Essay/Letter Help

The personal essay is a chance for the scholarship committee to get to know you better. We've included some tips on writing a scholarship personal statement. If you win, don't forget to send a thank you letter.

Personal Essay Help

Basic tips

  • Make sure your personal essay is typed; handwritten statements are unacceptable.
  • Ask someone with strong writing skills to proofread it.
  • Follow the guidelines set by the scholarship (e.g., don't go over the page limit).
  • Hook the reader with a distinctive opening.
  • Be honest and positive. Put some heart into it and be proud of who you are.
  • Make sure you answer the who, what and how questions.

Who are you?

Write about your personal and family background, motivation for going to college, the journey to CSUN, and, if applicable, your experiences as a first-generation college student.

What is your plan?

Write about educational and career goals, why you want a college education and post-graduation plans.

How are you going to make it a reality?

Write about academic honors and accolades, extracurricular activities and how they keep you on the right track, interning and work experience, and community service.

More Tips On Writing A Scholarship Essay: Watch This Video




Sample Thank You Letter

January 1, 2014

CSUN ID number: 123456789

Samuel Smith 
12345 My Street 
My City, CA 91234

Rebecca Ross 
Director of Education Funds Selection Committee 
30 Vista Heights 
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Dear Ms./Mr. Ross,

I would like to thank you for the generous [name of scholarship]. I truly appreciate this award and know it will be a tremendous help in my continued academic success at California State University, Northridge.

I am currently a junior in college majoring in health education and minoring in women's studies. After I receive my bachelor's, I plan to open a women's and children's health center for those who cannot readily afford proper medical insurance. I'd like to focus on and raise awareness about reproductive health and substance abuse. These issues are important to me for a number of reasons and have always been top priorities.

Outside of school, I enjoy reading, cycling, swimming and volunteering at my local church. I am also a big foodie and love to try different cultural specialties. Although I love doing these things in my leisure time, it can sometimes be difficult to balance my academic life with my personal one. But I stick with it because I think about individuals like you who walked the same path and became successful.

Thank you again and I will remember to keep you posted on all of my academic endeavors as I make my way as a Northridge student.

Thank You,

Samuel Smith