Crafting a Winning Scholarship Essay

Crafting a Winning Scholarship Essay


The personal essay is often the most important of the scholarship application. The essay is your chance to write about yourself so the selection committee learns about who you are and why you deserve to receive a scholarship. You want to stand out from the other applicants. Your personal essay should present a picture of you as a person, a student and a potential scholarship recipient. It is an opportunity to share your story. The committee wants to hear an authentic story. Be yourself and show the committee why they should take your application seriously.

To get started, brainstorm using some or all of the following questions.  


• What is your audience looking for? (Remember, the scholarship committee wants to make sure their money will be given to the student who will work hard and fulfill his or her education goals.)

My audience is looking for if I have good academic performance, a specific future goal and am glad to take part in community service activities. They want to know my goal and if my goal is clear and feasible so that they know what I will do if I earn a scholarship.                                              


• What are your academic and professional goals?

My academic and professional goals are graduating from MBA and getting some accounting certificates.Then I will look for a job about marketing or accounting.


• Why are you at South Seattle College?

Because South Seattle College offers high quality courses and has many various activities which can enrich my after-class life. Everyone is nice and respect each other, it’s an important point that I was thinking about when I was choosing school.


• What academic and extracurricular activities have helped you prepare for your education goals?  Explain.

I have taken a business and static class and I have learned a little about business and what I will do in the future if I work for a company. This class also lets me know that I need to study math well because they are related.


• What is your financial need? How have you accomplished a lot so far in your education despite this financial hardship?  

I usually spend 1,000 dollars a month which doesn’t include tuition and rent fees. I don’t work so I can only get money from my family. I save money as much as I can to continue my education.


• How will receiving a scholarship help you with your goals and future? (Paint a picture for the scholarship committee).

If I receive a scholarship, I will take as many as possible classes per quarter to transfer to university early, because I can save lots of money if I get MBA in the shortest time. Then I will come back to China. I want to have my own business company and develop it slowly.  I will raise my parents to reply them for their understanding and support now.


Crafting Your Story


Your personal essay should provide the scholarship committee an opportunity to learn about an authentic aspect of who you are, what you’ve been through, and/or where you want to go. Here are some questions to help you brainstorm what particular aspect of your life you want to focus on:


Your Field of Specialization and Academic Plans

• How will your study of _______ contribute to your immediate or long range career plans?

Now I am studying business, it will help me create my own business. It’s hard to begin a company without any knowledge about Business.

• Why do you want to be a _______?

I want to be a businessman because my father is a businessman. I have been interested in business since I was child. I think there are many things I will learn and contact when I do business. For example I can know how to get along with different people.

• Explain the importance of (your major) in today’s society.

Society cannot function without business because every aspect in our life is related to business. It is a big part of society. If no one does business, we can’t do and trade, we cannot live any more.


Personal Achievements

• Describe how you have demonstrated leadership ability both in and out of school.

When I am  in school, I can push the group work smoothly and manage everyone’s work well.

• Discuss a special attribute or accomplishment that sets you apart.

• Describe your most meaningful achievements and how they relate to your field of study and your future goals.

I have won the third prize in mathematics competition which shows I can learn math well. That makes me love math that can help me do some stastic problems well.


Background and Influences

• Pick an experience from your own life and explain how it has influenced your development.

I went to boarding school when I was in kindergarten and I could only go home once every week. I became inpendent since I was 6. I can do many things by myselfe. My parent let me study abroad because they know I can take care of myself well.

• Who in your life has been your biggest influence and why?

My father has been my biggest because he always lets me do everything I like to do and bear the consequences. It makes me think a lot before I do anything, it keeps me from making a lot of mistakes.

• How has your family background affected the way you see the world?

My parents can do everything to give me the best, so I always think this world is full of love and good faith.

• How has your education contributed to who you are today?

My education makes me eager to become a better self and achieve greater success.


Future Plans and Goals

• Briefly describe your long- and short-term goals.

My long-term goal is having my own business company and my short-term goal is getting MBA.

• Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I will study at school during the first five or six years and then I will begin my business.

• Why do you want to get a college education?

It can be a valuable experience in my life and I can improve myself a lot during college.


Financial Need

• Financially, what impact would this scholarship have on your education?

It will help me transfer to a univerisity early and save much time.

• State any special personal or family circumstances affecting your need for financial assistance.

Nothing special personal or family circumstances affecting your need for financial assistance.

• How have you been financing your college education?

I have been finacing my college education by family support.

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