Scholarship Resources

6 Scholarship Essay Examples That Really Worked

Scholarship Essay Examples

You can’t underestimate the power of your scholarship essay! This is your chance to move beyond GPA and test scores. Use the best scholarship essay examples to create your own standout essay!

The biggest financial aid to help with college expenses is scholarships, which can be used to cover tuition costs. But, most scholarships require candidates to write an essay explaining “why you deserve the scholarship.” Actually, it helps the scholarship awarding committee to select those who are really eligible for the award. So, you should think about certain aspects of your scholarship essay that will help you get that specific award.

Scholarship essay examples demonstrate effective techniques, such as expressing passion and outlining a specific vision for how your education will make a difference. In this article, we provide you with valuable tips on creating a powerful scholarship essay by leveraging scholarship essay examples.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay?

Some things should be kept in mind while writing a scholarship essay. Make sure your essay offers insight into your perspective and experience – which ultimately recognizes you and your love for your study. The following are some things to consider when writing a scholarship essay:

1. Make a Captivating Start

Do you need help starting an essay? Consider adding a quote or two that relates to the course you want to take and that you can incorporate into the essay later. The committee will be convinced if you express your interest in the subject. Demonstrating a more comprehensive understanding of your subject may help convince judges to grant you the financial aid you need.

2. Identify Your Target Audience 

Before commencing your scholarship essay, it’s essential to define your target audience, which in this scenario, is the scholarship committee. So, you must understand their expectations and requirements. Determine who their ideal prospect is, then make sure you meet their needs. List the important points you want to include in your essay. 

3. Read Your Scholarship Essay Prompts Carefully

The most important piece of advice when considering how to start a scholarship essay is to read the essay prompts carefully. You must follow proper word count and essay prompt structure. Additionally, confirm that what you are doing is responding to each prompt section.

4. Do Some Research on the Scholarship Provider

Learn more about the organization overseeing the scholarship initiative. Their website contains information about their needs and objectives. This is a significant tip for writing a scholarship essay. On their websites, many scholarship sponsors also feature former recipients of their awards, often along with the winning essay. View the scholarship provider’s profiles of past winners to decide which of your characteristics to highlight in your essay.

5. Your Strength is Authenticity

It is not necessary to make things up for yourself to appear more worthy of award money. Your strength lies in your reality. So, use it to your advantage. It is advisable to show rather than tell because readers can easily identify such things. Instead of providing a comprehensive explanation, try to paint a clear picture to the reader. Don’t just say that your job and high school are stressing you out. Create a mental picture and offer specific, credible examples.

6. Seek Writing Guidance

When you’re unsure how to write a scholarship essay, it’s important to get writing help and guidance from trusted sources to make your essay stand out. Your academic advisor can provide practical advice on writing, including how to structure a scholarship essay and how to begin it. Online writing courses, and writing forums where you can get comments on your work, grammar, and style guides. Other resources are available to help you become a better writer.

7. Check for Grammatical Errors 

Make sure you check for grammatical errors when proofreading your scholarship essay. Before writing your essay, you can proofread it using various grammar checking tools.

Top 6 Scholarship Essay Examples That Really Worked 

The following scholarship essay examples will help you make the transition from college planning and life to professional goal achievement.

1. New York University College of Arts and Science Scholarship by Anna

Prompt: Explain something that made a big impact on your life.

Essay: “If it doesn’t sustain you, it holds no value’’.”My parents were discussing ice skating, which happens to be my passion. I started skating at age ten in Spain, seeing how difficulty and grace combined to create beautiful programs, but no one expected Had no idea that I would still be on the ice seven years and a country later. Even more incredible was the idea that ice skating could become one of the most useful parts of my life.

I was born in Mexico to two Spanish speakers, so Spanish was my first language. We moved to Spain when I was six, and finally settled in California when I was thirteen. Each change brought new problems, but for me, the hardest element of relocating to America was learning English. Laminated index cards, color-coded and chock-full of vocabulary, became part of my everyday routine.

As someone who enjoys engaging in conversation, it was quite difficult to realize that my tongue had been bitten. Only on the ice rink could I be myself. The cold air of the rink that surrounded me, the sharp sound of the blades hitting the ice, and sometimes the ice searing my flesh as I fell – these were the only constants in my life. I didn’t have to worry about mispronouncing “axel” as “aksal.” Instead, I just needed to slide and jump.

Ice skating, with its friendly injury-counting competitions and its culture of hard work and determination, offered a nurturing environment that made my other obstacles worthwhile. Knowing that every moment on the ice had a financial cost to my family, I cherished every moment.

This often involved waking up at 4 a.m. every day to put into practice what I had learned in a few minutes of coaching. This included assisting in group lessons to earn extra skating time and joining my high school’s varsity running team to stay off the ice. Even as I began to make friends and overcome my fear of public speaking, the rink remained my haven. Ultimately, however, the only option to continue improving was to pay for additional coaching, which my family could not afford. And so I started teaching Spanish.

Now, my greatest passion in life is supported by my inherent skills. I have over thirty Spanish students, ranging in age from three to forty, and representing a variety of cultural origins. I currently deal with fifteen students per week, each of whom has unique needs and learning styles. Based on my own experiences as a second language learner and figure skater, I assign personalized, interactive tasks, make jokes to keep my students excited, and never tell the right answer. 

When I originally started learning my axel jump, my coach warned me that I had to fall at least 500 times before I could land it. Similarly, I encourage my students to appreciate each element of the mistake until they see new mistakes. I encourage them to have fun broadening their perspectives and preparing them for new experiences and opportunities”

2. North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship by Christine Fung 

Essay: “Being the child of immigrant parents, I learned from a young age to be responsible for my family and myself. Despite the fact that my parents knew English, they worked hard to raise my younger brother and me. Meanwhile, my grandparents understood very little English, so I became their translator for medical appointments and all interactions with English speakers. Even now, I translate for them and teach conversational English to my grandparents. The more I connected with my family, the more I realized what I wanted to be in the future.

My parents, who were born in Vietnam and had little schooling, urged me to pursue an education from the time I was five years old. Because of this disadvantage, I learned to take things seriously and work hard to accomplish tasks like founding my school’s badminton club in my second year and the Red Cross club this year. Before creating these organizations, I developed a vision for them so that I could better organize my responsibilities as a leader. The more I got involved, the more I grew as a leader and person. As a leader, I displayed the same conduct toward my younger cousins and siblings.

My family members stressed the need to be a positive influence. When I adopted this behavior, I applied it to my leadership roles. I learned to be a good role model to my younger family members by teaching them proper manners and supporting them through their education so they can be successful. At school, I help my teammates organize team uniform designs and connect with a charitable organization for service events.

Apart from my ethics, I am really passionate about the medical field. I wanted to be a pediatrician since I was fourteen. My keen interest in the medical field allowed me to step out of my box in certain situations, such as when I became friendly and approachable towards patients at the hospital as a volunteer when I became a children’s nurse at the Kumon Math and Reading Center, and when I displayed compassion and empathy for my badminton teammates. However, while participating in the 2017 Kaiser Summer Volunteer Program at Richmond Medical Center, I realized I didn’t just want to be a pediatrician.

This course introduced me to many possibilities in different disciplines of medicine and approaches to working in the medical industry. Although I have a tremendous passion for medicine, my interest in business grew significantly when I realized that I did not need to take a practical approach to medicine. With this interest, I hope to join a medical facility management team. In the future, I intend to fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor by double majoring in MD and Managerial Economics.”

3. Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship by Steven Fisher

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.

Essay: Oh well, take a look at that,” my uncle says in the living room, pointing towards my brother-in-law, who is dressed. “I always had my doubts about him,” he quips with a sour sarcasm. As he leaned back in his chair, a plate of Southern-style Christmas dinner was in his hand.

I got it. Why would my own uncle find it so bad that my brother-in-law is wearing a dress? It would be the worst thing in the world if my brother-in-law were gay or impotent.

“I think he looks handsome,” says my older brother Ethan. At that moment, I wished I could hug Ethan. No, not because he was supporting my brother-in-law (who is not gay, as my uncle claimed), but because Ethan was protecting me. My uncle has no idea that earlier this year, I realized that heterosexuality was not fulfilling all of my desires for closeness to other people and 

I was beginning to identify as queer. 

It all started when I thought about how my upbringing in Miami had taught me that the only way for boys to connect with others was to have sex with “pretty” women, and intimacy with other boys or “ugly” girls. It is not that meaningful.

After clearing the mental block that told me I shouldn’t look at guys in a certain way, I was able to accept the fact that I was attracted to men (and people in general) in many new ways. My development as a person happened at a rapid pace. I rewrote many aspects of my life when I couldn’t achieve what I wanted because of social conditioning. Within two months, my world had expanded to polyamory. I reflected on my past relationship with my girlfriend and recognized that I was not jealous when she cheated on me. 

I understood that people’s needs, whether for sex, conversation, or intellectual stimulation, were not always met by the same person. Yes, it might be easier with just one person. But, this is not the only option. As a polyamorous and queer person, I feel like some members of my family and a large portion of my community marginalize me for being different because society tells them to. I want to change it.

During my year-long stay in Prague, I’ll have the chance to join the annual Mezipatra film festival. This international event, held in November, features around a hundred high-quality films focusing on lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer themes. I’m excited about the opportunity to be part of this vibrant cultural experience and explore diverse perspectives through cinema. I am especially looking forward to participating in this program because I want to be in an environment of like-minded people who want to achieve the same thing that I do.”

4. Change a Life Foundation Scholarship Essay Examples by Isabella Mendez-Figueroa

Prompt: Please explain a personal hardship or catastrophic life event that you have experienced. How did you manage to overcome this obstacle? What did you learn and how did you grow from it? This answer is critical to your application as Change a Life Foundation’s vision is to assist individuals who have persevered and overcome a hardship/catastrophic life event.

Essay: “As with my college applications, filling out this application has forced me to confront the facts of my upbringing. Looking back and describing my life, I can see how my socio-economic background has disadvantaged me in many ways. However, I believe it is important to clarify that I was completely unaware of any of this while growing up. I knew my parents couldn’t buy everything for me, but they rarely said no.

I was a normal kid, asking for chicken nuggets and looking up to Mom and Dad whenever I was worried or unsure about something. As I grew up, I learned to fight my demons, but now I’m also fighting the demons that haunted my parents, demons of a world they weren’t born into. The demons of doubt and loss attempt to keep them trapped in the cycle of poverty; Prospering in a world that ignores them and a society that, given its current political climate, does not welcome them in a friendly way.

Babysitter, housekeeper, and driver; it took my father working night shifts for almost ten years to achieve financial stability and become an asset to his company. He is one of millions of people who have been laid off from jobs in recent decades and have had to start over again. But each time, they have rebuilt themselves with greater resilience. I grew up in Section 8 housing because my parents often lived paycheck to paycheck not by choice, but by necessity. He has filed for bankruptcy because of credit card debt, he never owned any property, and he had no access to savings resources.

Every time we re-adapt, we are faced with a new change. I currently live in Manchester Square, a ghost town created as a result of the Los Angeles Airport expansion project. Those 16 steps that I have always known about will soon be demolished. My neighbors are vacant lots surrounded by fences. Homeless people set up tents amid the noise of the jets. My house will soon become an airport residence, and it will soon cease to exist. Knowing that my family will have to move when I apply for college makes me feel a little bad. I am worried that lack of money will hinder my college admission.

My parents’ financial situation is no secret; I hear about them every day. My parents are now dealing with relocation costs, no longer getting subsidized housing, and needing to readjust and rebuild. Relocating a family of five to an area affected by stadium construction and demolition is no easy task, as rent prices are equivalent to a mortgage. It’s funny how they don’t want me to stress out or make it my problem, but I know it is, and I want to do everything I can to help.

My older sister is the first in my family to go to college. I was always shy. 

Through her efforts, she has taught me that the only restrictions you have are the ones you set for yourself. Following my sister’s example, I have decided to never let money be an excuse for not doing anything. If my sister can accomplish it then I can too. It seems that leadership is a genetic trait that runs through my entire family.

Every day, I watch my parents become leaders as they overcome cultural barriers in a country they did not grow up in, speak a language other than their own, and prepare children for achievement in the higher education system. They grow up for something in which they never had the opportunity to participate. I and my family are one. We stack our efforts and obstacles on top of each other to achieve greater overall success.”

5. Scholarship Essay Example to Study Abroad

Essay: “Since I was a little child, I have always been a people-oriented person, and all my friends and relatives would tell me how good I was at people skills like empathy, compassion, and patience. When I was a teenager I realized that my unanswered questions were being answered by fate. After much thought and study, I concluded that working with people is the ideal career choice for someone like me. I have always taken the initiative to volunteer, so I have a true understanding of the importance of communication and goodwill. 

I well remember those school days when my friends would come to me with their problems and I would listen to them patiently and sympathetically. During those times, I felt immense satisfaction when I saw my friends happy, knowing that I had made a difference in their lives. Events like this solidified my decision to major in psychology during my undergraduate degree. 

In addition to earning excellent grades in my semester exams, I completed several practical learning-based internships, published my research paper on workplace wellness, and did HR internships at three to four prestigious companies to gain real-world experience in Organizational Psychology.

Being an associate member of the Enactus and Placement Cell of my college helped me a lot in developing my personality and improving my communication abilities. I have a great desire to be awarded this scholarship and pursue an MA in Organizational Psychology. Plus, I really care about the well-being of people at work and how it affects their ability to live a balanced life.

I am applying for the scholarship because I come from a lower-middle-class family and cannot afford the expensive tuition at major Ivy League universities. You can be assured that I have never been a victim mentality because my parents have always encouraged me to be a warrior and helped me in every possible way to get admission to my dream university.”

6. Going Merry Scholarship by Gabby DeMott

Prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Essay: “There were only a few minutes left and we were glued to the TV. We sat on the edge of our seats, hugging whoever was next to us, as the referee blew his whistle and the German players took their free kicks. The ball was hit with accuracy and efficiency, flying over Swedish players and past their goalkeeper before landing safely in the opponent team’s net. We all jumped and started shouting in a mixture of German and English with joy and relief, pride and hope.

We stood thrilled for the last few minutes of the game as Germany maintained their 2-1 lead over Sweden. We all, Germans and Americans alike, hugged and applauded before walking out onto the balcony and chanting “Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!” Raised slogans. For the entire village, country, and world to hear. I’ve never felt so accepted as an outsider, so proud of a country that isn’t really mine, of being part of something I’m not really a part of.

My German friends didn’t care that we were from different countries or that we would only be there for three weeks. They welcomed us into their homes, daily life, traditions, and festivals. While watching a World Cup game, we were all cheering for the same team, no matter where we were from. The acceptance I felt in Germany went beyond the living room. I traveled to the country with ten other students from my school for a three-week exchange.

We all lived with host families and attended the Wildermuth Gymnasium, which was surprisingly friendly to a group of spirited American kids. The professors were nice and inviting, the students treated us as normal classmates, and even the people I saw in public were understanding.

Before moving to Germany, I was worried about being judged on my language skills (which are not as good as German students’ English) and American politics. Although everyone was friendly, it was difficult living in a country where I didn’t know the language or traditions. People asked me and my classmates about the political situation in the United States, but no one criticized us. They knew we were outsiders and had flaws in the area we came from, but they still accepted us.”


1. How long should my scholarship essay be?

When it comes to writing a scholarship essay, you must follow specific word count guidelines set by the scholarship provider. The word count of scholarship essays generally ranges from 250 to 500 words.

2.  What makes a scholarship essay strong?

Strong scholarship essays showcase your personality, goals, and achievements they should be well-written, error-free, and persuasive enough to convince the committee that you deserve the scholarship.

3.  Should I copy a scholarship essay example?

Absolutely not! You should never copy a scholarship essay example. Scholarship committees can easily detect plagiarized essays. You can use the examples for inspiration, but Write your own unique essay with your own experiences.

4. Can I see an example of a winning scholarship essay?

Scholarship organizations often provide essay samples on their websites, although it is doubtful that you will find an ideal example that exactly matches your particular prompt. These can help you get a rough sense of the scholarship essay format, tone, and potential elements the committee will be looking for.


Scholarship essay examples provide an invaluable perspective on skillful organization, captivating narrative, and solid word choice in essay writing. Studying different examples improves your sense of sincerity and tone. Additionally, it helps you recognize the unique components that set an essay apart, allowing you to create a story that rings true to you. Hope, this article will be useful for you in getting ideas on how to write an attractive scholarship essay with proper format.

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