How To Write An Essay For High School Scholarships

Though writing an essay for a scholarship application can be a daunting task, think of it as an opportunity to showcase your abilities and talents to the scholarship committee. By accentuating your strengths through your writing, you will be able to effectively communicate that you are a deserving candidate for their award.

Strive to illustrate your strengths and experience when writing essays for a scholarship application. Throughout your life, you continually discover your talents and abilities. As you develop these talents, they become your strengths in life. Try to demonstrate multiple strengths in your essays. Possible topics that you could illustrate in a scholarship essay include service, leadership, academics, arts, athletics, entrepreneurship, creative talent, leadership, diversity, challenges overcome, and community involvement. Decision-makers for the scholarship program will see your strengths and abilities as reasons why you are worthy of a scholarship.  

Add Variety to Your Strengths

Convince selection committees that your talents and experiences are expansive. Demonstrate the variety of your strengths by dividing them into categories and highlighting each one. Below are examples of how you can emphasize the following strengths:

  • Service by describing service projects you performed for your church, community, and school or work
  • Leadership by outlining leadership positions in your church, community, and school or work
  • Athletics by highlighting the top three sports that you excel in: football, soccer, tennis, cheerleading, track, field, or other
  • Academics by specifying your top three academic subjects in school: math, science, history, civics, economics, English, or other
  • Creative talent by explaining your talents: visual arts, music, dance, poetry, or other
  • Any other talent or ability by identifying three ways you have demonstrated that strength in your life

Give Your Strengths Magnitude

In addition, you should show selection committees that you have developed each of your strengths extensively. Tell them how your accomplishments set you apart from others. Demonstrate the magnitude of your strengths by sharing at least three accomplishments within each category. We call this method of presenting your skills and accomplishments “powerstatements.”

Two important concepts govern the preparation of power statements:

  • Highlight the skill you are presenting by using “power words,” such as motivated, organized, responsible, problem-solver, and other words that describe your particular strengths.
  • Describe something you accomplished with the skill you are presenting. You may include a challenge you faced, actions you performed to overcome the challenge, and the results of your actions. Try to quantify the results of your accomplishments to show your value to a scholarship committee.

Some Examples of Power Statements:

Service

I can achieve results. For example, I planned, organized, and led a charity project that packaged over 5,000 boxes of humanitarian supplies for victims of Hurricane Irene. The whole project was completed and shipped in one day.

Leadership

I have organization management skills. For example, I reorganized my company’s manufacturing department, increasing yield by 15 percent.

Academics

I am an over-achiever. For example, I maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout college while working full-time, taking honors courses, and serving as the president of the Education Society on campus.

Athletics

I am dedicated. For example, I won the city and regional championship in the 5K by training four hours daily to improve my running time by 45%.

Creative Talents

I am creative. For example, I designed a new product line that increased my company’s revenue by $25,000.

By expressing the variety of your strengths, you will show that you are a skilled and well-rounded individual. By expressing the magnitude of your strengths, you will prove that you are accomplished in those areas of your life. Using power statements to deliver these messages will communicate your value with greater impact to selection committees. These applied techniques will create an essay that is more impressive and persuasive of your qualifications.

For more information about scholarships, see the following:

Letters of Recommendation

Scholarship Master Application

Scholarship Sources

Topics for Scholarship Essays 

How to Strengthen a Scholarship Essay

Finding Financial Aid on LDSjobs.org

Continuing Education 

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Are you tired of working on those long scholarship applications that require you to list every activity you have participated in since you started high school? What about writing those boring scholarship essays where you have to explain why you deserve the award or who you are going to be in ten years? Well, you’re in luck. Today is No-Brainer Day, which means you get to relax and put very little thought into everything you do — including filling out scholarship applications! We know it may seem as though every scholarship, regardless of the amount of money, requires a ton of work, but there are actually quite a few easy scholarships with simple applications that are fun and painless. Don’t believe us? Check out this list of scholarships that are total no-brainers.

1. $2,000 No Essay Scholarship

Niche (formerly College Prowler) gives away a $2,000 scholarship every month. Simply register for a free account and you are entered to win this easy scholarship.

2. $1,000 Cappex Monthly Scholarship

Don’t let a low GPA scare you away from applying for scholarships. Some scholarship providers, like Cappex, don’t even consider it when choosing a winner. Just register for a free account, and you’ll be entered to win the $1,000 monthly prize.

3. $5,000 Course Hero Scholarship

If you've taken a college class, cash in your experience with this easy $5,000 scholarship. To apply, just review a college class. It only takes a few minutes and the more steps you complete, the more you can win.

4. $5,000 VIP Voice Scholarship

How does a $5,000 scholarship sound? If you're 13 or older, complete two surveys and redeem your points for a scholarship or other awards. The more surveys you do, the better your chances to win.

5. Go Ennounce Yourself Scholarship

Applying for this scholarship is so easy, and you can do it every month to increase your chances of winning! Just create a free profile and post at least once a month about your educational achievements to be eligible for this super simple monthly scholarship.

6. Unigo $10K Scholarship

If you are 13 or older, apply to win our $10,000 scholarship. Yes, it requires a 250 word or less essay, but for $10,000, who’s complaining? 

7. Unigo Monthly Scholarships

Think you know how to survive a zombie apocalypse? Do you enjoy eating ice cream? Can you tell a great joke? If you answered yes to any of these questions, check out our monthly scholarships! Awards range in value from $1,500 to $5,000, and all are fun and easy to enter! A new winner is selected every month.

Keep in mind that many students are looking for these simple scholarships, so the competition may be a little higher than normal, but that doesn’t mean you should blow them off. Just be sure to spend some time on local scholarship programs and those that may be a little more restrictive, as your chances of winning will increase. One thing is for certain, you can’t win if you don’t apply.

Want more scholarships? We have over 3 million in our scholarship directory, but if you need more help paying for college, check out our LoanFinder.

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