Student Guide

How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay as a Nigerian Student

Do you want to learn how to write a winning scholarship essay as a Nigerian student?

If yes, you’ve come to the right place!

The majority of scholarship applications will require you to provide an essay before you can be considered for a scholarship.

This essay should include your educational objectives and career goals, a brief background about yourself (who you are), and why you need a scholarship.

However, many Nigerian students find it hard to craft a good scholarship essay that is able to entice the scholarship organization, and am here to help out.

So in this blog post, I want to show you how to write a winning scholarship essay as a Nigerian student.

Ready? Let’s go!

Also Read: What Causes Failure in WAEC in Nigeria? (Top 20 Reasons)

How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay as a Nigerian Student

Here are 12 pro tips for writing a winning scholarship essay as a Nigerian student:

1. Read and Understand the Essay Prompt

Read and Understand the Essay Prompt
Read and Understand the Essay Prompt

Reading and understanding the essay prompt is vital when writing a winning scholarship essay.

It ensures you meet the prompt’s requirements and conveys your ideas effectively.

Here’s a simple approach to it:

  • Read carefully: Take time to understand the essay prompt by reading it attentively. Note any specific instructions or questions given by the scholarship organization.
  • Identify key points: Figure out the main themes or questions the prompt is asking you to address. Break it down into smaller parts for better comprehension.
  • Know the purpose: Consider why the scholarship organization is asking this question. Understand their goals and values to align your response accordingly.
  • Research, if needed: Gather additional information related to the prompt through research. It helps you provide well-informed and supported answers.
  • Plan your response: Once you grasp the prompt, plan how you will approach your essay. Outline the main points or arguments you want to include and structure your response.
  • Stay focused: Throughout your essay, stay on-topic and avoid discussing unrelated ideas. Address the specific question or prompt given to you.
  • Cover all components: Make sure to address all aspects of the prompt if it consists of multiple questions or requires different responses.
  • Be original: Offer your unique perspective and ideas instead of generic responses. Be creative and provide fresh insights to make your essay stand out.
  • Review and revise: Before submitting your essay, review it to ensure it aligns with the prompt’s requirements. Check for clarity, coherence, and proper organization of ideas.

By reading and understanding the essay prompt, you can create a focused and relevant essay that effectively conveys your ideas to the scholarship organization.

2. Research the Scholarship Organization

Research the Scholarship Organization
Research the Scholarship Organization

Researching the scholarship organization is a crucial step in writing a winning scholarship essay.

Here’s a simple approach to effectively research the scholarship organization:

  • Understand their mission: Explore the organization’s website and learn about their purpose and values.
  • Identify their criteria: Pay attention to the eligibility requirements and criteria outlined by the organization.
  • Explore past recipients: Look for information on previous scholarship winners to understand the qualities the organization values.
  • Read their publications: Familiarize yourself with the organization’s publications or news updates to learn about their recent initiatives.
  • Tailor your essay: Align your essay with the organization’s values and goals, emphasizing how you match their criteria.
  • Address their concerns: If the organization has specific concerns or challenges, consider addressing them in your essay.
  • Use their language: Incorporate the organization’s terminology and key phrases to show your connection with their mission.
  • Be authentic: Stay true to yourself and reflect your genuine experiences and aspirations in your essay.

By researching the scholarship organization, you can tailor your essay to their criteria and showcase your alignment with their mission.

This increases your chances of impressing the scholarship committee.

3. Brainstorm and Outline Your Ideas

Brainstorm and Outline Your Ideas
Brainstorm and Outline Your Ideas

Brainstorming and outlining your ideas is an important step in writing a winning scholarship essay.

Here’s a simple approach to help you:

  • Start with a theme: Choose a main idea or message for your essay, such as your goals, achievements, or challenges.
  • Generate ideas: Write down any thoughts or experiences related to your chosen theme. Don’t worry about structure yet, just get your ideas on paper.
  • Prioritize your ideas: Select the most relevant and compelling ideas that match the essay prompt and highlight your strengths.
  • Create an outline: Organize your ideas into a logical order. Start with an introduction, followed by main points and supporting details, and end with a conclusion.
  • Add supporting details: Include examples, stories, or achievements that illustrate your main points and make your essay more compelling.
  • Consider the structure: Decide how you want to structure your essay, ensuring it flows smoothly from one paragraph to the next.
  • Maintain coherence: Use transitional phrases to connect your ideas and ensure a smooth flow throughout the essay.
  • Review and refine: Take time to review your outline for clarity and coherence. Make any necessary adjustments or additions.
  • Stay flexible: Be open to making changes as you write your essay. Your outline is a guide, but you can adapt it if new ideas arise.
  • Revise and polish: After writing your essay, revise it for clarity, grammar, and spelling errors. Make sure your ideas are effectively communicated.

By brainstorming and outlining your ideas, you can create a well-structured scholarship essay that effectively communicates your message. It helps you stay organized and increases your chances of writing a compelling essay.

Recommended: 10 Steps for Writing WAEC Informal Letter

4. Highlight Your Strengths

Highlighting your strengths is an important part of writing a winning scholarship essay.

It helps you show the scholarship committee why you deserve the scholarship.

Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Stand out: Highlighting your strengths makes you unique among other applicants.
  • Show your qualifications: Showcase your abilities, skills, and accomplishments to demonstrate why you are deserving of the scholarship.
  • Align with the criteria: Focus on the strengths that the scholarship organization values and emphasize them in your essay.
  • Provide evidence: Support your strengths with examples, such as academic achievements, leadership roles, or community service.
  • Be specific: Avoid general statements and be specific by providing concrete examples to support your strengths.
  • Connect to your goals: Explain how your strengths relate to your future goals and how they align with the scholarship’s objectives.
  • Use confident language: Express your abilities with confidence, but remain humble and avoid sounding arrogant.
  • Tailor to the prompt: Make sure the strengths you highlight directly relate to the essay prompt and the scholarship requirements.

By highlighting your strengths effectively, you can demonstrate your qualifications and increase your chances of winning the scholarship.

5. Tell Your Story

Telling your story is an important part of writing a winning scholarship essay.

It helps the scholarship committee understand who you are and why you deserve the scholarship.

Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Connect personally: Your story creates a personal connection with the reader and makes you stand out.
  • Share your unique experiences: Highlight what makes your story special and show your individuality.
  • Show resilience and growth: Talk about challenges you’ve overcome and the lessons you’ve learned.
  • Express your motivation: Explain why the scholarship is important to you and how it will help you achieve your goals.
  • Provide context: Help the committee understand how your experiences have shaped your aspirations.
  • Be genuine: Be yourself and share your experiences honestly to create a strong connection.
  • Focus on key moments: Talk about important events that have had a significant impact on your life.
  • Reflect on your growth and goals: Explain how your experiences have influenced your values and future plans.
  • Use descriptive language: Make your story vivid and engaging by using descriptive words.
  • Edit and revise: Review your story to ensure clarity and polish your writing.

By telling your story effectively, you can show the committee who you are and why you deserve the scholarship.

6. Demonstrate Your Passion and Commitment

Demonstrating your passion and commitment is crucial when writing a winning scholarship essay.

Here are simple ways to showcase them:

  • Reflect on experiences: Think about moments that sparked your passion and how they shaped your goals.
  • Share personal stories: Use anecdotes to illustrate your dedication and impact. Highlight instances where you took initiative or made a difference.
  • Highlight achievements: Discuss academic, community, or leadership accomplishments that demonstrate your commitment.
  • Connect to the scholarship: Explain how the scholarship aligns with your goals and how it will help you make a positive impact.
  • Discuss ongoing involvement: Emphasize your continued engagement in activities related to the scholarship’s focus.
  • Outline future plans: Share how you intend to utilize the scholarship to further your education and contribute to your field or community.
  • Use enthusiastic language: Convey your passion through positive and engaging language in your writing.
  • Show knowledge and research: Demonstrate your understanding of the field or cause by discussing relevant concepts and trends.
  • Be genuine: Stay true to yourself and avoid exaggeration. Share your sincere motivations and excitement.
  • Proofread and revise: Review your essay for clarity and coherence. Make sure your passion and commitment shine through.

By effectively showcasing your passion and commitment, you can make a strong case for why you deserve the scholarship.

This increases your chances of being selected as a recipient.

Also See: 28 Tips on How to Score A1 in WAEC as a Nigerian Student

7. Make It Concise and Easy to Understand

When writing a scholarship essay, it’s crucial to make it concise and easy to understand.

To make your scholarship essay concise and easy to understand, keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Stay focused: Stick to the main point and avoid getting off track. Clearly state your ideas without unnecessary details.
  • Use clear language: Choose words that are easy to understand. Avoid using complex terms or jargon that may confuse the reader.
  • Be direct: Express your thoughts in a straightforward manner. Keep your sentences short and to the point.
  • Avoid repetition: Don’t repeat the same information or ideas unnecessarily. This can make your essay longer without adding value.
  • Support with examples: Use specific examples to illustrate your points. This adds clarity and makes your essay more engaging.
  • Organize your essay: Structure your essay in a logical manner with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. This helps readers follow your ideas.
  • Remove unnecessary details: Review your essay and eliminate any information that doesn’t directly contribute to your main message.
  • Use active voice: Use active voice to make your sentences more direct and engaging. This helps keep your writing concise.
  • Read aloud and revise: Read your essay aloud to identify any unclear or awkward sentences. Revise them to improve clarity and simplicity.
  • Seek feedback: Ask someone else to read your essay and provide feedback. They can offer insights on areas where you can further simplify your writing.

By implementing these tips, you can make your scholarship essay concise and easy to understand.

This allows the scholarship committee to grasp your ideas easily and increases your chances of making a strong impression.

8. Pay Attention to Grammar and Spelling

Paying attention to grammar and spelling is important when writing a scholarship essay.

Here are some simple tips to follow:

  • Proofread carefully: Take time to review your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes. Read it slowly and carefully to catch any errors.
  • Use grammar tools: Utilize grammar and spell-check tools available in word processors or online. They can help identify common mistakes and provide suggestions for correction.
  • Seek help if needed: If you’re unsure about grammar or spelling rules, ask for assistance. Have a teacher or someone proficient in English review your essay and provide feedback.
  • Stay consistent: Maintain consistency in your writing style, verb tenses, and punctuation usage throughout the essay. Inconsistencies can confuse the reader.
  • Edit for clarity: Ensure that your sentences are grammatically correct and convey your message clearly. Edit for clarity and simplicity.
  • Look out for common mistakes: Pay attention to commonly misspelled words, subject-verb agreement, proper use of punctuation marks, and sentence structure.
  • Read aloud: Read your essay aloud to catch any grammar issues or awkward phrasing. This helps you identify mistakes that may not be noticeable when reading silently.
  • Use varied sentence structures: Make your essay more interesting by using different sentence structures. This shows your command of grammar and improves flow.
  • Allow time for revisions: Set aside time to revisit your essay with a fresh perspective. Study it and take the time to make necessary improvements and correct any errors.
  • Get a second opinion: Have someone else read your essay to provide feedback on grammar and spelling. They may catch mistakes you missed.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your scholarship essay is well-written and free of grammar and spelling errors.

A clean and polished essay demonstrates your attention to detail and enhances the overall quality of your application.

9. Be Honest and Genuine

Being honest and genuine in your scholarship essay is crucial to creating a compelling and authentic narrative.

Here are some simple tips to achieve this:

  • Be yourself: Show the scholarship committee who you truly are. Be honest about your experiences, aspirations, and challenges. Avoid pretending to be someone you’re not.
  • Share personal stories: Use real-life experiences that have shaped your journey. Be open and sincere when discussing your accomplishments, struggles, and personal growth.
  • Express your true motivations: Clearly explain why you are passionate about the scholarship and how it aligns with your goals. Avoid exaggeration or insincere flattery.
  • Avoid generic responses: Be specific and unique in your essay. Avoid using clichés or generic statements. Instead, showcase your individuality and originality.
  • Be transparent about achievements and challenges: Highlight your accomplishments, but also acknowledge any setbacks or obstacles you have faced. Honesty about both success and adversity demonstrates resilience and personal growth.
  • Use your own voice: Write in a way that reflects your personality and style. Don’t imitate others or use overly formal language. Let your essay reflect your true self.
  • Be sincere in your tone: Write with sincerity and passion. Let your enthusiasm and genuine interest shine through. Avoid sounding artificial or insincere.
  • Avoid fabricating information: Never make up or exaggerate facts, achievements, or experiences in your essay. Honesty is essential, and providing false information can harm your chances of being selected.
  • Proofread and edit: After writing your essay, review it for clarity and honesty. Ensure that your words accurately represent your intentions and convey your genuine self.
  • Seek feedback: Ask a trusted teacher, mentor, or family member to review your essay. Their feedback can help ensure that your essay comes across as honest and genuine.

By following these simple tips, you can present an authentic and compelling scholarship essay.

Your honesty will resonate with the scholarship committee, making your essay more memorable and increasing your chances of success.

Recommended: 12 Tips on How to Prepare for WAEC in One Month as a Nigerian Student

10. Edit and Revise

Editing and revising your scholarship essay is important to ensure its quality.

Here are some simple tips to help you:

  • Take a break: Step away from your essay for a while before editing. This allows you to approach it with fresh eyes.
  • Read for clarity: Carefully read your essay to ensure your ideas are clear. Make sure your sentences flow well and make sense.
  • Check coherence: Make sure your essay stays focused on the main topic and has a consistent theme. Remove any irrelevant or repetitive information.
  • Review sentence structure: Check your sentence structure. Use a mix of sentence lengths and types to make your essay more interesting.
  • Avoid wordiness: Remove unnecessary words or phrases that don’t add value. Be concise and get to the point.
  • Check grammar and punctuation: Look for grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes. Use grammar-checking tools or seek help if needed.
  • Use active voice: Prefer active voice to make your writing more direct and engaging. It strengthens your sentences and gets your message across.
  • Proofread for spelling and typos: Carefully proofread for spelling errors and typos. Even one mistake can make your essay look unprofessional.
  • Get feedback: Share your essay with trusted individuals and ask for their feedback. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions.
  • Revise and polish: Make revisions based on feedback. Fine-tune your language and overall presentation to improve clarity and impact.

Remember, editing is a process.

Repeat these steps until you’re happy with your final essay.

Taking the time to edit and revise shows your commitment to producing a high-quality piece of writing.

11. Seek Feedback

Seeking feedback on your scholarship essay is important for improving its quality.

Here are some simple tips to follow:

  • Choose the right people: Seek feedback from trustworthy individuals like teachers, mentors, or family members who have writing or scholarship experience.
  • Be open to criticism: Embrace feedback as an opportunity to improve. Stay open-minded and willing to make necessary changes.
  • Provide clear guidelines: Let your reviewers know what specific areas or aspects you want them to focus on, such as grammar, clarity, or adherence to the essay prompt.
  • Ask for specific feedback: Request detailed feedback on areas you feel need improvement, such as the introduction or conclusion.
  • Consider multiple perspectives: Get feedback from different people to gain diverse insights and suggestions.
  • Take notes: Write down the suggestions and comments given by your reviewers for reference during revisions.
  • Reflect on the feedback: Take time to think about the feedback received. Evaluate which suggestions align with your goals for the essay.
  • Make revisions: Incorporate the suggested revisions into your essay, focusing on improving clarity, coherence, and impact.
  • Seek a final review: Once you’ve made revisions, consider having someone who provided earlier feedback review the final version.
  • Trust your instincts: While feedback is valuable, trust your own judgment. Make revisions that align with your authentic voice and message.

By seeking feedback and making necessary revisions, you can enhance the quality of your scholarship essay and increase your chances of success.

12. Submit Before the Deadline

Submitting your scholarship essay before the deadline is important.

Here’s how you can manage your time effectively:

  • Follow guidelines: Know the deadline and rules of the scholarship application.
  • Avoid last-minute rush: Start early to avoid stress and mistakes.
  • Plan your schedule: Break tasks into smaller ones and set deadlines for each.
  • Seek feedback on time: Request feedback early to have time for revisions.
  • Proofread and edit early: Allow ample time to check for errors and make improvements.
  • Use technology: Utilize reminders or apps to stay organized.
  • Have a backup plan: Prepare for unexpected issues like technical problems.
  • Double-check requirements: Ensure you meet all submission criteria.
  • Submit early, but not last-minute: Aim to submit a few days before the deadline.

By submitting your essay on time, you show your responsibility and increase your chances of success.

Plan ahead, manage your time well, and submit a strong application.

Also Read: 20 Tips on How to Pass WAEC in One Sitting as a Nigerian Student

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Do You Write a Convincing Essay for a Scholarship?

Crafting a compelling scholarship essay calls for a blend of creativity and clarity.

Begin by immersing yourself in the scholarship’s purpose and values.

Start your essay with an attention-grabbing opener that captivates the reader.

Clearly express your ambitions and explain how the scholarship will propel you toward them.

Bolster your claims with specific examples and personal anecdotes.

Employ persuasive language, solid evidence, and a logical structure to convey your ideas effectively.

Lastly, proofread meticulously to eliminate any errors and ensure your essay shines with your best efforts.

How Do You Write an Opening Sentence for a Scholarship Essay?

Creating an engaging opening sentence for a scholarship essay is key.

Start with a captivating question or a strong statement to grab the reader’s attention.

You can also use an interesting story or a vivid description to draw them in.

Make sure it connects to the essay’s theme and sets the tone for the rest of your writing.

A compelling opening sentence will make the reader want to keep reading and leave a lasting impression.

How Do You Introduce Yourself in a Scholarship Essay?

Introducing yourself in a scholarship essay is all about being clear and interesting.

Start by stating your name and a bit about yourself, like your background or achievements.

Then, smoothly transition to your educational and career goals, explaining how the scholarship fits in.

Highlight any unique qualities or passions that make you stand out.

Stay positive and confident in your tone, and show your enthusiasm and gratitude for the opportunity.

Keep it focused, letting the reader get a sense of who you are and what you’re determined to achieve.

What Is the Best Format for a Scholarship Essay?

Are you wondering what is the best format for a scholarship essay?

Well, the best format for a scholarship essay is one that is clear and well-organized.

Start with an engaging introduction to grab the reader’s attention.

In the body paragraphs, support your main points with examples, evidence, and personal experiences.

Keep your essay cohesive and logical.

In all, summarize your key points and emphasize why you are a good fit for the scholarship.

Use proper grammar, a formal tone, and concise language.

Also, make sure to follow any specific formatting instructions given by the scholarship organization.

How Do You Greet Someone in a Scholarship Essay?

When greeting someone in a scholarship essay, keep it professional and respectful.

Address the reader or scholarship committee directly with a formal salutation, like “Dear Scholarship Committee” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

Avoid being too casual or informal.

Instead, use polite and friendly language throughout.

Show appreciation for the opportunity to apply for the scholarship and maintain a positive tone.

Recommended: 15 Tips for Passing WAEC with Flying Colors as a Nigerian Student

Video Section


Your scholarship essay can determine whether you would be considered for a scholarship or not.

So you have to do your very best to make sure you write your scholarship essay in the best possible format.

And with the tips I have shared with you in this article, you now have all it takes to write a winning scholarship essay and secure a scholarship for yourself.

If you have any questions or inquiries, kindly drop them in the comment section and I will respond as soon as possible.

Good luck!

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NewSchoolWeb Team

Welcome to our education blog! We are a team of passionate educators who believe in the power of education to transform lives.Our blog is dedicated to providing you with valuable resources, insights, and tips to help you excel in your educational journey. Whether you’re a student, a teacher, or a parent, we have something for you.

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