Tips on Writing an Effective Scholarship or College Essay

As students put together their university applications for universities abroad. It is important to understand the importance of scholarships, motivation letters and personal statements. We at FES have years of experience guiding our clients through the difficult procedure of applications and a major part of this are the essays or pieces of writing that the university uses to judge candidates with marginal differences between them. There are definite ways to make your scholarship essay stand out. We are going to explore how to write a scholarship essay effectively and provide you with a list of tips for writing scholarship essays.  

Since numerous applications for scholarships demand a high quality essay, you’ll want to know how to write a persuading scholarship letter. Incorporating the concept of persuasion will help you in writing an effective scholarship essay.  

If done right, your scholarship essay is a window into your personality. Similar to your personal statement, scholarship essays should give the readers a sense of you as a multi-dimensional and interesting person. It should show who you are beyond the GPA and exam grades. It should go beyond all the academic information which people can judge from your academic records. 

We at FES have helped hundreds of students throughout the years. And, in this post, we’re sharing our favourite tips and methods which will empower you to write an effective scholarship essay for your college or university.

Tips for Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay

1 Stick to the principles of writing any strong essay

Remember this is another piece of writing so do not ignore the regular principles of writing an effective essay. Make the essay clear, break it down into paragraphs and make sure you join your sentences correctly and use the appropriate words. In other words, a winning essay will have a good “flow.” 

Here are some effective essay writing skills for that will help you develop an effective scholarship essay format:

  • Have a powerful opening sentence to the essay. It is usually referred to as a “hook”. An opening statement that engages the reader and compels him/her to read more.  

For example, you may want to open up with a strong clear snapshot of where you see yourself in 10 years, after attaining the education you applied to. 

Stick to the simple tried and tested  outline of having an introduction, body, and conclusion structure. Even if the essay topic or prompt seems relatively open, you’ll want your essay to have a clear beginning, middle, and end.

  • New paragraphs for new ideas. It’s MUCH better to have more short paragraphs than dragged out long paragraphs that are hard to follow. 
  • Make sure to wrap up your essay, don’t just end it. A lot of the time students tend to work a lot on the entire essay and make sure everything is brilliant but just suddenly end or get the ending part over with. This undermines all your efforts. A closing statement should be strong, should be neat and clean.
2 Familiarise yourself with the essay prompt… and stick to it!

Read the essay topic or prompt several times so you can understand the concepts clearly. Understanding the prompt will allow you to know what is required. Only move forward with writing once you have a clear outlook on what is clearly required. Numerous scholarship programs have similar themes for the essay, such as how a student demonstrates leadership, or how inequality affects access to education.

Sometimes the prompt doesn’t seem to have a question in it (e.g. “Reflect on the state of the education and your role in helping it”) then it is recommended that you structure the essay prompt as a question. So in this case you could say: “What is the overall state of education and how am I directly impacting it?”

This might seem like common sense, but do NOT divert from the prompt. Your ability to address the argument effectively is a test of your intellect and your written communication. This is why it is important during your essay you do not go off on a tangent. 

3 Choose a topic that you genuinely enjoy

Sometimes you may be given a choice, if that is the case then please, write about a subject, event, or value that means something to you. This will allow you to easily stimulate your mind and make sure you come with quality arguments and points to support your take on the prompt. This goes a long way in improving your writing skills as well without creating more hard work for yourself.

For instance, let’s say a prompt asks you to describe a time that you were proud of yourself. Several instances or events may come to mind. Maybe it was when you drove the card for the first time, or went hiking and reached the top. 

Don’t choose what you think the scholarship wants to hear. Choose the one that feels most clear to you. It may sound cheesy, but when you are honest about your writing approach you will be better off compared to the rest. You will come up with better ways of phrasing and structuring the arguments.

4 Do a little research on the scholarship provider 

Read up a bit about the scholarship awarding body. Read other peoples experiences, their attempts and how they went about it. Do not use it to cloud your mind with other people’s perspectives or cloud your own judgement. Make sure to use their experiences as a way of stimulating your mind and improving your outlook on it.  Get familiar with the organisation’s mission and their motivation for giving this scholarship. When you’re better informed about the scholarship committee, you’re better able to tailor your essay to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed