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

Samuel Smith
12345 My Street
My City, CA 91234

January 1, 2019

Scholarship Office
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330

Dear Donor,

I would like to thank you for the generous donations that made the [scholarship name] possible.  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 majoring in health education and minoring in women's studies. After I receive my bachelor's degree, I plan to attend graduate school for my Master in Public Health, with the ultimate goal to open a women's and children's health center for those who cannot readily afford proper medical insurance. I would like to focus on and raise awareness about reproductive health and substance abuse. These issues are important to me as I have had many close family members struggle with both addiction and lack of access to health services. This scholarship will allow me the opportunity to continue my internship at the local health clinic, and strengthen my application for graduate school.

Outside of classes, I enjoy reading, cycling, swimming and volunteering at my local church. I am also very involved with my community service fraternity Alpha Beta Gamma on campus as the Philanthropy Chair. It is a position I have worked hard for and value greatly as I am able to connect with local organizations and encourage my brothers to give back and share our resources. I love to try different cultural foods 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, became successful, and graciously gave back to the community.

Thank you again for awarding me this scholarship. I will be sure to keep you posted on my academic endeavors as I make my way through California State University, Northridge.



Samuel Smith
ID number: 123456789

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