Writing A Winning Scholarship Essay

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When it comes to choosing the right college, the cost of higher education is something we all have to consider. While student loans are the most common option for paying education costs, it makes sense to seek scholarships to offset the cost of your tuition.

With many scholarship programs now open and accepting applications, here are our 4 best tips for writing a winning scholarship essay.

1.  Understanding the application

With any scholarship application, it’s important to read over the instructions carefully, paying attention to all of the details. Knowing what documentation is required for consideration, application deadlines, as well as the parameters of your written essay is important. When applying for scholarships, it’s vital to understand the application instructions to ensure that your hard work is considered, and not potentially disqualified for not meeting application deadlines or requirements. Before you begin writing, be sure you know of any limitations or minimums on essay length and understand your essay topic.

2.  Give yourself plenty of time to write

Once you have found the scholarships you want to apply for and familiarized yourself with all of the deadlines and topics, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to write. Procrastinating is something we are all guilty of. Giving yourself the extra time to draft your essay can make a big difference in the final product that you submit. Allowing extra time also gives you an opportunity to share your writing with your support team (such as family, teachers, or a mentor) to review what you have written and provide feedback. Having the time to make any revisions from this feedback will ensure you are submitting your best work while meeting the deadline.

3.  Be your authentic self

Many scholarship applications require essays that allow the reader/reviewer to go beyond your accomplishments and get to know who you are and what you’re passionate about. While writing, be sure you are being your true and authentic self. Your reader will get to know the student behind the essay and make a connection with you and your passions.

4.  Quality over quantity

We’ve all heard the phrase, less is more. As you are writing your essay, don’t feel the need to write the longest piece if it means sacrificing the quality of your writing. While keeping any length requirements in mind and being sure to capture the essay topic, a shorter, more concise essay that demonstrates your best work can be more beneficial than a longer, artificially drawn-out submission.


Those are our four best tips when it comes to filling out scholarship applications. Winning a scholarship, no matter how large or small, can really help when it comes to costs of continuing your education. Looking to put these tips to practice? Call Federal’s Alice S. Pearce Scholarship program is now open for 2021. Click here to learn more on how to apply. 

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