How To Write Scholarship Essays

College is NOT cheap! Over the past several years, tuition costs around the globe have dramatically increased. It’s fairly common for colleges to charge annual tuition rates of over $50,000. Although many students will receive financial aid from their college in the form of grants or student loans, students should also seek out scholarships.

Students can start researching scholarships as early as their sophomore year of high school. Even though you won’t be able to apply until senior year, most scholarships are recurring…which means they’ll still be offered when you become a senior, so why not get a head start.

Once you begin your search, I think you’ll be surprised at how many organizations offer scholarships. You’ll also find that a lot of scholarships require that students write scholarship essays to accompany their application. In this post, I’ll provide you with information on how to write scholarship essays.

Even though most students will practice their essay writing skills during the college application process, writing essays is never an easy process. Most students put a lot of pressure on themselves to make sure every word is perfect, especially with scholarship essays.

However, the key to how to write scholarship essays is to make sure the essay comes from the heart and connects with the reader. Below are some tips on how to write scholarship essays.

  • Don’t Be Generic…

Most scholarship committee members read through hundreds of applications each week, so if your scholarship essay is generic and doesn’t stand out, it can be easy for you not to get selected as a winner. In order to stand out, your essay has to be unique. If you are having trouble getting started, take some time to brainstorm about all of the different topics or life events that you can discuss in your essay

  • Recall Life Events…

A lot of scholarship applications will ask students to discuss their greatest achievement, recall a life changing event that has shaped who they are today, or questions related to their future goals. When asked these types of questions, the most important thing that students should remember is not to just write what they think the scholarship committee wants to hear.

While your story should be compelling and interesting, you shouldn’t add any information to your essay that isn’t entirely accurate. Just stay true to yourself, try to come up with a good topic, and solicit feedback from others if you get stuck.

  • Research the Organization…

A lot of times, the organization that is sponsoring the scholarship will post information on their website about previous scholarship winners. If this information is available, take some time to read the winner’s background information and ask yourself the following questions: What do they have in common with each other? What do I have in common with them? This will help you draft an essay that is in alignment with what the organization is looking for when they choose their winners.

If this information is not available, you can still get tips on how to write scholarship essays by reading through the organization’s website. This might give you some insight into what’s important to the organization and help you tailor your scholarship essay appropriately. Be sure to check out their mission statement and any current projects or events that they have going on…this information could also be helpful.

Remember, when trying to afford a college education, every little bit helps! So regardless if the scholarship is $100 or $1,000, you should still put the same level of effort into each of your scholarship essays and submit an application for every scholarship that you can find.

For more information on this topic, check out these posts:

Find Scholarships Using Fastweb

College Scholarship Money

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.


Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

Latest posts by TheCollegeHelper (see all)