How to Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships

Applying for scholarships can be an overwhelming and challenging experience. There are numerous steps to perform and hurdles to overcome throughout the process. Writing your personal statement is often one of the hardest parts. Personal statement prompts tend to be unrestrictive, which often leaves the scholarship hopeful at a loss for what to write and how to organize the paper. The personal statement is crucial because it is the way applicants can convey their uniqueness among the larger pool. Use these steps for crafting a personal statement.


  1. Image titled Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships Step 1
    Start brainstorming about your personal statement well before the deadline.
    • Set aside a few minutes every day to come up with different examples of personal trials and triumphs that might display your qualifications for the scholarship. Thinking of what to say and writing at the same time might not lead to the best ideas or the most organized construction.
  2. Image titled Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships Step 2
    Read and re-read the prompt.
    • Understand what the scholarship application is asking from you. Misunderstanding the prompt and drafting an off-topic essay might disqualify you.
    • Be aware of your length limit.
  3. Image titled Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships Step 3
    Understand what the scholarship is for and find out what kind of recipient they desire.
    • Take into account the focus of the scholarship. If it is an academic-related scholarship, make sure you include plenty of references to your own education. If it is a sports or extracurricular activity-type scholarship, it would be important to mention that aspect of your life within the statement.
  4. Image titled Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships Step 4
    Create a list of topic ideas and goals.
    • Consider the following common subject matters included in personal statements: prior accomplishments, your role in an extracurricular activity, a specific work or volunteer experience, adversity you have overcome, roadblocks you have leapt over, and applicable skills and talents you have.
    • Segue into your educational and career goals by detailing all of the following topics: what you want to study, your career goals, and the steps you will take in school to reach those career goals.
  5. Image titled Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships Step 5
    Write a rough draft.
    • Narrow down your brainstorming topics into 1 or 2 to write about.
    • Write down all your ideas into loose sentences. Don't worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar; you are just getting ideas onto paper.
  6. Image titled Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships Step 6
    Read through your draft and begin editing.
    • Omit sentences that are off-topic or rambling. Re-write sentences that run on or are confusing.
    • Make sure you go into vivid detail when describing an experience.
    • Remember to stay focused on your topic throughout the essay.
    • Limit the portions where you talk about someone other than yourself.
    • Check your statement for tone. You don't want to come off too self-deprecating or too cocky.
  7. Image titled Make a Personal Statement for Scholarships Step 7
    Compose your final draft.
    • Take all your ideas and edited sentences and re-write them using perfect grammar, spelling and punctuation.
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    Seek a second opinion. A friend, family member, teacher, senior, professional linguist or anyone appropriate can be your vetter, proofreader or editor. Be sure to keep to your original points while you make improvement to your personal statement.


  • Give the essay to a peer to read and critique before sending it.


  • Do not repeat information that is located elsewhere within your application. Your personal statement is supposed to be comprised of personal information that you decide to provide.
  • Avoid clich├ęs in your writing as well as poetry and song lyrics within your statement.

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