Managing scholarship applications, deadlines, and essay prompts can become overwhelming, but keeping your previously written essays allows you to reduce some of the stress. Listed below are ten examples of essay prompts that you can keep on hand, so that you will be able to submit a scholarship in a matter of minutes!

Why do you deserve this scholarship?

This essay prompt allows you to show the committee why you feel you deserve the scholarship over other students. It is good to have this one saved and ready to submit because it’s a common theme for scholarships. Find your reasons and make them clear to the committee reading your essay. You can mention different aspects of your personal situation or character, but also remember that you may need to tailor your response to the purpose or focus of that specific scholarship.

What areas of community service have you been involved in?

Community service is another common theme for scholarship essays. If you are heavily involved in this area, be ready to answer this prompt (and give specific examples). Share how you made a difference through your volunteer work. Did you go above and beyond? What did you learn? Giving specific examples and insights will make the essay stand out, rather than just telling the reader that you are committed to community service.

What is your legacy?

Scholarship committees want to know what lasting impact you want to have on the world. This prompt gives you the chance to share that vision with the reader. You are currently creating your legacy, so feel free to use examples of the steps you are taking to actively make progress. What college do you plan to attend? What major are you pursuing? What have been your achievements so far? How do these goals and activities relate to the bigger picture of what you hope to accomplish one day? Showing the steps you’re taking and how you are on your way to your legacy is essential.

What are your long term/short term goals?

With this essay prompt, you want to show the scholarship committee that your goals align with the purpose of the scholarship. This is another essay that will require tailoring the content for each scholarship. Research the organization. What is their mission? What are their values? If your goals align, make that clear in the essay and use specific examples from your past.

What are your college or career goals?

Scholarships exist to help you further your education, so it’s not surprising that these scholarship committees want to know more about your college and career plans. Share the inspiration behind choosing your major. How will it allow you to accomplish your career goals? Why is this is important to you? Some scholarships are only open to students with a particular major, which creates a smaller applicant pool and better odds of winning the scholarship. Keep your eye out for scholarships like these and make sure to have this essay ready.

How will this scholarship help and impact you?

Many scholarships committees want to know how the scholarship will make a difference in your life. Everyone’s financial needs are different. This essay allows students to share more about their particular situation and the impact that a potential scholarship could have on their future.

What ice-cream flavor would you be if you could only choose one?

Essay topics like this are silly and expressive. They allow both the writer and the reviewer to understand each other in a more creative way. The ice-cream example is only one of the many out there with a unique prompt. Not only does this type of essay encourage you to express your creativity, it’s also a great way to have insights that you might not otherwise have when writing an essay.

How will you work to reduce your student loans?

Scholarship committees want to help reduce the amount of loans you have to take out, as well as the pressure on you and your family before, during and after college. They would rather you focus on your studies; however, many scholarships will not cover all of your tuition bills. This means that you may still need to take out student loans. What are you doing to ensure that you will take out the least amount in loans as possible? Will you work throughout high school and college? Did you start a business to help cover the cost? Are you applying to dozens of scholarships each week? Show the committee that you are committed to reducing the amount of student loans you have to take out and that you are actively working toward your goals.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving and the amount of accidents caused by drivers has become a large topic for essays. Some scholarship essays may ask:

  • How will the use of autonomous vehicles reduce accidents?
  • How can you prevent distracted driving?
  • Are autonomous vehicles beneficial?

These topics and more could be asked in regards to distracted driving. You should first decide how you feel about the topic and what you think will cause change on our roads.

Video Submissions

Finally, some scholarship essays may need to be submitted in the form of a video. Research what makes a compelling and engaging video. Get familiar with using a camera and with the editing process. Finally, get comfortable in front of the camera, sharing your thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. You may need to write a script and practice a couple of times, or maybe try winging it and expressing from the heart. Either way, this is a great opportunity to answer the prompt in a more personal way.  


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