that your topic affects your further essay. If you choose one that gets you bored, your reader will be bored as well. Try to choose a topic that is really interesting for you, something you care about and have passion for. Speaking about things you like is easier, and the reader is more likely to believe your words. 

Winning Scholarship Essay Checklist

Look through the winning scholarship paper checklist to know what it should include to impress the college committee.

How Do You Start a Scholarship Essay?

To write a winning scholarship essay you should brainstorm different ideas and choose the best among them. You should also keep in mind several tips that will help you stand out among other applicants. 

  • There must be a hook. You should spark the college committee’s interest from the very first sentence.
  • Don’t start with a quote by famous people. First of all, a college essay is rather short to waste your words on other people. You are the focus. Also, it is such a cliche and it’s boring.
  • Start with helpful advice once given to you or real-life examples. Rather than starting with quotes by famous people, start with your own quote. You may also mention some valuable advice given to you.
  • Start with your personal insight. You may also begin your college essay with your own insights and understandings.
  • Add a strong thesis. Don’t forget a strong thesis statement at the end of the introductory part. It should be strong and original.
  • Don’t write a 1-paragraph gratitude to the organisation for the opportunity. College essay is short. Don’t wait the whole paragraph to express your gratitude for the opportunity to apply for a scholarship. It’s better to demonstrate why you deserve it.

How to Introduce Yourself in Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay?

To compete with the other students who dream of getting the funds for college, you should be:

  1. honest
  2. personal
  3. positive
  4. promote yourself
  5. no bragging
  6. don’t pretend to be a person you are not
  7. write about things you care
  8. demonstrate why you are a perfect candidate

What Do I Include in the Main Body?

The main body of a scholarship essay may consist of three paragraphs. Each body paragraph should start with an argument that supports a thesis mentioned in the introduction. Next comes the set of examples, details, or evidence that backs up your core position. The last essential part is a conclusion sentence that briefly summarizes the main idea of the paragraph.

How to Conclude a Scholarship Essay?

After you are done with introductory and the main body paragraphs, it is time to think of the final part of your scholarship essay. In the conclusion, you should focus on the lessons learned and experience gained. But, avoid retelling the content of the main body.  Also, you should restate your thesis statement and explain how the challenges you have overcome helped you grow and become who you are now. You may also add your personal reflection on the situations you have experienced in your life. Finally, you should highlight how you plan to use this experience in your future.

Tips on How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

When it comes to writing different types of papers, surely there are some tips & tricks that help to make them better and effective. Check some tips that will help you improve your paper.
  • Start early
  • Read the instructions attentively
  • Research the mission and values of the organization that providers scholarship
  • Brainstorm and choose the topic
  • Organize your ideas and create an outline
  • Mind classical essay structure. It should be clear
  • Add a strong thesis statement
  • Develop ideas logically and in a chronological order
  • Stay honest, positive, and personal
  • Describe how overcoming challenges help you become stronger
  • Promote yourself
  • Give important details
  • Stay focused on the essay subject
  • Be clear, specific, and concise. Be succinct
  • Be creative
  • Demonstrate that you are a perfect candidate
  • Describe you lessons learnt will help you in your further life
  • Follow the essay instructions and prompt
  • Proofread for grammar, stylistic, and punctuation errors.

What to Avoid in a Scholarship Essay

When writing a scholarship essay, there are some things that should be mentioned. Mention these points might decrease your chances of getting a scholarship. 

So, Don't:

  • Start an essay with a quote by famous people
  • Exaggerate by saying that it is your last chance
  • Say that you just need money
  • Tell fake stories
  • Generalize
  • Retell your whole autobiography
  • Make extreme statements
  • Speak ill of other candidates
  • Repeat ideas you’ve already mentioned
  • Use cliche stories and examples

Example of Scholarship Essay that Worked

To have a better understanding of how a good scholarship essay should look like, have a look at the scholarship essay of a student who managed to win a scholarship.

What Is a Format of a Scholarship Essay?

When it comes to formatting, you should definitely read the instructions given to you and follow them to the letter. But, if it is not specified in the instructions, we recommend to follow standard formatting requirements. It’s font Times New Roman or Ariel, font size 12, double-spaced, 1-inch margins at the top, bottom, and on the both sides.

How Long Should a Scholarship Essay Be?

In most cases, a scholarship essay requirement is 500 words. But, you should read the instructions attentively. If the length of the scholarship essay is not mentioned, try to check the scholarship essay requirements on the college or university website.

How Do You Write a 500-Word Scholarship Essay?

To write a 500-word scholarship essay you should follow several steps:

  1. Create an outline and formulate thesis statement.
  2. Write the Introduction.
  3. Write the Body Paragraphs.
  4. Sum up your writing in a Conclusion.

How to Write a Good Study Abroad Scholarship Essay

Study abroad essay does not differ a lot from a scholarship essay.  First of all, you should read the prompt carefully, answer the question, and mind classic essay structure (introduction with strong thesis statement, body paragraphs, and conclusion). After writing the whole scholarship paper, do not forget to proofread it.

How to Make Your Essay Perfect

If you are not sure about your chances to get a scholarship, you should keep calm, take a breath, and start with looking for useful tips and recommendations. You can also read examples of scholarship essays that worked to get some inspiration. Add a strong thesis, hook sentence to grab the reader’s attention, interesting argumentation, and concise conclusion. Persuade the college committee that you are a great candidate for scholarship.

To increase your chances to stand up among numerous candidates you may also ask writing experts for assistance. You can order writing help on our online platform 24/7. Our academic writers can answer all questions about a scholarship essay that made you confused. Be prepared and show the committee that you fit the best to win.