Top 10 Tips For Writing A Winning Scholarship Essay

Top 10 Tips For Writing A Scholarship Essay

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniCreds.

February 16, 2021

The purpose of this blog is to help you familiarize yourself with all the crucial steps involved in writing a winning scholarship essay. A scholarship essay? How boring, you might think. But in fact, scholarship essays are one of the main prerequisites in applying to some of the most prestigious scholarships to study abroad. When you start researching scholarship programmes, you will realize that most scholarship programmes involve some amount of scholarship essays, and very few of them are based solely on academic achievements or application form. A winning scholarship essay is one that truly sets a particular applicant apart from the others. If you tell your story persuasively and clearly, you just might find yourself receiving a congratulatory letter from the scholarship committee! Therefore, in order to put yourself in the best position of winning a study abroad scholarship, follow our top ten tips for writing a winning scholarship essay.

The Need For A Scholarship Essay

There is no single way to write a winning scholarship essay. If you collect all the winning scholarship essays, it will be quite a task identifying any common links. Every essay will have its own distinctive style, insight and future aspirations. Simply referring to old essays will not help you in writing a winning scholarship essay, as you need to portray your true self in these essays. 

Scholarship essays are important as they allow scholarship committee members to get a better sense of who the applicants really are. Application forms and academic scores can help to a certain extent, whereas scholarship essays are essentially a window to the applicant’s soul. 

Scholarship essays also help to even the playing field, as it allows students from different backgrounds with varying levels of accomplishments to have equal chances of winning the scholarship. Essays are a great way for students with average academic backgrounds, to boost their chances of winning scholarships. 

If you are looking for a scholarship that fits your academic background, head over to UniScholarz, an online scholarship marketplace. UniScholarz allows you to apply to a variety of scholarships, free of charge! 

How To Write A Great Scholarship Essay?

Top 10 Tips For Writing A Scholarship Essay

Always remember that when you are writing a scholarship essay, you need to sell yourself to the scholarship committee. A scholarship essay with the most unique story has the best chance of winning. Uniqueness is key, and this should be the first point you think of when you pick up your pen to write. The main quality that scholarship committee members are looking for is individuality. Make sure this is shone all through your scholarship essay.

Follow these top ten tips for writing a winning scholarship essay to maximise your chances of winning a scholarship – 

1. Customization Is Key! 

It’s quite apparent that you will be applying to more than one scholarship programme, which means, you will most likely be writing more than one essay. If you were wondering, “What to include in a scholarship essay”, here’s what you should do. It is imperative that you customize your essay to speak to the question being asked for that specific scholarship. There’s nothing more frustrating for scholarship committees than reviewing essays that fail to answer the application question. In such a case, your scholarship essay would be deemed invalid, no matter how unique or heartfelt your essay was. First impressions always matter, so make a good one.

2. Honesty Is The Best Policy

The urge to fabricate a story with false content may creep up while writing your scholarship essay. Do your best to resist embellishing a story, even if it sounds much more impressive than the original story. Scholarship committees are smart, and are known to use research tools to verify applicant information. So the chances of you getting away with false information in your scholarship essay is slim. Being honest is your scholarship essay is one of the best top ten tips for writing a winning scholarship essay. 

3. Write In Your Own Language

By this we mean, write your scholarship essay in your voice, using your tones and phrases. Remember, the prime motive of a scholarship committee is to get a good picture of what the applicant is all about. This can be achieved only when you are 100% authentic in your scholarship essay. Do not feel compelled to incorporate “flowery” language, just so you can  impress the committee. Just being your true self will help you go a long way. Writing in your own language also means that you should write the scholarship essay YOURSELF and not ask someone else to write it on your behalf. 

4. Talk About Making An Impact

Just put yourself in the shoes of the decision makers. Wouldn’t you want to award the scholarship to someone who’s committed to making a difference? Of course, yes! One of our top ten tips for writing a winning scholarship essay is to address the impact you plan to have on others, if given the chance to represent the scholarship organization. In order to stand out from the competition, include a “Why you?” statement in your scholarship essay. Dedicate some space in your essay to tell the committee what type of impact you plan to have on the lives of others once you have completed university. 

5. Be Grammatically Perfect

This goes without saying but you need to ensure your scholarship essay is free of grammatical and spelling errors. There’s no excuse for writing “then” instead of “than”, “beleive” instead of “believe” and “calender” instead of “calendar”. With so many free grammar and spelling check softwares available, a single mistake in your essay can be unforgivable. Make it a point to have someone else read your essay, with special attention to grammar and spelling, after you have edited and proofread it yourself. This will ensure your essay is error free

6. Don’t Be Shy To Talk About Your Achievements

Remember how we said you have to sell yourself in a scholarship essay? You can do this mainly by talking about your achievements in school and college. Do not shy away from talking about your achievements, while at the same time, do not be overly boastful. It is recommended that you highlight your achievements from inside and outside the classroom in your scholarship essays. Do not assume that the committee will have supplemental information like a résumé while they deliberate your essay. Your achievements will also give the committee a better understanding of why you feel these accomplishments are important to highlight. This is one of our most important top ten tips for writing a winning scholarship essay.

7. Pay Attention To The Little Details

Your scholarship essay will largely speak about you and your accomplishments. It’s important to include specifics, just so that the scholarship committee can get a glimpse into your world. You need to bear in mind that the scholarship committee wants to award their monies and brand name to someone who can make a telling difference in the world. So, the more they know about you, the easier it will be for them to decide whether or not you are worthy enough for their scholarship

8. Organize Your Thoughts Before Writing

If you think you are going to write the perfect scholarship essay the night before the deadline, well, we have some news for you. This never happens. Ask any scholarship award winner and they will tell you how it took them, days, or even weeks to complete their final draft. You need to gather all your thoughts and create an outline before starting on your scholarship essay. This will help you with the flow and structure of your scholarship essay. As you go along writing the essay, you can add or remove points to make your college scholarship essay stronger. 

9. Know What Wins

You need to know what the scholarship committee is looking for in scholarship essays. They might even publish the scholarship essay of past winners, so make sure you keep an eye out for that. One of our favourite top ten tips for writing a winning scholarship essay is to use keywords or synonyms of keywords in your essay. For instance, use words like ‘leadership’, ‘innovation’ and ‘impacting communities’ in your scholarship essay. This will demonstrate your commitment to addressing the question being asked. Also, understanding the key themes of the essay and making an engaging start to your essay will help your candidature go a long way. 

10. Leave A Lasting Impact! 

You should aspire to conclude your scholarship essay with a passionate and positive tone, so that you stand out in the minds of the scholarship committee. Avoid ending your essay with a lackluster ending that doesn’t wrap up your goals and intentions for succeeding at university with the help of the scholarship.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on the Top Ten Tips for Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay. If you’re someone who wants to share your valuable experiences through a blog, we’re more than happy to collaborate. Write to us at contact@unicreds.com to know more about our guest-post submission process.

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