How To Write An Essay About Yourself For Scholarship

Below are some common scholarship essay questions.  You can use these as a great starting point for a pesonal statement.  Some of these essay questions are used in the Maricopa Scholarship Database.

  • What life experiences have shaped who you are today and what challenges have you overcome in achieving your education (i.e. financial, personal, medical, etc.)?
  • Explain why you need financial assistance.
  • Describe your academic and career goals and your plans to achieve them and discuss any of your extracurricular/volunteer activities (both on and off campus) that you may perform.
  • Describe an event in which you took a leadership role and what you learned about yourself.

This is a sample essay to help guide you when you are writing essays for scholarships. Keep in mind that all scholarship applications are different, so you may have to design your essay to meet those specific requirements. 

Paragraph I
(State an overview of what you are going to talk about in the essay. If the essay is about you, give a brief description of your experiences, goals, aspirations, family background, etc. Touch on why you want the scholarship.)

For as long as I could remember, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. I have been responsible for the care and feeding of pets ever since I was in the second grade. In high school, I participated in the 4-H club as well as the Junior Humane society. To reach my goals, I realize that I must pursue an eight year college education which will begin with the Fall 2010 semester. I am very excited about my future and feel that with the opportunity your scholarship will provide, I can help many animals.

Paragraph II & III
(Go into more detail on one of the topics listed in paragraph I. For example, elaborate on your previous experiences, family and financial situation, volunteer work, employment, academic career, future goals, college plans, etc.)

My love for animals has been encouraged by my family and friends. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with the local animal shelter and provide basic care to the stray animals. With the help of my biology teacher, I was able to start a 4-H club on campus. Many of the other students on campus developed an interest in the animals and now our club has 100 members. My family also has many animals for which I provide care, including basic needs as well as first aid. I find that I enjoy that aspect of pet ownership best. Unfortunately, my family cannot afford to pay for my entire education, so I hope to use my skills and love of animals to help me pay for college.

Paragraph IV
(Conclude your essay with a wrap-up of why you should be considered for the scholarship; how do your goals match those of the organization, etc.)

Your organization stands for what I believe in. Like your organization, I hope to help animals for the rest of my life. To reach my goals, I need as much help as possible. I already have the moral support of my family and friends, but that is not quite enough to make my dream come true. I hope that your organization can help me reach this dream by awarding me your scholarship.

Members of the scholarship committee have limited information about you prior to the interview. Sometimes they will know nothing at all, and rely on the information they can get while meeting you.

When introducing yourself, you should not forget why you are there. You are there because you want to get a scholarship. Therefor, you should introduce yourself like someone who needs one, and wants one. What does it mean?

  • Do not talk about expensive hobbies, such as playing tennis, going to dancing classes, traveling around the country.
  • Do not talk about good jobs of your parents, or successful careers of your relatives (if they have them or not isn’t important, just do not talk about them).

In fact, you should focus on two things in your answer:

  • Your dream to graduate from the college and have a good life one day
  • Your financial situation, one that is not good at the moment, and does not allow you to follow your dream (point one)

Do not play with the emotions

Some applicants become emotional in their scholarship interview. After all, it is not easy to talk about personal struggles, or bad financial situation, in front of unknown people. But I would suggest you to keep your composure and focus on facts, and on numbers. Just say you are an ordinary guy who would love to study and become useful for society one day, and follow with the hard facts, describing why you are unable to make it on your own…. No need for tears, at least not at this point :).

After all, you can mention some hobbies you have, and something about your family, but it all must correlate with the fact that you need a financial support.


Sample answers

My name is Michaela, I am 19 years old, passionate about medicine, especially neurology. I consider it my personal calling to help to cure people with neurological diseases in my country. In my family, two people have this problem and that is the reason why I am close to this field. I spend my free time learning about the subject and I also try to do non-profit activity in the field, visiting patients with diseases in local hospital. However, I can not pursue my dream without help, because I have little money and my parents are laborers, who can not support my studies.

I am John, I am from Green River. My family members make their living as farmers, we have big family and all of us have to work in the fields, as we can not afford to hire employees. It is tough…. I ‘d like to live there and help my parents, but at the same time, I dream about graduating and following my dreams. However, I am not able to make it on my own, and that is the reason why I am here, applying for the scholarship.

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