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introduction for personal statement scholarship

How to Write a Personal Statement for a Scholarship + Examples

What’s covered:, what is the purpose of the scholarship personal statement, what to include in your personal statement, personal statement example: breakdown + analysis, how to make sure your writing is effective.

Either before or after you’ve gotten into your dream school, you’ll have to figure out how to pay for it. For most students, this involves a combination of financial aid, parent contributions, self-contributions, student loans, and scholarships/grants. Because scholarships are money out of someone else’s pocket that you never have to pay back, they are a great place to start!

Scholarships come in two forms: merit-based and need-based. Need-based scholarships are also often called grants. These designations tell you whether an organization looks at your financial situation when deciding about your scholarship.

Additionally, different scholarships fall under different categories based on the mission of the organization or person providing the scholarship’s financing. These missions typically emphasize different things like academic achievement, specific career goals, community service, leadership, family background, skill in the arts, or having overcome hardship. As you select scholarships to apply for and complete your applications, you should keep these missions in mind.

No matter what type of scholarship you are applying for, you will be asked to provide the review committee with standard materials. This includes your transcript, GPA, and resume/extracurriculars, but also, importantly, your personal statement. A scholarship personal statement is a bit different from your normal college essay, so we’ve put together this guide and some examples to help you get started!

The purpose of your personal statement is to help a review committee learn more about your personality, values, goals, and what makes you special. Ultimately, like with your college essays, you are trying to humanize your profile beyond your transcript, GPA, and test scores.

College essays all have one goal in mind (which is why you can apply to multiple schools at once through applications like the Common App or Coalition App): convince admissions officers that you would be a valuable addition to the university environment. The goal of your scholarship personal statement is different and differs more from one scholarship to the next. Rather than convincing various review committees that you are a generally good candidate for extra funding for college, you need to convince each review committee that your values have historically aligned with their organization’s mission and will continue to align with their organization’s mission.

Common missions amongst those who give scholarships include:

  • Providing opportunities for students with career ambitions in a particular field
  • Helping students who have experienced unexpected hardship
  • Supporting students who show outstanding academic achievement
  • Funding the arts through investing in young artists with strong technical skill
  • Supporting the development of civic-minded community service leaders of the future
  • Providing opportunities for historically underrepresented ethnic communities 

If a specific mission like this is outlined on an organization’s website or in the promotional material for its scholarship, the purpose of your personal statement is to show how you exemplify that mission.

Some scholarships ask for your personal statement to be guided by a prompt, while others leave things open for interpretation. When you are provided a prompt, it is obvious what you must do: answer the prompt. When you are not provided a prompt, you want to write a personal statement that is essentially a small-scale autobiography where you position yourself as a good investment. In either case, you should identify a focus or theme for what you are trying to say about yourself so that your application does not get lost in the shuffle.

Prompts include questions like:

  • Why do you deserve this scholarship?
  • How have you shown your commitment to (leadership/community service/diversity) in your community?
  • When did you overcome adversity?
  • Why is attending college important to you?

If you are provided a prompt, develop a theme for your response that showcases both your values and your achievements. This will help your essay feel focused and will subsequently help the review committee to remember which candidate you were as they deliberate.

Themes include things like:

  • I deserve this community service scholarship because my compassion for intergenerational trauma has inspired me to volunteer with a local after-school program. I didn’t just sympathize. I did something about my sympathy because that’s the type of person I am. Within the program, I have identified avenues for improvement and worked alongside full-time staff to develop new strategies for increasing attendance.
  • I overcame adversity when my mother had to have a major surgery two months after giving birth to my younger brother. I was just a kid but was thrown into a situation where I had to raise another kid. It was hard, but I’m the kind of person who tries to grow from hard times and, through my experience taking care of a baby, I learned the importance of listening to body language and nonverbal cues to understand the needs of others (baby and nonbaby, alike).

Without a prompt, clarity can be harder to achieve. That said, it is of the utmost importance that you find a focus. First, think about both your goals and your values.

Types of goals include:

  • Career goals
  • Goals for personal growth
  • The type of friend you want to be
  • The change you want to make in the world

Values could include:

  • Authenticity
  • And many more!

After you write out your goals/values, write out your achievements to see what goals/values you have “proof” of your commitment to. Your essay will ultimately be an exploration of your goal/value, what you have done about your goal/value in the past, and what you aspire to in the future.

You might be tempted to reflect on areas for improvement, but scholarships care about you living out your values. It is not enough to aspire to be exemplary in leadership, community service, or your academic field. For scholarships, you have to already be exemplary.

Finally, keep in mind that the review committee likely already has a copy of your extracurricular activities and involvement. Pick one or two accomplishments, then strive for depth, not breadth as you explore them.

My interest in the field of neuroscience began at a young age.  When I was twelve years old, my sister developed a condition called Pseudotumor Cerebri following multiple concussions during a basketball game.  It took the doctors over six months to make a proper diagnosis, followed by three years of treatment before she recovered.  During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions.  Later, my love of neuroscience was amplified when my mother began to suffer from brain-related health issues.  My mother had been a practicing attorney in Dallas for over twenty years.  She was a determined litigator who relentlessly tried difficult cases that changed people’s lives.  Now, she suffers from a cognitive impairment and is no longer able to practice law.  Oftentimes, she has headaches, she gets “cloudy,” her executive functioning slows down, she feels overwhelmed, and she forgets things.  My mother has gone from being the strong, confident, emotional and financial caretaker of our family to needing significant help on a daily basis. Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.

Due to my experiences with my mother and sister when I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the field of neuroscience.  I also knew that, to obtain this goal, I needed to maintain superior grades in school while also pursuing opportunities outside of school to further my education.  In school, I was able to maintain superior grades to the point where I am currently valedictorian in a class of 567 students.  In addition, in school, I challenged myself by taking 16 Advanced Placement classes and 19 Honors classes.  Two of the most beneficial classes were AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research.  AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research are research-oriented classes where students are given the opportunity to pursue whatever track their research takes them down.  As a junior in AP Capstone Seminar, I researched the effects of harmful pesticide use on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children.  This year, as a senior in AP Capstone Research, I am learning about the effects of medical marijuana on the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  

Outside of school, I furthered my education through taking advantage of the Duke TiP summer program. Duke TiP is a summer program run by Duke University where students who score extremely well on the SAT as middle schoolers are able to take college classes at different universities throughout the summers of their middle school and high school years.  I took advantage of this opportunity twice.  First, I went to Trinity University in San Antonio to expand my horizons and learn more about debate.  However, once I was done exploring, I decided I wanted to go into neuroscience.  This led me to take an Abnormal Psychology class at Duke University’s West Campus.  This class opened my eyes to the interaction between neuroscience and mental health, mental illness, and personality.  Years later, I am currently continuing my education outside of school as an intern at the University of Texas Dallas Center for Brain Health.  Through this internship, I have been able to see different aspects of neuroscience including brain pattern testing, virtual reality therapy, and longitudinal research studies.  With this background, I have positioned myself to be accepted by top neuroscience programs throughout the nation.  So far, I have been accepted to the neuroscience department of University of Southern California, the University of Virginia, the University of Texas, and Southern Methodist University, as well as the chemistry department at University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.  

It is with this passion for neuroscience driven by my family and passion for education driven by internal motivation that I will set out to conquer my career objectives.  My educational aspirations consist of acquiring a bachelor’s degree in a biological or health science that would assist me in pursuing a medical career as a neuroscience researcher.  I decided to attain a career as a researcher since my passion has always been assisting others and trying to improve their quality of life.  After obtaining my Masters and my PhD, I plan to become a professor at a prestigious university and continue performing lab research on cognitive disorders.  I am particularly interested in disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  In the lab, I hope to find different therapies and medications to help treat the 3.5 million people around the world suffering from ASD.  Furthermore, I want to contribute back to underserved populations that struggle because they do not have as much access to medical assistance as other privileged groups.  As such, I hope to do a part of my research in less developed or developing Spanish-speaking countries. This will also allow me to pursue my love of Spanish while pursuing my love of neuroscience.  I think that following such a career path will provide me the opportunity to learn about the medical needs of the autistic community and improve their quality of health.  Furthermore, I hope to train a new generation of students to strive to research and make comparable discoveries.  Whether it be through virtual reality labs or new drug discoveries, I believe that research leads to innovation which leads to a brighter future. 

This student does a great job of making themself appear competent and dedicated to the field of neuroscience. This is primarily because they provided tangible evidence of how they have pursued their dedication in the past—through their AP Capstone courses, their Abnormal Psychology class at Duke TiP, and their internship at UTD. There is no doubt in the mind of a reader that this student is high-achieving. 

This student also engages successfully with a past-future trajectory, where they end with a vision of how they will continue to use neuroscience in the future. This helps the review committee see what they are investing in and the ways that their money will go to good use.

This student has two major areas for improvement. As we have said, the purpose of a personal statement is for a student to humanize themself to a review committee. This student struggles to depict themself separately from their academic achievements. A solution to this would be for the student to establish a theme towards the beginning of their essay that relates to both their values as a human and their achievements.

At the beginning of the essay, the student explores how their interest in neuroscience began. They explain their interest through the following sentences: “During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions” and “Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.” The student made the great decision to tell the backstory of their interest, but they described their research in very mundane and redundant terms. Instead, they could have focused on their value of intellectual curiosity as a magnetic force that encouraged them to research their mother and sister’s ailments. Curiosity, then, could serve as a value-related thematic throughline to taking AP Capstone classes, taking college courses during the summer that weren’t required, and interning before even graduating high school.

A second area for improvement would be avoiding statistics. As the student identifies their valedictorian status and the number of AP classes they have taken, they might turn away certain personalities on a review committee by appearing braggy. Even further, these statistics are a waste of space. The review committee already has access to this information. These words distract from the major theme of the essay and would have been better used to humanize the student.

Throughout my academic career, I have been an avid scholar, constantly pushing myself towards ambitious goals. I held and continue to hold myself to a high standard, enrolling myself in rigorous curriculum, including Honors and Advanced Placement courses to stretch my mental potential. During my junior year of high school, I took four AP tests, two on the same day, and earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award. Additionally, I received the Letter of Commendation for the PSAT/NMSQT, and qualified for Rotary Top 100 Students both my freshman and senior year, a sign of my commitment to my studies. However, school has not been all about having the best GPA for me; beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem. I always give each class my best effort and try my hardest on every assignment. My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result. It is a major goal of mine to continue to aspire towards a high level of achievement regarding future educational and occupational endeavors; I plan on continuing this level of dedication throughout my educational career and implementing the skills I have learned and will learn into my college experience and beyond.

This fall, I will begin attending the University of California Los Angeles as an English major. I chose this major because I am fascinated by written language, especially its ability to convey powerful messages and emotions. I also enjoy delving into the works of other authors to analyze specific components of their writing to discover the meaning behind their words. In particular, I cannot wait to begin in-depth literary criticism and learn new stylistic techniques to add more depth to my writing. Furthermore, I recently went to UCLA’s Bruin Day, an event for incoming freshmen, where I was exposed to many different extracurriculars, some of which really piqued my interest. I plan on joining the Writing Success Program, where I can help students receive free writing help, and Mock Trial, where I can debate issues with peers in front of a real judge. The latter, combined with a strong writing background from my undergraduate English studies will be extremely beneficial because I plan to apply to law school after my undergraduate degree. As of now, my career goal is to become a civil rights lawyer, to stand up for those who are discriminated against and protect minority groups to proliferate equality.

As a lawyer, I wish to utilize legislation to ameliorate the plight of the millions of Americans who feel prejudice and help them receive equity in the workplace, society, and so on. Though this seems a daunting task, I feel that my work ethic and past experience will give me the jumpstart I need to establish myself as a successful lawyer and give a voice to those who are often unheard in today’s legal system. I have been a Girl Scout for over a decade and continually participate in community service for the homeless, elderly, veterans, and more. My most recent project was the Gold Award, which I conducted in the Fullerton School District. I facilitated over ten workshops where junior high students taught elementary pupils STEM principles such as density and aerodynamics via creative activities like building aluminum boats and paper airplanes. I also work at Kumon, a tutoring center, where I teach students to advance their academic success. I love my job, and helping students from local schools reach their potential fills me with much pride.

Both being a Girl Scout and working at Kumon have inspired me to help those in need, contributing significantly to my desire to become a lawyer and aid others. My extracurriculars have allowed me to gain a new perspective on both learning and teaching, and have solidified my will to help the less fortunate. In college, I hope to continue to gain knowledge and further develop my leadership skills, amassing qualities that will help me assist others. I plan to join multiple community service clubs, such as UCLA’s local outreach programs that directly aid residents of Los Angeles. I want to help my fellow pupils as well, and plan on volunteering at peer tutoring and peer editing programs on campus. After college, during my career, I want to use legal tactics to assist the underdog and take a chance on those who are often overlooked for opportunities. I wish to represent those that are scared to seek out help or cannot afford it. Rather than battling conflict with additional conflict, I want to implement peaceful but strong, efficient tactics that will help make my state, country, and eventually the world more welcoming to people of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. These goals are close to my heart and therefore I will be as diligent as I am passionate about them. My perseverance and love for learning and community service drive my ambition in both education and life as a whole, and the drive to make the world a better place is one that I will carry with me for my entire life.

This student emphasizes two values in this essay: hard work and community service. These are values that go together nicely, and definitely make sense with this student’s end goal of becoming a civil rights lawyer! That said, some changes could be made to the way the student presents their values that would make their personal statement more convincing and engaging.

Structurally, instead of using a past-future trajectory, this student starts by explaining their academic achievements, then explains their career goals, then explains their history of community service, then explains their future desires for community service. This structure loses the reader. Instead, the student should have started with either the past or the future. 

This could look like 1) identifying their career goals, 2) explaining that hard work and a commitment to community service are necessary to get there, and 3) explaining that they aren’t worried because of their past commitment to hard work and community service. Or it could look like 1) providing examples of their hard work and community service in the past, then 2) explaining how those values will help them achieve their career goals.

Additionally, like with our other example, this student shows a heavy investment in statistics and spouting off accomplishments. This can be unappealing. Unfortunately, even when the student recognizes that they are doing this, writing “beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem,” they continue on to cite their achievements, writing “My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result.” They say they are going beyond the numbers, but they don’t go beyond the awards. They don’t look inward. One way to fix this would be to make community service the theme around which the essay operates, supplementing with statistics in ways that advance the image of the student as dedicated to community service.

Finally, this student would be more successful if they varied their sentence structure. While a small-scale autobiography can be good, if organized, every sentence should not begin with ‘I.’ The essay still needs to be engaging or the review committee might stop reading.

Feedback is ultimately any writer’s best source of improvement! To get your personal statement edited for free, use our Peer Review Essay Tool . With this tool, other students can tell you if your scholarship essay is effective and help you improve your essay so that you can have the best chances of gaining those extra funds!

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introduction for personal statement scholarship

The College Application

How to Write a Killer Scholarship Personal Statement: Definitive Guide With Examples

A lady searching for scholarships, and preparing to write a scholarship personal statement

The Importance of an Effective Personal Statement

Whether you’re coming straight out of high school, are a transfer student, or are an adult student returning to college after a long absence, one of the first things you’ll want to do when preparing for college is to look for scholarships.

At all levels, college is expensive. Winning scholarships that cut down on costs is a priority for most of us, and writing an effective scholarship personal statement can help you do that.

There are many important parts of the process when it comes to scholarship applications. Locating the scholarships and gathering all the relevant information are key components, but your scholarship personal statement is arguably the most important part of a scholarship application.

Writing a powerful and memorable personal statement can really make your application stand out among the hundreds of other submissions.

Table of Contents

What Exactly Is a Scholarship Personal Statement?

A personal statement is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a statement, paragraph, or essay about yourself. It should tell who you are, where you came from, what your dreams, goals, and aspirations are, and more. It should focus on your strengths and tell scholarship committees why you deserve their money.

Sometimes, personal statements can be written in response to an open-ended question, such as, “ Tell us about yourself. ” More often, though, scholarship applications have a very specific prompt that you’re supposed to follow when writing your personal statement.

Following the Prompt

A prompt is something that many colleges or other types of scholarship committees will give you to help guide your writing. Some essays won’t have a prompt. We’ll discuss those later on in the article. For now, let’s focus on the applications that provide you with prompts.

When given a prompt, please stick to it and answer it fully. You don’t want to trail off onto some other tangent or write your statement how you want to write it simply because it sounds better or because you already have a standard scholarship personal statement you like to use. Answer the prompt that is given, and answer it honestly and completely.

Some prompts require you to respond to the questions asked in the order given, while for others ( most of them ), you can follow whatever order that suits you, so long as you address all questions.

Knowing about some common prompts beforehand will help prepare you for what you may be asked and will keep you from being blindsided. Knowing some common prompts early on can also prepare you a little more about what to write.

Common College Scholarship Personal Statement Prompts

1.   why do you deserve this scholarship.

This is probably the most commonly asked prompt for any scholarship personal statement. Most organizations that give scholarships know why you want the scholarship. What they don’t know is why exactly they should give it to you. Your answer to this prompt should be one that fully answers the question by telling the scholarship committee not only why you deserve the money, but also why you need it at all.

Why you deserve something and why you need it are two totally different questions. This prompt, though, requires you to answer both. The reasons you need the scholarship money could involve a number of factors, including:

  • Financial hardship in your family
  • Coming from a single-parent or foster-parent home
  • Older siblings already at college
  • Parent(s) is disabled, out of work, or incarcerated
  • Coming from a low-income family, neighborhood, or Title I school
  • Receiving government assistance (housing, food stamps, etc.)
  • Being a ward of the state with no support system

All of these reasons – and more – are why you might need the money. Tell the committee that in your scholarship personal statement.

Telling them these things should not be seen as “feeling sorry for yourself” or begging for help. These are all legitimate reasons you could potentially need help paying for college. As long as you’re being honest, these are definitely things that should be included in your personal statement.

Telling the committee why you deserve the scholarship is a little different. While all those reasons are why you need the money, they don’t explain why you deserve it. This is the part of the scholarship personal statement where you sell the committee on YOU.

Tell them about all the great things you’ve done. If you were an honor roll student, a member of the BETA Club or National Honor Society, or a National Merit Scholar, put that in your statement.

Other reasons you could cite as to why you deserve a scholarship include:

  • Exceptional athletic ability or talent
  • Many hours of documented community service
  • Having served your country honorably in the military
  • Impressive personal stories of overcoming adversity
  • Exceptional ACT/SAT scores
  • A schedule that shows an impressive balance of grades, sports, community service, etc.

Just as listing the reasons you need the scholarship isn’t begging, listing these reasons for deserving the scholarship isn’t bragging. There are hundreds, possibly even thousands, of people, trying to get the same scholarships you’re trying to get. You need to stand out above the crowd.

2.  Tell us about overcoming your greatest challenge.

Although this prompt is worded quite differently from the first prompt, in essence, you can answer them both in a similar way. All of those reasons you might have for needing the money are also challenges you’ve had to overcome to succeed in life.

Other possible challenges could include the loss of parents, a physical or mental disability you’ve had to learn to cope with throughout your life, or a dangerous, scary, or upsetting life event you’ve lived through in your past.

For this type of prompt, you’ll want to start with the challenge you faced. Be as honest and descriptive as possible about what it was. Then be equally honest and descriptive about the steps you took to overcome it. If, after overcoming the challenge, you received some kind of recognition or award, make sure you mention that as well.

3. Why do you want to attend college?/Why is education important?

This is another very popular question that’s asked on scholarship applications. A scholarship committee wants to know that you have actual, obtainable goals for your education and your future before they give you money to use for college.

If you can’t effectively explain why college – and education in general – is important to your future goals, most committees won’t want to take a chance on you.

There are different ways to approach this particular prompt. If you fit into a category of people who have notoriously been excluded from higher education in the past, such as African Americans, women, or other minority groups, talking about that can help your case.

You can discuss how hard the generations that came before you fought for you to be able to attend college and how you want to honor that.

You can also take a wholly personal approach to answering this question. Mention any relevant struggles you’ve been through, and don’t be afraid to talk about your family. Did they go to college?

If not, discuss what an honor it’ll be to be the first in your family to graduate from college. Those types of things are all relevant reasons you might want to attend college.

No matter which way you decide to go with your answer to this question, don’t forget to talk about your goals and how college is the only way for you to achieve them in your scholarship personal statement.

Be specific. Talk about your intended major and how that major and the classes you’ll take for it will help you become what you want to become. If you’re applying for a college-specific scholarship, talk about why you want to go to that specific college.

4. Random and Unique Essay Prompts

Sometimes, no matter how hard you study and prep in order to write a good essay, a scholarship committee comes up with a personal statement essay prompt that seems like it’s entirely out of left field. These types of prompts can be anything.

For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been known to ask students seeking scholarships in the past, “ What do you hope to find over the rainbow? ”. And for 2022/23, one of UNC’s application prompts required fill-in-the-blank type of responses, including:

  • If I had an extra hour in every day, I would spend it…
  • If I could travel anywhere, near or far, past, present or future, I would go…
  • The last time I stepped outside my comfort zone, I…

The 2022/23 Yale-specific questions on the Coalition and Common App included the following short answer questions:

  • You are teaching a new Yale course. What is it called?
  • Yale’s residential colleges regularly host conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What would you ask them to discuss?

Another unusual prompt you might come across is “What would you do if you were a superhero?” .

There really isn’t a way to prepare for these types of prompts, but knowing they exist and that you might run across one is a good start.

For many people, these are the best kinds of prompts to receive. They give you a chance to let your imagination run wild, and they’re a nice change from the same old “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” type of questions.

So if you do happen to run across one of these, don’t immediately dismiss it. These types of prompts give you a chance to have a little fun. They are a chance to have your personality shine a little, and who knows- you might just impress the scholarship committee!

Writing Scholarship Personal Statements for Applications without Prompts

If you’re asked to write a personal statement but aren’t really given a prompt, simply tell the college a mixture of all those things listed above. Talk about your achievements, accomplishments, and instances of overcoming obstacles. Talk about your history, and tell them why you need the scholarship and why you deserve it.

There are also a few other Do’s and Don’ts to remember. Do be specific, but don’t get too complicated. Keep things simple and light, while also being thorough. Your personal statement is like a mini autobiography.

You want to highlight all the key points while putting a heavy emphasis on your strengths. You can mention a weakness, especially if you’ve learned to overcome that weakness, but don’t focus too much attention there.

Arrange your essay in a logical order that makes sense and flows well. Also, try to keep to one or two central themes throughout the entirety of the statement. Clear, concise personal statements are easily read and extremely memorable. Don’t be afraid to tell a story, though.

You never want to lie or exaggerate in your personal statement, but you should make it as interesting and as entertaining as possible while sticking to the facts.

Be very clear and precise about your goals and dreams. Don’t add in a lot of hypotheticals, maybes, or uncertainties. Scholarship committees want to know that you have a solid goal for your future.

They don’t want to give money to someone who might want to be an engineer and thinks botany is great but also really loves the idea of cosmetology and is just going to “stay undeclared until I figure it all out.” Umm…that’s an extreme example, perhaps, but you get the idea.

Don’t add in a lot of unnecessarily long words. Your personal statement should read like an actual story of your life, not a poorly written thesaurus. Trust us on this.

Scholarship committees will be much more impressed if you write an honest, well-organized, and coherent essay about yourself than they will if you find a way to use the words “ platitudinous ,” “ audacity ” and “ impecunious ” in your personal statement.

Also, avoid cliches and extremely long and wordy sentences.

Personal Statement Review: If you need help brainstorming or reviewing your essay, check our personal statement helper page.

Standard Scholarship Essay Format

The first thing you want to do when writing your scholarship personal statement is to set the formatting up correctly. Some scholarship applications will provide you with specific formatting requirements.

If not, the standard formatting requirements of a scholarship essay or personal statement are usually as follows:

  • One-inch margins on all sides
  • Double-spaced
  • No additional line spaces between paragraphs
  • Typed in Times New Roman
  • Typed with 12-point font

Specific guidelines given in the scholarship instructions always supersede these formatting guidelines. Be sure to use proper grammar and punctuation. If these aren’t your strong points, ask a teacher, mentor, or friend to look over your essay for any errors.

You could also utilize this awesome  spellcheck and online grammar check tool , or use any other that works for you. 

After you’ve got the formatting correct, the next thing you want to do is put together your outline. This can be done on paper, on the computer, or just inside your head, but it does need to be done.

You need at least a loose outline to make sure your essay flows smoothly and makes sense as written. While the exact structure of your essay will depend largely on your own writing style and the essay prompt, here’s the general structure for most essays.

Step 1: Introduction

Your introduction should be no more than 2 paragraphs long, and you want to catch the reader with a very interesting and engaging first sentence. You should also outline the key points you’re going to be making in the remainder of your essay. If you were writing an English paper, this would be your thesis.

Step 2: Body Paragraphs

You should always have at least 2 body paragraphs, preferably 3. Remember, long paragraphs of text running together can be hard for readers to wade through and absorb, so try to keep your paragraphs to no more than 5 sentences if possible.

If you change topics, such as moving from talking about your family to talking about your strengths, you should also change paragraphs.

Your body paragraphs are where you really sell yourself as a great student with a lot of potential to the scholarship committee. Remember- be specific but simple!

Don’t get bogged down in big, thesaurus-like words, and avoid clichés. Just be honest about your life experiences, your accomplishments, and your future goals.

Step 3: Conclusion

In this last paragraph, you’ll want to sum up everything. This is also the paragraph where you talk about how much being awarded this particular scholarship would benefit you and what you would do with the money that will help you achieve your goals.

It’s also nice to thank the scholarship committee for taking the time to read through your application and consider you for the scholarship.

Scholarship Personal Statement Examples

Below you’ll find some examples of actual scholarship essays that were written by actual college students seeking scholarships. Some are examples of what to do, while others are examples of what not to do.

If you’re stuck and don’t know where to begin, hopefully, these will give you a little inspiration.

Sample Essay 1

“The day was May 28, 2014. My doctor told my parents that I would need Spinal Fusion Surgery with rods and screws, and it had to happen quickly. Before surgery, the doctor suggested strength training for the muscles in my back so that I’d recover faster. I immediately went to the local gym and began working with a personal trainer, Justin. I learned so much from him including how the body works and how surgery takes time to heal. After surgery, I knew that I wanted to use my experience to help others, just like Justin helped me.”

– Read the rest   here .

This is an excellent example of an introductory paragraph for a scholarship personal statement. With the author’s first two sentences, I was hooked. This student knows how to immediately capture the reader’s attention and pull him into his story.

He’s relating a true story in response to a prompt asking him about his after-college plans, but he’s doing it in such a way that it’s instantly interesting, and engaging, and makes us want to read more.

The student also has a great transition sentence. Although we only provided a portion of the essay that stops just before he tells us exactly what his goals are, it’s obvious by the last displayed sentence that that’s exactly what he’s about to do.

He’s about to tell us his plans for his future, after already telling us why he chose those plans.

In just a few short sentences, this student catches our attention, tells us about a horrible thing that happened to him that he had to overcome, explains how that situation shaped what he wants to do with his future, and transitions into telling us his goals.

This is a masterfully crafted introductory paragraph.

Sample Essay 2

“Unlike other teens, I’m not concerned about money, or partying, or what others think of me. Unlike other eighteen-year-olds, I think about my future and haven’t become totally materialistic and acquisitive. My whole outlook on life changed after I realized that my life was just being handed to me on a silver spoon, and yet there were those in the world who didn’t have enough food to eat or place to live. I realized that the one thing that this world needed more than anything was compassion; compassion for those less fortunate than us.”

In contrast to example one, this sample section is an example of what not to do when writing your personal statement. It starts off badly and just keeps ongoing.

The first couple of sentences of this student’s essay don’t paint her in a great light because of how they’re written. It’s fine to tell the scholarship committee that you aren’t a partier and that you care about your future, but it’s not okay to do it while sitting in judgment of other people.

The very first words of this essay are “Unlike other teenagers.” This automatically sets the writer apart, which would be fine if she were going on to say something positive about “other teenagers.”

For instance, if she were to say that she didn’t grow up getting to socialize and spend time with friends because she was homeschooled her whole life or that she didn’t learn about the advantages of technology because she grew up in a rural community, her opening words would’ve been fine.

Instead, she immediately jumps into saying harsh, degrading things about “other teenagers.” She lumps all teenagers into a stereotypical group of irresponsible partiers who care only about their appearances and material things.

Casting other people in a bad light is never a great way to let your light shine in any arena, but this is especially true when trying to craft a strong college personal essay.

The transition to her revolutionary life moment didn’t make a lot of sense, either. She says her “whole outlook on life changed” after realizing there were poor people in the world. This is off-putting for 2 reasons.

The first is that most people, including children, know there are poor people in the world. It isn’t really a secret and doesn’t usually come as a life-changing shock.

Secondly, the way her essay is written, she says she never did those bad things that other teens did. Then she says her whole life changed when she realized there were poor people in the world.

As written, this makes it sound like she changed and started doing these things after her revelation, which is certainly not what she meant at all, but because of the chronology of her essay, that’s how it sounds.

Sample Essay 3

“And, that strength was something that came not only from knowing how to cook my own food, lug armfuls of wood three or four times a day, and make my own safe and cozy place in the world, no matter where. It came from an inner sense of seeing things as they are. Life isn’t just out of a magazine with the best appliances and the nicest furniture. There are other things in life, like dirty floors, and relationships that don’t always work, and meals that have to be made. But, that’s not all bad.”

– Read the rest   here .

This is another example of an essay Don’t. The whole essay, which isn’t listed here, isn’t bad as a whole, but it also isn’t clear and precise. The sentences are long and wordy, and the student uses conjunctions, like “and” and “but,” to start sentences.

Grammatically, that isn’t the best way to write. This is an example of an essay that could have been quite good if only the student had spent some time editing it, proofreading it, and perhaps handing it over to someone else to look over it before he submitted it.

Never underestimate the power of revision and constructive criticism when writing your own scholarship essay.

Sample Essay 4

“Through the successes of my efforts, I also realized that poverty was just a societal limitation. I was low-income, not poor. I was still flourishing in school, leading faith-based activities, and taking an active role in community service. My low-income status was not a barrier but a launching pad to motivate and propel my success. […] Success is triumphing over hardships — willing yourself over anything and everything to achieve the best for yourself and your family. With this scholarship, I will use it to continue focusing on my studies in math and engineering, instead of worrying about making money and sending more back home. It will be an investment into myself for my family.”

– Read the rest here .

These are two paragraphs from the same essay, both excellently written. This student came from a very poor background and had to begin making money to help out their family at a very early age.

In this essay, the student does a great job of discussing hardships in the past in an honest, straightforward way that invites the reader’s admiration rather than pity.

The way he spends a brief amount of time talking about his hardships and then moving swiftly into how those hardships motivated him to want more from life is very well-done.

His conclusion paragraph is also spot-on. He acknowledges that the only way to overcome hardship is “willing yourself” to achieve. This shows that he has a willingness to work hard and experience to back it up.

He then goes on to tell how he’ll use the scholarship money if he receives it. He says that he’ll “invest into [him]self” and take this opportunity to work hard, even if it means he has to suffer financially for a few years, in order to achieve what he needs to achieve to ensure future financial success for both himself and his family.

This shows him to be a hard worker, someone caring and empathetic enough to put family first, and intelligent and enterprising.

These are all great things colleges want from prospective students, and he showcases these traits in himself without being overt or in-your-face about it.

Sample Essay 5

“To be able to hold onto your money you have to know how to manage it. Money management is a complicated process. As teenagers, we often have no idea how to manage money and we end up wasting a lot of it. But in a bad economy, most of us have had a crash course in what happens when you don’t manage your money properly. We have had to delve into a world foreign and unfamiliar to us and solve our own money problems. The most successful of us have managed to still have some semblance of a social life without going over our small budgets. The keys to doing this successfully are actually quite simple.”

The prompt for this particular essay was about managing money. In terms of staying on topic and having a good opening sentence, this writer did a really nice job.

The writer also makes the article very relatable because being a teenager and not knowing how to manage money is something most of us can remember quite easily.

In addition to being relatable, the first paragraph also holds our interest because it is easily read, not packed full of synonyms from the thesaurus, or written loftily.

The writer also does a great job with his “thesis” sentence. The last sentence of the paragraph is simple and straight to the point.

It lets us know what’s coming next; he’s about to list the keys to managing money successfully. This is a very well-organized introductory paragraph.

Where the writer falls short, though, is with his grammar. There are obvious run-on sentences and missing commas in that first paragraph. He also starts a sentence with a conjunction, which isn’t great as a general rule. The bad grammar and poor editing/proofreading take away from his entire paragraph, which otherwise would have been really good.

We’ve said it once, and we’re saying it again: Don’t skip the proofreading/editing stage ( fyi , we have great packages here to help with this ). If that isn’t something you’re good at doing, ask a teacher, mentor, friend, or loved one.

Grammar is important. You can have the best idea in the world, and bad grammar will keep people from hearing it because they’ll be too distracted by the errors.

When proofreading or editing for grammar, here are the most common questions to ask yourself:

  • Did you write in complete sentences? (No fragments, run-ons, or comma splices)
  • Did you run the paper through spellcheck and grammar check?
  • Is all of your punctuation correct?
  • Is it clear to whom or what your pronouns are referring?
  • Are there any  misplaced or dangling modifiers  in your essay?
  • Did you write in an  active voice ?
  • Are you being repetitive?
  • Did you use the right word between  commonly confused words ?
  • Did you use proper subject/verb and noun/pronoun agreement throughout?
  • Does your essay make logical, organized sense?

Before submitting your essay, edit through it using these questions as a guide.

Summing It All Up

The importance of writing a great, moving, and memorable scholarship personal statement cannot be overstated. Scholarship applications are uniform for all students.

Scholarship committee members are forced to read through the same types of information for all the students who apply. The one place you’re able to stand out and be creative is in your personal essay. That’s why it’s so important that you make it count.

A strong personal scholarship essay can be the tipping point between no money and lots and lots of money, so plan for it. Make time to do it right and edit it properly.

Consider it the most important part of your application process, and set aside the appropriate amount of time for drafting it, writing it, and editing it before the submission due date.

Finally, never be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s an educator, parent, spouse, or friend, there is someone out there who wants to see you succeed. That person will be happy to help you craft the best possible scholarship personal statement.

How long should a scholarship essay be?

A scholarship essay should typically be between 500 to 1000 words. However, always adhere to any specific word limits set by the scholarship. If no limit is specified, aim for a concise essay within this range.

Focus on clear expression of ideas and experiences, and ensure to proofread for clarity and coherence. It’s more about quality than quantity.

Further Reading:

The Best GMAT Prep Courses, According to MBA Students

Best MCAT Prep Courses, According to Med Students

Best NCLEX Prep Courses, According to Nurses

Accredited ABSN programs in North Carolina

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How to Write an Amazing Personal Statement (Includes Examples!)

introduction for personal statement scholarship

Lisa Freedland is a Scholarships360 writer with personal experience in psychological research and content writing. She has written content for an online fact-checking organization and has conducted research at the University of Southern California as well as the University of California, Irvine. Lisa graduated from the University of Southern California in Fall 2021 with a degree in Psychology.

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Zach Skillings is the Scholarships360 Newsletter Editor. He specializes in college admissions and strives to answer important questions about higher education. When he’s not contributing to Scholarships360, Zach writes about travel, music, film, and culture. His work has been published in Our State Magazine, Ladygunn Magazine, The Nocturnal Times, and The Lexington Dispatch. Zach graduated from Elon University with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts.

introduction for personal statement scholarship

Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

introduction for personal statement scholarship

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Write an Amazing Personal Statement (Includes Examples!)

The personal statement. It’s one of the most important parts of the entire college application process. This essay is the perfect opportunity to show admissions officers who you are and what makes you stand out from the crowd. But writing a good personal statement isn’t exactly easy. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to nail your personal statement, complete with example essays . Each essay was reviewed and commented upon by admissions expert Bill Jack. Let’s dive in!

Related: How to write an essay about yourself  

What is a personal statement? 

A personal statement is a special type of essay that’s required when you’re applying to colleges and scholarship programs. In this essay, you’re expected to share something about who you are and what you bring to the table. Think of it as a chance to reveal a side of yourself not found in the rest of your application. Personal statements are typically around 400 – 600 words in length. 

What can I write about? 

Pretty much anything, as long as it’s about you . While this is liberating in the sense that your writing options are nearly unlimited, it’s also overwhelming for the same reason. The good news is that you’ll probably be responding to a specific prompt. Chances are you’re applying to a school that uses the Common App , which means you’ll have seven prompts to choose from . Reviewing these prompts can help generate some ideas, but so can asking yourself meaningful questions. 

Below you’ll find a list of questions to ask yourself during the brainstorming process. For each of the following questions, spend a few minutes jotting down whatever comes to mind. 

  • What experiences have shaped who you are? 
  • What’s special or unique about you or your life story? 
  • Who or what has inspired you the most? 
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of? 
  • What are your goals for the future? How have you arrived at those goals? 
  • If your life was a movie, what would be the most interesting scene? 
  • What have been some of the biggest challenges in your life? How did you respond and what did you learn? 

The purpose of these questions is to prompt you to think about your life at a deeper level. Hopefully by reflecting on them, you’ll find an essay topic that is impactful and meaningful. In the next section, we’ll offer some advice on actually writing your essay. 

Also see:  How to write a 500 word essay

How do I write my personal statement? 

Once you’ve found a topic, it’s time to start writing! Every personal statement is different, so there’s not really one formula that works for every student. That being said, the following tips should get you started in the right direction:  

1. Freewrite, then rewrite 

The blank page tends to get more intimidating the longer you stare at it, so it’s best to go ahead and jump right in! Don’t worry about making the first draft absolutely perfect. Instead, just get your ideas on the page and don’t spend too much time thinking about the finer details. Think of this initial writing session as a “brain dump”. Take 15-30 minutes to quickly empty all your thoughts onto the page without worrying about things like grammar, spelling, or sentence structure. You can even use bullet points if that helps. Once you have your ideas on the page, then you can go back and shape them exactly how you want. 

2. Establish your theme 

Now that you’ve got some basic ideas down on the page, it’s time to lock in on a theme. Your theme is a specific angle that reflects the central message of your essay. It can be summarized in a sentence or even a word. For example, let’s say you’re writing about how you had to establish a whole new group of friends when you moved to a new city. The theme for this type of essay would probably be something like “adaptation”. Having a theme will help you stay focused throughout your essay. Since you only have a limited number of words, you can’t afford to go off on tangents that don’t relate to your theme. 

3. Tell a story

A lot of great essays rely on a specific scene or story. Find the personal anecdote relevant to your theme and transfer it to the page. The best way to do this is by using descriptive language. Consult the five senses as you’re setting the scene. What did you see, hear, taste, touch, or smell? How were you feeling emotionally? Using descriptive language can really help your essay come to life. According to UPchieve , a nonprofit that supports low income students, focusing on a particular moment as a “ revised version of a memoir ” is one way to keep readers engaged. 

Related: College essay primer: show, don’t tell  

4. Focus on your opening paragraph

Your opening paragraph should grab your reader’s attention and set the tone for the rest of your essay. In most cases, this is the best place to include your anecdote (if you have one). By leading with your personal story, you can hook your audience from the get-go. After telling your story, you can explain why it’s important to who you are. 

Related:  How to start a scholarship essay (with examples)

5. Use an authentic voice 

Your personal statement reflects who you are, so you should use a tone that represents you. That means you shouldn’t try to sound like someone else, and you shouldn’t use fancy words just to show off. This isn’t an academic paper, so you don’t have to adopt a super formal tone. Instead, write in a way that allows room for your personality to breathe. 

6. Edit, edit, edit…

Once you’re done writing, give yourself some time away from the essay. Try to allow a few days to pass before looking at the essay again with fresh eyes. This way, you’re more likely to pick up on spelling and grammatical errors. You may even get some new ideas and rethink the way you wrote some things. Once you’re satisfied, let someone else edit your essay. We recommend asking a teacher, parent, or sibling for their thoughts before submitting. 

Examples of personal statements 

Sometimes viewing someone else’s work is the best way to generate inspiration and get the creative juices flowing. The following essays are written in response to four different Common App prompts: 

Prompt 1: “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”

When I was eight years old, I wanted a GameCube very badly. For weeks I hounded my dad to buy me one and finally he agreed. But there was a catch. He’d only get me a GameCube if I promised to start reading. Every day I played video games, I would have to pick up a book and read for at least one hour. At that point in my life, reading was just something I had to suffer through for school assignments. To read for pleasure seemed ludicrous. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about this proposed agreement. But I figured anything was worth it to get my hands on that shiny new video game console, so I bit the bullet and shook my dad’s hand. Little did I know that I had just made a life-changing deal. 

At first, the required hour of reading was a chore — something I had to do so I could play Mario Kart. But it quickly turned into something more than that. To my complete and utter surprise, I discovered that I actually enjoyed reading. One hour turned into two, two turned into three, and after a while I was spending more time reading than I was playing video games. I found myself captivated by the written word, and I read everything I could get my hands on. Lord of the Rings , Percy Jackson , Goosebumps — you name it. I was falling in love with literature, while my GameCube was accumulating dust in the TV stand. 

Soon enough, reading led to writing. I was beginning to come up with my own stories, so I put pen to paper and let my imagination run wild. It started out small. My first effort was a rudimentary picture book about a friendly raccoon who went to the moon. But things progressed. My stories became more intricate, my characters more complex. I wrote a series of science fiction novellas. I tried my hand at poetry. I was amazed at the worlds I could create with the tip of my pen. I had dreams of becoming an author. 

Then somewhere along the way my family got a subscription to Netflix, and that completely changed the way I thought about storytelling. My nose had been buried in books up until then, so I hadn’t really seen a lot of movies. That quickly changed. It seemed like every other day a pair of new DVDs would arrive in the mail (this was the early days of Netflix). Dark Knight, The Truman Show, Inception, Memento — all these great films were coming in and out of the house. And I couldn’t get enough of them. Movies brought stories to life in a way that books could not. I was head over heels for visual storytelling. 

Suddenly I wasn’t writing novels and short stories anymore. I was writing scripts for movies. Now I wanted to transfer my ideas to the big screen, rather than the pages of a book. But I was still doing the same thing I had always done. I was writing, just in a different format. To help with this process, I read the screenplays of my favorite films and paid attention to the way they were crafted. I kept watching more and more movies. And I hadn’t forgotten about my first love, either. I still cherished books and looked to them for inspiration. By the end of my junior year of high school, I had completed two scripts for short films. 

So why am I telling you all this? Because I want to turn my love of storytelling into a career. I’m not totally sure how to do that yet, but I know I have options. Whether it’s film production, creative writing, or even journalism, I want to find a major that suits my ambitions. Writing has taken me a long way, and I know it can take me even further. As I step into this next chapter of my life, I couldn’t be more excited to see how my craft develops. In the meantime, I should probably get rid of that dusty old GameCube. 

Feedback from admissions professional Bill Jack

Essays don’t always have to reveal details about the student’s intended career path, but one thing I like about this essay is that it gives the reader a sense of the why. Why do they want to pursue storytelling. It also shows the reader that they are open to how they pursue their interest. Being open to exploration is such a vital part of college, so it’s also showing the reader that they likely will be open to new things in college. And, it’s always fun to learn a little bit more about the student’s family, especially if the reader can learn about how the students interacts with their family. 

Prompt 2: “The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?”

I remember my first impression of Irvine: weird. It was foggy, stock-full of greenery and eucalyptus trees, and reminded me of my 5th grade trip to a “science camp” which was located in the San Bernardino mountains. Besides Irvine, that was one of the few places in Southern California where you’d find so many non-palm trees. 

Of course, perhaps my initial impression of Irvine was biased, motivated by a desire to stay in my hometown and a fear of the unknown. While that was true to an extent, Irvine was certainly still a little peculiar. The city itself was based on a “master plan” of sorts, with the location of each of its schools, parks, shops, and arguably its trees having been logically “picked” before the foundation was poured. Even the homes all looked roughly the same, with their beige, stucco walls almost serving as a hallmark of the city itself.

Thus, this perfectly structured, perfectly safe city seemed like a paradise of sorts to many outsiders, my parents included. I was a little more hesitant to welcome this. As I saw it, this was a phony city – believing that its uniformity stood for a lack of personality. My hometown, although not as flawlessly safe nor clean as Irvine, was where most of my dearest memories had occurred. From the many sleepovers at Cindie’s house, to trying to avoid my school’s own version of the “infamous” cheese touch, to the many laughs shared with friends and family, I shed a tear at the prospect of leaving my home.

Moving into the foreign city, remnants of the hostility I held towards Irvine remained. Still dwelling in my memories of the past, I was initially unable to see Irvine as a “home.” So, as I walked into my first-ever Irvine class, being greeted by many kind, yet unfamiliar faces around me, I was unable to recognize that some of those new faces would later become some of my dearest friends. Such negative feelings about the city were further reinforced by newer, harder classes, and more complicated homework. Sitting in the discomfort of this unfamiliar environment, it started to seem that “change” was something not only inevitable, but insurmountable.

As the years went on, however, this idea seemed to fade. I got used to my classes and bike racing through Irvine neighborhoods with my friends, watching the trees that once seemed just a “weird” green blob soon transform into one of my favorite parts of the city. While I kept my old, beloved memories stored, I made space for new ones. From carefully making our way over the narrow creek path next to our school, to the laughs we shared during chemistry class, my new memories made with friends seemed to transform a city I once disliked into one I would miss. 

Through this transformation, I have come to recognize that change, although sometimes intimidating at first, can open the door to great times and meaningful connections. Although Irvine may have once seemed like a strange, “phony” place that I couldn’t wait to be rid of, the memories and laughs I had grown to share there were very real. As I move onto this next part of my life, I hope I can use this knowledge that I have gained from my time in Irvine to make the most of what’s to come. Even if the change may be frightening at first, I have learned to embrace what’s on the other side, whether green or not.

One huge plus to writing an essay that focuses on a place is that you might have it read by someone who has been there. Yet, what’s really helpful about this essay is that even if someone hasn’t been there, a picture is painted about what the place is like.  Admission officers have the hard task of really understanding what the student sees, so the use of adjectives and imagery can really help.  It’s also really clever to see that the green that’s mentioned at the beginning is mentioned at the end.  It’s a nice way to bookend the essay and tie it all together.

Prompt 6: “Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?”

I like getting lost. Not literally, of course, but figuratively. Whether it be in the story of a love song by Taylor Swift, or in the memories brought back by listening to my favorite childhood video game’s background music, I’ve always appreciated music’s ability to transport me to another place, another time, another feeling. 

Alas, I cannot sing, nor have I practiced an instrument since my middle school piano class days. So, perhaps Kurt Vonnegut was right. As he puts it, “Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.” While I cannot speak for others, I have certainly not debunked his theory. Writing allows many, including myself, to attempt to mimic the transformative power of music – even if our singing voices aren’t exactly “pleasant.” Just as you can get lost in music, you can do so in a story. Whether it is in George Orwell’s totalitarian Oceania, or Little Women’s Orchard House, the stories outlined in novels can provide an amazing look into the lives and worlds of others, and an escape from the worries and problems of those in your own.

While I am certainly not claiming to have the storytelling abilities of the Orwells or Alcotts before me, I’ve had fun trying to recreate such transformative feelings for others. When I was nine, I attempted to write a story about a little girl who had gotten lost in the woods, only managing to get a couple pages through. As I got older, whenever I was assigned a creative writing assignment in school, I wrote about the same pig, Phil. He was always angry: in my 8th grade science class, Phil was mad at some humans who had harbored his friend captive, and in my 9th grade English class, at a couple who robbed him. 

Thus, when I heard about a writing club being opened at my school in 11th grade, I knew I had to join. I wanted to discern whether writing was just a hobby I picked up now and then, or a true passion. If it was a passion, I wanted to learn as much as possible about how I could improve. Although my high school’s writing club certainly wasn’t going to transform me into Shakespeare, I knew I could learn a lot from it – and I did. The club challenged me to do many things, from writing on the spot, to writing poetry, to even writing about myself, something that’s hopefully coming in handy right now. 

From then on, I started to expand into different types of writing, storing short ideas, skits, and more in appropriately-labeled Google Drive folders. At around the same time, I became interested in classic literature, which largely stemmed from a project in English class. We had been required to choose and read a classic on our own, then present it to the class in an interesting way. While my book was certainly interesting and unique in its own right, nearly everyone else’s novels seemed more captivating to me. So, I took it upon myself to read as many classics as I could the following summer.

One of the books I read during the summer, funnily enough, was Animal Farm, which starred angry pigs, reminiscent of Phil. I had also started going over different ideas in my head, thinking about how I could translate them into words using the new skills I learned. While the writing club helped reaffirm my interest in writing and allowed me to develop new skills, my newfound affinity for classics gave me inspiration to write. Now, I am actually considering writing as part of my future. In this endeavor, I hope that Phil, and the music I inevitably listen to as I write, will accompany me every step of the way.

Admission officers might read 70 (or more!) essays in one day. It’s not uncommon for them to start to blend together and sound similar. This essay might not make you laugh out loud. But, it might make the reader chuckle while reading it thanks to the subtle humor and levity. Being able to incorporate a little humor into your essay (if it is natural for you to do… do not force it), can really be a great way to shed additional light into who you are. Remember, the essay isn’t merely about proving that you can write, but it should also reveal a little bit about your personality.

Prompt 5: “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”

I learned a lot of things during the summer I worked at Tropical Smoothie. I discovered the value of hard work. I figured out how to save money. I even mastered the art of the Mango Magic smoothie (the secret is lots of sugar). But most importantly, I learned the power of perspective. And I have Deja to thank for that. 

Deja was my shift supervisor, and one of Tropical Smoothie’s best employees. She was punctual, friendly, and always willing to lend a helping hand. She knew the store from top to bottom, and could handle pretty much any situation thrown her way. She made everyone around her better. On top of all that, she was four months pregnant! I was always impressed by Deja’s work ethic, but I gained an entirely new level of respect for her one day.

It was a Friday night, and Deja and I were working the closing shift together. It was very busy, and Deja and I were the only ones on shift. We managed to get by, but we were exhausted by the end of the evening. After wiping down the counters and mopping the floors, we closed up shop and went our separate ways. I was eager to get home. 

I walked a couple blocks to where I had parked my car. Well, it wasn’t my car actually. It was my dad’s ‘98 Chevy pickup truck, and it was in rough shape. It had no heat or A/C, the leather seats were cracked beyond repair, and the driver’s side door was jammed shut. I sighed as I got in through the passenger side and scooted over to the driver’s seat. The whole reason I was working at Tropical Smoothie was to save up enough money to buy my own car. I was hoping to have something more respectable to drive during my senior year of high school. 

I cranked the old thing up and started on my way home. But soon enough, I spotted Deja walking on the side of the road. There was no sidewalk here, the light was low, and she was dangerously close to the passing cars. I pulled over and offered her a ride. She got in and explained that she was on her way home. Apparently she didn’t have a car and had been walking to work every day. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was complaining about my set of wheels, while Deja didn’t have any to begin with.

We got to talking, and she confessed that she had been having a tough time. You would never know from the way she was so cheerful at work, but Deja had a lot on her plate. She was taking care of her mother, her boyfriend had just lost his job, and she was worried about making ends meet. And of course, she was expecting a baby in five months. On top of all that, she had been walking nearly a mile to and from work every day. The whole thing was a real eye opener, and made me reconsider some things in my own life. 

For one, I didn’t mind driving my dad’s truck anymore. It was banged up, sure, but it was a lot better than nothing. My mindset had changed. I appreciated the truck now. I began to think about other things differently, too. I started making mental notes of all the things in my life I was thankful for — my family, my friends, my health. I became grateful for what I had, instead of obsessing over the things I didn’t. 

I also gained more awareness of the world outside my own little bubble. My encounter with Deja had shown me first-hand that everyone is dealing with their own problems, some worse than others. So I started paying more attention to my friends, family members, and coworkers. I started listening more and asking how I could help. I also gave Deja a ride home for the rest of the summer. 

These are all small things, of course, but I think they make a difference. I realized I’m at my best when I’m not fixated on my own life, but when I’m considerate of the lives around me. I want to keep this in mind as I continue to grow and develop as a person. I want to continue to search for ways to support the people around me. And most importantly, I want to keep things in perspective.

Too often we can be focused on our own problems that we fail to realize that everyone has their own things going on in their lives, too.  This essay showcases how it’s important to put things in perspective, a skill that certainly will prove invaluable in college… and not just in the classroom.  Another reason I like this essay is because it provides deeper insight into the student’s life.  Sure, you might have mentioned in your activities list that you have a job.  But as this essay does, you can show why you have the job in the first place, what your responsibilities are, and more.

A few last tips

We hope these essay examples gave you a bit of inspiration of what to include in your own. However, before you go, we’d like to send you off with a few (personal statement) writing tips to help you make your essays as lovely as the memories and anecdotes they’re based off of. Without further ado, here are some of our best tips for writing your personal statements:

1. Open strong

College admissions officers read many, many essays (think 50+) a day, which can sometimes cause them to start blending together and sounding alike. One way to avoid your essay from simply fading into the background is to start strong. This means opening your essay with something memorable, whether an interesting personal anecdote, a descriptive setting, or anything else that you think would catch a reader’s attention (so long as it’s not inappropriate). Not only might this help college admissions officers better remember your essay, but it will also make them curious about what the rest of your essay will entail.

2. Be authentic

Perhaps most important when it comes to writing personal statement essays is to maintain your authenticity. Ultimately, your essays should reflect your unique stories and quirks that make you who you are, and should help college admissions officers determine whether you’d truly be a good fit for their school or not. So, don’t stress trying to figure out what colleges are looking for. Be yourself, and let the colleges come to you!

3. Strong writing

This one may seem a little obvious, but strong writing will certainly appeal to colleges. Not only will it make your essay more compelling, but it may show colleges that you’re ready for college-level essay writing (that you’ll likely have to do a lot of). Just remember that good writing is not limited to grammar. Using captivating detail and descriptions are a huge part of making your essay seem more like a story than a lecture.

4. Proofread

Last but not least, remember to proofread! Make sure your essay contains no errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. When you’re done proofreading your essay yourself, we would also recommend that you ask a teacher, parent, or other grammatically savvy person to proofread your essay as well.

Final thoughts 

With those in hand, we hope you now have a better sense of how to write your personal statement. While your grades and test scores are important when it comes to college admissions, it’s really your essays that can “make” or “break” your application. 

Although this may make it seem like a daunting task, writing an amazing personal statement essay is all about effort. Thus, so long as you start early, follow the advice listed above, and dedicate your time and effort to it, it’s entirely possible to write an essay that perfectly encapsulates you. Good luck, and happy writing!

Also see:  Scholarships360’s free scholarships search tool

Key Takeaways

  • It may take some people longer than others to know what they want to write about, but remember that everyone, including you, has something unique to write about!
  • Personal statements should be personal, which means you should avoid being too general and really strive to show off what makes you “you”
  • Time and effort are two of the most important things you can put into your personal statement to ensure that it is the best representation of yourself
  • Don’t forget to ask people who know you to read your work before you submit; they should be able to tell you better than anyone if you are truly shining through!

Frequently asked questions about writing personal statements 

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Personal Statement for Scholarship: How to Write and Examples

Table of Contents

A substantial part of the applications are personal statement for scholarship. Writing a stunning personal statement is vital if you’re hoping to win a scholarship. The personal statement is your chance to convince the board that you deserve the scholarship. While your curriculum vitae may be remarkable, hundreds, perhaps even thousands of students are likely to be just as remarkable. A personal statement is an excellent way of setting yourself apart.

Personal Statement for Scholarship

There’s no right way to write a personal statement for a scholarship, but here are some tips on how you can write a killer personal statement that can help you to elevate your pitch.

What is a personal statement for scholarship?

A personal statement is an overview of your accomplishments, talents, interests and objectives that are often included in applications for universities or scholarships or on resumes. It is a sample of writing (often about 2 pages) that describes you to the best of your abilities, your reasons for choosing the course you have chosen, your research interests, your goals and the creative ways you can add value to the program you are applying to.

The purpose of the personal statement is to provide an opportunity for those reviewing applications to learn more about you, your education goals, and how the scholarship will help you to continue your education.

How do you write a personal statement?

To guide you in composing your scholarship personal statement, here are some tips on how to get started.

Be concise, be organized, be focused

Make sure that your personal declaration follows a coherent order. Try to ponder how it might sound to an audience that doesn’t know you. Getting input from people you trust can help you get different points of view on how those who read it actually impact your personal statement. Avoiding long, drawn-out essay responses will not only help keep the attention of your reader, but will also show you’ve been thoughtful about your writing.

Be reflective

A personal statement, just because it narrates challenging times, is not always impactful. Strong personal statements should show that the writer has reflected on their past experiences and achievements and learnt from them. Ideally, the writer will be able to show progress towards a clear outlook on how he or she sees the world and the direction he or she is heading in the future. An effective personal statement gives a clear sense of your personal qualities and how you used and developed them to respond to your challenges and opportunities.

Get personal

The readers want to get an understanding of who you are, and the only way to do that is by sharing a little about who you are. That’s why it is called a personal statement after all. This is your opportunity to share what you feel they should know about you for making an informed decision with the reader.

Make it authentic

A personal statement for scholarship should show you who you really are and what you support about, not what you assume the readers want to hear. Remember that those who read your application will also be able to read many other applications, and will be able to tell you immediately if what you write is honest and genuine. It’s also worth remembering that some programs require a finalist interview where it’ll be easy to spot those who haven’t been authentic in their personal statements.

Give yourself plenty of time for revisions

Before submission, personal statements need to go through several revisions. Read your writing to others, and rewrite the content and style for accuracy. Pay attention to proper grammar and punctuation rules, and don’t forget spell checking. It’s also strongly advised that you make use of campus resources to gain valuable insight into how to improve your personal statement for scholarship.

A short personal statement, a strong personal statement

“My love of astronomy started when I looked up as a child at the darkness of space and found it captivating and awe-inspiring at the same time.” “From seeing my first production on stage I have been passionate about William Shakespeare’s works. I am fascinated by the way in which Shakespeare is still relevant today.

Can you see why these two examples are inaccurate?

While they are very favorable and well-worded statements about why a student might want to study astronomy, or Shakespearean literature, both of these examples of Personal Statement lead to clichés and generalization very rapidly.

We are not suggesting that when writing a personal statement for scholarship you should not use positive words, but this positive language needs to be supported up with solid, specific examples and thorough analyses. Remember: Showing, not telling, is the key to an excellent personal statement.

Why, then, is Shakespeare relevant to today? What specific examples could you use of an author from the 16th century to demonstrate its relevance to the modern age? Similarly, proclaiming a love for night sky wonders is all well and good, but why did it make you want to study astronomy?

Impose a limit on how many adjectives or descriptive sentences you use in your writing. It is important to remember that a personal statement in a relatively short number of words has to accomplish a lot. If you over-use words such as ‘ambitious,’ ‘astonishing,’ and ‘awe-inspiring,’ you’ll end up repeating yourself.

Structure of a personal statement

Structuring your statement is important to ensure it reads well. Write your personal statement as an ongoing prose piece, just like an essay. You might want to follow this structure:


Your introduction should be brief, explaining why you’re excited about applying for the scholarship. The strongest introductions often have an academic focus, so think about the reading of the background that you did.

Avoid such phrases as ‘I always have’ or ‘from a young age’ or anything like that. Focus on one particular thing about the offered field that interests you. If you have a hardship, leave your introduction to the end. Once the main body of your personal statement has been written, it will be clear what your strongest motivations for applying are. Then you can integrate that into your introduction.

The main body of your personal statement should include examples that show your preparedness.

Start by choosing between three or four examples. For an idea of what examples you could include here, refer back to step one. Try to have at least one example related to your course which focuses on academic reading. Just avoid listing skills or qualities, and explain in detail your skills and experiences. Make sure you show when writing about skills or qualities that they are relevant to your future studies.

Try to think academically, as well. Imagine you are an admissions tutor when choosing your examples: are you demonstrating your knowledge of the subject through detailed examples? Are you showcasing the skills you need to apply the scholarship successfully?

Your conclusion should summarize your statement’s key points and remind the granting committee of your strengths. This is a good opportunity to write about your future plans, too. How does the scholarship that you apply for fit into your larger picture?

Examples of personal statement for scholarship

Whether it’s a scholarship essay about yourself, a creative writing scholarship, or an essay on why you deserve the scholarship, the personal statement for scholarship examples below can help you better understand what may result from following a good format.

Personal statement for scholarship: Example #1

As a child of immigrant parents, I learned to take responsibilities for my family and myself at a very young age. Although my parents spoke English, they constantly worked in order to financially support my little brother and me. Meanwhile, my grandparents barely knew English so I became their translator for medical appointments and in every single interaction with English speakers. Even until now, I still translate for them and I teach my grandparents conversational English. The more involved I became with my family, the more I knew what I wanted to be in the future.

Since I was five, my parents pushed me to value education because they were born in Vietnam and had limited education. Because of this disadvantage, I learned to take everything I do seriously and to put in all of my effort to complete tasks such as becoming the founder of my school’s Badminton Club in my sophomore year and Red Cross Club this year. Before creating these clubs, I created a vision for these clubs so I can organize my responsibilities better as a leader. The more involved I became, the more I learned as a leader and as a person. As a leader, I carried the same behavior I portrayed towards my younger cousins and sibling. My family members stressed the importance of being a good influence; as I adapted this behavior, I utilized this in my leadership positions. I learned to become a good role model by teaching my younger family members proper manners and guiding them in their academics so that they can do well. In school, I guide my peers in organizing team uniform designs and in networking with a nonprofit organization for service events.

Asides from my values, I’m truly passionate in the medical field. I always wanted to be a pediatrician since I was fourteen. My strong interest in the medical field allowed me to open up my shell in certain situations: when I became sociable to patients in the hospital as a volunteer, when I became friendly and approachable to children in my job at Kumon Math and Reading Center, and when I portrayed compassion and empathy towards my teammates in the badminton team. However, when I participated in the 2017 Kaiser Summer Volunteer Program at Richmond Medical Center, I realized that I didn’t only want to be a pediatrician. This program opened my eye to numerous opportunities in different fields of medicine and in different approaches in working in the medicine industry. While I may have a strong love for the medical field, my interest in business immensely grew as I soon discovered that I didn’t only have to take the practical approach in the medical field. With this interest, I plan to also become a part of a medical facility management team.

In the future, I hope to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor by attaining an MD, and to double major in Managerial Economics. I intend to study at UC Davis as a Biological Sciences major, where I anticipate to become extremely involved with the student community. After graduation, I plan to develop a strong network relationship with Kaiser Permanente as I’ve started last year in my internship. By developing a network with them, I hope to work in one of their facilities someday. Based on my values, interests, and planned future, I’m applying for the NCS Foundation scholarship because not only will it financially help me, but it can give motivation for me to academically push myself. I hope to use this scholarship in applying for a study abroad program, where I can learn about other cultures’ customs while conducting research there.

Personal statement for scholarship: Example #2

Nothing is more important to me than ending racial inequality and discrimination in America, as I do not want my younger siblings to face the discrimination Black people continue to face in our present society. After winning our fight to freedom and provoking the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, why do Black teens face higher poverty rates than Whites and are still four times more likely to be incarcerated? “That was such a long time ago. You really need to get over it,” my White peers say when referring to racial inequalities. But, why then, in 7th grade, after winning Nazareth Academy’s Spelling Bee competition, did my fellow White classmate state with a heavy dose of surprise, “You know…when I first saw you, I didn’t think you were going to be smart?”

I hope to contribute to ending racial discrimination by utilizing our present interconnectivity and running a social media campaign titled #It’sNotOver. #It’sNotOver aims to oppose the widespread misconception that, because racial inequality was legally outlawed, de facto racial inequality does not still persist in our society. Our recent presidential election may have brought life to a ‘Divided America’, but it also exposed how influential social media is. By raising awareness of racial disparities that occur everywhere, I might encourage a new wave of change in our country like that of the present Time’s Up movement. Furthermore, if I can access the influence of celebrities in my #It’sNotOver campaign, like that of Time’s Up, I might similarly capture the attention of millions of people and inspire action against this issue across the globe.

I know that social media can only do so much in addressing these issues as not everyone can afford the luxury of having internet access. However, I hope that my campaign can inspire all those who do have access to take it upon themselves to be the change by being inspired by the fact that we are globally united in this issue. Although I expect negativity and criticism from people who either do not believe that this issue exists or do not believe in our cause, I am willing to encounter it if it means our society as a whole irrevocably can grow to accept each other’s differences.

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How to Write a Good Personal Statement for a Scholarship ( 7 PDF Sample Examples)

Published: 12 Apr 2021 Scholarship Application 52,869 views

How to Write a Good Personal Statement for a Scholarship ( 7 PDF Sample Examples)

Have you been asked by the scholarship committee to provide a personal statement for a scholarship? Are you clueless on how to draft a statement of purpose for scholarship? Do you need a perfect step by step guide to get you started?  Say no more! We got you covered. Today, you will master the art of writing a winning personal statement.

You will learn the following:

  • What is a scholarship personal statement?
  • Types of Personal Statement topics
  • Parts of a Personal statement for scholarship
  • Perfect step by step guide to writing a winning scholarship personal statement
  • Tips on scholarship personal statement: Dos and Don'ts
  • How to structure and format a personal statement
  • Sample example of a personal statement for scholarship
  • Sample example of personal statement for scholarship pdf
  • Personal statement for scholarship application examples

What is a Scholarship personal statement?

A personal statement for scholarship is a short content that conveys the message that you are a perfect candidate for a scholarship in an undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate programme. In your personal statement for scholarship 500 words, you will be providing solid evidence and examples pertaining to your experience and motivation. Your personal statement will explain why the particular programme is the right one for you, how it's connected to your personality and previous studies and what changes you would make in your society if you follow the programme.

The purpose of a personal statement is to invite the admission committee to get to know you better. You are to convince the admission committee that you are a good fit for a chosen degree. The aim is not to impress the application committee. Rather, the goal is to point to the kind of student you are. Like sample scholarship application letter for masters degree, you have to do some self - reflection to figure who you are and your future goals. When you do that, you can easily transfer your individuality to the essay.

Check out: How To Write A Letter Of Intent For Scholarship (4 PDF Sample LOI Example)

Six (6) Types of Personal Statements  Prompts

As earlier mentioned, your personal statement should share something about you. It should include aspects that have not been found in your résumé. It should indicate how deserving you are of the scholarship. It should be geared towards the scholarship provider's goals.

Usually there are various topics for composing personal letter for scholarship. You would choose one category prompt and develop your personal statement. Your choice of topic will determine the parts of your scholarship personal statement.

Prompt (1): Why do you want to attend this institution?

Simply let the committee know why you are interested in that institution. Focus on what makes the programme or scholarship so unique. Does it offer career services and facilities? Is it known for talented professors that you want to learn from?

Prompt (2): Overcoming a Problem

You will be asked to identify a problem or a failure you encounter. In personal statement for scholarship sample doc,this is where you will share how you overcame it along with the lessons you were able to learn. It could be bullying, addiction, loss of a family member or a close friend, moving to a new city etc. Share it and let the committee know the stuff of which you are made up.

Prompt (3): Creative topics

Some universities offer special, think - outside - the - box topics. They could be as tricky as "What can be actually be divided by zero?". In sample personal statement for scholarship application pdf like this, you could consider each question on its own. Brainstorm innovative ideas and see which ideas you feel passionate about.

Prompt (4): A Personal History of You

This topic asks you to relate an event in your life that incited a period of personal growth. You could also pinpoint a person who had a catalyzing effect on you and made you have a new understanding of yourself. Your first job, a unique talent that you have or a personal goal you achieved can be very catching ideas for your statement of purpose for scholarship application sample.

Prompt (5): Brainstorming New Ideas

This category of topics is about understanding how you relate with novel and diverse perspectives. You could refer to a time when you questioned a long - held belief. The reasons for changing your perspective could make a great scholarship personal statement for scholarship 500 words pdf. Universities want to know how you handle differences.

Prompt (6): Your Future Goals

What does your future look like? Do you want to be a professor? A chef? A journalist? This personal statement for scholarship application examples pdf prompt reflect on what you would like to become professionally. Through this topic, the scholarship committee wants to know how the scholarship would help you learn what you need to acquire so that you can achieve your career goals. They want to measure your level of awareness, vision and determination.

Parts of a Personal Statement for Scholarship

After you choose your topic, you may be tempted to quickly proceed with writing your sop for scholarship samples. Pause!!! You have one more step to take. You need to create an outline . An outline will help you to coordinate your thoughts and ideas. It will guide the direction of your writing and you would not be rewriting your content countless times.

There are two ways to create your outline. There is the process outline and the passion outline . If you want to discuss your personal growth, the process outline will help in explain the journey of your personal growth (before, during and after stages). If you want to share your passion, use the passion outline to relate various experiences that shaped you in becoming more competent.

After creating your outline, you can safely proceed with the sections of your statement of purpose for scholarship pdf.

Introduction Paragraph:

For example, say you are preparing a sample personal statement for fulbright scholarship. The introduction is the most sensitive part of your personal statement. Do you know why? You would need to grab the attention of your commitee and keep them reading. You could use a rhetorical question, a quick story, a surprising fact or simply a short explanation of what you will talk about in your content.

Body Paragraphs:

This part depends largely on your choice of topic and your choice of outline. If you are discussing about overcoming a problem, a personal history of you or your future goals, use the process outline and share the lessons, your background and your long - term career goals.

If, on the other hand, you choose to discuss a newly adopted idea, why you want to go to the school, or something creative, deploy the passion outline to think outside the box and relate your unique perspectives on life.

Just make sure that you are authentic, unique and use copious examples in your personal statement essay for scholarship.


What if you are concluding your statement of purpose for fulbright scholarship? This is not just the part where you summarize the previous paragraphs. This is the point where you leave a lasting impression on your reader. Use a call - to - action or a hope for the future to explain why this scholarship is important to you.

Read: How to Write a Good Scholarship Thank You Letter (8 PDF Sample Examples)

The Perfect 8 Step - by - Step Guide to writing a Winning Personal Statement for Scholarship

Still concerned about how to start your example of personal letter for scholarship? Don't worry. Here is a step - by - step manual that can guide you from the minute you sight the essay prompt to the minute you hit "Submit".

Step One (1): Read your Prompts

Carefully read your topics. Understand what the scholarship committee is asking of you. Before choosing the prompt you want, try to grasp what the personal statement for university scholarship

should be like. Check carefully if there is anything like "Write on your topic in three pages of 600 words"!

Step Two (2): Be on the lookout for additional information

Are there rules and guidelines for additional information that may not be in the prompt? You need to read them carefully. Ascertain the kind of formatting that is required, when the scholarship application statement due date is or what you may need to submit with your personal statement.

Step Three (3): Brainstorm Novel Ideas

Don't rush to write the personal statement for applying scholarship with the first idea that pops up in your head. Consider various ways to answer the prompt you chose. Jot down all the ideas that come to mind and review them later.

Step Four (4): Outline your personal statement

Organize essential points and concepts of your content. As it was suggested earlier, this will help you coordinate your major ideas so that you won't forget them. In that way, you will write the best statement of purpose for scholarship.

Step Five (5): Create a mouth - watering introduction

When writing personal statement for scholarship, keep your thesis concise but at the same time, arrest the attention of your reader. Be more concerned about your story and less worried about big vocabulary. In a simple way, try to communicate the core concept of your content.

Step Six (6): Be yourself when writing the body paragraphs and conclusion

At this stage, make your scholarship statement example personal and relatable. Simply, write what you know. Find a way to share why your choice of topic is significant to you. Let the body paragraphs reflect your personal knowledge, experiences and passion. Make your essay as specific as possible and customize it to fit the scholarship.

Step Seven (7): Revise your personal statement

This time, re-read your personal statement sample for scholarship pdf with a critical eye. You can read it out loud and listen to the flow. Is it consistent? Is it logical? Is there a room for reworking?

Step Eight (8): Proofread, edit and hit "submit"

Look specifically for spelling and grammar errors. For example, say you are writing a fulbright personal statement example. Find a friend who has a strong command of the written word and can completely address the people alongside the content. Finally, submit your personal statement in the chosen electronic form (docx or pdf).

Tips: What TO do when writing a personal statement

  • Start your personal statement for college scholarship with a captivating sentence so as to arrest the attention of the admission officers.
  • Relate outside interests and passion of your course.
  • Ensure you write what comes naturally.
  • Have a close family relative or friend to proof read it.
  • Be specific and express everything in short paragraphs.

Tips: What NOT TO do when writing a personal statement

  • Don't attempt to sound too savvy.
  • Don't procrastinate. Prepare the statement purpose for scholarship ahead of the deadline.
  • Don't duplicate information from your resume.
  • Don't spend too long on the introduction.
  • Don't be dishonest. Yet, don't involve too much negative information.

Consider : How To Write A Good Scholarship Acceptance Letter (5 PDF Sample Examples)

Personal Statement Formatting

Now, here in Scholarship Tab , we say that the personal statement format for scholarship is as important as the content. So here is how to do a thorough formatting of your statement of purpose for scholarship sample.

Your personal statement must:

  • be between 500 - 700 words.
  • have short sentences of not more than 25 - 30 words.
  • be between 1 - 2 pages.
  • have a maximum of 47 lines.
  • use headings (optional) to break up the content, eg "How did I develop my passion", "Why I wish to study in this college"...
  • use Arial or Times New Roman font and size 12 - 14 px.
  • be left - aligned and have 1.5 px line spacing.

Sample Personal Statement for Scholarship Application

Did you think we would leave you without a sample? Not a chance. Here is a personal statement sample for scholarship

 of Melissa, a student applying for Masters in Creative Writing. Read and learn:

“Can you compose a story for me? I am a keynote speaker at a conference. I want to start with a story and arrest the attention of my audience. Can you handle that for me?” That was a favor asked by my endearing lecturer in my university days. I could tell that he reposed confidence in my writing skills. So, for the umpeenth time, I agreed to assist him in storytelling. Let me explain how I became the capital helping hand of many keynote speakers.

I always remembered myself with a pen and a piece of paper. I wouldn't tag myself as an enchanting speaker. But I was surprisingly celebrated for my essays in school. My maths teacher would always frown each time I murdered the solution of a mathematical equation or geometry on the board. However, you could see the English teacher's face light up whenever she praised my writing performance to my parents. Miss Katherine, my English teacher, soon became my muse for acquiring a bachelor's degree in English Literature in my early 20s.

In high school, my writing prowess was noticeable even amongst my peers. Soon, I was dragged to theatre stage plays. Was I asked to perform? Not exactly! I was asked to write theatre scripts. In time, the refreshing and full - of - life dialogues stole the hearts of the returning audience and we would always win.

In my university days, I worked as a copywriting intern in an advertising agency. One of our clients was a Non - Governmental Organization (NGO) aimed at combating the effects of gender inequality. I was particularly touched by their projects. So I gave my very best in composing a thought - provoking content for their publicity. I was soon informed that the NGO gained immense popularity in a short period of time. I was elated. One day, the founder of the NGO called me while I was on a break. I still remember her words:

“I just want to thank you for the article you wrote for us. Thank you, Melissa for sharing your talent. You have helped thousands of women gain confidence in what we do and feel protected. You should be proud of yourself!”

That one - minute call revealed my life time purpose - to put the bemoaning thoughts, unmet requests, unrealized dreams and unattended needs of unprotected women in writing. This propelled to establish my magazine called WWW - Writing for Wonderful Women.

That's why I want to study Creative Writing. I want to develop my niche in the publishing world. I know that with the lecturers of this program,  I will sharpen my research and writing abilities. With your help, I could facilitate my dream - my dream of airing the views of less privileged women with a pen and a paper.

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Statement of Purpose for Scholarship Sample pdf

Did you like the above sample personal statement for masters scholarship? Do you want to remain inspired and get the best out of it before you write your own? Here is personal statement for scholarship pdf. Download it, digest it and compose your own masterpiece! Download  statement of purpose for scholarship sample pdf

Sample Letter Examples Personal Statement for Scholarship

We understand that there are specific scholarships whose personal statement need to be tailored. We want to share them with you as we desire nothing more but for you to excel. Here are some leading examples:

Sample Fulbright Personal Statement

Fulbright is a popular US cultural program that aims at improving intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy and intercultural competence between the people in the USA and other countries.

Here is a sample example of the personal statement to get the fulbright scholarship.

PTDF Scholarship Personal Statement Sample

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) aims at qualifying graduates and professionals in the field of engineering, geology, science and management in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. Do you want to become a PTDF beneficiary?

Write, edit and download your ptdf scholarship personal statement sample here.

KGSP Statement of Purpose

The Korean Government Scholarship Program statement of purpose kgsp is designed to equip international students with opportunities to study at higher educational institutions in Korea for academic degrees. So you would need to compose a thought – provoking personal statement for kgsp

Check out this link and see how a well accepted kgsp statement of purpose looks like.

CFA Scholarship Personal Statement Sample

The CFA Institute Scholarships are intended to promote the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence. There are various types of scholarship such as access scholarship, women's scholarship or regulator scholarship.

If you are eligible for any of the above, download the tailored CFA Scholarship personal statement for scholarship examples.

Nus Merit Scholarship Personal Statement

What about the nus merit scholarship personal statement? The program is a highly coveted scholarship that targets high calibre of individuals that showcase academic excellence and outstanding leadership qualities.

If you have presented and excellent record of leadership, check out the sample nus merit scholarship personal statement

Sample Scholarship Personal Statement for Masters

Are you interested in getting a masters degree? Were you asked to provide a thrilling personal statement? 

Check out this smashing  sample scholarship application letter for masters degree pdf

So, as you can see, with the proper guide and excellent personal statement samples, your personal statement will help the admission officers to know more about you as a student, your goals and how the scholarship will help you continue your education. So write memorable personal statement essay examples for scholarships that stand out among the hundreds of other submissions.

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How to Write a Personal Statement for Scholarships

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"Be Bold" No-Essay Scholarship

Writing a Scholarship Personal Statement

Begin early, carefully read the prompt, editing and submission, frequently asked questions about scholarship personal statements.

The most common requirement across all scholarship applications is undeniably the scholarship essay, a subsection of which is the scholarship personal statement . Although it may seem daunting for the fate of your scholarship to rest on a single essay, think of the personal statement as an opportunity . A personal statement for these applications is your chance to show the scholarship committee why you are the best candidate for the award, giving them a brief glimpse into your accomplishments and background.

For general tips on scholarship submission writing, the Bold.org guide on scholarship essays is a great place to start. But, for more help with writing personal statements specifically, keep reading for the guide outlined below.

Here at Bold.org you can find even more exclusive, unique scholarships just for you. Start building a strong profile here to begin applying.

A young adult writes in a notebook, with textbooks nearby.

The distinction between a scholarship personal statement and an essay is not always an obvious one. There is often a lot of intersection, and a scholarship may ask you to write an essay that feels much like a personal statement that colleges typically require.

In general, scholarships will almost always give essay prompts to applicants, which can vary greatly. For instance, a community service scholarship may ask you to write about how you plan to use your educational background to better your community, while an engineering scholarship may ask you why you chose to pursue a career in STEM .

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By contrast, a personal statement is oftentimes more open-ended . It's a piece of writing that introduces you as a candidate and says something about your background and motivations. The scholarship personal statement is a place to share your relevant personal qualities and personal growth to illustrate why you are the right candidate.

You can include things like family background, test scores , other scholarships or awards you have received, and anything else that you think may be relevant. As you read on to learn more about writing a great personal statement, check out the table of contents below to see what exactly this guide will overview.

  • Beginning early
  • Carefully read the prompt

When completing a personal statement for scholarship applications , it is always best to start writing as early as possible . Not only will doing so help you remain organized and cognizant of deadlines , but it will give you more time to think, write, edit, and gain valuable insight into what it is that you are trying to express.

Additionally, writing your personal statement early on can give you more time to address any potential obstacles or issues that may get in your way. Beginning early may feel tedious, but it is the first step to writing the best personal statement possible.

This step may seem obvious, but that's only because it is incredibly important. Writing a successful personal statement for scholarship reviewers to consider is heavily dependent on a thorough understanding of the prompt .

The prompt may be as wide as "write a personal statement," or it may be more specific, asking applicants to relate their personal statement to a specific topic or idea. An effective personal statement addresses all parts of the given prompt and demonstrates an understanding of what is being asked. Finding sample personal statements online is a great way to see how successful scholarship applicants have connected their personal story to the prompt in order to produce an effective personal statement.

The great thing about personal statements is that the name alone already gives you some direction: personal . Personal statements should be about you and your experiences , so when you brainstorm, think about your life story thus far. Consider things like your notable personality traits, skills, accomplishments, passions, difficulties and obstacles, goals, extracurricular activities, etc., and see how these may relate to the scholarship you are applying for . Additionally, you can think about the world around you, like how certain family members have been role models to you, or how an ethical dilemma helped you realize something important.

Make sure that every personal statement for scholarship applications is authentic. Don't attempt to write what you think the reader wants. Instead, you should do your best to write honestly and truthfully. Authenticity is something that strong personal statements have in common, so when brainstorming yours, be sure to be honest .

A young woman writes on sticky notes at a desk.

In terms of actually writing your scholarship personal statement, a logical structure is integral to an effective and well-thought-out statement. The typical parts of a scholarship personal statement are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion .

Everyone writes outlines differently, but now that you've brainstormed your ideas, organize them into these three parts and consider the most effective way to convey your message. This is where finding online examples may come in handy to get started on structure.

Your writing should be authentic, structured, and grammatically correct in order to be successful. Do not offer any drawn-out essay responses, and keep your work concise. Scholarship committees may read hundreds of personal statements, so you want your work to stand out without being too long or tedious . A short personal statement that conveys your authenticity is a great way to impress committees; show them you can do more with less .

In terms of writing, excellent grammar and language skills are integral . Make sure you have varied sentence structure to maintain the flow of your writing, and maintain a logical movement from point to point. If this is something you struggle with, see if you can talk to teachers, counselors, or other campus resources to see if you can get help with writing your personal statement.

Finally, stay away from clichés like "from a young age," or inspirational quotes; you don't want to reiterate things that others have already written. Your personal statement should feel honest and unique, without seeming trite or forced. Fortunately, after successfully brainstorming and outlining your personal statement, writing shouldn't feel too difficult.

#1: Introduction

The introduction should grab the reader's attention so that from the start, they're invested in your personal statement. For scholarship application reviewers who read tons of personal statements, something unique and attention-grabbing can be a welcome break.

This does not mean that you should attempt to be humorous or even raunchy. Although humor has its place in formal writing, it is important to remember that you are still writing a personal statement for scholarship applications, which is both personal and professional .

Find a unique way to introduce yourself and begin to describe who you are. This could range from your sexual or gender identity to your educational background--whatever you feel is a strong indication of who you are and how you are the best applicant for this scholarship. As your introduction comes to an end, lead into the main part of your personal statement. For scholarship application readers, the introduction is the first writing they will see from you, so be sure to start off strong and organized.

Two female college students work together, writing at a table outdoors.

Scholarship application boards want to know why you are the best fit for the award. So, the main two points you should cover in your body paragraph are:

  • Why you are currently the best candidate for the scholarship
  • How this scholarship connects to your future goals and plans

However, because almost everyone will be writing on these same topics, you should still try to make your essay stand out. A great way to do this is to include a relevant anecdote in your personal statement. Whether you're discussing a research query or a family member, the best personal statement examples use anecdotes to show and prove who the writer really is and why they deserve a scholarship, as opposed to merely stating it .

For instance, instead of stating that you care about your community, consider sharing a specific examples of volunteer work or other involvement to illustrate that you care for your community .

#3: Conclusion

Finally, begin the conclusion of your personal statement with a brief summary of why you are the best candidate, and then conclude with how this scholarship will fund your degree , and thus your future. Illustrate why your future goals make you the best applicant, to impress the readers.

Editing is the final step of the process. When writing a personal statement for scholarship applications, just like in any piece of academic writing, having grammar mistakes is a huge red flag . Not only can errors prevent readers from having a clear sense of what you want to say, but they also give an unprofessional air to your writing, so be sure to edit your work thoroughly.

After editing your personal statement yourself, which includes proofreading as well as improving your writing, don't be afraid to share your writing with someone else . Even if you don't have access to a prestigious scholarship advisor, having a friend, parent, teacher , or counselor read your work can give you important insight on your work. Getting multiple points of view on your writing can help you develop a truly strong personal statement.

When you are finally done writing your personal statement or any other scholarship essays, submit your application before the deadline and breathe easy knowing you put your best foot forward.

A student highlights a printed text at a table, with study supplies nearby.

What should I include in a personal statement for a scholarship?

At the bare minimum, a personal statement for a scholarship should include why you are the best candidate for the scholarship and how the scholarship will impact your future plans and goals . Your writing should be authentic and honest, and you should try to really convey why you are the ideal candidate for the scholarship.

Additionally, although you should keep your writing concise , employing a relevant story from your life can help you illustrate why you are the ideal candidate and is a great way to set yourself apart.

How do I make my scholarship application stand out?

There are several ways to make your scholarship application and personal statement stand out. First and foremost, you should be sure to remain organized and gather all of your necessary materials correctly. This means using correct grammar, writing professionally, and getting necessary documents like letters of recommendation and transcripts in time.

Once you meet these expectations, you are more likely to be a viable candidate. In order to really stand out, however, two important writing practices are authenticity and sincerity. Successful personal statement examples all seek to accurately and honestly portray who the writer is so that scholarship providers really feel as though they are giving their money to a worthy candidate. A personal statement can be as well written as possible, but if the scholarship committee gets the sense that it is not an honest depiction, then it won't be successful.

Using anecdotes to illustrate your unique personality can be a great way to portray who you really are. As you go on to write your personal statement, remember to bring out your personality and share your true self.

Once you have a strong personal statement written, find exclusive scholarships to submit and apply to at Bold.org .

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  • EXPLORE Random Article

How to Write a Personal Statement for a Scholarship

Last Updated: March 11, 2024 References

This article was co-authored by Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed. . Alexander Ruiz is an Educational Consultant and the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute, a tutoring business based in Claremont, California that provides customizable educational plans, subject and test prep tutoring, and college application consulting. With over a decade and a half of experience in the education industry, Alexander coaches students to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence while achieving skills and the goal of achieving skills and higher education. He holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 130,324 times.

Applying for scholarships is a common experience for many college-level students. However, some students may get overwhelmed when they learn scholarships require personal statements or essays in response to a specific prompt. Scholarship essays are a critical part of applying for funding, as they give the scholarship committee an idea of how an applicant relates to their organization and the goals of their scholarship. A strong essay can help an applicant stand out from a pool of people with similar credentials. All it takes is a little bit of time to plan the essay in advance, and a critical eye for revisions.

Planning Your Essay

Step 1 Read the prompt.

  • Prompts may also give you guidelines regarding things like essay length or word count. Check carefully to see if your prompt specifies things like, “Write 500 words on the topic,” or, “Write two to three pages.”

Step 2 Look for additional instructions.

  • Check the web page for the scholarship or the group or organization offering it to find additional rules and regulations.
  • If something is not specified by the scholarship provider, such as the length of your submission or the due date, contact the providing organization and ask, “What are the guidelines for this scholarship?”

Step 3 Brainstorm a few ideas.

  • Your first idea may still provide for the most cohesive essay, but brainstorming multiple ideas helps you think outside the box and consider multiple facets of the prompt.
  • Jot down your ideas in no more than a few sentences. If you can, give yourself a full day and night to clear your head, then come back and review your ideas with fresh eyes.
  • When reviewing your ideas, try to avoid obvious answers. If, for example, the prompt is to write about someone you admire, avoid talking about the President or a well-know philanthropist. Turn instead to your own experiences to make your essay unique.

Step 4 Outline your essay.

  • Make each important concept it's own heading, then add two to three points under it supporting your core point or idea.
  • If you don’t like traditional outlines, you may want to try flowcharts, thought webs, or other forms of visual organization to show how your ideas relate.

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

Drafting Your Essay

Step 1 Create a thesis.

  • Try to keep your thesis as concise as possible. Worry less about fitting in big vocabulary words and more about making your point clearly and meaningfully in as few words as possible.
  • For example, “Some theorize that it is possible to travel through time because of evidence such as,” may be shortened to, “Time travel theories may be supported by arguments such as.”

Step 2 Write what you know.

  • If your prompt asks you directly about personal ambitions or experience, don’t just provide a synthesis of what you have done. Also touch on why your schoolwork and extracurricular activities are important to you.
  • Make your essay stand out by talking about why your experience is personally significant.
  • If your prompt does not deal directly with personal experience, still find a way to talk about why the topic you choose to address is significant and meaningful.

Step 3 Start with a rough draft.

  • Use your first draft as an opportunity to get down all of your points and ideas. Do not worry so much about flow or formatting. Start by ensuring the content is present.
  • If possible, give yourself a day or two between writing your first draft and revising your essay. This way, you are more likely to catch errors with grammar and formatting. [6] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Step 4 Make your essay specific.

  • This means avoiding trying to write a general essay that you can use for all application. Take the time to customize your essay to fit each scholarship, because even if both ask, "What was an experience that changed your life?" an academic and a community service scholarship are going to expect two different kinds of answers.

Step 5 Revise your essay.

  • Try reading your essay out loud to yourself. Listen closely to what you are saying to see if it makes sense. [7] X Research source
  • Trying working from a print-off if possible, alongside a computer screen. This way, you can make notes and edits on your paper before changing everything in your text document.

Finalizing Your Essay

Step 1 Proofread your paper.

  • Try working one line at a time and covering up the rest of your essay with a blank sheet of paper to focus your attention on what you are editing at that moment.
  • Do not rely on computer spelling and grammar checks, as they often miss common mistakes such as homophones and alternating verb tenses.

Step 2 Find an editor.

  • Ask someone you know has a strong command of the written word. They should be able to identify common spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as reading for the overall flow of the essay.
  • Let your editor see the prompt, as well as your essay, so that they can understand how clearly and completely you address your essay topic.

Step 3 Add identifying information.

  • If your essay is more than one page, add your last name and page number to the header or footer of each page.

Step 4 Submit your packet.

  • Confirm receipt of your application if you don't get one electronically. Call into the scholarship office and ensure that your application, including your essay, has been received.

Expert Q&A

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

  • Give the essay to a multiple peers or reviewers to read and critique before sending it in. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Do not repeat information that is located elsewhere within your application. Your essay should be comprised of personal information that you decide to provide. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 1

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  • ↑ http://www.studentscholarshipsearch.com/tips/scholarship-essay-tips.php
  • ↑ https://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/10-longtime-brainstorming-techniques-that-still-work.html
  • ↑ https://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/scholarships/essay
  • ↑ Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.. Educational Consultant. Expert Interview. 18 June 2020.
  • ↑ http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-scholarship-coach/2013/01/31/4-ways-to-make-your-scholarship-essay-stand-out
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Proofreading.html
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/561/01/
  • ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/peeredit.html
  • ↑ https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarship-application-strategies/tips-for-formatting-scholarship-application-essays/

About this article

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

If you need to write a personal statement for a scholarship, carefully read the scholarship application to see if there is a particular subject or prompt you should follow. Once you know the topic for your statement, write about why you are interested in your field of study, how the scholarship will help you achieve your goals, and what you think you can bring to the program. In addition, you should make the essay specific to the particular scholarship you are applying for. For tips on finding someone to proofread your scholarship essay, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write Personal Statements for Scholarships

introduction for personal statement scholarship

When applying for scholarships, a well-crafted personal statement can make a significant difference in your chances of securing funding for your education. A personal statement is an opportunity to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations to the scholarship committee.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to write an impressive personal statement that effectively highlights your qualifications and convinces the selection panel of your suitability for the scholarship.

Table of Contents

1. Understanding the Purpose of a Personal Statement

What is a personal statement.

A personal statement is a written document that provides insights into your personal background, achievements, goals, and motivations. It allows you to express your individuality and explain why you are a deserving candidate for a scholarship. Personal statements often serve as an introduction to your application and can greatly influence the scholarship committee’s decision.

Importance of Personal Statements in Scholarship Applications

Personal statements play a crucial role in scholarship applications for several reasons. Firstly, they offer a glimpse into your character, values, and experiences beyond what can be conveyed through academic records and recommendation letters.

Secondly, they provide an opportunity to demonstrate your passion, commitment, and potential impact in your chosen field of study. Lastly, personal statements allow the selection panel to assess your communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and overall suitability for the scholarship program.

2. Researching the Scholarship Program

Identifying the scholarship criteria.

Before you start writing your personal statement, it is essential to thoroughly understand the specific requirements and criteria set by the scholarship program. Review the application guidelines carefully, paying attention to factors such as academic achievements, financial need, leadership qualities, community involvement, and any other specific preferences or priorities mentioned by the scholarship provider.

Understanding the Organization’s Values and Objectives

To make your personal statement more impactful, take the time to research and understand the organization offering the scholarship. Explore their mission, values, and objectives. By aligning your personal statement with their core principles, you can demonstrate your genuine interest in their scholarship program and increase your chances of standing out from other applicants.

3. Brainstorming and Outlining Your Personal Statement

Reflecting on your experiences and achievements.

Begin by reflecting on your life experiences, academic achievements, extracurricular involvements, and significant moments that have shaped your personal and professional development. Consider your strengths, skills, and qualities that make you a unique and deserving candidate for the scholarship. Make a list of these key points to refer to when drafting your personal statement.

Defining Your Goals and Aspirations

Clarify your short-term and long-term goals and how the scholarship will contribute to achieving them. Whether it’s pursuing higher education, conducting research, or making a positive impact in your community, clearly articulate your aspirations and demonstrate how the scholarship aligns with your future plans.

4. Structuring Your Personal Statement

To create a compelling personal statement, it is important to structure your thoughts and ideas in a logical and engaging manner. Here is a suggested structure to follow:

Writing a Compelling Introduction

Begin your personal statement with a captivating opening that grabs the reader’s attention. You can start with an anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful statement that reflects your passion and motivation for pursuing the scholarship.

Highlighting Your Academic and Extracurricular Achievements

In this section, emphasize your academic accomplishments, including notable grades, awards, research projects, or academic honors. Additionally, showcase your involvement in extracurricular activities, such as leadership roles, volunteer work, or participation in clubs and organizations. Highlighting your achievements demonstrates your dedication, initiative, and ability to excel in various areas of your life.

Demonstrating Leadership and Community Involvement

Scholarship programs often value candidates who exhibit leadership qualities and a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities. Discuss your involvement in community service, volunteer work, or any initiatives where you have taken the lead. Demonstrate how these experiences have shaped your values, enhanced your interpersonal skills, and developed your ability to work collaboratively with others.

Discussing Challenges and Overcoming Adversity

In this section, share any personal challenges or obstacles you have faced and how you have overcome them. Discussing your resilience, perseverance, and problem-solving skills will illustrate your ability to navigate through difficulties and emerge stronger. This can provide valuable insights into your character and determination to succeed.

Articulating Your Future Plans

Clearly articulate your future plans and ambitions. Explain how the scholarship will enable you to pursue your goals and make a positive impact in your chosen field of study. Showcase your passion and enthusiasm for your intended career path, highlighting any research or projects you plan to undertake.

Conveying Your Passion and Motivation

Throughout your personal statement, infuse it with your genuine passion and motivation for your chosen field. Share personal anecdotes or experiences that have ignited your interest in the subject. Demonstrate your curiosity, intellectual drive, and commitment to learning.

Emphasizing Fit with the Scholarship Program

Tailor your personal statement to demonstrate a strong fit between your aspirations, values, and the scholarship program. Highlight specific aspects of the program that resonate with your goals and explain how you plan to contribute to the scholarship community. Showcasing your alignment with the scholarship’s mission and vision will enhance your chances of being selected.

5. Writing and Refining Your Personal Statement

Using clear and concise language.

When writing your personal statement, use clear, concise, and straightforward language. Avoid excessive jargon or complex sentence structures that might obscure your message. Aim to convey your ideas in a manner that is easily understandable and engaging for the reader.

Showcasing Your Unique Voice and Perspective

Your personal statement should reflect your authentic voice and personality. Write in a conversational tone, using personal pronouns to connect with the reader. Incorporate anecdotes, personal reflections, or stories that illustrate your unique perspective and experiences. This will help create a memorable and relatable personal statement.

Avoiding Common Grammar and Spelling Errors

Ensure that your personal statement is free of grammar and spelling errors. Proofread carefully, and consider using grammar-checking tools or asking a trusted friend or mentor to review your statement. A polished and error-free personal statement reflects your attention to detail and commitment to producing high-quality work.

Seeking Feedback and Revision

After drafting your personal statement, seek feedback from individuals you trust, such as teachers, mentors, or family members. Ask for their input on the clarity, coherence, and impact of your statement. Revise your personal statement based on their suggestions, incorporating improvements that enhance its overall quality and effectiveness.

6. Conclusion

In conclusion, writing a compelling personal statement for scholarships requires careful planning, thoughtful reflection, and effective communication.

By understanding the purpose of a personal statement, researching the scholarship program, brainstorming and outlining your ideas, and structuring your statement effectively, you can create a powerful narrative that sets you apart from other applicants.

Remember to showcase your unique qualities, articulate your goals and aspirations, and emphasize your fit with the scholarship program. With careful writing and revision, your personal statement can significantly enhance your chances of securing the scholarship you desire.

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  • Applying For Scholarships

How to Write a Scholarship Essay Introduction (With Example)

David Nov 27, 2018

How to Write a Scholarship Essay Introduction (With Example)

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With the thousands of scholarships out there, you have a chance to win serious money to put towards your college tuition. But, the scholarship application process can be quite stressful, so we are here to help. The most difficult part of the application process for students is usually the essay . How do you write it? What should it include? We are going to focus on how to start a scholarship essay introduction.  

Scholarships are super competitive and the reviewers may not even have time to read the entire essay submitted. So, the first sentence of your scholarship application is your first and best chance to convince the reader to continue reading. For this reason, your essay’s introduction is crucial.

That sounds stressful, but rest assured, your introduction can actually be your best tool for success. Luckily, there is no one right way to write a scholarship introduction, but there are some things you must keep in mind.

You need to catch the judges’ eyes from the very beginning of the essay. Imagine that your readers have to read hundreds of applications. You must make your essay stand out.

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Your introduction should include the following three things:

  • Attention-grabbing first sentence
  • A short explanation for what you will talk about in your essay
  • The thesis statement in which you address the essay prompt

Your introduction should be short, sweet, and to the point. This is the place to establish for the reader what you will be discussing in the rest of the essay.

Do you have a short story you can open your essay with? Jokes, metaphors, and anecdotes are a great way to capture your reader’s attention. Try to develop a personal connection with the reader from the start of your essay- readers are more likely to remember you if you give them something personal.

Take a look at the following two examples:

  • Example #1: It is important to take responsibility for your actions for a few reasons.
  • Example #2: December 2, 2015 was the day my life took a major turning point.

Do you notice the difference? Which example makes you feel like you want to know more about the writer? Of course, example #2. This is the effect that your essay introduction should have on the reader.

Be sure to maintain a unique voice in your introduction and throughout your essay. Remember that there are many other accomplished students like yourself who are fighting for the scholarship. Dive into your passions and share with the reader what makes you special.

Here are things you should avoid doing in the introduction paragraph:

  • Avoid using big words only to sound intelligent. Your introduction should sound natural.
  • Avoid starting your essay with quotes; those are somebody else’s words, not your own. Instead, use your own words and let your personality shine in the essay.
  • Avoid obvious statements such as “I am interested in this scholarship.”
  • Avoid introducing yourself

Also, remember to keep in mind the values of the organization or the school that you are writing the scholarship for. Express yourself in a way that the readers will appreciate. Yes, it’s important to be yourself. But, it’s also important to share the side of yourself that your reader will appreciate. To find this information out, you must research your audience to know what their values are.

Adapt your personal statement for different scholarships. Finally, make sure that you understand the instructions and essay questions before you begin writing.

Scholarship Essay Introduction Example:

Prompt: Please give the committee an idea of who you are and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

concept for How to start a scholarship essay introduction

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David Tabachnikov ScholarshipOwl

David Tabachnikov is the CEO of ScholarshipOwl. Formerly at Waze and Google, David is an experienced CTO/R&D manager with over 10 years of experience of leading tech teams. David fervently believes that students should have greater access to education, and is passionate about using technology to help them achieve that goal.

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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Important updates.

  • The priority filing date for the 2024-25 FAFSA and CADAA was extended to May 2, 2024 . Visit Apply for Financial Aid for details.
  • The Department of Education has announced they will send information from the 2024-25 FAFSA to schools in mid-March. This may result in a delay in financial aid packaging and offers for the 2024-25 academic year. While awaiting your financial aid offer, we encourage you to utilize the UC Davis Financial Aid Estimator  to estimate your potential aid.

Writing a Personal Statement

Perhaps the most critical piece of many scholarship applications is the personal statement. It is often the chance for you to make the best case for why you should be given a scholarship. Personal statements allow the reader of your application to gain the strongest feel for who you are as a person, what sets you apart from other applicants, provide evidence of your intellectual and creative achievements, and show your writing ability.

Your personal statement should be treated as the equivalent of a face-to-face interview. A well-written statement adds clarity, richness, and meaning to the information collected in other parts of your application. It is also an opportunity to explain how factors outside of your school environment have enhanced or impeded your ability to maximize available academic and intellectual opportunities.

While there is no one correct way to write a personal statement, here are some tips that are universally applicable:

Start on your personal statement early.

Give yourself time to think about your topics, and carefully consider the rationale behind each question.

Be clear. Be focused. Be organized.

Make sure your personal statement follows a logical structure. Try to think about how it may sound to an audience who doesn’t know you. Getting input from people you trust—teachers, friends, relatives—can help you get different perspectives on how your personal statement affects those who are reading it. Avoiding long, drawn-out essay responses will not only help keep your reader’s attention but will also show that you were thoughtful about your writing.

Get personal.

The readers want to get a sense of who you are, and the only way to do this is to share a bit about who you are.  After all, it is called a Personal Statement. This is your chance to share with the reader what you feel they should know about you to make an informed decision.

Make it authentic.

A personal statement should showcase who you are and what you care about, not what you believe the readers want to hear. Remember that those reading your application will be reading many other applications as well and will be able to tell right away if what you are writing is honest and authentic. It is also worth keeping in mind that some programs require an interview for finalists where it will be easy to spot those who have not been genuine in their personal statements.

Be careful with humor and clichés.

What might seem funny or bitingly ironic to you might not seem that way to someone who doesn’t know you. Remember that the personal statement is an opportunity for you to give a complete picture of yourself. Don’t allow clichés to speak for you.

Be reflective.

A personal statement isn’t effective simply because it chronicles difficult circumstances. Strong personal statements should show that the writer has reflected upon and learned from their past experiences and achievements. Ideally, the writer will be able to show progression towards a clear perspective of how he or she sees the world, and what direction he or she is headed towards in the future. An effective personal statement gives a clear sense of your personal qualities and how you have used and developed them in response to your opportunities and challenges.

Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Being too vague or writing too generally will not make your personal statement memorable. Thousands upon thousands of personal statements discuss initiative, but only hundreds show initiative using concrete examples of demonstrated motivation and leadership. But examples are only one part of the equation. You also need to show how you have assigned meaning to your experiences and how you have grown from them. Prove that you have a sense of who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to use your education and your experiences to accomplish your goals. Although some events have long-term or even lifetime ramifications, it is usually better to focus on recent events because they shed more light on who you are right now.

Finally, give yourself plenty of time for revisions.

Personal statements should go through several drafts before submission. Read your writing to others, and revise for clarity in content and in style. Pay attention to rules of correct grammar and punctuation, and don’t forget to spell-check. It is also recommended that you make use of campus resources (such as professor, teaching assistant, advisor, Academic Assistance and Tutoring Center, classmates, or friends) to gain valuable insight into how to improve your personal statement. If you are applying for prestigious scholarships, make sure to submit all personal statements to the Prestigious Scholarship Advisor for editing and guidance on re-writes.

We hope these tips will help you get organized and will inspire you. Your personal statement is the best tool you have to show us the individual gifts you have to offer.

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Opportunitiescircle 4

How to write a personal statement for scholarship | tips with example/template.

  • February 5, 2024
  • by Opportunitiescircle 4

Personal Statement for Scholarship

Are you ready to apply but stuck with a Personal Statement for Scholarship? International Scholarship is a transformative journey that opens the door to success through financial assistance, but it comes with some requirements. While applying for a scholarship, you may need to submit several documents, including a Personal Statement for a Scholarship. As scholarship competition is fierce, a scholarship personal statement for undergraduates and masters needs to stand out and make an impact to distinguish you from the crowd.

This comprehensive guide will highlight how to write a personal statement for a scholarship within the word limit, provide personal statement examples, and provide other tips for writing a personal statement for master’s and undergraduate students. A personal statement for Scholarship is not just about listing your achievements; it’s about narrating a story that convinces the selection committee to select you for the Scholarship. This guide will break down the steps to write a personal statement for a Scholarship that stands out. After following the instructions, you will be able to impact the selection committee and convince them that you’re the right fit for the grant or Scholarship. So, get ready to dive into this journey of self-discovery together. Your personal statement is more than just words on paper; it’s the key to unlocking the Scholarship you aim for. So, let’s make it awesome!

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a document intended to introduce yourself, share your background, highlight your achievements, and express your goals and aspirations to achieve any international scholarship . A personal statement aims to showcase your qualities, accomplishments, relevant experiences, motivation, and interests, helping the committee understand why you are a deserving candidate for the scholarship. A personal statement portrays your personality and tells why you’re the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

Your personal statement helps you connect better with the selection committee that showcases your narrative, uniqueness, and contribution to the academic world. Usually, a personal statement for the scholarship includes details about your academic and career goals, community involvement (social work), challenges you may have overcome, and any other factors that make you a right fit for the scholarship. Now the question ‘What is a personal statement’ is clear, let’s head to how to write a personal statement. Do not worry; a sample personal statement is given at the end, where you can see how to write about your interests and write a personal statement for scholarships.

Crafting an Exceptional Personal Statement for Scholarship

It is pertinent to comprehend the instructions and criteria for a personal statement for a scholarship application in detail. After comprehensively understanding the scholarship’s goal and objectives, improvise and structure your personal statement sample by resonating with the personal statement criteria to become a standout candidate poised for academic excellence.

Write a Compelling Story

Drafting a compelling story for a personal statement for scholarship format and structure would be great. You can write a captivating introduction by sharing a defining experience or moment and a personal anecdote that makes you unique and inspires you to follow a goal in your career.

Highlight Achievements

Try to include the most relevant achievement and link it with the question in the personal statement. (Look at the sample template given at the end under the personal statement heading for the scholarship sample, template, and tips.) Explain and highlight your leadership roles, academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, etc. Most important is to write about your involvement in community and social services. Highlight your interest, commitment, and discipline of interest.

Personal Growth and Development

A sample personal statement for scholarship application discusses challenges and how they shaped you as a person. How did that contribute to your personal development of character, perspective, and resilience? Include how you were able to overcome the difficulties and grow from adversity.

Use Examples to Share Your Narrative

Use examples to share your experiences and plans. You must prove that you are aware of the responsibility you have been assigned and how you will use this opportunity to accomplish your goals. Separately describing your short-term and long-term goals will help them better understand your skills and plans and if you’re the right candidate to be awarded the scholarship to study abroad.

Be Authentic

Structure and examples of personal statements for scholarships should be solely and utterly based on truth to yourself and the scholarship committee. Avoid over-exaggerations and be detailed. Your personal experiences should be related to your goals and future career aspirations.

Why Do Scholarship Committees Require Personal Statements?

The selection committee uses personal statements for scholarship for selection purposes to gain a holistic and deep understanding of applicants. This understanding goes beyond their academic achievements and grades. As a scholarship committee, it wants to identify passionate individuals who, along with excelling academically, possess qualities such as leadership, determination, and strong commitment to their culture and community. Only a well-written personal statement can help the committee assess your suitability for the scholarship and your potential to contribute positively to your field of study and society.

Common Scholarship Personal Statement Prompts

The following prompt asks for both a personal statement for a scholarship sample of 500 words and a personal statement for a scholarship sample of 250 words. Scholarship personal statement prompts can generally differ in a wide range, but some commonly held themes exist. Some common prompts include:

  • Describe your academic and professional goals.
  • Discuss any pertinent challenge you’ve overcome and how it has shaped you.
  • Give a reason why you are a strong candidate for this scholarship.
  • Explain your extracurricular activities, community/social service, or leadership roles.
  • Discuss your passion for your field of study and how you can contribute to it in the future.

These are some of the generally asked questions. However, it is essential to understand the specific prompt for each scholarship as it guides the structure, content, and focus of your personal statement. Make sure to include all the relevant themes in your response.

How to Write a Personal Statement for Scholarship

Thoroughly researching the Scholarship Opportunities is very important to know every detail about it and make sure to complete all significant instructions of scholarship information as each scholarship might consist of different requirements, eligibility criteria, and questions. It is essential to map out a chart online or on a notepad related to your deadlines, planning, values, and support you may require to submit for your scholarship. You must be thinking about how to write a personal statement for scholarship. Don’t worry; Opportunities Circle is here to help you write a scholarship-winning personal statement. We have listed some steps for writing a personal statement for scholarship.

Reflect on Qualifications and Goals

Assess your academic qualification and extracurricular achievements and how they relate to your strategic or long-term goals. Your personal statement for the scholarship (250 or 500 words typically) consists of why you are a strong candidate for the scholarship, what makes you different from others, and why you should be awarded the scholarship opportunity.

Create a Timeline

Time division is one of the most vital considerations when applying for an international or national scholarship abroad. Even within scholarship, each section and subpart of it should be given particular deadlines, like writing a personal scholarship. Creating a timeline allows you to finish your personal statement well before time. The earlier you start, the more opportunity you have to draft, make revisions, and seek feedback from peers, mentors, or others. Refrain from procrastinating as it can lead to rushed and incomplete submissions, so it’s essential to plan your personal statement for the scholarship draft or sample carefully.

Formatting and Style

Formatting and style should follow the pattern provided by the scholarship committee or university. Adhering to all the details like formatting, font, or length guidelines provided by the scholarship committee is the first thing in mind when a student thinks ‘about how to write a personal statement for a scholarship’. Follow the instructions to avoid disqualification. The second point for writing a personal statement for scholarship is to use a professional and clear writing style. Avoid slang and informal tone, and don’t drag the content; be specific and to the point. Proper editing and Proofreading: make sure that your personal statement for scholarship, for both 250 words and 500 words, is free of grammatical errors and typos. Thoroughly proofread your work.

Additional Tips for Personal Statement for Scholarship

  • Action matters the most: use specific detailed examples and experiences in the industry to support your CV. For example, don’t say you are a leader; narrate your leadership experience.
  • Compelling Opening: The beginning of any personal statement for scholarship undergraduate and postgraduate should capture the committee’s attention.
  • Share some personal story or a thought.
  • Connect Your Experiences to Your Goals: A personal statement should explain the connection of your past experiences with your goals. Then relate it to how achieving the scholarship will help you achieve that goal.
  • Address Potential Weaknesses: Address your weakness honestly and positively in your personal statement for scholarship application. Weaknesses can be any gap in your academic records.
  • Stay Confident and optimistic: Maintain a positive and confident tone throughout your personal statement. Convey your belief in your abilities and your commitment to your goals.
  • Enthusiasm: Your personal statement for scholarship should prove your genuine enthusiasm for your future goal in your field of study.
  • Be focused, specific, and concrete: Try to give relevant examples only; even the experience in those examples should be straightforward. Follow the word limit and stay on topic.

Personal Statement Examples:  

Personal statement for scholarship example #1.

Hailing from an agricultural village in Punjab (Pakistan), I have had a very close relationship and understanding of agriculture and farming since a young age. Farmers plowing and harvesting the land have always piqued my interest. I pursued my bachelor’s in Agriculture due to my keen interest in the field and my sense of responsibility to my farmer’s community. Over time, I watched the usage of fertilizers and other chemicals to increase the quantity of crops while affecting the quality of land and produce. This issue raised my interest in the field of agriculture and motivated me to pursue my bachelor’s. Now, I want to pursue a master’s degree and learn from the best mentors and professionals to contribute to resolving this global challenge, making agricultural practices sustainable, and building healthy communities leading to sustainable food growth.

Hands-on experience during my internship and community service has increased my interest in contributing to the advancement of sustainable agriculture. I have actively engaged in research projects focusing on environmentally friendly farming methods. My leadership experiences extend beyond the workplace. As the head of the Society for Sustainable Agriculture, a community-based organization, I initiated projects to educate local farmers about the benefits of sustainable agriculture. This involvement honed my leadership and communication skills and instilled in me a sense of responsibility toward community-driven agricultural development. The above experiences have deepened my understanding of the intricacies of agricultural systems and fueled my desire to be at the forefront of transformative change in the industry.

I am not merely seeking a degree; I want to pursue knowledge that will empower me to create a positive impact in agriculture. Through coursework and research at XYZ University, I aim to explore cutting-edge techniques and methodologies that can address current agricultural challenges and contribute to global food security. Receiving the scholarship would validate my dedication to sustainable agriculture and be a catalyst for driving meaningful change. I am eager to leverage this opportunity to collaborate with esteemed faculty members and fellow scholars, enhancing my skills and knowledge to make a lasting difference in the agricultural landscape. I am seeking a partnership in my mission to revolutionize agriculture. With the support of the XYZ scholarship, I can contribute significantly to sustainable agricultural practice, leading to sustainable food production.

Personal Statement for Scholarship Example #2

Food Chemistry has always fascinated me; the reactions when any chemical is added to another and the changing properties and nature of the original chemical have always piqued my interest. Applying chemistry in daily routine, for example, how the cream of milk transforms into cheese and butter, how milk turns into curd, and so on.

As my interest grew in this field, I opted for food science as an undergraduate program and am now seeking to pursue food chemistry at XYZ University. I’ve participated in a number of research activities, working to improve the quality of food by applying the laws of chemistry. In addition, I conducted research in this field, opening a new perspective on food that can work as medicine.

My experiences have taught me the importance of attention to detail, careful observation, and teamwork. These skills will be essential as I continue my studies and pursue a career in this subject. My passion for food chemistry, academic achievements, and research experience make me a strong candidate for this scholarship. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to apply for this scholarship. I am committed to pursuing a food chemistry career, and I believe this scholarship will help me achieve my goals. With the financial support and encouragement provided by this scholarship, I am confident that I will be able to make a meaningful contribution to the field of food chemistry and society.

Crafting a compelling personal statement is crucial in acquiring a scholarship. Follow the personal statement template provided above. Also, before submitting your personal statement, do a final review to ensure it is well-articulated, error-free, and aligned with the scholarship’s vision and goal. Your personal statement should accurately reflect your achievements and aspirations and how you are a great fit or a deserving scholarship recipient.

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Mastering the Personal Statement Format: A Guide

Craft a standout personal statement with essential elements. Impress admissions committees with your compelling narrative.

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When it comes to college and university admissions, the personal statement assumes a paramount role in setting applicants apart from their peers. A meticulously constructed personal statement becomes an instrument of utmost significance, empowering individuals to exhibit their distinctive qualities, experiences, and aspirations to discerning admissions committees. 

Recognizing the significant influence of a well-crafted personal statement on an individual’s academic journey, this article aims to provide aspiring students with a comprehensive guide to excel in the art of creating impactful personal statements.

By exploring the definition and purpose of personal statements and offering invaluable writing tips and strategies, this guide assists users in mastering the format of a compelling personal statement.

Definition Of Personal Statement

A personal statement is a written document typically required as part of the application process for educational institutions, scholarships, job opportunities, or other significant life events. It serves as a unique and personalized representation of an individual’s background, experiences, achievements, and aspirations. 

The personal statement offers applicants a chance to showcase their personality, passions, and motivations, allowing them to stand out and make a compelling case for their suitability for the position or opportunity they are seeking.

Purpose Of A Personal Statement

The primary purpose of a personal statement is to provide the admissions committee, employer, or selection panel with deeper insights into the applicant’s character, values, and potential. Beyond the information provided in other application materials, such as grades or resumes, a personal statement delves into the applicant’s story, offering a glimpse into their life journey and how it has shaped their ambitions and goals.

By presenting a well-crafted personal statement, applicants aim to:

  • Demonstrate their suitability: Applicants can use the personal statement to highlight how their skills, experiences, and passions align with the requirements of the institution or position they are applying for.
  • Convey their uniqueness: A personal statement enables applicants to showcase what sets them apart from other candidates and demonstrate their individuality, perspectives, and strengths.
  • Exhibit strong communication skills: Crafting an engaging and articulate personal statement reflects an applicant’s ability to express ideas clearly and persuasively, a crucial skill in many fields.
  • Show commitment and motivation: By explaining their motivations and aspirations, applicants can convey their dedication and determination to succeed in the chosen field of study or profession.

Admissions Process Overview

The admissions process varies depending on the institution or opportunity being pursued. However, the general steps involved in the admissions process include:

  • Research and exploration: Prospective applicants research various educational institutions, job opportunities, or scholarships to identify the ones that align with their interests and goals.
  • Application submission: Applicants complete the required application forms and submit supporting documents, which may include academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, resumes, and the personal statement.
  • Review by admissions committee or employer: The admissions committee or employer evaluates all received applications, assessing candidates based on their academic achievements, experiences, qualifications, and the content of their personal statements.
  • Selection and decision-making: After careful evaluation, the institution or employer makes decisions regarding acceptance, job offers, or scholarship awards.

Components Of A Successful Personal Statement

A successful personal statement should incorporate the following components:

  • Introduction: A compelling opening that grabs the reader’s attention and provides a glimpse of the applicant’s personality and background.
  • Personal narrative: A well-structured and engaging account of the applicant’s life experiences, including challenges faced, significant achievements, and pivotal moments.
  • Clear goals and aspirations: A demonstration of the applicant’s future plans, showing how the opportunity they seek aligns with their long-term objectives.
  • Relevance to the opportunity: A clear connection between the applicant’s experiences, skills, and motivations with the specific program, job, or scholarship they are applying for.
  • Demonstration of qualities and strengths: Showcase of key attributes, such as leadership, adaptability, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills, supported by relevant examples.
  • Reflection and growth: Demonstrating how past experiences have shaped the applicant’s personal and professional development and how they have learned from challenges.
  • Conciseness and clarity: Effective communication with a focus on coherence, relevance, and avoiding unnecessary details or jargon.
  • Positive tone: A positive and optimistic outlook that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.
  • Proofreading and editing: Thoroughly reviewed and edited to ensure impeccable grammar, spelling, and overall presentation.

Personal Statement Format: The Basics

The personal statement is a critical component of various applications, providing applicants with a platform to present their unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations. 

In this section, let’s explore the fundamental format of a personal statement, comprising the introduction paragraph, body paragraphs, and conclusion paragraph . Understanding these elements will empower applicants to effectively communicate their story and convince the reader of their suitability for the desired opportunity.

Introduction Paragraph

The introduction paragraph marks the beginning of the personal statement and serves as a gateway to the applicant’s narrative. Here, applicants aim to capture the reader’s attention, provide essential background information about themselves, and present the overarching theme or purpose of their personal statement. The introduction sets the tone for the entire document and offers the opportunity to make a memorable first impression.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs constitute the heart of the personal statement, where applicants delve into their experiences, accomplishments, and motivations in greater detail. Each body paragraph should revolve around a distinct topic or aspect of the applicant’s life that aligns with the central theme established in the introduction. Here, applicants can showcase their personal growth, relevant skills, and how specific experiences have shaped their aspirations. By providing compelling evidence and anecdotes, the body paragraphs reinforce the applicant’s suitability for the opportunity they are pursuing.

Conclusion Paragraph

In the conclusion paragraph, applicants bring their personal statement to a thoughtful close. This section restates the main points highlighted in the body paragraphs, emphasizing the alignment between the applicant’s journey and the sought-after opportunity. The conclusion may also include reflective insights, demonstrating self-awareness and an understanding of the potential impact they could make in the future. A well-crafted conclusion leaves a lasting impression, leaving the reader with a sense of the applicant’s character and potential.

Formatting The Personal Statement Essay

When crafting a well-structured personal statement, the writer must not overlook the importance of proper formatting. The arrangement of text, choice of font, and adherence to specific guidelines can significantly influence the essay’s overall impact and readability. Here are the key components of formatting that contribute to the transformation of essays into polished and impactful pieces of writing.

Font And Size

The recommended font for academic essays is typically Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The standard font size is 12 points. This size ensures that the text is clear and readable without being too large or too small. Avoid using fancy or decorative fonts as they can distract from the content and may not be as legible.

Margins And Spacing

The standard margins for an essay are usually set at 1 inch on all sides (top, bottom, left, and right). This margin size provides a neat and balanced appearance to the document. Some institutions or formatting guidelines may require specific margin sizes, so it’s essential to check the requirements provided by the institution or instructor.

For spacing, the most common format is double-spacing throughout the entire essay. Double-spacing makes the text easier to read and allows space for comments or corrections if the essay needs to be reviewed or graded. However, some guidelines may require single-spacing for specific elements like block quotes or reference lists. Always follow the specific instructions, if available. 

Essays often have a specific page limit or word count that students must adhere to. The page limit indicates the maximum number of pages that the essay can occupy. If there is no specified page limit, the general guideline is to aim for around 1.5 to 2 pages for a standard personal statement essay.

If a page limit is provided, it’s essential to stay within that limit. Going significantly over the page limit may result in a bad impression, in some cases, the essay being rejected outright. On the other hand, if the essay is shorter than the specified page limit, students should use the extra space to expand on their ideas or provide more supporting evidence.

Writing Tips And Strategies for Personal Statement Format

Crafting a compelling personal statement is a crucial step in various application processes, whether it’s for college admissions, scholarships, or job opportunities. This document offers applicants a chance to stand out from the crowd and present their unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations. To create an impactful personal statement, consider the following writing tips and strategies:

Show Don’t Tell Strategy

One of the most effective ways to engage the reader and make your personal statement memorable is by employing the “Show Don’t Tell” strategy. Rather than simply stating facts or qualities about yourself, use vivid and specific examples to illustrate your strengths, experiences, and character traits. Instead of saying, “I am a determined and resilient individual,” provide a story that demonstrates your determination and resilience in overcoming a challenging situation. By showing your qualities through compelling narratives, you allow the reader to connect with your experiences on a deeper level.

Start With An Outline Or Brainstorming Session

Before diving into writing, take the time to create an outline or engage in a brainstorming session. Jot down key points, experiences, and ideas that you want to include in your personal statement. Organize them logically to form a coherent structure. Having a clear outline or list of ideas will help you maintain focus and prevent your personal statement from becoming disjointed. It will also ensure that you cover all essential aspects of your life and aspirations, creating a comprehensive and well-rounded essay.

Reflect On Your Experiences

Take time to reflect on your life experiences, both personal and academic. Identify significant events, challenges, achievements, and moments that have shaped your character and influenced your goals.

Showcase Your Authenticity

Be genuine and authentic in your writing. Avoid using clichés or trying to present yourself as someone you’re not. Admissions committees and employers appreciate honesty and real-life experiences.

Structure Your Statement

Organize your personal statement with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and a strong conclusion. The introduction should engage the reader, while the body paragraphs should provide evidence and examples to support your central theme. The conclusion should leave a lasting impression and reiterate your main points.

Provide Concrete Examples

Support your claims and assertions with specific examples, anecdotes, or achievements. Concrete evidence strengthens your statement and helps the reader connect with your experiences.

Address Weaknesses, But Stay Positive

If you have any weaknesses in your application, such as low grades or employment gaps, you can address them in your personal statement. However, always maintain a positive tone and focus on how you have learned from those experiences and improved.

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How to Write a Winning Scholarship Personal Statement With Examples

In this article, we’ll talk you through why a scholarship personal statement is important and questions to brainstorm before you get started.

We have great tips for how to adapt your statement depending on what the prompt question is, what to include and three examples of winning scholarship personal statements.

Our favourite statements use life experiences as a metaphor for success. One makes a connection between high jumping and medical school!

We also loved hearing about an aspiring party planner who spotted a niche in the market which led to a scholarship and a computer science star helping his local community online.

Table of Contents

What is a scholarship personal statement.

  • Tips for writing an Effective Scholarship Personal Statement – what should you include?

Scholarship Personal Statement Example #1

How to adapt your scholarship personal statement.

  • Scholarship Personal Statement Example #2
  • Scholarship Personal Statement Example #3

Brainstorming questions for your personal statement

Why is writing a winning scholarship personal statement important.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

scholarship personal statement

It’s a short essay or paragraph about yourself, written for the purpose of applying for scholarships.

It should focus on your strengths and explain why you deserve the money being offered by the scholarship provider.

Remember that a scholarship might be money that can pay for school fees, accommodation or living expenses, or take the form of a portion of your school fees being paid for you so you should be clear about what you are applying for and make sure your statement mentions this.

A personal statement should sound honest and genuine in order to stand out from the competition.

Show them what makes you unique, such as your interests and achievements, and explain you deserve financial support from the scholarship provider.

A good way to do this is by sharing stories that showcase your passion for certain causes or topics related to your field of study or career goals.

Additionally, make sure that your language is appropriate; avoid using slang words or phrases that may not be understood by those reading your application materials.

Finally, keep in mind that shorter sentences tend to be more effective than longer ones when it comes to writing personal statements and stick to the word count!

Tips for writing an Effective Scholarship Personal Statement- what should you include?

1. identify your motivation for seeking a scholarship.

Explain the reasons why you need a scholarship.

Commonly, these can include financial hardship in your family, not having any close family support, coming from a single-parent or foster-parent home, parents who are disabled or out of work, coming from a low-income family or neighbourhood, and receiving government assistance like food stamps and housing aid.

List all of these reasons in your scholarship personal statement along with any other relevant information that might help the committee understand why you need their help paying for college tuition fees.

Make it clear that these challenges have made you stronger!

Explain why you deserve the scholarship by listing all of your achievements and successes that have led up to this point in time – be sure to emphasize anything that shows off your intellectual abilities as well as any awards or recognition related to these achievements such as being an honour roll student or National Merit Scholar designation.

Talk about your future goals and make it clear how obtaining a degree will help further those goals – this could include anything from pursuing an advanced degree in medicine to becoming an entrepreneur who needs business knowledge to create jobs in your hometown.

2. Write about a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it

Writing about a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it can make a great personal statement for scholarships.

You will show potential scholarship providers that you have the determination, perseverance, and resilience to overcome obstacles in order to achieve success – in other words, the challenge is a metaphor.

Additionally, sharing what lessons you learned from the experience will demonstrate your maturity, flexibility and ability to learn from difficult situations.

Colleges and scholarship awarding bodies are looking for positive people who are hard workers.

Explaining how this challenge helped make you stronger will make your application stand out from others in a positive way.

3. Talk about an interest or passion of yours

Talking about an interest or passion can help you write an effective personal statement for scholarships because it gives you the opportunity to share your motivation, achievement, leadership, and commitment.

By discussing these topics in your statement, you will be able to showcase why this particular field is important to you and how it has impacted your life.

This will help scholarship selection committees understand why they should award you with a scholarship and recognize your potential contributions as a future leader in the field.

In example #2 above, Sara wrote a fantastic personal statement about her passion for making parties affordable and personalised for ordinary people.

Volunteering at a retirement community, I was able to use my party planning skills for completely unique parties – ‘grandma’ baby showers!

So many of the residents were excited about becoming grandparents or great-parents but were far from family.

I created personalised party kits with cakes, balloons and banners for a relatively low cost and it was a wonderful way for residents to share baby photos and feel that they were included in the celebrations.

In the future, I intend to use my degree in event planning to set up my career as a party planner, specialising in events for seniors.

She went on to explain that she had made enough money from this unique service to put herself through 2 years of community college and intended to continue on a smaller scale while studying full-time.

4. Explain how a scholarship will help you achieve your goals

Your statement needs to give the awarding committee a clear understanding of what the scholarship will provide and how it will help you achieve your goals.

• ‘I would like to study X because it will help me achieve my career goals’ doesn’t really give enough information.

• ‘ I plan on transferring to School X after receiving my Associate degree from College Y in order to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in Z field of study’ is better – but it doesn’t really make your application stand out.

• ‘My long-term career goal is to become an ABC practitioner/specialist with a Master’s Degree in XYZ field of study from University ABC by 2025, in order to help disadvantaged youth in the region reach their full potential.’ tells them how helping you to achieve your goals might help other people.

5. Provide details about your education so far

There’s no need to talk in too much detail, but remember that the committee will have a huge stack of applications to look at and it’s helpful for them not to have to keep flipping between your CV/resume and your personal statement.

Mentioning that you graduated High School with a 3.8 GPA and have been accepted to XYZ university to study Social Sciences with the aim of becoming a social worker will help them stay focused on the big picture.

6. Add any other information that will strengthen your application

When writing a personal statement for scholarships, it is essential to include information that can’t be found in your resume or transcript. This includes

  • painting a picture of who you are
  • sharing something about yourself that isn’t already known
  • showcasing your strengths.

Additionally, it should complement the other parts of your application and relate to the scholarship provider’s goals.

Finally, it can acknowledge any weaknesses but focus primarily on positive aspects and how any setbacks have made you stronger and more resilient.

7. Conclude with a statement of determination

A statement of determination reinforces your strengths and shows the granting committee that you are determined to succeed.

By ending with a brief summary of why you are the best candidate, right after stating how this scholarship will fund your degree, it will impress the readers and make them more likely to award you with the scholarship.

8. Proofread and revise your work carefully

  • Take a break from the computer: Give yourself at least a 12-hour break before you start editing your work to give your brain and eyes time to relax.
  • Read your essay from top to bottom: Read your essay several times from beginning to end, paying extra close attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation, capital letters and sentence structure.
  • Have someone else read it over for a fresh perspective and help catch anything you missed during the reading process.

9. Include a relevant essay title

Why is this point 9 and not point 1? You never know how the direction of your essay might change during the writing process!

A relevant essay title can help provide a clear focus and direction for an effective personal statement for scholarship but be prepared to be flexible. Jessie’s essay, which we looked at earlier, ended up having the title ‘Setting the bar high’ which was a great play on words and referred both to high-jumping and the goal of achieving a medical degree.

By including a relevant essay title, you are able to write an opening paragraph that is both engaging and persuasive, thus increasing your chances of winning a scholarship.

10. Follow the instructions given by the scholarship provider

Research the scholarship you are applying for and familiarize yourself with its requirements and criteria.

Make sure that all documents required by the scholarship provider (including transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) are included with your application package when submitting it.

Then proofread again!

When writing a personal statement for a scholarship, it is important to focus on why you deserve the award and how it will benefit your future.

The statement should be concise and interesting, while still providing enough information about yourself to demonstrate why you are deserving of the scholarship.

It is also important to include relevant details such as volunteer work, academic achievements, or extracurricular activities that have helped shape who you are today.

A good example of a scholarship personal statement can be found below:

(Free topic) – Setting the bar high

Every Saturday morning I spend three hours throwing myself backwards over a high jump bar in a feat that seems impossible. If you flinch or hesitate, you will crash into the bar and be out of the competition. When I was younger, and dreaming of being a doctor, some teachers thought I was setting the bar too high and advised me to aim lower. I approached my academic studies with the same determination as the high jump and have been offered a place at medical school.

I grew up in a very conservative small town in the south, where there are a lot of team sports for boys but few for girls past the age of 12. I came to high jumping quite late compared to other sports, when I was 13. I came 4 th in the under-14 state championship the following year and took 3 rd in the under-15s. What was interesting was that several of my teachers were very encouraging about me going to college and playing sports but nobody took me seriously when I told them I wanted to study medicine.

As I got stronger and started attempting higher and higher jumps in competition, my grades went up too. The confidence I got from winning medals and being a role model to other young athletes was reflected in my success in the classroom. The motto of the college I will attend is Vim Promovet Insitam, or ‘learning promotes one’s innate power’. The more I learn, in class and on the sports field, the stronger I feel, and more able to achieve my dreams and help others.

My family have always encouraged me to be the best I can be. My parents have raised me and my 4 siblings with good values, to rise to a challenge and to understand the importance of teamwork and supporting our community. I hope that one day I can come back here to practice medicine at the local hospital – and coach high jump at the weekends!

If you have written a good statement for a free topic (meaning you choose what to write about) it’s possible to adapt that essay and use it to answer other questions, so you can apply for several scholarships at the same time!

Common topics to prepare essays for:

1.      A challenge you overcame

2.      an important life event.

3.      An important community issue

4.      How you want to change the world

5.      how you are from an under-represented group in this program, 6.      what values are important to you.

Look again at the essay above and you can see how with some small changes, particularly in the introduction and conclusion, the essay could be adapted to suit all these questions.

Jessie is talking about not being considered ‘smart’ enough to be a future medical student in the context of the challenge of high jumping.

Using the word challenge, with synonyms such as ‘difficulty’, also changing the form of the word and using common collocations (challenging, challenged, rise to the challenge, greatest challenge) really ties the statement to the question.

Jessie could focus more on how being selected for the regional team and winning 1 st place in the regional competition showed her that she was capable of academic excellence and succeeding at anything she put her mind to.

3.      An important community issue to you

This would be a challenging angle for this essay, but we would suggest focusing on the lack of female role models encouraging young women to join sports teams in her neighbourhood.

There are usually many more sports teams for boys but girls are under-represented. Perhaps Jessie could also talk about the privilege of mentoring younger teammates and encouraging academic excellence as well.

Jessie might talk more about the importance of affordable, accessible health care to all and make the link between children being healthy and being able to attend school.

Not all students will be from an under-represented group. However, if you are, there are different ways to approach this question.

If Jessie felt comfortable discussing identifying as queer, then writing about the challenges of being an LGBTQ+ student in her small, conservative town would be appropriate.

Jessie could also talk about her racial or cultural heritage as a child of minority parents who immigrated to the USA when she was young.

If she had a physical disability, that would also be an appropriate topic to discuss. What’s important in this type of question is honesty and candour.

Jessie could focus on the importance of focus and determination.

Remembering the motto of the school she was accepted to, she can talk about the importance of helping empower young people to believe in themselves and their potential for success.

She could also talk about the importance of compassion – trying to move past being hurt by the lack of encouragement from her teachers in the early stages of her education.

Even better she could talk about gratitude for their help later on when she blew past all their expectations for her, as a role model for other young women.

Scholarship Personal Statement: Example #2

‘A creative way to solve a problem’

Volunteering at a retirement community, I thought of the perfect way to help pay my way through Junior College. I was able to use my party planning skills for completely unique parties – ‘grandma’ baby showers!

Growing up, I was raised by a single mom my who always encouraged me to study hard and aim for college. I got babysitting jobs as soon as I could and started earning a little extra money helping some of the parents throw birthday parties for their children. This was the beginning of a love of helping plan unique and special events and working towards my dream job of becoming an events coordinator. I needed to find a way to put myself through school to get an event management degree.

As well as babysitting and a few waitressing shifts that fit with my classes, I volunteered once a week to run a crafts class for local seniors. I realized that many of the residents were excited about becoming grandparents or great-parents but were often far from family or couldn’t travel easily. With the support of the care workers, I threw a ‘grandma baby shower’ for one of my favourite ladies there and was inundated with requests for more.

I created personalised party kits with cakes, balloons and banners for a relatively low cost and it was a wonderful way for residents to share baby photos and feel that they were included in the celebrations. The money I earned was enough to pay my share of the rent and bills at home and I am starting to save for state college. A scholarship to help pay tuition costs will mean I can continue my party business at the weekends to pay my other expenses and otherwise focus on my studies.

In the future, I intend to use my degree in event planning and my love of creative problem solving to set up my own business as a party planner, hire community college students to work part-time for me and specialise in events for seniors.

Scholarship Personal Statement: Example #3

Prompt – Why do you deserve this scholarship?

My name is John Abrams and by helping me, you’ll be indirectly helping many other students in the future. I am a student, a leader, a tutor and a future employer.

I am currently pursuing my undergraduate degree in Computer Science at XYZ State College. I maintain a 4.0 GPA and am an active member of several student organizations on campus including the Coding Club and the local Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer team.

I have tutored classmates in IT, science and math throughout my own high school years and now coordinate a group tutoring middle school and Junior High school students online. I’ve been able to procure tutoring jobs for several of my fellow students in this way, thanks to parents recommending me to their friends and asking me to introduce them to reliable tutors for their children. It made me realize that I am good at finding the right people for the right jobs and will put this skill to excellent use in the future.

During the pandemic, I volunteered with the ABC online Coding Club, helping kids from lower-income families learn to code, interact with other students online in a safe environment and encourage them to consider studying computer science in the future. As well as working on coding through popular games, we worked on some community projects as well, with the kids designing some interactive features for our local animal shelter’s website. Everybody loved it and the shelter got a lot of extra traffic on social media leading to increased adoptions. I believe that volunteering is the best way to appreciate what we already have and a few hours a week can make all the difference in the community.

My goal is to one day use my skills to set up an outstanding online tutoring business with a focus on IT and coding for kids and teens, doing projects to learn new skills that can also benefit worthy causes in the students’ own communities.

Before you start – use these questions to brainstorm ideas then go through the tips step by step to make sure you have covered all the important information.

  • What do you want to do professionally when you graduate? Why do you want to do it?
  • What kinds of things do you need to learn in order to get where you want to go? How will the things you need to learn help you?
  • Does the school have a reputable program? (How did you hear about it?)
  • Does it have a well-known faculty? • Does it have state-of-the art facilities ? • Does it have a great network of graduates who could be mentors?
  • Emotional barriers or challenges you have faced and how they have helped shape you into the person you are today.
  • Key events or key people from your life that have influenced and inspired you.
  • Accomplishments, events, and realizations that sparked periods of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Volunteer work or community service activities that have shaped who you are today and what they have taught you.
  • What is your best quality?
  • What makes you unique?
  • How could winning this scholarship benefit other people?

1. It gives you the opportunity to showcase your strengths and qualifications

You are giving the reader an in-depth look at who you are as a person as well as your qualifications.

A well-written personal statement adds meaning to the information collected in other parts of your application and gives readers an opportunity to get a better sense of who you are as an individual.

Additionally, it shows how factors outside of your school environment have enhanced or impeded your ability to maximize available academic opportunities.

A strong personal statement can help ensure that you receive the scholarship or program that best fits your needs while showcasing the qualities that make you worthy of financial support.

2. Helps the awarding body understand why you are deserving of their scholarship

Writing a winning scholarship personal statement helps the awarding body understand why you are deserving of their scholarship by providing them with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

By including anecdotes, examples, and personal stories in your essay, you can highlight your strengths and accomplishments while also showing them why you need the money.

Additionally, providing specific reasons as to why you deserve the scholarship will help them see that you are truly deserving of their support.

Ultimately, writing a stand-out essay will help win over their hearts and minds so that they know they’re giving it to someone who truly needs it and deserves it.

If the scholarship is for a small amount (every little helps) such as $500, make it clear what you will spend it on – books, or software – and it’s a great idea to say how you could share these or pass them on to other students later.

3. Allows you to focus on your own personal story and goals

Writing a winning scholarship personal statement helps you focus on your own personal story and goals by giving you the opportunity to tell your story in a unique way that highlights the lessons you have learned, the changes you have made, and the goals you are working towards.

If possible, make your experiences a metaphor for success.

For example, we were very impressed by the story of Jessie, who received a scholarship to help pay for medical school following her success as a high school regional high-jumping champion. She wrote,

‘Every Saturday morning I spend three hours throwing myself backwards over a high-jump bar in a feat that seems impossible. If you flinch, or hesitate, you will crash into the bar and be out of the competition. When I was younger, and dreaming of being a doctor, some teachers thought I was setting the bar too high and advised me to aim lower. I approached my academic studies with the same determination as the high-jump bar and have been offered a place at medical school. ‘

The motto of the university she would attend is Vim Promovet Insitam, or ‘learning promotes one’s innate power’. Later in her statement, she used this motto to make the point that the more success she had academically, the more confidence she gained in high-jumping, and vice-versa. This a great way to connect her chosen school and her suitability for both the course and a scholarship!’

4. Allows you to showcase your writing skills

Writing a winning scholarship personal statement requires you to be concise, authentic, and grammatically correct.

You need varied sentence structure and a logical movement from point to point.

Avoiding clichés such as “from a young age” or inspirational quotes will help make your statement feel unique without sounding like everyone else’s.

You will be able to impress scholarship committees with an impressive, unique piece of work that stands out from the rest.

5. Helps you prepare for other scholarship applications

Writing a scholarship personal statement helps you prepare for other scholarship applications by giving you practice in crafting a compelling narrative that showcases your potential.

You will ‘tweak’ every statement to make it fit the application but you won’t need to start from the beginning every time, so it’s important to keep all your applications organised.

Each one you write gives you valuable experience in presenting yourself as an attractive candidate while also gaining insight into what types of narratives are most effective in winning over judges.

This knowledge can then be applied when preparing for other scholarship applications.

6. Provides you with an opportunity to reflect and be proud of your accomplishments

As Jessie said, the more we learn the more inner power we have. Sometimes we can get caught up in academic work and can forget our goals or motivation.

Writing scholarship personal statements helps you reflect on your past experiences and achievements and learn from them.

It gives you the opportunity to showcase your strengths, such as resilience, determination, leadership skills, teamwork ability and more.

It also allows you to show progress from where you are and where you are headed in the future.

7. Helps you connect with the awarding body

Scholarship personal statements can help you connect with the awarding body by providing an insight into your background, experiences, and achievements that is not available by just looking at your GPA or letters of recommendation.

By sharing your story and highlighting what makes you special, you can create a connection with the awarding body that will make them more likely to choose you over other candidates.

It’s so important to research the awarding body – do any of them work on non-profit or community projects that connect to your experience and what you want to study?

Sara’s experience, detailed below, is a great example of an innovative idea tailored to an application, that helped her get both a place at a prestigious college and a substantial scholarship.

8. Could lead to a valuable monetary prize

The value of writing a winning scholarship personal statement is immense.

Writing a strong personal statement can help you stand out from the competition and give you the opportunity to earn multiple scholarships that could potentially cover all or part of your college expenses.

The more you practice, the better you get.

Keep and organise all your applications to save time in the future.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the purpose of a scholarship personal statement.

It’s to provide an opportunity for applicants to humanize their profile beyond their transcript, GPA, and test scores by highlighting their personality, values, goals, and what makes them special.

The specific goal of the personal statement depends on the scholarship on offer. For example, for scholarships that aim to provide opportunities for students with career ambitions in the non-profit field may be looking for applicants with strong technical skills or civic-minded community service leaders of the future.

By reading your personal statement along with your academic record and other application materials such as the achievements/activities list, scholarship review committees can make decisions about who they think are the best candidates to receive a scholarship.

What should the format of a scholarship personal statement look like?

If there are no specific instructions regarding font and layout, we recommend that you have one-inch margins on all sides, double-spaced lines, no additional line spaces between paragraphs, and 12-point Times New Roman font.

Write out an outline for your essay, making sure it flows smoothly from topic to topic and makes sense as written.

How can I make sure my scholarship personal statement stands out?

  • Be organized and gather all necessary materials correctly, including correct grammar, professional writing style and any necessary documents such as letters of recommendation and transcripts.
  • Ensure that your personal statement honestly depicts who you are by using anecdotes to illustrate your unique personality and portraying who you really are overall. People remember stories so choose your best story!
  • Make sure that your personal statement follows a logical structure and is well organized; think about how it may sound to an audience who doesn’t know you and revise for clarity in content and style accordingly.
  • Read over your writing with others for feedback on grammar rules, punctuation use/mistakes and clarity in content/style before submitting it to prestigious scholarship advisors if applicable for editing help with rewrites if necessary

How can I ensure that my scholarship personal statement is really original?

  • Stay away from cliches! Brainstorm and outline your personal statement using the questions above. This will help ensure that your statement is organized, concise, and free of clichés.
  • Use correct grammar and language skills: Make sure that you have excellent grammar and language skills when writing your personal statement; this will make it easier for the scholarship committee to understand what you are trying to say without getting distracted by mistakes.
  • Ensure variety in sentence structure. The shortest sentences can be used for making the most important point for added impact.

How can I incorporate my experiences in my scholarship personal statement?

  • As above – Brainstorm: Think about your life story thus far, including notable personality traits, skills, accomplishments, passions, difficulties and obstacles, goals, extracurricular activities and inspirational people.
  • Be authentic: Make sure that every personal statement for scholarship applications talks honestly and truthfully about your experiences.
  • Choose examples: Select between three or four examples that demonstrate your preparedness for future studies, your determination to succeed and your flexibility in the face of challenges.
  • Try to mention an experience or quality that is important to the awarding body. For example, the Lions Club Scholarships are awarded by a group that values good citizenship and community involvement above all else. Make sure there is a clear link between your story, your qualities, your financial needs and the organisation to which you are applying.

Related Articles

  • Guide to Writing a Winning Personal Statement for University
  • Personal Statement versus Statement of Purpose

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Personal Statement for Scholarship: A Short Guide for Students

EssayEdge > Blog > Personal Statement for Scholarship: A Short Guide for Students

Entering the university of your dream is an event that can change your whole life, but sometimes it appears to be an unaffordable thing; however, more possible it becomes with a personal statement for scholarship . If you are wondering how a piece of writing can help you change your life, this article is to explain the importance of this essay. 

Table of Contents:

Scholarship personal statement: what is the importance of this essay? 

Many people are struggling with university admission for many reasons. Someone doesn’t have enough time or willingness, or someone, vice versa, has time, knowledge, and desire but doesn’t have enough money to pay for the whole educational process. Even if money isn’t the critical trouble, getting the scholarship may be an excellent point in your future CV as it will prove that you have enough motivation and skills to receive a scholarship. 

One of the requirements is to submit your scholarship application with the scholarship personal statement. It is a crucial essay as, through the words, you can have a kind of face-to-face conversation with the scholarship committee. A well-written essay can rapidly increase your chances of getting the allowance. Therefore, you must take it seriously and allocate some time for covering all essential topics and, finally, for writing. 

Many students find it challenging to make up their thoughts and write scholarship essays worth even reading. Here is your chance to prove yourself and demonstrate that you are the one who is worth getting the scholarship. 

How to write a personal statement for scholarship?

A well-written essay can change a lot, mostly when we talk about scholarships personal statement . To illustrate your desire and ability to study in particular universities, you have to insert as much crucial information as possible into your essay. The thing is that the scholarship committee will undoubtedly take into consideration a well-written essay. Therefore, what do you need for it? 

Kiran S.

Your essay must contain three paragraphs: 

  • Introduction Here you must begin your story with a gripping fact. Tell about something that impressed you and changed your mind, something that determined your decision about the future specialization. It may be a story from childhood, a piece of the conversation, a film that had impressed you, and you decided to do particular things in the future. 
  • Main body paragraph It is a paragraph where you have to narrate both your educational and personal background. You must provide as much information as possible to cover all aspects of your life that are somehow related to your specialization choice. Don’t neglect to include all essential information in this paragraph: your skills, abilities, places where you worked and what you learned from that experience, courses that somehow changed your mind, and, finally, connect that all with the story of your life. 
  • Conclusion The last paragraph of your scholarship statement should tell the reader about your future intentions and perspectives. Explain how the scholarship may help you implicate your purposes in your life and how it will help you and the people around you. Try not to provide abstract and uncertain information here. Speak your mind and keep it real. 

Having this content in your paragraphs may increase your chances of receiving the scholarship approval as a well-written personal statement scholarships committee will admit as one that is worth attention. 

Scholarship personal statements tips 

If you are struggling with how to write a personal statement for scholarship, these tips are to help you cope with this challenging task. 

  • Write sincerely Yes, it is the main rule of every essay. You have to be honest and write only the facts and data related to your experience and background. Even if you use some samples , don’t write about something that you can’t prove. 
  • Stick to the requirements One of the steps to success is to keep your essay at the right length. As a rule, the perfect word limit is 500-700 words; try to stick to it and not write a lot. Don’t forget to double-space the essay and use a readable font. It is a part of the visual impression of your writing. 
  • Find your inspiration The writing process may seem exhausting and tedious, especially if you are not such a fan of writing. Read some articles about scholarship personal statements writing and take to your mind some crucial tips and tricks. Moreover, you can refer to the scholarship personal statement sample and find something similar to your story. Reading such examples can make a writing pattern in your mind, and it may be easier for you to write your essay. 

Need help? Check out EssayEdge editing services:

  • Peruse and check it In case you have the essay in front of your eyes, peruse it as many times as even possible. While reading it, again and again, you can find some mistakes or understand that some data is not necessary or, on the contrary, something is missing. If you feel that you are stuck and have doubts about anything, you can refer to a college editing service . Professional editors can point on the things that must be improved and help you deal with any arising issues. 
  • Ask for peer feedback And again, if you are not sure about something, ask your friends, colleagues, or relatives to read your essay from the perspective of the person who doesn’t know you. Their feedback may bring up some ideas for developing your essay into a better one. 
  • Provide particular examples Your aim is not to describe but to prove. If you are writing about a skill you have, don’t forget to strengthen it with a case you had. For instance, if you write that you have good leadership and team-work skills, you have to reinforce that with a particular situation or story when you had to prove yourself. 

Scholarships personal statement content that makes the essay unforgettable 

First of all, your essay must be engaging and gripping. Think closely about each word you write, the appropriateness of lexis you use. Pretend to be a storyteller. Your essay should be smooth and understandable. 

Tell the most impressive facts about your life, don’t mention anything only to fill the word-limit gap. It is better not to write anything rather than write something vapid. You have to keep in mind that each sentence must bring new information or reinforce the facts you have already told. 

One more important thing is that the story you begin in the first paragraph must be like a red thread till the conclusion. Don’t devote each paragraph to a new story. Concentrate on the beginning and keep writing with the thought of it. 

Try not to transform your essay into a mess. The content must be structured and linked. The scholarship committee reads a ton of papers day by day; therefore, they have an eye on the writing. The reader can easily define what person you are just having a look at your essay. 

Your essay aims to leave the reader with the feeling of completeness to give an impression of you as a person they know well. Therefore, include all your best sides. Provide information about the activities you have taken and the achievements you have made.  Elaborate on everything that is essential. Don’t neglect to include the facts that can somehow impress or give additional data on why you are the perfect candidate to receive the scholarship allowance. 

Writing an essay for the scholarship may be hard and exhausting, but receiving the scholarship approval may be the most intriguing and important step of your life. Therefore, you have to make up your thoughts and be ready to allocate some time for the writing process. 

For more information, you can refer to EssayEdge blog. Our professionals undoubtedly know how to make your personal statement for scholarship a prominent one. 

Successful enrollment in a prestigious school and scholarship are two key goals of many applicants. The quality of education in top schools is high, as well as the tuition fees. We post this information to make you think you deserve it. Don’t deny yourself your dreams: the right mindset and dedication will help you craft an outstanding scholarship essay. Trust your paper to a supplemental essay proofreading service : you’ll know your weaknesses and correct them quickly.

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introduction for personal statement scholarship

The time has come to write a personal statement, but you do not know where to begin. No worries, writing about yourself is no easy task. After all, there’s only so much you can fit when writing a personal statement.

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a required essay done by a prospective candidate in an educational setting whether they are applying for a scholarship, graduate school admission, studying abroad, fellowship program, etc. However, it should not be confused with being the same as a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose strictly focuses on how your achievements, such as professional or academic, can benefit the program you are applying to . In contrast, a personal statement allows more creativity and freedom to develop within the applicant. Occasionally, personal statements may come with specific questions about what to write about.

Why Should They Choose You?

Although it is important to emphasize your achievements, whether it be academic or professional, the person reading your statement wants to get to know you better through your background information and what inspired you to pursue your goals. Overall, it’s important to ask yourself these questions when considering writing a personal statement:

●  What exact moment led you to be where you are today?

●  What separates you from the rest of the candidates?

●  What personal traits or qualities do you have that will help you succeed?

●  What do your story, goals, or skills obtained bring to the table?

Are You the Right Fit?

Although the focus of a personal statement is yourself, you must consider that you’re applying to a specific institution or program that offers specific opportunities. Not everyone will be the right fit and that’s okay, there are many opportunities for you to join. However, if you truly want to get in and be accepted, you must try to make a connection with your audience. Mention how the school or program will help you succeed and accomplish your goals. This goes back to what you bring to the table.

The unique trait about personal statements is that no two are alike. Everybody’s story is different. The requirements for each application vary in length, format, and topics. Nevertheless, having a concrete idea of how to organize your thoughts and ideas before you submit your final draft saves a lot of stress and time when the deadline comes. If you need an idea of where to start, brainstorm, or organize your thoughts, below is an example of a structure for your layout that may help you in getting out of that writing block:


-   Introduce a memory that leads back to where your interest or passion started or motivated you be where you are today

-   Give a sneak peek to your reader in a quick summary as to what you’re going to be talking about in your body paragraph (background information, accomplishments, & future aspirations from being admitted into the school or program)

*Note: Introductions should be a brief paragraph of everything you’re going to be writing about, leave the details for your body paragraphs.

A) 1 st Paragraph (Background Information)

What’s your undergraduate major/degree or other educational history?

What part of your demographic information is relevant? (hometown, heritage, family

history, etc.)

What’s an obstacle or challenge that changed the way you viewed your life?

Make sure be able make one connection to all three, it’ll make it easier for your

reader to follow through with your story and understand your goals

If deciding to write about an obstacle or challenge, remember to not solely focus on

the negative experience of it. Instead, try thinking about what you were able to take

from the experience and how did it change you as a person.

B) 2nd Paragraph (Academic and Professional Achievements)

Any organizations you’ve joined or rewards you’ve obtained? (The more you have

done, the better)

What skills have you’ve obtained through participating in any organizations, events,

jobs, etc.? C) 3 rd Paragraph (Future Goals and Accomplishments)

What is the next step after being admitted?

What do you hope to learn or take from being part of the program?

How will you apply it to your desired goal?


Restate your goals in one or two sentences

Talk about what you envision for your future, what do you hope to gain from all of this?

What will you benefit from being on the program?

What do you contribute to the program?

How will you apply everything you learned?

*Note: Your concluding/closing paragraphs are usually short with a maximum of three or four sentences, leave out any details.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there are several things to remind yourself of when writing a personal statement: focus on answering the main questions, tell your story, and use examples of any challenge or obstacle that you faced throughout your life. If you decide to focus on a challenge or obstacle, think about the tone you will use. Writing about this challenge or obstacle focuses on the learning experience or the opportunity rather than solely on the negative parts. Remember, you’ve worked hard enough to get where you are today. Hopefully, you can get started on that personal statement you’ve been procrastinating on, and good luck on whatever path you decide to pursue.


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Chemistry: Fully Funded EPSRC and Swansea PhD Scholarship: Patchy sweet bullets against bacteria (RS627)

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Closing date: 19 June 2024

Key Information

Funding providers:  EPSRC and Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering

Subject areas:  Polymer and Glyco Chemistry, Biomaterials, Antimicrobials

Project start date:  

  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)
  • 1 January 2025 (Enrolment open from mid-December)

Project supervisors: 

Aligned programme of study:  PhD in Chemistry

Mode of study:  Full-time

Project description:  

A significant phenotypic heterogeneity exists within the clonal bacterial population for adhesion to different surfaces. Bacteria even lacking adhesive lectins can bind to cells and cause infections. The objective of this studentship is focused on engineering heterogeneous glycosystems with patchy attributes to simultaneously target varied bacterial populations with high selectivity index.  

The candidate will employ an exciting interdisciplinary approach, commencing with polymer and glycochemistry to engineer patchy glycosystems. These systems will be thoroughly characterized in our modern University laboratory using SEM, AFM, and TEM. The efficacy of these materials will be assessed against different bacterial strains in the Institute of Life Sciences at Swansea University. A comprehensive training programme will be provided by an interdisciplinary supervisory team’s expertise in chemistry (Dr Bhatia), natural products (Dr Loveridge), and microbiology (Professor Wilkinson).   


Candidates must hold a UK bachelor’s degree with a minimum of Upper Second Class honours or overseas bachelor’s degree deemed equivalent to UK honours (by UK ECCTIS) and achieved a grade equivalent to UK Upper Second Class honours in chemistry or a related subject, OR master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ in chemistry or a related subject (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University)  (see  country specific qualifications ). Please note that you may need to  provide  evidence of your English Language  proficiency .  

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only , as defined by  UKCISA regulations .  

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email  [email protected]  with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 

This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend at £19,237.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

How to Apply

To apply, please  complete your application online   with the following information:

In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email [email protected] where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  • Start year  – please select  2024 (or 2025)
  • Funding (page 8)  –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select  No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter  ‘RS627 - Patchy sweet bullets '

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award ; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Monitoring Form  (online form)  

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via e-mail).  We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised application closing date.  Please note that your application may not be considered without the documents listed:

  • Degree certificates and transcripts  (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter  including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references  (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the  Swansea University reference form . Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting  English Language requirement  (if applicable).
  • Copy of  UK resident visa  (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional)  

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Dr Sumati Bhatia ( [email protected] ).

*External Partner Application Data Sharing  – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.


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