How to Write a Good Scholarship Essay

The essay can be considered as one of the main document that the scholarship applicants need to prepare. The typical essay might provide an insight into your past and show your present and future objectives. However, each scholarship has its own style when assessing the applicant’s scholarship essay. Thus, you need to know exactly what are the things that the scholarship assessor need to know from you.

scholarship essay

The key to a winning essay for a scholarship application is its uniqueness. Make your essay to be exclusive and personal to you. It should explain more about your strong interest and your drive studying your subject. You also need to create responses that can only relate to yourself. If your essay is individual enough it stands out, it will catch the judges’ eyes.

Here are some basic principles when you write a scholarship application essay

  1. Identify the key themes

The key themes of your essay are likely determined by the purpose of the organization who are funding the scholarship or the purpose of the award itself. Once you know this, you can choose what to highlight in your scholarship essay about the aspects of your life that are related to the said purpose.

You may also read the questions of the essay that you need to respond and find the key themes from the statement. For example, you are being asked the following statement: “In which occasion have you demonstrated a leadership ability? How did it make difference in your community and your work.”

The key items of the above statement are ‘leadership’ and ‘community impact’.

After finding out, you need to understand those key ideas really mean, beyond their original meaning. For the above example, the questions were not meant to ask the position you held and your responsibilities when you were appointed to be a leader but includes the description of the effect of your leadership as well as the actions you’ve been taken and what results that have been achieved under your leadership.

If you are applying for a scholarship based on community service, you may list all the community service group in which you belong to or service project awards that you have won. Explain how your experience volunteering in community services could be the foundation to what you will learn on your future course.

  1. Use the keywords frequently

You will be considered to have committed addressing the questions being asked of you when using the keywords throughout the entire essay. For instance, you make an effort on putting references to ‘leadership’ term like ‘impacting communities’ and ‘innovation’ run throughout your essay.

  1. Start your essay in an engaging way

Sometimes you find it hard when starting to write an essay. You may include a statement or a quote that is related to the course you are intended to take. This will help you to link the topic to the text’s main body.

Showing a wider knowledge on several topics about your course subject will help to convince the scholarship committee who is funding your study is worthy for investment.

  1. Understand how the scholarship committee decide the criteria to evaluate your application essay

Try to make an outline of the key criteria which you believe being used by the scholarship committee judges to evaluate the essays about the themes related to your study object.

  1. Answer the underlying question

Sometimes the questions being asked of you is just a springboard for you to answer the real question the judges want to address. The scholarship committee who gives an award for students who want to study chemistry will ask, “Why do you want to study chemistry?” The underlying question that they are implying is, “Why do you want to study chemistry, and why are you the best future chemist we should give our hard-earned money?”

If you’re able to identify and answer the underlying question, your essay might be stand out more than the other applicants who are not able to address the real question. This will help you to make your essay as a way to prove that you are the worthiest applicant to receive the scholarship to the committee.

  1. Check your essay for spelling errors, use correct grammar and punctuation

Spelling errors and incorrect grammar could be one reason for the judges to kick you out of the competition even before they finish reading your whole essay. They have piles of application to read and if you give them hardship by bad writing due to spelling errors, they will make it easy by throwing your application into the can.

  1. Avoid redundant conclusions

Before writing a scholarship essay, make an outline of what you want to explain and make a conclusion based on the body text. Your conclusion should be able to explain why the rest of the essay was important. It should answer the arising question, “So what?”

Hope the above tips will help. Good luck!

Helpful Guide for Commonwealth Scholarship in UK Universities

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) might be less popular than other scholarships given to international students from Asia such as Chevening Scholarship since they targeted only on Commonwealth citizens. However, this program is quite prestigious as they award over 800 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate students and professionals annually.

commonwealth scholarship

CSC aims to strengthen the UK’s international development objectives and widen overseas interests, support UK higher education excellence, and at the same time, sustain the Commonwealth principles. This scholarship has been able to attract the brightest talents to study in UK universities and give them access to a world-class university education.

CSC is funded by the Department for Education (for developed Commonwealth countries) and the Department for International Development (for developing Commonwealth countries), along with some UK universities.

Types of CSC Awards

There are two types of award available in Commonwealth Scholarship scheme.

  • Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

This scholarship is aimed for candidates from least developed, low, and middle-income countries, member of the Commonwealth, who want to take a part-time distance learning Master’s study on selected courses which are offered by the UK universities.

  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

This scholarship is for candidates from least developed, low, and lower-middle-income countries, member of the Commonwealth, who want to take a full-time Master’s study in UK universities. The awardee will be given a maximum of £22,500 tuition fees, return flights to the home countries, and a study grant.

Both applicants for Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships and Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are only able to select courses under 6 themes, they are:

  1. Science and technology for development
  2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
  3. Promoting global prosperity
  4. Strengthening global peace, security, and governance
  5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  6. Access, inclusion, and opportunity

Apart from the above schemes, you may also apply for Commonwealth Scholarships in Low and Middle-Income Countries in which you may take courses in universities in low and middle-income countries which are the member of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Guides

  • CSC is open for the citizen of a Commonwealth country, which consists of fifty-two countries from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. Those countries are world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries.
  • Applicants must finish their bachelor degree if they wish to apply for a Master program.
  • Candidates are selected based on their academic achievement.
  • CSC scholarships are fully-funded. They offer full tuition fees, arrival allowance and living allowance, and a return economy flight to the recipient countries.
  • Only Master courses are available and the scholarships cannot be applied for distance learning courses.
  • You must apply through CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). The online application form must be filled thoroughly, including a detailed plan of study which must be written in 300 words for Master students. However, you are able to log in and save the data that you have filled and return to the page once you have time to finish the application.
  • Certified copies of certificates and transcripts of undergraduate and postgraduate university degrees must be uploaded to the system. Make sure to list your educational background in chronological order on the online application form.
  • Upload the language proficiency (i.e., IELTS result) that meets the university requirement.

Tips for Commonwealth Scholarship Applicants

  1. The CSC’s scholarship and fellowship schemes are very competitive. On average, only 1.5% of the candidates are successful. Only people with outstanding academic performance and professional experience are likely to be successful.
  2. Follow the instructions. The selection committee assesses all the applications using three criteria; they are academic merit, study/research plan, and impact of the work on development. They also consider all of the information that has been provided by the applicant on the online application form.

There is no quota scheme based on the countries of origin, ethnicities, or genders. In addition, the selection committee will make a decision wholly by assessing the information provided by the applicants. Thus, you need to read all the instructions on the online application form carefully before starting the application, then complete all of the questions fully.

  1. For Ph.D. Scholarships or Academic Fellowships, it is best if you have recorded on attending an international conference, a good list of publications and conference papers which are published by internationally-respected academic journals. Ph.D. candidates must also provide information about the precise methodology of their research and any sampling strategy to be used.
  2. Find referees who will provide a detailed reference for you. The reference must also contain sufficient information to be evaluated.
  3. Explain in detail to why you apply to the courses and institutions listed on your application form.
  4. Give detailed and original information about your previous work and how your proposed work, once you return home, will have an impact on the development of your home country. There is 500-words space available, but try to make your line as efficient and effective as possible. Avoid impenetrable and vague sentences, as well as importing text from any websites or from applications.

Tips to Write Scholarship Thank You Letter

So, after a long and tiring selection process you’ve been through, you finally being awarded the scholarship you’ve been dreaming about. For some people, getting a scholarship means a big difference as they may be able to continue their education or abandoning their ambitions to achieve a professional career in the future in a field they are really into.

scholarship thank you letter

Although what you have got was a result of hard work and luck, the scholarship committee or your scholarship donor is the one who plays the most important role in deciding whether you are worthy enough to get the scholarship or not. The scholarship is awarded to you are possible as college and universities, some corporations, college alumni, professional associations, and individual philanthropist are generous enough to help students to pursue their passion which in hope will provide many opportunities for the students’ life once they graduate from the school.

The above statements should be enough to explain why we need to give scholarship thank you letter to those parties who had helped us to pursue our dream. Although they have never asked for a return, a formal letter of appreciation from the students will always be special. By receiving the formal thank you letter, they will know that the scholarship was greatly appreciated and make them sure to continue to do so.

How to Write a Well-written Scholarship Thank You Letter?

  • Make sure that your letter is free from grammatical and spelling (typos) errors.
  • Write concisely and clearly. Point out what you want to say and do not repeat it just to express your gratitude.
  • Express enthusiasm to show how grateful you are being awarded the scholarship by the scholarship donor to continue your study.
  • Be sincere.
  • Use quality paper.
  • Send the letter in typewritten in business format.
  • The handwritten letters are acceptable. However, if you prefer to handwritten the letter, please use stationary or a card. Write legibly and keep the letter to a couple of paragraphs. It is best if you make a draft before writing the letter. Do not forget to put your student ID number in your signature.

Your academic abilities and personal qualities that stood above the other applicants that make you being awarded a scholarship. Sending a scholarship thank you letter act as a confirmation that the scholarship that you’ve received was important enough so you would take the time to present yourself in a professional manner.

Tips for Writing Your Thank You Letter

  • Do not put on a date on your letter.
  • Do not include the scholarship amount you have received.
  • Write down your postal address as well as email address so that you will give the donor chance to respond your letter.
  • To make the letter appropriate, do not address the individual by his/her first name. Begin the letter with Dr., Ms., Mr. or Mrs. instead. If there is no name known to be the donor, you may use “Dear Donor” or “Dear Benefactor”. This must also be done only when there is notification letter which commands you to do so.
  • Acknowledge the scholarship you have received by making a reference of their full name. Try not to state the obvious, such as “My name is Michael Angelo and I am a student at Harvard University.”
  • If you find that your political, religious, spiritual, or cultural viewpoints are different than what the donors have, do not make an assumption on the thank you letter. Instead, try to be more considerate in your letters about the differences between your view and others’ belief.
  • Keep the letter as concise as possible and proofread it well before sending the letter. You may have someone to review your letter before submitting.
  • If you received the scholarship from the same donor in the previous year, you should write a new letter. Give the scholarship donor time to know what accomplishment that you have gained the previous year and how the funding has helped you to make it possible.
  • Put the letter in the envelope.

The Scholarship Thank You Letter Content

  • Explain to the donor a little bit about yourself, including your hometown, family background, and experiences and life situations which is the background of why you pursue your degree on your university.
  • Include information about your current situation, such as ‘What you are studying at your current university’ and ‘What kind of on- and off-campus activities that you are taking part in’.
  • Internship and/or research activities in which you have taken part.
  • Describe how the fund you’ve received had helped you to meet or exceed your educational targets.
  • Talk about your future plans, such as ‘What accomplishment that you hope to pursue while still studying at your current university’ and ‘What your plans are after you graduate, entering graduate school, or your career aspirations in the future’.

How to Get Bill Gates Scholarship

Who doesn’t know Bill Gates? As one of the wealthiest people on the planet, Bill Gates collect his wealth from being the founder and chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest PC software company. Fortunately, Gates is also one the kindest people as he donates his wealth to philanthropy. Most of the money is donated to different charitable organizations and also scientific research programs through his own foundation which was established in 2000, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

gates scholarship

The foundation has big attention to support education in the US and has funded several scholarship schemes in different universities. By launching the Gates Scholarship, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has shown its commitment to help outstanding minority students who mostly come from low-income families to realize their maximum potential.

Unlike any other prestigious scholarship which solely based on the academic achievement of the candidates, the Gates Scholarship offers bigger opportunities to the unfortunate one, those who have financial barriers to go to college. In addition to the funding that the awardee receives, the Gates Scholarship will engage students in a variety of ways to make sure that they are provided by the best resources and services they need, from the first day of school until they graduate and choose a path for their career.

The selection process of the Gates Scholarship is highly competitive. Starting 2018, the scholarship will provide a fund for 300 top student leaders annually, with a total of 3000 students that have been granted the fund since the program has been started in 2017.

The amount of the grant that you will receive depends on the amount of unmet need. The unmet need means the difference between the amount you’ve received in grants or scholarships and your school’s cost of attendance (which includes tuition fees, board, books, room, and other personal expenses). The larger the unmet need, the larger the scholarship award will be.

The scholarship amount will also depend on how long you’re able to renew the scholarship. If you meet all the renewal qualifications, you will be able to receive the funds to cover all the unmet need for 4 years of undergraduate study. The average amount of the Gates Scholarship fund was around $12,492.

Basic Eligibility

To apply for the scholarship, you must be:

  • a US citizen, national or permanent resident;
  • a high school student in senior year;
  • from at least one of the following ethnicities: Asian & Pacific Islander American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, African-American, and/or Hispanic American
  • pell-eligible, which means you must show a significant financial need;
  • have a minimum cumulative academic score weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale;
  • a full-time first-year student in a four-year degree-seeking program, at the US accredited, not-for-profit, public or private university or college.

The Ideal Candidate

To be awarded the scholarship, you must have the following criteria.

  • An outstanding academic achievement in high school (in the top 10% of his/her graduating class).
  • A leadership competence (e.g., shown through participation in extracurricular activities or community service).
  • Great motivation and perseverance, emotionally matured, and other emotional intelligence skills.

The Gates Scholarship Deadline

  • Mid-July – Available
  • Mid-September – Deadline of application
  • November – January – Semifinalist phase
  • Mar – Finalist interviews
  • Apr – Selection
  • July – Sept – Awards

Information You Need to Know Before Applying

Before preparing for the application, you need to gather some important information to apply for the scholarship.

You need to request the following information from your guidance counselor:

  • your class rank
  • your class size
  • your full academic record
  • your cumulative GPA

You also need to prepare a list of your participation in several activities. Gather all the information including names, dates, and descriptions of your participation in the following activities.

  • Leadership roles and experiences
  • Community service experiences
  • Employment experiences

Gather all the information about your family financial condition, including:

  • your status, whether you are a dependent or an independent student;
  • your personal gross annual income information which is collected over the past year.

Strategies to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Gates Scholarship

  1. Demonstrate academic excellence during your early years in high school. You should maintain your GPA of a minimum 3.3. Take AP or advanced classes if available. Seek for extra help from your teachers if you are weak in certain subjects.
  2. Demonstrate leadership skills by actively participating in class, being a volunteer in a group discussion or group projects, or joining extracurricular activities that meet your interests.
  3. Commit to community service by choosing and sticking with a community service on a weekly basis.
  4. Develop good relationships with educators and mentors to ask for guidance and advice.
  5. Plan ahead once you are ready to apply for the scholarship. Map out the strategy and list all the things you need to do.
  6. Write essay seriously and make sure you answer all the required questions. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself but try to be humble at the same time.
  7. Choose nominators and recommenders wisely. They can be the one who knows you in multiple contexts, for your coach or personal mentor.