Winning scholarship essay (order an essay inexpensively)

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How to write a Scholarship Essay – Examples

Scholarship Essays should use this formatting unless specified otherwise:

  • Two to three pages in length
  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 point font
  • One-inch top, bottom, and side margins

 These scholarship essay examples are provided for insight on how to write a scholarship essay.

Scholarship Essay Example 1 addresses the following question: “Choose a book or books that have affected you deeply and explain why.” In this case, the applicant has chosen the novel Germinal by Emile Zola. The essay is strong and well-written, although not without its flaws.

Scholarship Essay Example 1

The scholarship essay example 2 question (Who has been the most influential person in your life?) is a common scholarship prompt. The example posted here is a winning scholarship submission that deals effectively and affectionately with the question.

Scholarship Essay Example 2

Essay examples 3 and 4 are in response to (e.g, “Why do you want to go to college” or “Describe a major hurdle or obstacle you’ve had to overcome”.). Both examples deal with the same theme (sick parent) but utilize different approaches. In addition, one is a 500-word response and the other is a 1,000-word response.

Scholarship Essay Example 3

Scholarship Essay Example 4

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How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

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Hayley Capp, winner of the 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship, shares her top tips on how to write a winning scholarship application essay.

There is no one way to write a winning scholarship application. If you gathered together all the scholarship entries that have ever won a prize, you would find it difficult to identify what made them the same. Each would offer a distinctive style employed by the author; a unique insight into his or her past, present and future aspirations.

This uniqueness is the key, and the first point to remember when you pick up your pen to write. Make your scholarship application essay exclusive to you, personalize it, delve deep into your passion and drive to study your subject, and create a response that could only ever relate to you. It is this individuality that stands out, and that’s exactly what catches a judge’s eye and defines a winner.

I won the 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship, so will base my guidance on my own thought process when shaping my application essay. However, the basic principles that I highlight with this example can be extracted and applied to other scholarship essay writing processes.

1. Read and re-read the essay statement you are being asked to respond to, and identify the key themes.

From my own example, the essay statement was: ‘Where I have demonstrated responsible leadership, or innovation, and how it made a difference either in my community or in my work’. I identified the key themes as ‘leadership’ and ‘community impact’.

2. Understand the meaning of the key themes.

After identifying the key themes, it is important to understand what each of these ideas really means, beyond the initial level. For instance, I acknowledged that the meaning of ‘leadership’ involved identifying the effects my leadership had – the actions taken and results achieved under my leadership – and not simply describing the position I held and my responsibilities. The more depth you bring to your understanding of the meaning of each theme, the more examples you will be able to identify to demonstrate your abilities.

3. Fill your scholarship essay with keywords/synonyms of keywords used in the scholarship statement.

Using the keywords from the scholarship statement throughout your essay will demonstrate your commitment to addressing the question being asked. For instance, I made a special effort to ensure references to ‘leadership’; ‘innovation’ and ‘impacting communities’ ran throughout my essay.

4. Make an engaging start to your essay.

If you are struggling to start your scholarship application essay, why not include a quote or statement that relates to your intended course, and which you can later link to the main body of your text. Showing wider knowledge and aptitude for your subject will help convince the judges that it is a worthwhile investment to support you in your chosen course.

5. Understand the criteria used by the scholarship committee to evaluate application essays.

Based on my own experience, I have outlined what I believe to be the key criteria used by scholarship committee judges for evaluating scholarship application essays on the themes of leadership and community impact. My advice would be to address all of these areas in your essay, whether the question explicitly asks for it or not.

What to include in scholarship essays about leadership:

  • The extent of the leadership experience and degree of accomplishment. What were the results? Did you manage to grow a society from 10 to 100 members through your tenure?
  • Why you got involved in the leadership experience. What was your initial inspiration and how did the experience make you feel? This is a very important aspect as it allows you to show your sincerity and demonstrates your passion.
  • What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them? Inspirational stories of perseverance despite adversity make readers (especially judges) want to help you succeed. It also shows that you have great leadership qualities: the ability to adapt to new situations and the determination to not give up.
  • What did you learn?How did these lessons shape you as a leader? Every experience brings new lessons and personal growth opportunities and the best leaders are humble and realize this. Speaking about these lessons indicates that you have truly reflected on your experiences and that you understand what leadership is. (In other words, you know that leadership isn’t just about getting a title like “President” or “Executive Director”.)
  • What does this mean for the future? A scholarship isn’t just an award; it’s an investment in your future. So if you plan to continue being involved in your particular leadership activity in the future, tell the judges.

What to include in scholarship essays about community impact:

  • How much time did you dedicate to the activity? The scholarship committee is likely to be looking for applicants who made a fairly long commitment to a community activity.
  • Why was it important to you? Joy from helping others? Excitement of trying something new? Opportunity to form relationships with others? Having a genuine reason helps build a convincing essay.
  • Why was it important to the community? Ask the question: What would be different for your community if you didn’t do what you do? It is most important to show that you recognize the real needs in your communities, and act to address these.
  • What did you gain yourself through giving to the community? It is important to show that you understand how through giving, you end up receiving more in the end. Sharing what community service has taught you and how it helped you develop demonstrates that you have truly gained from your participation and suggests you will continue doing so in the future.

My final point of advice when writing your scholarship application essay or cover letter is to really show that you know who you are. What are the relevant past and present experiences that demonstrate your abilities and where are you headed? Use carefully selected language to emphasize your passion, ambition and enthusiasm and remember to adopt a positive mindset, in which you believe in all the great things you have done and plan to continue achieving in the future. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would the judges?

You can browse our various scholarship listings here, and QS also offers its own scholarships. Also, you can download our free guide for more advice on how to find scholarships to study abroad.

Hayley Capp is the winner of the 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship. Covering up to US$10,000 of course fees for a graduate program, the scholarship is awarded to the applicant best able to demonstrate his/her ability to use entrepreneurial and leadership skills to make a positive impact on a community.

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92 Comments

Thanks much for the article. Best regards.

Hello, friend! Thank you for this article, it is amazing. I am really glad that I have found it.

Hello! Very glade to get such interesting web. Great Thanks to those who are managing these scholarships.

Hi, My name is Momodou Jallow, from The Gambia. I'm keenly interested to win a full scholarship and study Logistic & Transportation specific in U.S.A.

Good article. I just ran into this problem. I can not write an essay. I already spent a lot of time, but did not write anything. Very hard. This is not for me. I can not even think of how to start an essay. How do you write it?

Interesting article. I study at university. Before go to university, I went to the preparatory courses. But in the school and in the preparatory courses, we weren't taught by academic writing. In the university has a lot of tasks such as: essays, research papers. These types of assignments require good academic writing skills. It was very difficult for me to perform this kind of task.

hi dear my name is shaukat from pakistan. i have completed my M.Phil degree in parasitology. need your guidelines please.

Please ma'am /sir if your read my essay please reply, I really want to study business in abroad with full scholarship I will do my best ma'am /sir to have a full scholarship and to past your application ma'am /sir

Hi I'm rania from Philippinesand I'm grade 11 in this coming school year I want to have a full scholarship abroad maam/sir to fulfill my dream being a business women and have a better life and better future please help me maam/sir and if there's a university that can read this please help me I will do my best, I promise I will do every thing to past your application maam/sir this is a big big thing in my in tire life ma'am /sir

Hi Rania, There is a ICDF Taiwan scholarship out, you should check it out and apply deadline is March 16. Best wishes!

I M FROM MYANMAR.I'm now studying mechanic. i don't know what things i need.please tell me about these.

where should i post my essay?

I am a Kenyan .I would like to apply to either a German or French university to pursue my undergraduate degree and also i would like to get suggestions on probable international undergraduate scholarships for students in my criteria.

i would appreciate your assistance.

Interesting article. I study at university. Before go to university, I went to the preparatory courses. But in the school and in the preparatory courses, we weren't taught by academic writing. In the university has a lot of tasks such as: essays, research papers. These types of assignments require good academic writing skills. It was very difficult for me to perform this kind of task.

Hello! You might be interested in applying for our undergraduate scholarship, which will award up to US$10,000 for one undergraduate student to study at a QS-ranked university. You can find scholarships for France here and scholarships to study in Germany here. Good luck with your search!

I am an Indian.I would like to get suggestions for the universities in Germany who provide scholarships in the field of Media and Journalism.Is it mandatory to know German language , as I don't?

Yes , and please tell me if you know the scolarship procedure of other countries also.

P.S – I have a very good academic record.

Please tell me specifically about post graduate courses in Journalism , communication ,Media and PHD as well.

Hi Arpita, which study level are you applying for? You might be able to study for free at a public university (for a bachelor’s or PhD – you might need to pay tuition fees for a masters degree) and you can find a range of scholarships to study in Germany here. You don’t need to know German as there are English-taught courses available, which you can search for using the Study-in.de search tool.

Hi, Im eliza from Philippines my dream is to study business in abroad with full scholarship and i hope there's a university that will help me.

Hi Elizabeth, there is the taiwan ICDF scholarship 2018, Im sure it has something you will be interested in , deadline is March 16 2018, I am applying too, Best wishes!

Hi I am Arzo from Afghanistan Can you Please give me information about writing essay Maximum and minimum how many words required ?

My name is Raymundo and I am really interested to study abroad to be specific in U.S.A.

I am bachellor on environmental ingenieer and I would like to study a master or doctoral degree in this matter.

I would be grateful if you could help me about what are the requirements that some universities require like TOEFL examen result and others. Thanks

Hi Raymundo, you’ll probably be asked to provide an English language test result like TOEFL if you’re not a native English speaker (you may not need to provide it if you’ve previously studied in English, however!) and US universities are also likely to ask for the GRE – the score you need in this will depend on the university. You can find out more about the GRE here. For more advice on applying to US universities, please read our complete guide on how to study abroad in the US. Hope this helps!

hello I am Ahmed,

I am looking for full scholarship to get master degree in chemical engineering,I know that there are a lot of options,but I wanna a scholarship available for Egyptian students

Hi Ahmed, please take a look at our list of scholarships for engineering students. Good luck with your search!

Hi, i want to study in germany in undergraduate programme of machanical engg. with scholarship and i am completely unaware how to apply in any university and what are their requirments and visa policy

i want your help

Hi Ali. Our guide “How to Study Abroad in Germany” should help you get started 🙂

Hi, I need first of all to know how to apply for a scholarship because I have been several time I have never got even one please who can help me to get one I am in need

Hi Hyacinthe. Our guide How to Find Scholarships to Study Abroad may be helpful, as well as our lists of scholarships to study abroad. But also remember that it’s normal to receive rejections – most successful scholarship applicants receive a lot of rejection letters before eventually achieving success! We also run our own scholarships scheme, which you can read about here. And you can get some advice from past scholarship winners here.

Hi, I am Abigail bekoe. I want to do my masters in communication studies in U.S . How do I get a scholarship for my tuition.

Hi Abigail, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in the US. 🙂

my name is ARSHAD SALEEM

i am new user of internet so have no idea about any thing any one can help me i am a student of chemical engineering and want to do master abroad with full scholarship

if any one can help me pleas

Hi Arshad, not to worry! If you have a look on our list of scholarships for engineering students there are many options available to study your masters abroad – each external link will take you to the site for each scholarship with full details on how to apply. Another good place to look for scholarships would be your chosen university’s official website – you can usually find them in the ‘fees and funding’ or similarly titled section. Good luck!

My name OLadipo, I am an undergraduate seeking admission for this fall in Canada but haven't found any university that can suit my parents budget.

Any form of help would be highly appreciated.

Hi Oladipo, I’ve replied to your comment here. 🙂

My name is chijioke.I just applied for the upcoming fair in Nigeria and would love to take a scholarship.Should I proceed with the application or wait after the fair.?

Hi Chijioke, if you’d like to apply for a QS scholarship, please wait until after you’ve attended an event to apply. You can read more application guidelines in this PDF file. Hope this helps!

I need a scholarship and student loan to fund my masters degree in Canada, USA or Western Europe. I need it like my life depended on it.

Hi Solomon, we’ve listed scholarships for Canada, the US and Europe, with many more listings found here. Hope this helps!

I NEED SCHOLARSHIP SERIOUSLY

Hi Emmanuel, you can browse a range of scholarships for different countries, regions, subjects and student groups here. 🙂

assalm u alikum ..how i can apply for scholership ? where is the regestration to apply thanks

Hi Murtaza, we offer our own scholarships here, and you can browse a range of external scholarships to study abroad from here. 🙂

Hi, I am Faustin BASIGALIYE from Rwanda. I am looking for a PhD scholarships in accounting.

Can you help please

Hello! My name is Isti Nurul Sakinah i'm 16 years old. I'm a student grade 12. I planned to continue my education in abroad, and want to focus on International Studies. Does anyone can give me ideas which country that i should choose? And what are the criterias of that major?

How do i get started with the Admission program and everything . Just got the A/L certificate in Cameroon. so how do we go about admission and Everything to further my studies in any University in USA. Please would really do need your help and Guide. Thanks and Expecting your soonest reply

Hi Romeo, our complete guide on how to study abroad in the US should help to get you started on applying.

Hayley, great tips, thank's.

Hello Dear, i am Peter From Egypt

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Winning Scholarship Essay Tips: Part I

Follow these tips to create your own winning scholarship essay!

February 06, 2018

Using a previous scholarship essay contest we hosted, where our judges received more than 4,000 essays, we noticed some frequent mistakes students make that can instantly disqualify you from an essay contest.

We thought to ourselves, "Hello, learning opportunity!

Here, an example of what NOT to do in an essay – and some tips on making yourself a better candidate for scholarship cash.

Here’s one of the essays we received for a previous scholarship contest, to help you learn the do’s and don’ts of essay writing:

“To be able to hold onto your money you have to know how to manage it. Money management is a complicated process. As teenagers we often have no idea how to manage money and we end up wasting a lot of it. But in a bad economy most of us have had a crash course in what happens when you don’t manage your money properly. We have had to delve into a world foreign and unfamiliar to us and solve our own money problems. The most successful of us have managed to still have some semblance of a social life without going over our small budgets. The keys to doing this successfully are actually quite simple.

Set up your own budget of expenses. Teenagers may not have to worry about paying a mortgage or rent but we do have to be able to pay for gas, insurance for our vehicles, and the never ending list of project expenses and supplies for classes. So you have to sit down and balance what you spend in a month with what you actually make, and whether that’s the money you get for your birthday that you manage to stretch with help from mom’s pocketbook or it’s the minimum wage that you get from the local fast food joint where you have managed to find employment the money comes from somewhere and it needs to be written down.

Review your expenses daily. This includes balancing your checkbook and reviewing your online statements, as well as calculating any emergency expenses that you were not considering. This needs to be fluid as sometimes things come up that you just couldn’t have forseen.

You have to get creative. You are not always going to have the time to sit there with a calculator crunching numbers so create small ways to keep thing balanced without having to. Send yourself easy phone reminders about a few of your expenses. Always bring your school id with you because a lot of places will give students discounted rates. And finally, just remember where your money is going it will help.”

So, what was wrong and what was right?

One thing the essay writer did correctly was to stay within the word count for the contest.

The essay contest stated within the rules that essays should range from 250-350 words and this essay comes in at 349 words. Good job!

Another positive is that the writer stayed on topic and answered the question that was presented.

However, even though the writer did stay on topic, the response took a meandering approach and didn’t take a strong or memorable stance. In short, the “meat” of the essay wasn’t there. Think of it this way: sum up in one sentence what you want the reviewer to know and remember after reading your essay. Did you get that across in a clear and concise way?

Each essay should get across at least one breakout idea (aka, the thesis statement) and the rest of the essay should focus on selling that point. If it’s a new, creative or off-beat idea, focus on selling and explaining that. If it’s a common idea, focus on trying to say it better than anyone else.

Here are a few more examples of what the essay writer did wrong:

Misspellings –

Misspellings are the fastest way to ensure an essay is disqualified. When combing through a stack of essays, a judge will first rule out the essays with simple misspellings. Long story short: run a spell check and have someone else you trust look over it. It’s always best to get a second set of eyes.

No capitalization –

it’s bad enough not to capitalize words at the beginning of a sentence, but at the beginning of a paragraph it stands out even more! Yikes!

Missing punctuation –

In this example, the writer does not have proper command over the use of commas — namely they are missing in places they should have been added and added places they are not required.

Poor grammar and sentences that don’t make sense –

The essay writer uses poor word choices, improper grammar and mistakes such as having too many spaces between words. Another example of poor grammar is the confusion of grammatical persons — in the beginning of the essay the writer uses the first person plural (we) and toward the end, the writer uses the second person (you).

Run-on sentences –

In this essay, one sentence has 72 words. As a rule, try to keep sentences no longer than 35 words each.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you write an essay. Remember, you don’t want to give the judges any reason to disqualify your essay right off the bat.

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