SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY FORMAT AND GUIDELINES
- Adhere to all page, length, and font requirements. Don’t be disqualified for this reason!
- Utilize spell check and grammar check because they are great resources, but recognize their limitations.
- Ask someone else to read your essay and give you honest feedback. Give yourself some time away from the finished essay before you begin editing (a minimum of 24 hours is ideal.)
- As you edit, read slowly. Reading aloud is one way to do this. You utilize several senses instead of just sight.
- Who are you?
- What has made you who you are?
- What are you doing?
- What have you done?
- What are your goals?
- Why are you dedicated to them?
- What in your life reflects that commitment?
- Why do you need a scholarship?
- How will it make a difference?
- Talk about things you would enjoy discussing further if given the chance.
- Choose a few key points to develop…three or four are good.
- Think about this: What would the judges find memorable and/or unique about you.
- Be positive!
- Include concrete examples to illustrate larger themes.
- Don‟t just tell the judges that you are a dedicated student; show them through an example instead.
- (Bad) “I am a very hard-working individual.”
- (Good) “At my current job, there is a lot of „down-time.‟ Instead of just sitting around, I stay busy by dusting, cleaning, taking out the garbage, and doing other chores. I try to look for things that need to be done instead of waiting to be told what to do.”
- Your Name
- Person to whom you are writing
- (extra space)
- Title (should be centered)
- (extra space)
I. Introductory sentence
a. State your name
b. State the name of the scholarship for which you are applying.
II. Educational Objectives and Career Goals
a. Identify your major.
b. Explain why you selected it.
c. How will this degree impact your career plans?
d. What are your future plans?
III. Brief Background
a. Tell about yourself.
b. How did you get to where you are today?
c. What is important to you?
d. Give concrete examples that reflect your character and your strengths.
e. Include extracurricular interests: volunteer work, hobbies, things that make you stand out or are unusual.
a. Why do you need a scholarship?
b. How will it make a difference to you?
a. Wrap it up with a couple of sentences.
b. The ending should make your essay feel finished.
c. You can include how your education so far has made a difference to you.
d. You can thank the judges.
e. Avoid an ending that is too lofty or idealistic (“With my education, I plan to change the world into a beautiful, peaceful place.”)
2. Print out your Cover Letter and Resume
3. Begin your Scholarship Essay