5 Tips to Learn How to Write An Essay for Scholarships

So you found a scholarship you’re a good match for—great! Now comes time to complete your application. Scholarship essays are different from the essays you typically write in English class. You want to give the reader an overview of your volunteer experience, academic achievement, and future aspirations—all in just a few hundred words! However, there are some key tips that can help you get a strong start and learn how to write an essay for scholarships:

Here are the five key tips to writing a winning scholarship essay:

1. Start with a compelling hook

Scholarship committees can receive hundreds of applications. You want to make sure you stand out right away with a hook! A hook is one to two sentences at the start of your essay that capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading. A great way to write a hook is to use a personal story or a powerful statement! Tell them your story and give a snapshot of your character. What specific event, person, or experience motivated you to be who you are today?

2. Choose powerful volunteer examples

You have a limited number of words to make an impression. Show them why you’re a great scholarship candidate! Highlight your initiator roles first. These are volunteer roles in which you started an initiative like a new club or project. Then highlight any leader roles you have. These are a step down from initiator roles like being a coach or a camp counsellor. Lastly, include any member roles in which you volunteered as part of a team.

3. Write about your experiences using STAR

Learning how to write an essay for scholarships is all about demonstrating your character through your volunteerism and other leadership involvements. STAR is a 4-part acronym that will help you craft a strong paragraph describing a specific volunteer or extracurricular experience. 

  • S — Situation (who, what, when, where)
  • T — Task (your objective)
  • A — Actions (what you did, how you did it, skills you used)
  • R — Result (qualitative or quantitative proof of your success) 

4. Connect your impact

You want to communicate a high level of community impact in your essays to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the scholarship. How did you fill a need in your community and make a difference? Think about how your leadership impacted other people, your wider community, and yourself!

5. Lean into the Scholarship Writing Style

Understanding the Scholarship Writing Style is essential to learn how to write an essay for scholarships. This kind of writing is clear, compelling, and professional.  It also requires you to be self-reflective, open, and authentic. Aim to be direct and concise in your essays. Avoid things like passive voice and run-on sentences. Also, try to elevate your diction and choose powerful words to convey your leadership and impact. 

These five steps will teach you how to write an essay for scholarships! However, getting good at scholarship writing doesn’t come overnight. It takes practice and feedback. GrantMe can support you along the way. With tailored scholarship matches and experienced essay editors to provide feedback, we help you maximize your scholarship success. Learn more and start submitting winning essays today.

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