You have your scholarship application carefully filled out. Your letters of recommendation are collected and your scholarship resume is ready. The last thing to do for your scholarship application packet is to write the winning essay. How do you decide what to write about? Where do you start? Is there a secret to writing a scholarship essay that will help you be picked by the judges to win the scholarship money?

The first thing you need to understand is the point of the scholarship essay. The essay is a way for the scholarship judges to get to know YOU. They want to learn more about you than your name, GPA, ACT/SAT score, date of birth, etc... By writing the essay, you are able to share your thoughts, opinions, and feelings on the essay subject. Don't start your essay with, My name is ___________ and I attend _________ high school. They already know this because it is easily found on your scholarship application.

What you need to do to quickly get the attention of the judges (who have read possibly thousands of essays) is to start your essay with a compelling statement. Draw them in right away and create in them the desire to read your whole essay from start to finish because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to. How do you do this? Read over the subject of the essay, form your own opinion, and then write your first sentence with a personal experience that you feel strongly about. For example, when you answer the popular essay question, How will the scholarship money help you? you can write something like, Sleeping in on Saturday mornings is something that I love to do, but for the past year I have literally dragged myself out of bed so I can go to my local children's hospital and read stories to the kids who are patients there.... Then you write about how winning the scholarship money will bring you one step closer to realizing your dream of becoming a pediatrician.

Your essay is the time to make yourself real to the judges. You know that you are much more than a name, so prove it to them! The essay is a way for you to come alive in the minds of the judges, so use descriptive words, real life situations, and heartfelt emotions in your writing. Take advantage of tools like the thesaurus to help you use words that make your essay stand out and be remembered. Always tell the truth and never lie in your essays. Do not let a parent write your essay for you. Scholarship judges KNOW which students wrote the essays and which ones had someone else write it for them. They can tell when the truth has been stretched and those students who want to win so badly that they will say anything to make themselves look better than the other applicants.

Scholarship judges want to know YOU in your essay. When you tell the truth, write from the heart, and draw them in right from the start, your chances of winning the scholarship money greatly improve. Other than the essay, there are ways to make your scholarship applications stand out and get noticed by the judges. Visit to learn more about these winning methods and for free scholarship tips.

About the Author:

Monica Matthews helped her own son win over $20,000 in private college scholarships. She is a teacher who now stays home with her three children. Ms. Matthews has published several articles on winning scholarships and loves to help students win free money for college. Visit her website,, and learn the unique method of applying for scholarships that she has developed.

Article Source: How To Write a Winning Scholarship Essay