10 Tips to Write the Perfect STEM Scholarship Essay

Whether it’s to get financial aid for college or to fulfill your dream of studying abroad, writing an essay that showcases why you deserve the scholarship can make or break whether you’ll be selected or not. That’s why you should make sure that the essay conveys your STEM abilities and expertise in the best possible way. STEM students-those with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math- enjoy ample opportunities to win scholarships.

To make sure you are maximizing your chances to win scholarships, these tips will help you determine how to write a STEM essay that will help you stand out from the crowd.

1. Write an essay aligned with the goals of the scholarship provider.

Some scholarships are intended for the “innovators of the future,” outstanding STEM students dedicated to community service. For this reason, you should make sure that what your essay is closely linked to the scholarship provider’ vision. Most of IOScholarships are awarded by a private organization or corporation. Take time to research the institution mission and vision so you learn what they might be looking for in a scholarship applicant.

2. Answer the underlying question

The goal of the essay is to convince the organization that you are the best candidate for the scholarship. So, if the essay question is, for example, “Why do you want to go to medical school?”, what they really want to know is “Why will you be the best doctor and why we should give you the scholarship?”.


Remember that many people from similar backgrounds and with similar goals are likely to apply. Therefore, saying why you want to be a doctor is not enough, as everyone will say the same thing. What you must do is stand out from the rest of the candidates and prove that you are the most deserving candidate.

Giving specific examples of how the award relates to your life is more impactful than simply explaining why you deserve to win.

3. Present a hook

Your essay must have a hook. Having a strong introduction can help you stand right of the gate. Use an anecdote or a story which shows why you are interested in pursuing your STEM major. Starting your essay with a surprising fact, compelling anecdote or unexpected question can grab the reader’s attention and make a good impression right away.

4. Show a part of your life

In addition to listing the reasons why you deserve the scholarship, you should also show some part of your life. It is important that you focus on one aspect. The essay should not be like a resume or detail all your accomplishments. By focusing on one aspect, you will be able to give it more depth and provide valuable information about who you are.

5. Convey your passion

This essay is not like any of the ones you wrote as a student, as it is about showing what you are passionate about and why you are passionate about it. Make sure the topic of your essay really excites you and let your words reflect that enthusiasm.

6. Be concise

Instead of using broad, impersonal phrases like “education is the key to success,” define the influence of education on specific aspects of your life. If you are writing about your desire to be an astronaut, explain that it originated after visiting NASA when you were four years old. This way the reader will be able to identify with your experiences and will not forget your essay after five minutes.

7. Develop your achievements

You have probably specified your qualifications and merits in detail in the application form, so it is not advisable to repeat everything in your essay. Instead, take the opportunity to elaborate on one or two accomplishments that really stood out to you, put them in context and share the true meaning they had in your life. If you are Proficient in Python and JavaScript and Experience with C++ and Go showcase your achievements and how you can apply your skills!

8. Skip the negative outlook

Diving into your personal tragedies in order to move the jury is unlikely to get you the scholarship. Your main argument cannot be “I deserve the scholarship because I have suffered so much in life,” as you will only be focusing on the problem and not the solution. Detailing hardships can be difficult for you to share, but showcasing how you overcame those hardships (or plan to with the help of this scholarship) might be great to showcase and how these challenges have taught you resiliency and grit.

Try to leave the reader feeling hopeful about your future by staying positive throughout your essay, even if you’re talking about hard topics or feelings.

9. Show your STEM related skills

Avoid general information and focus on what is related to your STEM skills. For example, if you are applying for a scholarship based on your biology background, you may want to list courses including experimental biology, cell biology or biological chemistry.

10. Get a second opinion

You can’t do this alone. If you want to submit an excellent essay, it is essential that it is read by people you trust. People who can honestly express their opinion about what you have written. Teachers, counselors, academics, family and friends can all provide valuable input to improve the quality of your essay. Also, ask a mentor to proofread your essay or utilize a professional proofreading service. Everyone needs an editor, so use a proofreading service to see what improvements could be made.

If you need more information on how to write a winning essay, read the following article.

Bottom Line

Scholarship essays are very important when applying for scholarships.

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