Sample Scholarship Essay (1)

The below essay was used to apply for a scholarship at a university in the UK (personal details have been changed).

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I am writing to ask for consideration for the scholarship offered by XXX University. Receiving this scholarship would enable me to take full advantage of the resources you offer, while also transcending the limitations of my impoverished upbringing.

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Growing up in a poor community in Jordan, the prospects for a better life were bleak. Poverty was inter-generational, and the only career opportunities were the kind of farming and merchant jobs that have existed for centuries. Fortunately, my parents refused to accept limitations, especially when considering their childrens future.

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When it came to school, anything short of excellence was not accepted. My parents had a keen understanding that education was the key to a better life, to new horizons. The pressured me to ace every test, yet they also gave me the support and encouragement I needed. This continued throughout elementary school, junior high, and high school. When it came time to begin considering university, they only ramped up their efforts.

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Rather than applying to local schools, as nearly all of my peers were doing, my parents urged me to look abroad. I applied to schools in Europe and even the USA, crafting my application documents carefully and applying for every scholarship that I could find. Due to my past record of academic excellence, I received a full scholarship to the University of Southern California, where I planned to study mechanical engineering.

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Our efforts had paid off. This was the ticket. Studying mechanical engineering in the USA would open up a whole new life for me, with endless possibilities and a level of success that families back home could only dream of. I continued working as hard as I could, ranking at the top of my class at USC while also contributing to mentor and tutoring programs, in an effort to repay the generous scholarship that the university had given me.

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A scholarship, to me, is more than a financial gift. It is a key to a door that could otherwise remain forever locked. It is the chance to fulfill my potential and race at full speed toward my goals. It is the possibility to receive an education, which, as my parents have always insisted, is the most important thing you can have.

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If offered a scholarship from your university, I will be endlessly grateful, yet I will also work hard to give back to the school in the form of volunteering and mentorship. I hope to serve as an ambassador to the school, as I recognize the importance of opening doors and creating opportunities for those who come after me. I appreciate the tremendous range of academic resources available at XXX University, and your scholarship would enable me to take full advantage of these.

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