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How College students can write Winning Scholarship Essay?

How College students can write Winning Scholarship Essay
Written by Chetan Darji

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How College students can write Winning Scholarship Essay?

Scholarships and grants are forms of financial aid that you don’t need to repay, making them essentially free money for your education.

Getting a scholarship can be life long dream of any college student. It is a key that can unlock lots of opportunities for you.

They can help you pay for your college fees and even give you access to some really cool learning experiences. And one thing you’ll need to unlock these scholarships is a great scholarship essay.

Importance of a Scholarship Essay

Scholarship essays play a pivotal role in getting a scholarship that you have been eyeing. They represent your chance to stand out from the pool of applicants and convince the scholarship committee that you are an exceptional candidate worthy of the award. 

These essays are much more than just a formality or an added requirement. It’s your story narrated in your own words, with the potential to leave a lasting impression on the decision-makers.

It could mean the opportunity to study at a prestigious institution or a specific program that aligns with your career aspirations. 

A compelling scholarship essay requires a lot of research and expert writing abilities. This is also the reason why many students struggle to write an essay that wins them scholarships. 

Paraphrasing tools come to the rescue for those whose writing skills are not top-notch. These tools use a variety of synonyms and alternate expressions that expose you to new vocabulary and phrases.

Thus,  writing an essay becomes easier even for those who struggle to put their thoughts into words. In this article, we’re going to show you how to write a scholarship essay that really shines. 

How Students Can Write a Winning Scholarship Essay: 10 Tips and Tricks


Writing a winning scholarship essay requires careful thought, planning, and attention to detail. Here are some effective tips to consider:

  1. Understand the Prompt

Before diving into writing your scholarship essay, it’s vital to understand what exactly is being asked of you. This is where understanding the essay prompt comes into play.

The essay prompt is the question or statement that your essay needs to respond to. It sets the direction and the expectation of what your essay should discuss. 

Prompts can range from specific (e.g., “Describe a significant challenge you have faced and how you overcame it.”) to broad (e.g., “Tell us about yourself and your future goals.”).

  1. Research and Personalize

Take time to research the organization offering the scholarship. Understanding what the scholarship committee is looking for can help you craft your essay to highlight those qualities in yourself. 

So, do your homework. Research the scholarship, understand its purpose, and get to know the organization offering it. Your mission is to impress the scholarship committee. But to do that, you need to know what they’re looking for. 

Tailor your essay to align with their mission and demonstrate why you are an ideal fit.

  1. Tell Your Story

Do not shy away from telling the personal story in your essay. It is a powerful trick that you can utilize in your favor. Your unique experiences and achievements not only showcase your personality but also help you stand out from the crowd. 

Remember, behind every scholarship application is a real person with distinct aspirations, so don’t be afraid to let your own voice shine through. 

For example, let’s say you once organized a neighborhood clean-up drive. This experience could highlight your initiative, your dedication to environmental conservation, and your ability to inspire and mobilize others.

  1. Be Authentic

In the quest to impress the scholarship committee, it can be tempting to adopt a voice that isn’t truly yours. However, authenticity is incredibly important when writing a scholarship essay. 

Be true to yourself. Your experiences, no matter how big or small, are valid.  Talk about your actual achievements, struggles, and dreams, even if they seem ordinary to you. 

Avoid cliches. It can make your essay sound generic and insincere. Phrases like “I want to make a difference” or “I learned the value of hard work” are used so often that they lose their impact. Instead, provide specific examples that demonstrate these values.

  1. Outline and Structure

A well-structured essay makes your arguments more coherent and easier to follow, which will significantly enhance your reader’s experience.

Here’s how you can create an effective outline and structure:

  • Introduction: Write down the main idea or hook you want to start with. For example, if you’re writing about your passion for environmental science, you might start with a vivid description of the moment you first became interested in the field.
  • Body: This is where you delve into the details. Each paragraph should focus on a single main point or idea related to your overall topic. For instance, one paragraph could discuss how your interest in environmental science led you to lead a recycling initiative at your school, while another might talk about the environmental science course you excelled in.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion wraps up your essay by summarizing your main points and reinforcing your overall argument or story. Going with the same example, you could conclude by reflecting on how your passion for environmental science has shaped your career aspirations, and how you plan to continue this journey in the college you’re applying to.
  1. Clear and Concise Writing

Now that you have your outline and structure, it’s time to put your thoughts into words. But remember, not just any words – your words. Authenticity and clarity are your best friends at this stage.

At the same time, it’s crucial to write with clarity. Sharing your thoughts might seem tricky, especially if writing doesn’t come naturally to you. But don’t worry, you’re not alone.

If you struggle with writing, the paraphrasing tool can be a real lifesaver. It can help you rephrase your ideas more effectively and avoid plagiarism. These tools can assist in enhancing the readability and clarity of your essay, ensuring that your thoughts and ideas are expressed accurately.

The above screenshot shows the paraphrased version of a paragraph. Here we used the “creative” mode of the paraphraser. 

Or, if you’re finding it tough to start, an Essay Generator can assist you in generating an essay from scratch based on your topic. This way, you can focus on sharing your unique story, while the tool takes care of making your words clear and effective. 

  1. Provide Examples

Providing concrete examples is key to making your scholarship essay persuasive and credible. Instead of making broad or vague statements, backing up your claims with specific examples or evidence shows the scholarship committee that you don’t just talk the talk, but you also walk the walk.

For instance, instead of simply stating that you enjoy volunteering, you could share a particular incident from your time volunteering at a local food bank that had a profound impact on you.

  1. Show Your Passion

Passion is a powerful motivator that can set you apart in your scholarship essay. Discuss why you’re drawn to your chosen field or activity. What sparked your interest? How has that interest evolved over time? 

Explain what you hope to achieve in the future in relation to your passion. Do you have specific career goals, research interests, or plans to contribute to your community? 

If your passion is environmental science, for example, you could discuss your goal to work on renewable energy solutions or your plan to advocate for climate policy changes.

  1. Proofread and Revise

Proofreading is a crucial step in crafting a winning scholarship essay. It’s like your safety net, catching any errors that might have slipped through. 

After you’ve finished writing, take a break before you start proofreading. This helps you approach your essay with fresh eyes and makes it easier to spot errors. Sometimes, looking at a physical copy of your essay can help you spot errors you might overlook on a screen.

Ask someone else to read your essay. They can provide a new perspective and might catch errors or unclear sections that you’ve missed.

  1. Follow Guidelines

Ensure that you adhere to the scholarship essay guidelines regarding word count, formatting, and submission requirements. Failing to do so can jeopardize your chances of being considered.

Remember, every scholarship essay is unique, and the key is to present yourself as a deserving candidate who stands out from the competition. Dedicate sufficient time for brainstorming, drafting, and revising to craft a well-written and persuasive essay.

Potential Pitfalls in Your Scholarship Essay Writing

Even the most dedicated efforts can sometimes stumble upon certain obstacles. While writing an essay, you need to be mindful of certain flaws that can weaken your case. Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid:

Not Answering the Prompt

This might seem obvious, but many students fall into the trap of writing a compelling essay that doesn’t actually answer the question or address the prompt provided. 

Always make sure that your essay directly responds to the prompt and aligns with the purpose of the scholarship. This shows the committee that you’ve understood their guidelines.

Lack of Structure

Just like a house needs a strong foundation and a clear plan, your essay needs a solid structure to guide your reader through your narrative. Without this, your essay may seem disorganized or confusing. 

Ensure that your essay has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion and that your thoughts and ideas flow logically from one point to the next.

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Errors in spelling and grammar can significantly undermine the quality of your essay. These mistakes can distract from your content and might lead the committee to think that you didn’t put enough effort into your application.

Always proofread your essay several times and consider using a spelling and grammar-checking tool.

Lack of Authenticity

Your scholarship essay is your chance to show the committee who you really are. If your essay lacks personal touch or sounds too generic, it may fail to make an impact. 

Remember, the committee wants to learn about you and your unique experiences and aspirations. Don’t shy away from sharing your personal experiences and lessons learned.

Ignoring Word Count Limits

If the scholarship prompt sets a word count limit, adhere to it. Writing far below the word limit might suggest that you don’t have enough to say.

On the other hand, exceeding the limit might show that you can’t express your thoughts concisely.  In both cases, it shows that you did not pay enough attention to the details. 


Writing a winning scholarship essay is a thoughtful and strategic process that is beyond just good writing skills. 

It involves understanding what the scholarship committee values, choosing a fitting topic, and presenting your story with authenticity and clarity. The journey doesn’t stop at writing; proofreading and seeking feedback play crucial roles in refining your essay.

But remember, each essay is a learning experience. Use the right tools, seek help when needed, and take one step at a time. Your unique story, well-told, has the power to open doors to exciting opportunities and shape your academic journey.

About the author

Chetan Darji

Hi, My name is Chetan Darji , and I am the owner and Founder of this website. I am 24 years old, Gujarat-based (India) blogger.
I started this blog on 20th January 2019.

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