Scholarship Essays Guide: How To Write A Successful Application

When applying for a scholarship, essays offer the applicant the chance to highlight their abilities, strengths, and personality. An essay that is well thought out and written is often the most persuasive part of the scholarship application.

This is why it is so important to put plenty of time and effort into writing the essays that will be included with your scholarship application.

If you are planning to apply for scholarships, you should know that essays are frequently a part of the application process. It is a good idea to prepare five to seven essays before you begin applying for scholarships.

This speeds up the application process and gives you the opportunity to apply for even more scholarships. While the topic of your pre-written essays may not completely match the required essay topic, you can take what you have and easily make any needed changes.

Scholarship essay prompts

To help you create your pre-written essays, here’s a look at some of the most popular general essay topics.Use this essay prompts to help you form your pre-written essays.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Who or what inspires you? Why or how?
  • Tell me about an article or book that inspired you.
  • If you could only do one thing, how would you change the world for the better?
  • Tell me about the traits you have that will enhance your education and future employment.
  • Do you consider yourself to be a leader? Why or why not?
  • Tell me about something you have done in the past that made a difference in your community.
  • Why is education important to you?
  • Describe the solutions you would propose to improve or put an end to a current issue, such as the economy, discrimination, health care, or any other current topic you feel strongly about.

Personal achievements and goal topics

In addition to the general topics listed above, you may be asked questions about your personal achievements, proposed field of study, future goals, financial need, background, influences, or something entirely different.

student writing essay topics

Application essays frequently ask questions about social issues or current events in order to assess your problem-solving skills and your awareness of current events. Many of these questions are formulated for you to showcase your creativity, motivation, and vision.

All questions will give you the chance to communicate the abilities and qualities you most want to highlight.

A few more possible scholarship essay questions

Below you will find information designed to give you a better look at essay questions you may see based on specific topics.

In regards to your proposed field of study:

Why do you want to pursue this field?
How will studying ______ contribute to your immediate and long-term career plans?

In regards to your personal achievements:

Discuss an accomplishment or special attribute that sets you apart from others.
Explain how you have demonstrated leadership ability in your community, school, or work.

In regards to social issues and current events:

What do you feel is the most crucial societal problem we currently face? Why?
If you had the power to make a positive change in your community, what specific changes would you make? Why?

In regards to your influences and background:

Who or what has been in the biggest influence in your life? Why?
Choose an experience from your life and explain how it affected your development.

In regards to your financial need:

money in jar

Explain any special family or personal circumstances impacting your need for financial aid.
From a financial angle, how would this scholarship impact your education?
In regards to your goals and plans for the future:

Ten years from now, where do you see yourself? You may want to answer the same question for 20 years from now.
Briefly detail your long and short term goals.


It goes without saying that is impossible to exactly predict what essay questions you may be asked when filling out a scholarship application, knowing some of the more popular questions asked can give you a bit of an advantage.

It’s time to start brainstorming your answers to the topics discussed above. Then, go ahead and write several essays that will help persuade scholarship committees that you are a deserving recipient.

Just be sure to have them proofread by a couple of other people to ensure they are perfect.