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Your guide to a successful education in Africa.

4 Steps to Successfully Apply for a Scholarship

Most scholarships require an essay that the applicant must write as part of the process. The key point to take into consideration when you are getting ready to write an essay for your scholarship is to reflect on how awesome you really are and why you qualify for the scholarship. It is very important to convey your strengths to the judges without shyness making sure you give factual information about yourself.

Before writing your essay, it is important to take into consideration the standard formatting for scholarship essays unless specified otherwise. Here are a few standard format guidelines to consider:

  • Two to three pages in length

  • Double spaced

  • Times New Roman font

  • 12 point font

  • One-inch top, bottom and side margins


Equipped with the list of your achievements and formatting points, you can start writing your essay in a logical and concise manner. Consider keeping your essay brief and straight to the point on each paragraph. Here are some suggestions for organising your essay:

Step 1 – Getting started

In the introduction to the essay you need to capture the reader's attention by making it good! Begin by highlighting who you are, your course, and your career goals, make sure you keep it simple. End the paragraph with what makes you outstanding to be awarded the scholarship.

Step 2 – Sell yourself

Elaborate on why you are the best candidate and what you have achieved so far - at this point begin supporting your case. Why did you choose that specific scholarship or institution? What influenced your major selection? Discuss your positive attributes, accomplishments and work experience, internships, volunteer work, extracurricular and leadership roles you have been involved in. It is important to let the panel of judges understand that your goals are realistic and you are motivated to achieve the best.

Step 3 – Future plans

Talk about your future plans and goals; be specific about each goal and how you intend to realise it. Highlight the highest achievement you would like to attain and how that relates to your future goals.

Step 4 – Conclusion

In your conclusion remember to include a little summary of the previous points. Restate what makes you the outstanding candidate for the scholarship – this is a simple one or two-sentence summary of the key points of your case.


It is recommended to attach a letter of recommendation from a professional mentor. Ask someone who knows you well and can write intelligently about you and your academic achievements. Professors, counselors, advisors, coaches, and religious leaders are all good sources for recommendations. However, be sure that the person you ask has the ability to write a good letter, and give them enough time to get it completed by the deadline.

Now you know HOW to apply. If you wonder WHERE to apply, please see this article.

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