Tips For Writing a Scholarship Essay

Who is going to read it? Read the posting carefully to see who will be reviewing applications, or what kind of board/committee oversees the scholarship. Aim your essay at the reviewers, not a fellow student or a teacher. Keep a formal tone.

Have a strong first sentence addressing why you deserve this scholarship, and how it will help your future. Avoid phrasing like, “I’m applying for the Ice Cream scholarship because…” or “The Ice Cream scholarship will make my life better because…” Something stronger and more specific is better, “I want to open a chain of avant-garde ice cream stores.”

Answer the actual question or prompt, not the statement before the question, or what you think they want to hear. Read it carefully and think carefully about the actual question. Remember that the reviewers are most likely interested in your unique perspective on a question, so don’t feel the need to make lots of general statements, or mimic opinions of others.

Be very specific, give examples of your ideas, qualities and/or experiences. [Not specific] I was an effective class president. [Specific] While class president, I instituted a new program to eliminate trash, and increased recycling rates at our school by 20%.

Be short, concise, to the point, and avoid clichés and vague descriptions. [Vague] I’m a team player, well-organized, and efficient. [Not concise] I really love working with others, teamwork is the highest possible experience achievable by humankind.

FIDM students revise, edit, and get help proofreading at the IDEA Center

For more advice on writing a great scholarship essay, see

Annual Amount

Additional Selection Criteria

Application Process


February 28, 2018

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