TOP 5 SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY PROMPTS AND HOW TO TACKLE THEM
Not knowing what essay prompts will look like can give one anxiety, especially if the scholarship has a lot of opportunities. Similarly, checking each scholarship application’s questions and essays can be time-consuming. But, what if you could find out what the topics are likely to be? You would be able to tackle them head-on, right?
In today’s article, the top five scholarship essay prompts and how they can be answered will be given. If you have these five essay prompts figured out, you could apply to the vast majority of scholarships with very little additional work.
Also read: 6 Basic Steps in Applying for a Scholarship
How will this scholarship help you?
When you have an essay prompt like this, what is expected of you is to explain how the scholarship will help you in some ways. Ways as financially, educationally, professionally, or career-wise.
Financially, you can explain how you plan on spending the scholarship grant (if it is a funding scholarship). This can be spent on tuition, textbooks, a laptop, or other school supplies.
Educationally, getting a scholarship into the school would mean that you are going to one of the best schools in the state.
Professionally, the scholarship might help you pursue your dream and achieve it. This might be a degree in the field you are interested in. If you happen to be a first-generation student, you can highlight that this would help you pursue both academic and career dreams as the first in your family. Here is an excerpt:
“[…] Being young and seeing my parents struggle is hard for me. It’s challenging seeing the people you love go through a hard time and you can’t do anything about it.”
“[…] But then I realized I can do something about it. I can get good grades in school. I can take college-level courses throughout high school. I can attend a 4-year university and earn my bachelor’s degree in Business Entrepreneurship. That was my thought process as a Freshman.”
Tell us about yourself
This kind of open-ended question is a little bit tricky. As much as they want to know about you, only say things you think will make them consider you. The committee wants to know:
- What kind of characteristics you have? They’re ultimately choosing people to invest in, so they want you to be a good person. Characteristics you might want to show are empathy, service, leadership, integrity, perseverance, or determination. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the leg.
- What motivates you to do what you plan to do? They are about to fund your future, so, they want to know how passionate and serious you are about winning the scholarship.
- What kind of achievements have you had in the past? This is where to brag about yourself. However, refrain from lying.
How have you contributed to your community?
Most scholarship organizations are very keen on these essay prompts. They want to know how you have given back to the community you live in. In this essay, describe your experience in community service, explain how you’ve given back, or share volunteer opportunities you’ve participated in. Explain how you have learned or grown due to your community service. You can also include how you plan to continue to support your community in the future.
What are your academic and/or career goals?
If it is a long essay, take your time to describe what inspired you to pursue certain academic or career goals. For instance, if your career goal is to be a medical doctor, you can talk about what fascinates you in being a doctor. This may be because doctors save lives.
Describe that moment of realization when you decided to become one- maybe one of your relatives died due to a shortage of doctors or maybe it was simply watching them save lives as you grew up.
Looking to the future, how do you plan to pursue that career goal? How will the scholarship award help you pursue it? Tell a story; paint a picture. Get creative with it. Remember, writing is an art.
Why do you deserve this scholarship?
Out of the numerous applicants applying for this scholarship, why should they choose you? This is where you have to be unique. In this kind of essay prompt, paint a picture of why you’re the most deserving student for this scholarship award. Here, you will want to establish two basic things:
- You’ve proven yourself as high-achieving (in the past). Discuss accomplishments you’re proud of or any accolades (honors, awards, or simply verbal compliments) you’ve received.
- You’re driven to succeed (in the future). Show that you’ve got clear future plans and the gusto to make them happen.
And that’s it! These are the most likely essay prompts you will come across while applying for a scholarship. To read more on how to ace your essay, click here.