Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Money
Scholarships are the best form of financial aid for college because they provide students with free money that should never be reimbursed. But in reality, completing scholarship applications, especially essays, can seem like an overwhelming task. The World Scholarship Forum team has compiled all you need to know to write an award-winning scholarship essay. We have also compiled previous Scholarship Essay Examples that have won money. These examples cover the following:
- scholarship essay examples about yourself
- scholarship essay examples about career goals
- high school scholarship essay examples
- scholarships essay examples why I deserve this scholarship
A good number of scholarship be it high school, undergraduate, masters or PhD, require its applicants to write an essay while applying. Only a few programs are based solely on the on an application form or transcript. The essay is often the most important part of its application. This gives the scholarship committee an idea of who you are and your dedication to your goals.
However, most organizers of scholarship applications that involve essay writing are faced with the problem of choosing which applicant is most qualified to receive the award from the crowd of submitted applications.
More On Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Money
Even if you meet the criteria for the scholarship, there is likely to be someone among the candidates with similar grades, achievements, community commitments, and similar aspirations. This is where an excellent scholarship application essay becomes a necessity and the key to earning money.
The scholarship essay gives the scholarship committee the opportunity to learn more about who is behind the application and provides them with a much more detailed view of your school and family life. Also, the essay is the best opportunity for you to shine and justify the reasons why you should receive the scholarship.
For this to come to actualization, we have compiled all you need to write a great scholarship application essay and also increase your chances of winning.
Before we look at some of the Scholarship Essay Examples that have won money, let’s look at the format of a scholarship application essay and how to write an award-winning scholarship essays
Format For An Award Winning Scholarship Essay
Scholarship Application Essays should use this formatting unless specified otherwise:
- Two to three pages in length
- Double spaced
- Times New Roman font
- 12 point font
- One-inch top, bottom, and side margins\
How To Write An Award Winning Scholarship Essay
Before entering into or after you’ve shown interested to apply for a competition that involves essay writing, you must have made inquiries from friends, classmates or colleagues who have participated in an Essay Contest on how to go about yours.
In a situation where you didn’t do either of the above, you are certainly in the right place because we have put down some of the tricks in writing a winning scholarship essay.
- Read the essay prompt carefully.
- Create an Outline.
- Get the attention of the Reader.
- Always Surprise.
- Follow the Essay Instructions.
- Stay Focused on the Scholarship Essay Topic.
- Be Concise
- Check Your Essay for Spelling Errors and Grammatical Errors
- Care About What You’re Writing.
- Avoid Redundant Conclusions.
STEP 1: Read the essay prompt carefully
Before writing an essay for a scholarship application, it is expected of you to go through the essay prompt, that is, the question carefully. Read and understand the essay question before you begin to write.
Try and understand the intention of the examiner for better essay writing. For instance, the essay prompt is “Describe a book that made a strong impression on you and your life and why?”
Ask yourself: “Are they really interested in my literary preferences or is there something else in this question?” Most likely they want to have a better idea of who you are, not only the types of books you like but also what motivates you and the types of stories or topics that interest you.
They may also be interested in understanding how promising a student is based on the type of book they choose and what they have to say about it.
STEP 2: Create an Outline
Before starting your essay, create a plan with all the points to consider and keep in mind the word limit. Listing your main points will help you stay organized and helps you not to omit any of your core arguments.
STEP 3: Get the Attention of the Reader
This is all about crafting a compelling introduction. Never underestimate the power of a strong introduction.
The people who review scholarship applications will read dozens (or hundreds, if not thousands) of essays. After a while, these essays can be mixed. How can you make sure your writing is memorable? By writing a compelling introduction.
Look at these two examples of introductory lines. Can you spot the difference?
- Example 1: Strong leadership skills are important for many reasons.
- Example 2: January 14, 2000, was the day I lost everything.
Example # 1 is unclear, impersonal and boring. But example # 2 is personal, specific and intriguing. This leaves the reader interested and asks for more.
STEP 4: Always Surprise
Imagine that the question is “Who in your life has had the most influence on you and why?” Do not write about your mother or father automatically. It is likely that everyone does too.
Maybe someone like Michelle Obama or Superman has had the most influence in your life. It may not be 100% traditional, but at least it is more personalized and, therefore, more interesting.
STEP 5: Follow the Essay Instructions
Nothing turns a scholarship essay reader off faster than an essay that doesn’t apply to the contest guidelines. Do not write below the limit. Do not write beyond the limit. There is a lot of money involved, so be sure to give them what they want.
STEP 6: Stay Focused on the Scholarship Essay Topic
The judges will be reading a ton of essays ensure you write in line with the topic. Do not deviate.
STEP 7: Be Concise
Concise writing is often the best writing. Many students believe that longer sentences are preferable, but this is not the case. Communicate your point using only the words you need.
STEP 8: Check Your Essay for Spelling Errors and Grammatical Errors
Ensure your spellings and grammar are correct. Place your tenses well and avoid misplacing words. For example, ‘your’ for ‘you’re’. Also, check out for your punctuation. The judges have a lot of reading to do, do not give them a reason to reject yours.
You can also ask a friend, classmate or tutor to proofread your scholarship application essay and make corrections.
TIP: You can install Grammarly in your Browser for better work.
STEP 9: Care About What You’re Writing
Try and write on what interests you and not just what you feel you should write. The examiners can sense how genuine your scholarship application essay is.
STEP 10: Avoid Redundant Conclusions
Make the conclusion of your thesis interesting rather than simply rephrasing, or worse, reformulate your original thesis. Your conclusion should explain why the rest of your essay was important.
If these steps are followed, be sure your essay will be among the award-winning scholarship essays in the next competition you apply for.
Now let’s take a look at some of the Award Winning Scholarship Essays!!
Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Money
The best way to get an idea of what the scholarship committees are looking for is to look at the examples of scholarship essay winners. Take the time to analyze the writing style, think about the strengths and see how you can improve. This may seem a tedious task, but fortunately, we have already done part of the work for you.
Notwithstanding, most scholarship application essays come with their own prompt. Check out these essay prompts and the scholarship essay examples that won money
Prompts for some 2018 scholarship essay:
- Discuss a special attribute, experience or accomplishment that sets you apart. How do you think that will help you succeed in college? (500 – 750 words) (Hint: we ask for ONE attribute, experience or accomplishment so please choose only ONE to talk about.)
- Discuss your plan beyond college. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Please include what you majoring in and how you plan on using that in your career. (250 words maximum)
The Award Winning Scholarship Essay Examples
WINNER #1: SPECIAL ATTRIBUTE OR ACCOMPLISHMENT ESSAY
“Two and a half years ago if I had been asked if I wanted to be a part of the HOSA organization I honestly would not have had a clue what that meant or where to begin! I did know that I wanted to pursue a career in the health field and was guided to Tolles Career & Technical Center where I was accepted into the Pre-Vet two-year program. At the start of my Junior year, I was introduced to HOSA, an organization for Future Health Professionals. The mission of HOSA is “to empower HOSA-Future Health Professionals to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration, and experience”. I became a member immediately and participated locally in many of the community events and service projects. I also competed in the Ohio HOSA competition for medical innovation and advanced to the local, regional and state level.
I then decided to run for one of the seven Distinguished Representative positions for all of Ohio. This was an intense process! I was required to first take a test over HOSA rules, regulations, and guidelines. I was then asked to set goals for the organization and give a speech regarding my goal ideas in front of several hundred people, the current state delegates and officer team. The final step was a vote by the current state delegates and officer team. I was successfully elected as Historian and my HOSA experience was in full swing.
My first HOSA conference as the Historian was the International Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida in June 2017. Over 2,500 students came together to learn from five outstanding healthcare professionals. Topics included exploring healthcare careers, changes in healthcare, and medical innovations needed in the industry. I had the opportunity to have an active role in facilitating and participating in workshops and meetings for HOSA members. The goal of these workshops and meetings was to develop practical leadership skills, effective communication skills with people of all ages, and to understand the importance of encouraging individual and group achievements. Exceptional qualities that I plan on using in my career.
In September 2017 I participated in the HOSA Washington Leadership Conference where 400 officers from all the states learned strategies to improve our leadership skills. These interactive workshops included topics on self-motivation, problem-solving skills, managing others, and professionalism. I collaborated with representatives from many different states in preparation for our meeting with our political leaders both from the House of Representatives and the Senate to discuss with them the value of Career & Technical Education. We explored and presented evidence regarding the importance of funding for these types of educational opportunities. Upon completion of this conference, I reported back to the local Board of Education sharing my experiences and the success of our meetings. Both of these conferences taught me what it takes to be successful in healthcare.
As my tenure was coming to a close, I organized meetings with the local students who were planning to run for local and state officer positions. I met with them in groups and individually to help prepare them for the interview process, and to emphasize the importance of maintaining the high standard of leadership in the global health community if elected. In May 2018 the Ohio HOSA State Leadership Conference was held in Columbus, Ohio. I had an integral role in interviewing, selecting, and presenting the new Ohio State Officers to over 1500 students and advisors from around the state.
In conclusion, my HOSA experience helped provide me with improvements in leadership, communication, and teamwork skills. As I move onto college each of these skills will help me in defining my goals, establishing lasting friendships and relationships, and working with others for common goals for the betterment of our local, state, and national health communities. I am confident that all of these qualities that I have learned and practiced through HOSA will contribute to my success in every aspect of my future!”
WINNER #1: PLAN BEYOND COLLEGE ESSAY
“The day was May 28, 2014. My doctor told my parents that I would need Spinal Fusion Surgery with rods and screws, and it had to happen quickly. Before surgery, the doctor suggested strength training for the muscles in my back so that I’d recover faster. I immediately went to the local gym and began working with a personal trainer, Justin. I learned so much from him including how the body works and how surgery takes time to heal. After surgery, I knew that I wanted to use my experience to help others, just like Justin helped me. My ultimate goal is to own my own gym to help others, just like Justin helped me. I will also include a nutritional supplement line to make sure clients are fit inside and out. I know I will successfully reach my goals!
I will be pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with a Minor in Business. These areas of study will give me the knowledge and background to achieve my ultimate goal. In association with this area of study, I will also be taking an entrepreneurial class and participating in an entrepreneurial study group. This will help me in understanding the energy, perseverance, financial commitment, and planning needed to open my own business.
Upon graduation in 4 years, I plan on getting a job in a field associated with my goals, continuing to learn about the field, investing and saving to achieve my dream of having my own gym.”
Other Award Winning Scholarship Essay Examples
These are other winning scholarship application essay examples with the links for application for interested students.
Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship $7,500 by Steven Fisher
Essay Prompt: The Fund for Education Abroad is committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad. Please describe how you and/or your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.
“Oh well look at that one,” my uncle leans over and says about my brother-in-law in the living room wearing a dress. “I’d always had my suspicions about him,” he jokes with a disapproving sneer and leans back in his chair, a plate of Southern-style Christmas dinner in his hand.
I was hurt. Why would my own uncle say that like it’s such a terrible thing that my brother-in-law is wearing a dress? That it was the worst thing in the world if my brother-in-law were gay or effeminate.
“I think he looks beautiful,” my oldest brother Ethan chimes in. At that moment, I wish I could have hugged Ethan. No, not because he was defending my brother-in-law (who actually isn’t gay, as my uncle was suggesting), but because Ethan was defending me. My uncle has no idea that I recognized earlier this past year that heterosexuality wasn’t meeting all of my needs for intimacy with other people and that I’ve come to define myself as queer. It all started when I took a hard look at how my upbringing in Miami had taught me that the only way that boys are supposed to connect with others is by having sex with “beautiful” girls – that intimacy with other guys or “ugly” girls isn’t as meaningful.
After freeing up that block in my brain that told me that I shouldn’t look at guys in a certain way, I could embrace the fact that I’m attracted to men (and people in general) in a lot of different, new ways. My growth as a person was exponential. I rewrote so many areas of my life where I didn’t do things I wanted because of social conditioning. Within two months, my world expanded to include polyamory. I looked back on my past relationship with my girlfriend and realized that I wasn’t jealous (angry, yes. hurt, yes. But not jealous) when she cheated on me. I realized that people’s needs — whether they are for sex, someone to talk to, someone to engage intellectually — don’t necessarily all have to be met with one person. It can be easier sometimes with one person, absolutely. But that’s not the only way. As someone who is both polyamorous and queer, I feel like parts of my family and large parts of my community marginalize me for being different because society has told them to. I want to change that.
Since I will be studying for an entire year in Prague, I will have the opportunity to attend the annual Mezipatra, an international film festival in November that screens around a hundred top-ranking films on lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and queer themes. I feel really connected to going to this event because I crave being in an environment of like-minded people who strive to do that same thing I want to: balance the images of people typically portrayed through cliché and stereotype.
When I came out to my sister-in-law, she told me that people who are really set in their ways are more likely to be tolerant of different kinds of people after having relationships with these people. If my uncle can learn to love me, to learn to love one queer/poly person, he can learn to love them all. If I can be an example to my family, I can be an example to my classmates. If I can get the opportunity to travel abroad, I can be an example to the world. Not just through my relationships, but through my art. Give me a camera and a screen and I will carry the message of tolerance from the audiences of Mezipatra in Prague to my parent’s living room.
Fade in: Two men with thick beards kiss – maybe for once they aren’t wearing colorful flamboyant clothing. Fade in: A woman leaves her house to go to her male best friend’s house and her husband honestly tells her to enjoy herself. Fade in: A college student wanting to study abroad tells his conservative parents the truth…
North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship for $1000 by Christine Fung
As a child of immigrant parents, I learned to take responsibilities for my family and myself at a very young age. Although my parents spoke English, they constantly worked in order to financially support my little brother and I. Meanwhile, my grandparents barely knew English so I became their translator for medical appointments and in every single interaction with English speakers. Even until now, I still translate for them and I teach my grandparents conversational English. The more involved I became with my family, the more I knew what I wanted to be in the future.
Since I was five, my parents pushed me to value education because they were born in Vietnam and had limited education. Because of this disadvantage, I learned to take everything I do seriously and to put in all of my effort to complete tasks such as becoming the founder of my school’s Badminton Club in my sophomore year and Red Cross Club this year. Before creating these clubs, I created a vision for these clubs so I can organize my responsibilities better as a leader. The more involved I became, the more I learned as a leader and as a person. As a leader, I carried the same behavior I portrayed towards my younger cousins and sibling. My family members stressed the importance of being a good influence; as I adapted this behavior, I utilized this in my leadership positions. I learned to become a good role model by teaching my younger family members proper manners and guiding them in their academics so that they can do well. In school, I guide my peers in organizing team uniform designs and in networking with a nonprofit organization for service events.
Asides from my values, I’m truly passionate in the medical field. I always wanted to be a pediatrician since I was fourteen. My strong interest in the medical field allowed me to open up my shell in certain situations— when I became sociable to patients in the hospital as a volunteer, when I became friendly and approachable to children in my job at Kumon Math and Reading Center, and when I portrayed compassion and empathy towards my teammates in the badminton team. However, when I participated in the 2017 Kaiser Summer Volunteer Program at Richmond Medical Center, I realized that I didn’t only want to be a pediatrician. This program opened my eye to numerous opportunities in different fields of medicine and in different approaches in working in the medical industry. While I may have a strong love for the medical field, my interest in business immensely grew as I soon discovered that I didn’t only have to take the practical approach in the medical field. With this interest, I plan to also become a part of a medical facility management team.
In the future, I hope to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor by attaining an MD and to double major in Managerial Economics. I intend to study at UC Davis as a Biological Sciences major, where I anticipate to become extremely involved with the student community. After graduation, I plan to develop a strong network relationship with Kaiser Permanente as I’ve started last year in my internship. By developing a network with them, I hope to work in one of their facilities someday. Based on my values, interests, and planned future, I’m applying for the NCS Foundation scholarship because not only will it financially help me, but it can give motivation for me to academically push myself. I hope to use this scholarship in applying for a study abroad program, where I can learn about other cultures’ customs while conducting research there.
See other essay writing winner HERE.
You can also APPLY FOR NCS FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS HERE.
The Book that Made Me a Journalist
It is 6 am on a hot day in July and I’ve already showered and eaten breakfast. I know that my classmates are all sleeping in and enjoying their summer break, but I don’t envy them; I’m excited to start my day interning with a local newspaper doing investigative journalism. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and despite the early mornings, nothing has made me happier. Although it wasn’t clear to me then, looking back on my high school experiences and everything that led to me to this internship, I believe this path began with a particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class. I was taking a composition class, and we were learning how to write persuasive essays. Up until that point, I had had average grades, but I was always a good writer and my teacher immediately recognized this. The first paper I wrote for the class was about my experience going to an Indian reservation located near my uncle’s ranch in southwest Colorado. I wrote of the severe poverty experienced by the people on the reservation, and the lack of access to voting booths during the most recent election. After reading this short story, my teacher approached me and asked about my future plans. No one had ever asked me this, and I wasn’t sure how to answer. I said I liked writing and I liked thinking about people who are different from myself. She gave me a book and told me that if I had time to read it, she thought it would be something I would enjoy. I was actually quite surprised that a high school teacher was giving me a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It had never occurred to me that teachers would lie to students. The title intrigued me so much that on Friday night I found myself staying up almost all night reading, instead of going out with friends.
In short, the book discusses several instances in which typical American history classes do not tell the whole story. For example, the author addresses the way that American history classes do not usually address about the Vietnam War, even though it happened only a short time ago. This made me realize that we hadn’t discussed the Vietnam War in my own history class! The book taught me that, like my story of the Indian reservation, there are always more stories beyond what we see on the surface and what we’re taught in school. I was inspired to continue to tell these stories and to make that my career.
For my next article for the class, I wrote about the practice of my own high school suspending students, sometimes indefinitely, for seemingly minor offenses such as tardiness and smoking. I found that the number of suspensions had increased by 200% at my school in just three years, and also discovered that students who are suspended after only one offense often drop out and some later end up in prison. The article caused quite a stir. The administration of my school dismissed it, but it caught the attention of my local newspaper. A local journalist worked with me to publish an updated and more thoroughly researched version of my article in the local newspaper. The article forced the school board to revisit their “zero tolerance” policy as well as reinstate some indefinitely suspended students. I won no favors with the administration and it was a difficult time for me, but it was also thrilling to see how one article can have such a direct effect on people’s lives. It reaffirmed my commitment to a career in journalism.
This is why I’m applying for this scholarship. Your organization has been providing young aspiring journalists with funds to further their skills and work to uncover the untold stories in our communities that need to be reported. I share your organization’s vision of working towards a more just and equitable world by uncovering stories of abuse of power. I have already demonstrated this commitment through my writing in high school and I look forward to pursuing a BA in this field at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. With your help, I will hone my natural instincts and inherent writing skills. I will become a better and more persuasive writer and I will learn the ethics of professional journalism.
I sincerely appreciate the committee’s time in evaluating my application and giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
With these steps and scholarship application essay examples given, be sure to produce an Award-winning scholarship essay in your next trial.
- $100,000 Direct TextBook Scholarship 2019
- Winter Scholarship Essay Contest 2019-2020 ($1000)
- Urban Ladder Scholarship Essay Contest 2019
- Make Me Laugh Scholarship 2019-2020 | UPDATED
- World Bank #Blog4Dev Essay Competition 2019
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Do you need an award-winning scholarship essay for scholarship application? Check out our Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Money.