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How to write a compelling scholarship essay

How to write a compelling scholarship essay

You’ve made the decision that you’re going to business school and found you’re eligible for a scholarship. Next up–how do I actually write a compelling scholarship essay? Transmitting your achievement, inspirations, and not to mention that je nais se quoi–French for a uniquely distinctive and attractive quality–into paper can seem daunting. However, once you know the rules of the game, this can be easily tackled.

Originality will always be the key to what sets you apart from other applicants. But the first thing you’ll need in order to be awarded financial support is to understand the scholarship criteria and themes. Is there a specific topic to talk about? Are there particular traits you can draw from the school’s ethos? Is there an exact number of words to fulfill? And crucially–when are the deadlines?

After you’ve taken some time to absorb the above, you’ll naturally start developing a plan of attack for your scholarship essay. When you’re ready to start writing, a good structure will help you strengthen your case of why you should be awarded the scholarship.

To write a compelling scholarship essay, the structure you should follow is:

1. Stick to a subject that fits your profile:

Depending on the school that you’re applying to, you are usually able to work on either an open subject scholarship essay or nominated profile that fits with the school’s “DNA”.

The following scholarships and awards are available to undergraduate applicants:

Global Generation Scholarship: 

For applicants who bring a unique global perspective to our school community through their international experiences or multilingualism.

Entrepreneurial Impact Scholarship:

For budding candidates who have a true entrepreneurial spirit and put ideas into action.

Growth Mindset Scholarship:

For forward-thinking individuals that demonstrate a growth mindset, personal development, and achievement in the face of adversity.

Future Leader Scholarship:

For aspiring business leaders who have the desire and potential to achieve significant success as future leaders in any industry.

Technology & Innovation Scholarship:

For creative applicants who have a strong desire to learn about the technology and innovative ideas that will shape tomorrow’s world.

DECA Scholarship:

For DECA member students from around the world who are emerging as the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders.

The Social Impact Award:

For socially conscious individuals who have a strong passion for social entrepreneurship and have demonstrated the ability to implement solutions to benefit society.

Visionary Women Award:

For female students who have outstanding drive, talent, and vision.

Academic Excellence Award:

Exceptionally strong candidates will be automatically selected for this award based on their pre-undergraduate results.


The following scholarships are available to graduate applicants:

Social Impact:

For applicants who have had and will have a positive impact in making the world a better place.

Academic Excellence:

For candidates that have excelled in their studies, earning an outstanding GPA.

Global Professional:

For aspiring business leaders who have worked full time for a minimum of one year in a large global corporation.

Entrepreneurial Impact:

For professionals that have had an internship or volunteering experience and have demonstrated involvement, leadership, or had a role in the outcome of an entrepreneurial project.

Women in Business:

For female applicants who have work or internship experience or have led a team in an international environment.

Future Leader (masters only):

For students who have demonstrated enthusiasm and a natural aptitude to lead.

Senior Leader (MBA and Executive MBA only):

For students who have demonstrated leadership of high-performing teams in an international arena.

2. Organize your examples: Find linkages

Hult’s scholarship essay requires you to point out examples of how you link to the subject or embody the attributes of the profile you chose. It could be referring to work experiences and talking about a particular role, academic achievements, or extra-curricular activities and projects.

Once having the above details, you need to keep in mind that you have a word limit, otherwise the application will be rejected. So be sure to pick the best of!


3. Know your audience: Be human

Before you type a single word, remember that the Admissions Committee takes time to read each one of the applications received in order to make their decision. Be humble and personable, and adding authentic gratitude to the reader, is a good way of acknowledging your audience.


4. Plan an essay structure: Introduce your story, a body of examples, and reinforce

For any essay, a clear structure is vital. It will ensure your thoughts have an organized flow and allows readers to follow your story. Start by engaging the Committee with your story–who you are and your journey–then develop the body with any examples of challenges and obstacles you encountered. Don’t forget to include what you learned from the experience or how you persevered, and most importantly how this shows your eligibility.


5. Are you a Hult fit?

The Admissions Committee is looking for a specific candidate. Again, be sure you know what that is and constantly reinforce throughout your essay how that candidate is you. At Hult, we look for students who are bold, have a global mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, and seek to challenge the status quo. So, what are you bringing to the classroom? What about your challenges and experiences makes you different? What are your ambitions and how will a Hult degree help you get there?


6. Close strongly

The closing is the reinforcement of why this all matters. Bring your story together and emphasize key points in the essay. They’re your final words so talk from the heart and be honest about your needs.


7. Review it and ask someone to proof

Don’t let spelling mistakes get in the way of a strong scholarship essay. Ensure it reads well. Review your essay and read it out loud so you can feel the flow of your words. Finally, do a test run and ask a teacher, colleague, or family member to proofread and give feedback.


Ready to get started?

Download our brochure to find out more about our global undergraduate program or start your application today.


Click here to apply before our January 16th Graduate Scholarship Deadline

Arany Garcia is a contributing staff blogger and Hult Director of Enrollment–Latin America.

Hult offers a range of highly skills-focused and employability-driven business school programs including a range of MBA options and a comprehensive one year Masters in International Business. To find out more, take a look at our blog Hult scholarships: What we offer and how to apply. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.

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