My Family Medical History Essay Scholarships

Sample Scholarship Essays


If you’re applying for a scholarship, chances are you are going to need to write an essay. Very few scholarship programs are based solely on an application form or transcript. The essay is often the most important part of your application; it gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and your dedication to your goals. You’ll want to make sure that your scholarship essay is the best it can possibly be.

Unless specified otherwise, scholarship essays should always use the following formatting:

  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 point font
  • One-inch top, bottom, and side margins

Other useful tips to keep in mind include:

  1. Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you completely understand them before you start writing.
  2. Think about what you are going to write and organize your thoughts into an outline.
  3. Write your essay by elaborating on each point you included in your outline.
  4. Use clear, concise, and simple language throughout your essay.
  5. When you are finished, read the question again and then read your essay to make sure that the essay addresses every point.

For more tips on writing a scholarship essay, check out our Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay .


The Book that Made Me a Journalist

Prompt: Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why.

It is 6 am on a hot day in July and I’ve already showered and eaten breakfast. I know that my classmates are all sleeping in and enjoying their summer break, but I don’t envy them; I’m excited to start my day interning with a local newspaper doing investigative journalism. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and despite the early mornings, nothing has made me happier. Although it wasn't clear to me then, looking back on my high school experiences and everything that led to me to this internship, I believe this path began with a particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class.

I was taking a composition class, and we were learning how to write persuasive essays. Up until that point, I had had average grades, but I was always a good writer and my teacher immediately recognized this. The first paper I wrote for the class was about my experience going to an Indian reservation located near my uncle's ranch in southwest Colorado. I wrote of the severe poverty experienced by the people on the reservation, and the lack of access to voting booths during the most recent election. After reading this short story, my teacher approached me and asked about my future plans. No one had ever asked me this, and I wasn't sure how to answer. I said I liked writing and I liked thinking about people who are different from myself. She gave me a book and told me that if I had time to read it, she thought it would be something I would enjoy. I was actually quite surprised that a high school teacher was giving me a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It had never occurred to me that teachers would lie to students. The title intrigued me so much that on Friday night I found myself staying up almost all night reading, instead of going out with friends.

In short, the book discusses several instances in which typical American history classes do not tell the whole story. For example, the author addresses the way that American history classes do not usually address about the Vietnam War, even though it happened only a short time ago. This made me realize that we hadn't discussed the Vietnam War in my own history class! The book taught me that, like my story of the Indian reservation, there are always more stories beyond what we see on the surface and what we’re taught in school. I was inspired to continue to tell these stories and to make that my career.

For my next article for the class, I wrote about the practice of my own high school suspending students, sometimes indefinitely, for seemingly minor offenses such as tardiness and smoking. I found that the number of suspensions had increased by 200% at my school in just three years, and also discovered that students who are suspended after only one offense often drop out and some later end up in prison. The article caused quite a stir. The administration of my school dismissed it, but it caught the attention of my local newspaper. A local journalist worked with me to publish an updated and more thoroughly researched version of my article in the local newspaper. The article forced the school board to revisit their “zero tolerance” policy as well as reinstate some indefinitely suspended students.I won no favors with the administration and it was a difficult time for me, but it was also thrilling to see how one article can have such a direct effect on people’s lives. It reaffirmed my commitment to a career in journalism.

This is why I’m applying for this scholarship. Your organization has been providing young aspiring journalists with funds to further their skills and work to uncover the untold stories in our communities that need to be reported. I share your organization’s vision of working towards a more just and equitable world by uncovering stories of abuse of power. I have already demonstrated this commitment through my writing in high school and I look forward to pursuing a BA in this field at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. With your help, I will hone my natural instincts and inherent writing skills. I will become a better and more persuasive writer and I will learn the ethics of professional journalism.

I sincerely appreciate the committee’s time in evaluating my application and giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

Do:Follow the prompt and other instructions exactly. You might write a great essay but it may get your application rejected if you don’t follow the word count guidelines or other formatting requirements.
DON'T:Open your essay with a quote. This is a well-worn strategy that is mostly used ineffectively. Instead of using someone else’s words, use your own.
DON'T:Use perfunctory sentences such as, “In this essay, I will…”
DO:Be clear and concise. Make sure each paragraph discusses only one central thought or argument.
DON'T:Use words from a thesaurus that are new to you. You may end up using the word incorrectly and that will make your writing awkward. Keep it simple and straightforward. The point of the essay is to tell your story, not to demonstrate how many words you know.

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Planners and Searchers

Prompt: In 600 words or less, please tell us about yourself and why you are applying for this scholarship. Please be clear about how this scholarship will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Being African, I recognize Africa’s need for home- grown talent in the form of “planners” (assistants with possible solutions) and “searchers” (those with desperate need) working towards international development. I represent both. Coming from Zimbabwe my greatest challenge is in helping to improve the livelihoods of developing nations through sustainable development and good governance principles. The need for policy-makers capable of employing cross-jurisdictional, and cross- disciplinary strategies to solve complex challenges cannot be under-emphasized; hence my application to this scholarship program.

After graduating from Africa University with an Honors degree in Sociology and Psychology, I am now seeking scholarship support to study in the United States at the Master’s level. My interest in democracy, elections, constitutionalism and development stems from my lasting interest in public policy issues. Accordingly, my current research interests in democracy and ethnic diversity require a deeper understanding of legal processes of constitutionalism and governance. As a Master’s student in the US, I intend to write articles on these subjects from the perspective of someone born, raised, and educated in Africa. I will bring a unique and much-needed perspective to my graduate program in the United States, and I will take the technical and theoretical knowledge from my graduate program back with me to Africa to further my career goals as a practitioner of good governance and community development.

To augment my theoretical understanding of governance and democratic practices, I worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programs Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department. This not only enhanced my project management skills, but also developed my skills in research and producing communication materials. ZESN is Zimbabwe’s biggest election observation organization, and I had the responsibility of monitoring the political environment and producing monthly publications on human rights issues and electoral processes. These publications were disseminated to various civil society organizations, donors and other stakeholders. Now I intend to develop my career in order to enhance Africa’s capacity to advocate, write and vote for representative constitutions.

I also participated in a fellowship program at Africa University, where I gained greater insight into social development by teaching courses on entrepreneurship, free market economics, and development in needy communities. I worked with women in rural areas of Zimbabwe to setup income-generating projects such as the jatropha soap-making project. Managing such a project gave me great insight into how many simple initiatives can transform lives.

Your organization has a history of awarding scholarships to promising young students from the developing world in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. I have already done some of this work but I want to continue, and with your assistance, I can. The multidisciplinary focus of the development programs I am applying to in the US will provide me with the necessary skills to creatively address the economic and social development challenges and develop sound public policies for Third World countries. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Research the organization and make sure you understand their mission and values and incorporate them into your essay.
DO:Focus on your strengths and turn in any problems or weaknesses into a success story.
DO:Use actual, detailed examples from your own life to backup your claims and arguments as to why you should receive the scholarship.
DO:Proofread several times before finally submitting your essay.
DON'T:Rehash what is already stated on your resume. Choose additional, unique stories to tell sell yourself to the scholarship committee.
DON'T:Simply state that you need the money. Even if you have severe financial need, it won’t help to simply ask for the money and it may come off as tacky.

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Saving the Manatees

Prompt: Please give the committee an idea of who you are and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

It is a cliché to say that I’ve always known what I want to do with my life, but in my case it happens to be true. When I first visited Sea World as a young child, I fell in love with marine animals in general. Specifically, I felt drawn to manatees. I was compelled by their placid and friendly nature. I knew then and there that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting these beautiful creatures.

Since that day in Orlando, I have spent much of my spare time learning everything there is to know about manatees. As a junior high and high school student, I attempted to read scholarly articles on manatees from scientific journals. I annoyed my friends and family with scientific facts about manatees-- such as that they are close relatives of elephants--at the dinner table. I watched documentaries, and even mapped their migration pattern on a wall map my sister gave me for my birthday.

When I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take part in a summer internship with Sea World, I fell even more in love with these gentle giants. I also learned a very important and valuable lesson: prior to this internship, I had imagined becoming a marine biologist, working directly with the animals in their care both in captivity and in the wild. However, during the internship, I discovered that this is not where my strengths lie. Unfortunately, I am not a strong student in science or math, which are required skills to become a marine biologist. Although this was a disheartening realization, I found that I possess other strengths can still be of great value to manatees and other endangered marine mammals: my skills as a public relations manager and communicator. During the internship, I helped write new lessons and presentations for elementary school groups visiting the park and developed a series of fun activities for children to help them learn more about manatees as well as conservation of endangered species in general. I also worked directly with the park’s conservation and communication director, and helped develop a new local outreach program designed to educate Floridians on how to avoid hitting a manatee when boating. My supervisor recommended me to the Save the Manatee Foundation so in addition to my full-time internship at Sea World, I interned with the Save the Manatee Foundation part-time. It was there that I witnessed the manatee rescue and conservation effort first hand, and worked directly with the marine biologists in developing fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns. I found that the foundation’s social media presence was lacking, and, using skills I learned from Sea World, I helped them raise over $5,000 through a Twitter challenge, which we linked to the various social media outlets of the World Wildlife Federation.

While I know that your organization typically awards scholarships to students planning to major in disciplines directly related to conservation such as environmental studies or zoology, I feel that the public relations side of conservation is just as important as the actual work done on the ground. Whether it is reducing one’s carbon footprint, or saving the manatees, these are efforts that, in order to be successful, must involve the larger public. In fact, the relative success of the environmental movement today is largely due to a massive global public relations campaign that turned environmentalism from something scientific and obscure into something that is both fashionable and accessible to just about anyone. However, that success is being challenged more than ever before--especially here in the US, where an equally strong anti-environmental public relations campaign has taken hold. Therefore, conservationists need to start getting more creative.

I want to be a part of this renewed effort and use my natural abilities as a communicator to push back against the rather formidable forces behind the anti-environmentalist movement. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting this non-traditional avenue towards global sustainability and conservation. I have already been accepted to one of the most prestigious communications undergraduate programs in the country and I plan to minor in environmental studies. In addition, I maintain a relationship with my former supervisors at Save the Manatee and Sea World, who will be invaluable resources for finding employment upon graduation. I thank the committee for thinking outside the box in considering my application.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Tell a story. Discuss your personal history and why those experiences have led you to apply for these scholarships.
DO:Write an outline. If you’ve already started writing or have a first draft, make an outline based on what you’ve written so far. This will help you see whether your paragraphs flow and connect with one another.
DON'T:Write a generic essay for every application. Adapt your personal statement for each individual scholarship application.
DO:Run spellcheck and grammar check on your computer but also do your own personal check. Spellcheck isn’t perfect and you shouldn't rely on technology to make your essay perfect.

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Sample Essays

Related Content:

Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? This month, we’re celebrating by highlighting unique scholarships for amazing female students.

Scholarships for women are offered to celebrate not only the achievements and accomplishments of the many great women who have paved the way to this modern day, but also to further the educational opportunities of young women of future generations.

Once of the best ways to honor such extraordinary women of the past is to take advantage of the opportunities awarded for your future – opportunities that, without their hard work, determination and efforts, would not be available to you today.

Scholarships are given for all different reasons. For example, some are based on race, ethnicity and, of course, gender. Gender became one of these categories because of the dedication women of the past who fought for equal educational opportunities for women.

And, while many still believe there’s progress to be made, one of the best ways to do so is by taking your future into your own hands and seizing such opportunities.

Many celebrate fierce females by awarding remarkable women in certain fields of study or through various organizations which focus on different aspects, such as women’s studies, the empowerment of women and endowments specifically left to female students.

Also, check out more information on financial aid, specifically for female students. It’s another great resource for any female looking for helpful ways to pay for school.

To help better organize your scholarship search, please note that the following awards for female students are listed according to deadline, with the earliest deadline appearing at the top of the page. Deadlines that vary will appear at the bottom of the list. As deadlines pass, opportunities will be refreshed as often as possible.

Here are some great scholarship opportunities that celebrate the true meaning of those who fought for women’s equality by enhancing the lives of women through educational opportunities:

Women in Leadership Scholarship

Deadline: 3/07/18
Available to: High School Seniors through College Freshmen
Award Amount: 4 Awards of $2,500

The Women in Leadership Scholarship is available to women who are residents of Nebraska or the Ozark area of Missouri. You must be a senior in high school who is planning to graduate in the spring of 2018 in order to be considered for this award. Academic achievement, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and work experience are also considered.

Learn more about the Women in Leadership Scholarship.

Chicana/ Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

Deadline: 3/31/18
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 35 Awards of $1,500

The Chicana/ Latina Foundation Scholarship Program is open to women of Chicana / Latina heritage who reside and attend school in select counties in Northern California. Undergraduate students must have completed 12 semester units and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered for this award. Graduate students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Learn more about the Chicana/ Latina Foundation Scholarship Program .

The Future is Female Scholarship

Deadline: 6/29/18
Available to: Female students; High School Seniors through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $3,000

The Future is Female Scholarship is available to female students. You must be a U.S. citizen and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award. You must also answer five short essay questions.

Learn more about the The Future is Female Scholarship.

Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship is available to female students who are age 35 or older. You must be a low – income student pursuing a technical / vocational education, associate’s degree, or first bachelor’s degree at a regionally or ACICS accredited school to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship.

Citizens Bank Womens Athletic Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available To: College Freshmen to College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Citizens Bank Womens Athletic Scholarship is open to female students at the University of Rhode Island.

You must be a Rhode Island high school graduate, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and demonstrate outstanding athletic talent, loyalty, ethics, leadership and discipline to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Citizens Bank Womens Athletic Scholarship.

Vivienne Camp Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 4 awards of $4,350

The Vivienne Camp Scholarship is awarded to two young Jewish men and two young Jewish women for college or vocational studies at a post-secondary California institution. You must reside in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo or Sonoma counties in California. You must also demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. Deadlines vary; therefore, it is encouraged that you apply early.

Learn more about the Vivienne Camp Scholarship.

“Salute to Mothers” Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Females, College Freshmen through College Sophomores
Award Amount: $1,000

The “Salute to Mothers” Scholarship is available to female students at Bucks County Community College. You must be supporting at least one child while attending BCCC, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be enrolled in at least six credit hours to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the “Salute to Mothers” Scholarship.

International Student Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 2 Awards for 100% of Tuition

The International Student Scholarship is available to entering full – time freshmen at the College of Saint Elizabeth. You must be an international student in the Women’s College to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the International Student Scholarship.

Nancy Yates Eby Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Nancy Yates Eby Scholarship is available to female students attending Baker College of Flint. You must be a single mother and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award. Preference is given to marketing majors.

Learn more about the Nancy Yates Eby Scholarship.

Women’s University Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 6 Awards of $1,000

The Women’s University Scholarship is available to students at Northwest University.

Learn more about the Women’s University Scholarship.

Women and Leadership Program, Panama City

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: Varies

The Women and Leadership Program, Panama City is open to female students from around the world who are interested in participating in a four-week program in Panama City, Panama, that includes: university courses, cultural activities and community service. Prospective students are evaluated based on the quality of application and may be contacted for an interview.

Learn more about the Women and Leadership Program, Panama City.

National Association of Women in Construction Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Juniors through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The National Association of Women in Construction Scholarship is available to female junior and senior students at the University of New Hampshire. You must be interested in a construction-related field to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the National Association of Women in Construction Scholarship.

Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship is available to African – American female undergraduate students. You must be at least 35 years of age and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award. You must also submit a 500 – word essay on the following topic: “Challenges to the Mature Student and How I Overcame Them.”

Learn more about the Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship.

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Juniors through Graduate Students, Year 3
Award Amount: $2,000

The P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education is available to female students in the United States and Canada.

You must be a citizen of the US or Canada and attend a college or university in the US or Canada.

You must be within 24 months of completing your educational goal and have spent at least 24 consecutive months as a non-student during your adult life to be eligible for this award.

Students in doctoral and professional degree programs are not eligible.

Learn more information about the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education.

Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $1,500

The Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship is available to students at Oakland University who are single heads of households and have had their education interrupted for at least one year. You must have earned at least 16 credits at the university level and have a minimum 2.5 GPA to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship.

Columbus Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Columbus Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship is available to female students at least 25 years of age who have been residents of Bartholomew County for at least one year. You must be attending an accredited post- secondary institution to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Columbus Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship.

Tyler J. Viney Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Females, College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Tyler J. Viney Memorial Scholarship is available to fourth- and fifth-year students enrolled in the departments or schools of architecture at the following colleges: Prairie View A&M University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at San Antonio. You must demonstrate potential architectural talent and an interest in photography to be eligible for this award. Priority will be given to minority or female students.

Learn more about the Tyler J. Viney Memorial Scholarship.

Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship Award

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Graduate Students, Year 1 through Year 5
Award Amount: $5,000

The Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship Award is available to female African-American students.

You must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. medical school program to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship Award.

O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: High School Seniors through College Freshmen
Award Amount: 8 Awards of $5,000

The O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship is available to female high school seniors who plan to enroll full-time in a four-year undergraduate program.

You must have a minimum 3.2 GPA and demonstrate financial need to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship.

Florida Association of Women Lawyers Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Graduate Students, Year 1 through Year 3
Award Amount: Varies

The Florida Association of Women Lawyers Scholarship is available to students at Saint Thomas University, School of Law. You must demonstrate financial need and be active in school and community activities to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Florida Association of Women Lawyers Scholarship.

Business Scholarship for Single Women

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Sophomores
Award Amount: $300

The Business Scholarship for Single Women is available to female students at Thomas Nelson Community College. You must be majoring in business, be enrolled in at least three hours and have completed six hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the Business Scholarship for Single Women.

Esther Shiller Memorial Endowment Loan Fund for College Loans

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $6,000

The Esther Shiller Memorial Endowment Loan Fund for College Loans is available to Jewish men and women who demonstrate academic promise, financial need and the ability to repay the loans. You must be able to provide a qualified guarantor (co-signer). Additionally, you must be a resident of San Francisco, San Mateo, northern Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda or Contra Costa counties in California.

Learn more about the Esther Shiller Memorial Endowment Loan Fund for College Loans.

Center for the Education of Women

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: 40 Awards from $1,000 – $8,000

The Center for the Education of Women is available to returning women students at the University of Michigan. You must have had an interruption in education during which no academic credit was earned. You must be pursuing a clear educational goal in any undergraduate, graduate or professional program, full or part time, at any campus. Selection will be based on your strength of motivation, academic record, potential and creative and scholarly contributions.

Learn more about the Center for the Education of Women.

Scholarships for Women in STEM:

Women in Science Environmental Scholarship

Deadline: 12/01/18
Available to: High School Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $500

The Women in Science Environmental Scholarship is available to female high school or college students, with preference given to those who are choosing to pursue a science degree. You must demonstrate financial need, and submit a one-page essay that demonstrates an idea you have for helping improve the environment, either global or locally using Drone Technology to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Women in Science Environmental Scholarship.

Women in Wireless Communications Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Sophomores
Award Amount: Varies

The Women in Wireless Communications Scholarship is available to female students in the College of Technology at Idaho State University.

You must be enrolled in the electronic wireless telecommunications program and demonstrate a strong academic performance, involvement in co-curricular activities and future goals in the field of wireless communications to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Women in Wireless Communications Scholarship.

Society of Women Engineers – Boston Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Juniors through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Society of Women Engineers – Boston Scholarship is available to female junior and senior engineering majors at the University of New Hampshire.

Learn more about the Society of Women Engineers – Boston Scholarship .

Remember, there are plenty of additional scholarships available that aren’t exclusive to women. Check your scholarship matches regularly for more opportunities you qualify for.

You can also find internships and fellowships for women on Fastweb now.


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