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    How to Write a “How Will This Scholarship Help You Achieve Your Goals” Essay

    By Zach Skillings

    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.

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    Reviewed by Caitlyn Cole

    Caitlyn Cole is a college access professional with a decade of experience in non-profit program and project management for college readiness and access organizations.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    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.

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    Updated: June 6th, 2024
    How to Write a “How Will This Scholarship Help You Achieve Your Goals” Essay

    When applying for scholarships, you may be asked to write an essay describing why you’re the right candidate for the award. One of the most common prompts for this type of essay is “how will this scholarship help you achieve your goals?” In this guide, we’ll talk about how you can put together an outstanding essay and win the scholarship of your dreams. 

    Also see: Top writing and essay scholarships

    Tips for writing a scholarship essay

    There’s more than one way to write an essay like this, but an effective response usually does the following things: 

    1. Clearly defines your goals and how you plan to achieve them
    2. Provides some background context on your goals 
    3. Explains why you are a quality candidate for the scholarship 
    4. Close your essay in an effective way 

    As long as you touch on these three areas, feel free to structure your essay however you see fit. Let’s talk about how you can address each of these components and put together a stellar essay. 

    1. Define your goals 

    Scholarship providers want to hear about your vision for your future self and how you plan to get there. As such, you should write about what you want out of your college education and beyond. It’s totally okay if you’re undecided about your major or career path since most scholarship providers won’t expect your plan to be set in stone at this point. However, you should still point to the fields of study or professions you’re considering right now. When talking about your plan for the future, explain how the specific scholarship is a key part of your path forward. And don’t forget to let your passion shine through when writing about your goals!

    2. Provide background context 

    Your essay should not only outline your goals, but explain how you arrived at them as well. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing a personal story. You may even want to lead with a personal story to immediately grab the attention of your reader. For this type of essay, you should share an anecdote that’s relevant to the scholarship you’re applying for. 

    If you’re applying for an engineering scholarship, for instance, you could describe how your love of engineering was sparked by your involvement in robotics club. Students pursuing art scholarships may talk about the most meaningful project they’ve ever created. Whatever the case may be, find a way to connect your background to your goals and the scholarship. You’re much more likely to stand out when you demonstrate who you are and what you care about. 

    Don’t miss: What’s the best scholarship essay format?

    3. Make a case for yourself

    Now that you’ve outlined your goals and the inspiration behind them, it’s time to explain why you’re the perfect candidate for this scholarship. Tie everything together by describing how the scholarship is a crucial piece of the puzzle. The goal here is to sell yourself while avoiding coming across as boastful or arrogant. Try to strike a tone that’s self-assured but also appreciative. You want to convey your gratitude and respect for the scholarship, while also demonstrating why you’re the right candidate for the award. 

    If the scholarship is specific to a certain college or university, it helps to weave in your excitement for the school. Talk about unique aspects of the school such as courses that interest you or faculty members you’d like to work with. Ultimately, you want to do everything you can to leave a lasting impression on your reader. 

    4. Close your essay in a memorable way

    It was important to grab your reader’s attention in the beginning of your essay response, now it’s time to close your essay in a memorable way! This can be done in different ways, including ending it the way you began it, asking a rhetorical question, or summarizing your previous points in one tidy paragraph. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what format is the best to end your essay in order to leave a lasting mark on your reader. 

    Closing your essay in a catchy and memorable way will allow your scholarship response to be well liked and remembered. This can help significantly increase your chances of being selected for a scholarship! Therefore, be sure to brainstorm before writing your essay in order to make sure it flows nicely and you finish your essay with a bang! Learn how to end your scholarship essay in five steps and leave a lasting impression on whoever reads it! 

    Also see: How to write an essay about yourself

    Remember, an effective scholarship essay answers three main questions:

    Questions To Consider

    Questions To Consider

    • What are your goals for your college education and career? 
    • What life experiences led you to arrive at these goals? 
    • How will this scholarship help you unlock your goals, and why are you the right student for the award?

    By answering those three questions, you can write a compelling “how will this scholarship help you achieve your goals” essay and put yourself in contention for the scholarship. Just make sure your essay is free of spelling and grammatical mistakes. It’s a good idea to have a teacher or mentor read over your essay before submitting. Good luck!

    Top Easy Scholarships of June 2024

    Scholarship
    Amount
    Deadline
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    Scholarship:
    $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship
    Amount:

    $10,000

    Deadline:

    June 30, 2024

    Jun 30, 2024

    Apply
    Scholarship Details +

    Easy scholarship open to all US-based high school, college, community college and graduate students.

    Scholarship:
    $2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship
    Amount:

    $2,000

    Deadline:

    June 30, 2024

    Jun 30, 2024

    Apply
    Scholarship Details +

    Easy $2,000 monthly scholarship. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for school!

    Scholarship:
    Niche $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship
    Amount:

    $10,000

    Deadline:

    July 31, 2024

    Jul 31, 2024

    Apply
    Scholarship Details +

    Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

    Key Takeaways

    Key Takeaways

    • An effective essay response includes defining your goals, providing background context, making a case for yourself, and concluding your essay in a memorable way
    • Leading with a personal story is a great way to immediately grab the attention of your reader
    • It is important to highlight how the scholarship will help you personally reach your goals and succeed 
    • Be sure to end your essay in a memorable way to help increase your chances of being selected for the scholarship

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