Writing the Final Section of a Winning Scholarship Essay

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The bow on your essay doesn't have to be beautiful. It just has to tie things up.

The bow on your essay doesn’t have to be beautiful. It just has to tie things up.

So far, we’ve discussed finding your story and starting your essay in this series. Now, it’s time to confront the final parts of the essay: stating your goals and wrapping it all up with a nice little bow.

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THE GOALS

If you recall, the “goals” paragraph is the section that comes after you’ve told your story. This is where you segue from the details of the story (and your explanation on how this particular story has shaped your ambitions) to discussing, more literally, what your goals are for the future.

By now, the scholarship provider should have a sense of what has motivated you to this point. They should have a sense of who you are. Hence, it should be super easy to convince them that you are passionate enough to achieve your goals.

Talk about what goals you’ve accomplished thus far and what you want to accomplish in the future. Do you want to get an advanced degree such as a Ph.D. or master’s? Do you want to start a company eventually? This is where you can be quite literal. It’s OK to type sentences like “After earning my bachelor’s degree in ____, I will work toward my goal of _____.”

Super important point: When writing about your goals, use strong phrases like “I will” as opposed to “I hope.” Saying “I will” shows the scholarship provider that you are determined to accomplish these goals. “I hope” is much more passive.

THE WRAP-UP

In all honesty, this section could be four paragraphs or less. Don’t worry about concluding in some poetic fashion if you are stuck. Remind them of your story and express how much winning the scholarship will help you to achieve your goals.

Here is an example of a wrap-up, which draws upon the example sentence I used in a previous post:

“Becoming a nurse will be my way of giving back to society. Winning the _________ Scholarship would provide much needed financial support as I continue to better myself and my community. This scholarship will help me to attain the skills and training necessary to make a difference in people’s lives, and never again will I be a passive observer in a life-threatening situation.”

Obviously, you can write more, less, or something totally different. I just wanted to illustrate that the wrap-up doesn’t have to be glamorous or extremely profound and complex.

There you have it! I’ve now fully equipped you with everything you need to write a winning scholarship essay. Still not feeling confident? Share your essay thoughts below, and I’ll give you some feedback.

(Photo: foilman/Flickr)

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