8 Scholarship Essay Writing Prompts

Scholarship essay requirements vary a great deal by scholarship type and they generally change from year to year. If you’re serious about applying for scholarships, it’s a great idea to start practicing writing scholarship essays in advance. However, there’s no way to adequately predict exactly what your scholarship essay topics will be. Thankfully, while these topics can vary, there are some very common writing prompts which can help you prepare yourself for any topic that comes your way.

  1. Your personal traits and how they affect your ambitions.
  2. One of the most common prompts, this topic essentially asks you to discuss your strengths and unique traits and then describe how they will help you in the future. Some prompts specify educational ambitions, while others focus on employment. Write about either or both for practice.

  3. Discuss a historical figure that inspires you.
  4. This prompt is designed so that you’ll express the values and traits you admire, in an interesting way. Choose some less common historical figures to write about for maximum impact.

  5. How will this scholarship help you attain your goals?
  6. Of course the obvious one is money—but what they’re really looking for is the fact that you have clear ambitions and plans (including the scholarship in question) to attain them, based upon your merits.

  7. Describe a solution to a problem.
  8. The prompt may specify a problem (one posed by a current event, a common interpersonal situation, etc.) or it may allow you to construct a problem and then solve it.

  9. Describe your role when you are part of a team.
  10. Are you a leader? Or do you focus on being a support member? There’s no right answer here; simply describe your skills when cooperating with others.

  11. Discuss why education is important.
  12. Keep in mind you can talk about this from several perspectives: why it’s important globally, within smaller communities, within families, why it’s important for your career, or for your personal growth as a human being.

  13. Discuss an influential book or article which has changed your outlook.
  14. This prompt is mostly about demonstrating that you’re capable of assessing new ideas and determining whether or not they’re right for you. After all, most of education is about encountering new ideas and fitting them into your world view.

  15. Discuss something you’ve done that’s made a difference in your community.
  16. This prompt helps the scholarship committee place you in context; there’s a lot they can learn about you as a person by what you consider making a difference, who you consider to be “your community,” and so on.

 
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