Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Money | Format And Steps in 2023

Scholarships are the best form of financial aid for college because they provide students with free money that should never be reimbursed. But completing scholarship applications, especially essays, can seem overwhelming.

The World Scholarship Forum team has compiled everything you need to write an award-winning scholarship essay.

We have also compiled previous scholarship essay examples that have won money. These examples cover the following:

  • Scholarship essay examples about yourself
  • Scholarship essay examples about career goals
  • High school scholarship essay examples
  • Scholarships essay examples of why I deserve this scholarship

A good number of scholarships, be it high school, undergraduate, masters or Ph.D., require its applicants to write an essay while applying. Only a few programs are based solely on an application form or transcript.

The essay is often the most important part of its application. This gives the scholarship committee an idea of who you are and your dedication to your goals.

However, most organizers of scholarship applications that involve essay writing face the problem of choosing which applicant is most qualified. They have to choose the applicant(s) to receive the award from many applicants who submitted applications.

More On Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Money

Even if you meet the criteria for a scholarship, there is likely to be someone among the candidates with similar grades, achievements, community commitments, and similar aspirations. This is where an excellent scholarship application essay becomes a necessity and the key to earning money.


The scholarship essay allows the scholarship committee to learn more about who is behind the application.

It also gives them a much more detailed view of your school and family life. Also, the essay is the best opportunity for you to shine and justify the reasons why you should receive the scholarship.

For this to come to actualization, we have compiled all you need to write a great scholarship application essay and increase your chances of winning.

Before we look at some of the Scholarship Essay Examples that have won money, let’s look at the format of a scholarship application essay and how to write an award-winning scholarship essay.

Format For An Award-Winning Scholarship Essay

Scholarship Application Essays should use this formatting unless specified otherwise:

  • Two to three pages in length
  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 point font
  • One-inch top, bottom, and side margins

How To Write An Award-Winning Scholarship Essay

Before entering or after you’ve shown interest in applying for a competition that involves essay writing, first make inquiries from classmates.

You can also enquire how to go about yours from colleagues who have participated in an Essay Contest.

In addition to advice from friends or colleagues, here are other tips for you.


In a situation where you didn’t do either of the above, you are certainly in the right place because we have put down some of the tricks in writing a winning scholarship essay.

Here are the tricks:

  • Read the essay prompt carefully.
  • Create an Outline.
  • Get the attention of the Reader.
  • Always Surprise.
  • Follow the Essay Instructions.
  • Stay Focused on the Scholarship Essay Topic.
  • Be Concise
  • Check Your Essay for Spelling Errors and Grammatical Errors
  • Care About What You’re Writing.
  • Avoid Redundant Conclusions.

#1: Read the Essay Prompt Carefully

Before writing an essay for a scholarship application, go through the essay prompt – that is, read the essay question carefully. Read and understand the essay question before you write.

Try and understand the intention of the examiner for better essay writing. For instance, the essay prompt is “Describe a book that made a strong impression on you and your life and why?”

Ask yourself: “Are they really interested in my literary preferences, or is there something else in this question?” Most likely, they want a better idea of who you are. It’s not only the types of books you like but also what motivates you and the types of stories or topics that interest you.

They may also be interested in understanding how promising a student is based on the type of book they choose and what they have to say about it.

#2: Create an Outline

Before starting your essay, create a plan with all the points to consider, and keep in mind the word limit. Listing your main points will help you stay organized and not omit any of your core arguments.

#3: Get the Attention of the Reader

This is all about crafting a compelling introduction. Never underestimate the power of a strong introduction.

The people who review scholarship applications will read dozens (or hundreds, if not thousands) of essays. After a while, these essays can be mixed. How can you make sure your writing is memorable? By writing a compelling introduction.

Look at these two examples of introductory lines. Can you spot the difference?

  • Example 1: Strong leadership skills are important for many reasons.
  • Example 2: January 14, 2000, was the day I lost everything.

From the above, Example # 1 is unclear, impersonal, and boring. But example # 2 is personal, specific, and intriguing. This leaves the reader interested and asks for more.

#4: Always Surprise

Imagine that the question is, “Who in your life has influenced you most and why?” Do not write about your mother or father automatically. Likely, everyone does too.

Maybe someone like Michelle Obama or Superman has influenced your life most. It may not be 100% traditional, but at least it is more personalized and, therefore, more interesting.

#5: Follow the Essay Instructions

Nothing turns a scholarship essay reader off faster than an essay that doesn’t apply to the contest guidelines. Do not write below the limit. Do not write beyond the limit.

A lot of money is involved, so be sure to give them what they want.

#6: Stay Focused on the Scholarship Essay Topic

The judges will read many essays, so ensure you write per the topic. Do not deviate.

#7: Be Concise

Concise writing is often the best writing. Many students believe that longer sentences are preferable, but this is not the case. Communicate your point using only the words you need.

#8: Check Your Essay for Spelling Errors and Grammatical Errors

Ensure your spelling and grammar are correct. Place your tenses well and avoid misplacing words. For example, ‘your’ for ‘you’re.’ Also, check your punctuation. The judges have a lot of reading to do, so do not give them a reason to reject yours.

You can also ask a friend, classmate, or tutor to proofread your scholarship application essay and make corrections.

TIP: You can install Grammarly in your Browser for better work.

#9: Care About What You’re Writing

Try and write about what interests you, not just what you feel you should write. The examiners can sense how genuine your scholarship application essay is.

#10: Avoid Redundant Conclusions

Make the conclusion of your thesis interesting rather than simply rephrasing, or worse, reformulate your original thesis. Your conclusion should explain why the rest of your essay was important.

If you follow these steps, your essay will be among the award-winning scholarship essays in the next competition you apply for.

Now let’s look at some of the Award Winning Scholarship Essays!!

Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Money

The best way to get an idea of what the scholarship committees are looking for is to look at the examples of scholarship essay winners.

Take the time to analyze the writing style, consider your strengths, and see how to improve. This may seem tedious, but fortunately, we have already done part of the work for you.

Notwithstanding, most scholarship application essays come with their own prompt. Check out these essay prompts and the scholarship essay examples that won money.

Prompts for some 2023 Scholarship Essay:

  • Discuss a special attribute, experience, or accomplishment that sets you apart. How do you think that will help you succeed in college? (500 – 750 words) (Hint: we ask for ONE attribute, experience or accomplishment, so please choose only ONE to talk about.)
  • Discuss your plan beyond college. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Please include what you are majoring in and how you plan on using that in your career. (250 words maximum)

If you’re a Nigerian, you should check out this NNPC/CHEVRON UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION 2023

The Award-Winning Scholarship Essay Examples

So, here are a couple of scholarship essay examples that won. You can review them and see if you can format your scholarship essay similarly.






Other Award-Winning Scholarship Essay Examples

These are other winning scholarship application essay examples with links for applications for interested students.

Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship $7,500 by Steven Fisher

Essay Prompt: The Fund for Education Abroad is committed to diversifying education abroad by funding students typically under-represented in studying abroad.

Please describe how you and your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.

Winning Scholarship Essay:


If you want to read more about the Rainbow Scholarship, click the button below.

Read More

North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship for $1000 by Christine Fung

Here is the winning scholarship essay for the North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship:


You can see other scholarship winners here:

Button text

If you want to read more about the NCS Scholarship and apply, click the button below.

Apply Here

The Book that Made Me a Journalist

Prompt: Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why.

Winning Scholarship Essay:



How do you write an award-winning scholarship essay?

Start the essay writing process early.
Understand the scholarship provider’s overall mission and purpose.
Follow the scholarship essay instructions.
Steer clear from essay topics that focus on negativity or pessimism.
Don’t be afraid to get personal.
Seek out writing advice and feedback.

How do you start a scholarship essay?

Write a catchy first sentence.
Move on telling the reader about the motives you apply for the scholarship.
Conclude the introduction with the thesis statement of the body paragraph.

How do you start a scholarship essay about yourself?

Tell me about yourself.
Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.
What are your short and long-term goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?

How long should scholarship essays be?

500 words

With these steps and scholarship application essay examples given,  be sure to produce an Award-winning scholarship essay in your next trial.

Good Luck!!!

We Also Recommend:

Does this article meet your immediate needs? If yes, leave us a 5-star rating in the Review Box below. If no, leave a comment in the comment box to express your concern or ask a question, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Comments are closed.

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

You May Also Like