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.
(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.
(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.
Our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations and our goals, these are what drive us to succeed: these are our ambitions in this short life. Children are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow older?” Most reply simply by stating, “I want to be rich!” And just like that, without giving any other thought; for their minds are still so naive, they automatically assume that once you reach this “older” stage of life, money will be handed out on a silver platter: therefore, they will become rich, achieving what they have desired. Yet, as they grow older and their minds and bodies start to mature, epiphany strikes: in order to be rich, you have to make something of yourself, and this is when our goals begin to manifest.
As a child, I didn't have much of an idea what I wanted to be, but as time flowed by, I slowly became to realize what I want to do: cosmetology. Around the age of 12, I began messing with my hair: I colored it pink, blue, orange, purple, green: any vivid color that I desired, and I really took interest in doing this. People began to awe at all the different colors that I would put into my hair, and I became proud of it. Just the idea of being able to change your hair color or style to anything you could ever want: it's just fascinating to me. I mean, you could have your normal brown hair one day, and vibrant pink the next: it's awesome. I knew that this was the place where I needed to be.
Once I was attending high school, I was notified about a program that has changed my life entirely: Pima County JTED (Joint Technical Education District). They offer “career jump-start” programs, that can benefit people who know what they want to become in life. It works by going through the high schools and enrolling the students whom are interested into their programs: so you get high school credit and a lead into your future career. I found out that one of the programs that they have there is cosmetology. I was interested as soon as I was told this; so I contacted my counselor and asked how I would be able to get into this program. I wrote essays for them, sent in letters of recommendation, and attended the meetings that they held. I sent in my application soon after, and was soon accepted into the program. The impact that this has had on me is great: I attend school Monday through Friday from 7:20 am – 12:00 pm, and then head to beauty school (JTED) from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, it's a lot of work, but I'm handling it well, if I do say so myself.
Soon I will graduate from both high school and beauty school, and by doing this I will obtain both my diploma and my license for cutting hair. (Once I pass state board that is.) After this I want to go to college to take entrepreneurship classes, so I can open up a salon on my very own: that's my biggest goal for myself. It's taken a lot of time and thought for me to finally realize it, but I know that it's what I really want, and I'll do anything to achieve it. “If you could have one wish, what would it be? We all have hopes and dreams that we do almost anything to make real. And if we get lucky, and our wish is granted, maybe that's what we call happiness.” (Takemura, Masaharu) Owning my own business is my dream, my biggest goal, and I won't stop at anything. In the end, I know that it will make me happy to know that I finally achieved something that I've been pursuing for for such a long time now; and I will finally be able to accomplish this dream.
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