How to Write a Scholarship and College Essay – Examples, Guidelines and More
The task of writing a college or scholarship essay can be daunting, especially since it’s an important requirement for any scholarships program and applicants who want to make sure that they get accepted will need to create an outstanding essay. We know that getting inspiration to write a college or scholarship essay can be difficult at times and this is why for today we have decided to gather the best essay examples so that you can modify and change them to make their your own.
We are also going to provide readers with a couple of handy tips and tricks that are going to make it much easier to write a college or scholarship essay such what font to use and how big the essay should be. Without any further ado, let’s get into it.
How to Write a College/Scholarship Essay?
First Example – The Pumpkin Award
Prompt: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
“I won “Most Original” pumpkin at a Halloween party years ago. I have the “Most Original” award. It’s a consolation prize. You can’t be the best, or the prettiest, so you have to be “original.” I’ve won the “Most Original” award a fair number of times. I was even named “Most Original” at a basketball awards banquet. What does that even mean? How can anybody be “Most Original” when she’s playing basketball?
Recognizing the “Most Original” award for the pity-prize that it was, I grew increasingly hostile toward the very word “original.” If you win this cursed award, everyone around you offers feigned sympathy or, even worse, insincere congratulations. Phrases like “oh, bummer” or well-intentioned but half-hearted “well, good for you” circle the recipient, creating a cyclone of regret from which the “winner” will never recover.
Okay, maybe I’m overreacting – but I cannot for the life of me understand that award. “Most Original” always let me down, and as a result, I hated to be original in any context. In my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, where normality was…well, the norm, I tried to be a typical student – absolutely, perfectly normal. I blended into crowds, the definition of typical. I became a person who refused to surprise people. Just another brick in the wall.
And then I moved to Berkeley for six months. It’s an odd, vibrant place with odd, vibrant people. Originality is celebrated there – not in the half-hearted “good for you” way, but in the full-throated “GOOD FOR YOU!” way. One of the first of my fellow students to befriend me wore corset tops and tutus and carried a parasol with which she punctuated her every utterance. Her best friend was a boy with purple hair who once wore a shirt with built in LED lights for Christmas. They were the most popular people in school, in direct contrast to all that was socially acceptable in New Haven. Our peers recognized them as being unique, but instead of ostracizing them or pitying them, the students in Berkeley celebrated them.
In Berkeley, I learned the value of originality: Those who celebrate their individuality are not only unique but strong. It takes great strength to defy the definitions of others, and because of that strength, those who create their own paths discover a different world than those who travel the same worn road.
I returned to New Haven a changed person. My appearance was certainly different – red streaks in my hair and a newfound fondness for tutus certainly made me stand out. But the change went deeper than that: I had embraced the idea of being myself, no matter what others thought was cool or “normal.” Spending time in a place where “Most Original” was the highest compliment allowed me to explore myself without fear of being different or lesser, and I liked what I had found.
I’m still skeptical about the “Most Original” award. In the context of an award ceremony, it’s still just a meaningless consolation prize. But I don’t think of being “Most original” as an insult anymore – I wear it as a badge of honor, proof that I am myself and no one else.
A friend recently joked, “If there were a ‘Quirkiest’ award in the yearbook, you’d definitely win.” We were standing outside of a classroom, and I was wearing a pair of gold, glittery shorts that definitely caught the eye. “Quirkiest?” I said. “How about ‘Most Original.”
You might think that this essay format is a bit unusual, but we assure you that the person in charge of awarding the applicants with college entries or scholarships is going to notice the sense of humor of the writer (you) and that there’s something that makes the writer stand out. However, we do advise everyone to change and modify anything they can in order to make the essay more unique. Now, let’s check out the second example.
Second Example – The Grandma’s Kimchi
“Every Saturday morning, I’d awaken to the smell of crushed garlic and piquant pepper. I would stumble into the kitchen to find my grandma squatting over a large silver bowl, mixing fat lips of fresh cabbages with garlic, salt, and red pepper. That was how the delectable Korean dish, kimchi, was born every weekend at my home.
My grandma’s specialty always dominated the dinner table as kimchi filled every plate. And like my grandma who had always been living with us, it seemed as though the luscious smell of garlic would never leave our home. But even the prided recipe was defenseless against the ravages of Alzheimer’s that inflicted my grandma’s mind.
Dementia slowly fed on her memories until she became as blank as a brand-new notebook. The ritualistic rigor of Saturday mornings came to a pause, and during dinner, the artificial taste of vacuum-packaged factory kimchi only emphasized the absence of the family tradition. I would look at her and ask, “Grandma, what’s my name?” But she would stare back at me with a clueless expression. Within a year of diagnosis, she lived with us like a total stranger.
One day, my mom brought home fresh cabbages and red pepper sauce. She brought out the old silver bowl and poured out the cabbages, smothering them with garlic and salt and pepper. The familiar tangy smell tingled my nose. Gingerly, my grandma stood up from the couch in the living room, and as if lured by the smell, sat by the silver bowl and dug her hands into the spiced cabbages. As her bony hands shredded the green lips, a look of determination grew on her face. Though her withered hands no longer displayed the swiftness and precision they once did, her face showed the aged rigor of a professional. For the first time in years, the smell of garlic filled the air and the rattling of the silver bowl resonated throughout the house.
That night, we ate kimchi. It wasn’t perfect; the cabbages were clumsily cut and the garlic was a little too strong. But kimchi had never tasted better. I still remember my grandma putting a piece in my mouth and saying, “Here, Dong Jin. Try it, my boy.”
Seeing grandma again this summer, that moment of clarity seemed ephemeral. Her disheveled hair and expressionless face told of the aggressive development of her illness.
But holding her hands, looking into her eyes, I could still smell that garlic. The moments of Saturday mornings remain ingrained in my mind. Grandma was an artist who painted the cabbages with strokes of red pepper. Like the sweet taste of kimchi, I hope to capture those memories in my keystrokes as I type away these words.
A piece of writing is more than just a piece of writing. It evokes. It inspires. It captures what time takes away.
My grandma used to say: “Tigers leave furs when they die, humans leave their names.” Her legacy was the smell of garlic that lingered around my house. Mine will be these words.”
Guidelines to Follow
Now that we have covered two great essay examples that you can change and modify to your liking, let’s go ahead and check out how the essay format should look like.
Here’s a set of the standard format of scholarship essay:
- Font size 12
- Avoid the utilization of script fonts, particularly for the body
- 1 ½ inch margins
- Double spaced
- Keep your essay to ¾ of a page
- Write your name at the top of the page
- Write the title of the scholarship
- Optionally, you can provide a title to your essay
- Sign the paper at the end