How to Write a Scholarship Essay

In this article

Top scholarships with upcoming deadlines

Writing a scholarship essay is a required part of many applications as a way for the scholarship committees to learn more about the candidates and their motivations. They have the power to make or break your scholarship application. Because of this, writing a scholarship essay can often seem stressful and daunting.

As a way to ease the essay writing process, we have compiled steps for writing strong scholarship essays, tips to make them stand out to a scholarship committee, and questions students often ask as they begin their scholarship applications. Here are the top scholarship essay tips to earn scholarship money:

  1. Thoroughly read the prompt and instructions
  2. Create a solid essay outline
  3. Start writing early
  4. Open with a solid hook
  5. Prioritize basic writing skills
  6. Keep it descriptive, yet concise
  7. Be honest
  8. Be professional
  9. Be creative
  10. Let your individual voice shine through
  11. Stand out from the rest
  12. Finish with a powerful conclusion
  13. Revise and edit your first draft
  14. Read your scholarship essay out loud
  15. Prepare to submit your scholarship essay

Read below for more context and frequently asked questions about scholarship essays and create an account with to unlock hundreds of exclusive scholarships!.

1) Read the scholarship essay prompt and instructions

Always read the prompt before writing. It sounds like a simple suggestion, but if you don't understand what the prompt is asking, you won't be able to properly answer the question. Additionally, do research on the donor to understand the purpose of their scholarship. Many organizations have a mission statement and individual donors are often giving the scholarship in memorial of a loved one. Keep in mind the purpose of the scholarship provider's essay topic so you are able to understand and appreciate the scholarship program.