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personal statement for music scholarship

How to Write a Personal Statement for a Scholarship + Examples

What’s covered:, what is the purpose of the scholarship personal statement, what to include in your personal statement, personal statement example: breakdown + analysis, how to make sure your writing is effective.

Either before or after you’ve gotten into your dream school, you’ll have to figure out how to pay for it. For most students, this involves a combination of financial aid, parent contributions, self-contributions, student loans, and scholarships/grants. Because scholarships are money out of someone else’s pocket that you never have to pay back, they are a great place to start!

Scholarships come in two forms: merit-based and need-based. Need-based scholarships are also often called grants. These designations tell you whether an organization looks at your financial situation when deciding about your scholarship.

Additionally, different scholarships fall under different categories based on the mission of the organization or person providing the scholarship’s financing. These missions typically emphasize different things like academic achievement, specific career goals, community service, leadership, family background, skill in the arts, or having overcome hardship. As you select scholarships to apply for and complete your applications, you should keep these missions in mind.

No matter what type of scholarship you are applying for, you will be asked to provide the review committee with standard materials. This includes your transcript, GPA, and resume/extracurriculars, but also, importantly, your personal statement. A scholarship personal statement is a bit different from your normal college essay, so we’ve put together this guide and some examples to help you get started!

The purpose of your personal statement is to help a review committee learn more about your personality, values, goals, and what makes you special. Ultimately, like with your college essays, you are trying to humanize your profile beyond your transcript, GPA, and test scores.

College essays all have one goal in mind (which is why you can apply to multiple schools at once through applications like the Common App or Coalition App): convince admissions officers that you would be a valuable addition to the university environment. The goal of your scholarship personal statement is different and differs more from one scholarship to the next. Rather than convincing various review committees that you are a generally good candidate for extra funding for college, you need to convince each review committee that your values have historically aligned with their organization’s mission and will continue to align with their organization’s mission.

Common missions amongst those who give scholarships include:

  • Providing opportunities for students with career ambitions in a particular field
  • Helping students who have experienced unexpected hardship
  • Supporting students who show outstanding academic achievement
  • Funding the arts through investing in young artists with strong technical skill
  • Supporting the development of civic-minded community service leaders of the future
  • Providing opportunities for historically underrepresented ethnic communities 

If a specific mission like this is outlined on an organization’s website or in the promotional material for its scholarship, the purpose of your personal statement is to show how you exemplify that mission.

Some scholarships ask for your personal statement to be guided by a prompt, while others leave things open for interpretation. When you are provided a prompt, it is obvious what you must do: answer the prompt. When you are not provided a prompt, you want to write a personal statement that is essentially a small-scale autobiography where you position yourself as a good investment. In either case, you should identify a focus or theme for what you are trying to say about yourself so that your application does not get lost in the shuffle.

Prompts include questions like:

  • Why do you deserve this scholarship?
  • How have you shown your commitment to (leadership/community service/diversity) in your community?
  • When did you overcome adversity?
  • Why is attending college important to you?

If you are provided a prompt, develop a theme for your response that showcases both your values and your achievements. This will help your essay feel focused and will subsequently help the review committee to remember which candidate you were as they deliberate.

Themes include things like:

  • I deserve this community service scholarship because my compassion for intergenerational trauma has inspired me to volunteer with a local after-school program. I didn’t just sympathize. I did something about my sympathy because that’s the type of person I am. Within the program, I have identified avenues for improvement and worked alongside full-time staff to develop new strategies for increasing attendance.
  • I overcame adversity when my mother had to have a major surgery two months after giving birth to my younger brother. I was just a kid but was thrown into a situation where I had to raise another kid. It was hard, but I’m the kind of person who tries to grow from hard times and, through my experience taking care of a baby, I learned the importance of listening to body language and nonverbal cues to understand the needs of others (baby and nonbaby, alike).

Without a prompt, clarity can be harder to achieve. That said, it is of the utmost importance that you find a focus. First, think about both your goals and your values.

Types of goals include:

  • Career goals
  • Goals for personal growth
  • The type of friend you want to be
  • The change you want to make in the world

Values could include:

  • Authenticity
  • And many more!

After you write out your goals/values, write out your achievements to see what goals/values you have “proof” of your commitment to. Your essay will ultimately be an exploration of your goal/value, what you have done about your goal/value in the past, and what you aspire to in the future.

You might be tempted to reflect on areas for improvement, but scholarships care about you living out your values. It is not enough to aspire to be exemplary in leadership, community service, or your academic field. For scholarships, you have to already be exemplary.

Finally, keep in mind that the review committee likely already has a copy of your extracurricular activities and involvement. Pick one or two accomplishments, then strive for depth, not breadth as you explore them.

My interest in the field of neuroscience began at a young age.  When I was twelve years old, my sister developed a condition called Pseudotumor Cerebri following multiple concussions during a basketball game.  It took the doctors over six months to make a proper diagnosis, followed by three years of treatment before she recovered.  During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions.  Later, my love of neuroscience was amplified when my mother began to suffer from brain-related health issues.  My mother had been a practicing attorney in Dallas for over twenty years.  She was a determined litigator who relentlessly tried difficult cases that changed people’s lives.  Now, she suffers from a cognitive impairment and is no longer able to practice law.  Oftentimes, she has headaches, she gets “cloudy,” her executive functioning slows down, she feels overwhelmed, and she forgets things.  My mother has gone from being the strong, confident, emotional and financial caretaker of our family to needing significant help on a daily basis. Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.

Due to my experiences with my mother and sister when I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the field of neuroscience.  I also knew that, to obtain this goal, I needed to maintain superior grades in school while also pursuing opportunities outside of school to further my education.  In school, I was able to maintain superior grades to the point where I am currently valedictorian in a class of 567 students.  In addition, in school, I challenged myself by taking 16 Advanced Placement classes and 19 Honors classes.  Two of the most beneficial classes were AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research.  AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research are research-oriented classes where students are given the opportunity to pursue whatever track their research takes them down.  As a junior in AP Capstone Seminar, I researched the effects of harmful pesticide use on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children.  This year, as a senior in AP Capstone Research, I am learning about the effects of medical marijuana on the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  

Outside of school, I furthered my education through taking advantage of the Duke TiP summer program. Duke TiP is a summer program run by Duke University where students who score extremely well on the SAT as middle schoolers are able to take college classes at different universities throughout the summers of their middle school and high school years.  I took advantage of this opportunity twice.  First, I went to Trinity University in San Antonio to expand my horizons and learn more about debate.  However, once I was done exploring, I decided I wanted to go into neuroscience.  This led me to take an Abnormal Psychology class at Duke University’s West Campus.  This class opened my eyes to the interaction between neuroscience and mental health, mental illness, and personality.  Years later, I am currently continuing my education outside of school as an intern at the University of Texas Dallas Center for Brain Health.  Through this internship, I have been able to see different aspects of neuroscience including brain pattern testing, virtual reality therapy, and longitudinal research studies.  With this background, I have positioned myself to be accepted by top neuroscience programs throughout the nation.  So far, I have been accepted to the neuroscience department of University of Southern California, the University of Virginia, the University of Texas, and Southern Methodist University, as well as the chemistry department at University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.  

It is with this passion for neuroscience driven by my family and passion for education driven by internal motivation that I will set out to conquer my career objectives.  My educational aspirations consist of acquiring a bachelor’s degree in a biological or health science that would assist me in pursuing a medical career as a neuroscience researcher.  I decided to attain a career as a researcher since my passion has always been assisting others and trying to improve their quality of life.  After obtaining my Masters and my PhD, I plan to become a professor at a prestigious university and continue performing lab research on cognitive disorders.  I am particularly interested in disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  In the lab, I hope to find different therapies and medications to help treat the 3.5 million people around the world suffering from ASD.  Furthermore, I want to contribute back to underserved populations that struggle because they do not have as much access to medical assistance as other privileged groups.  As such, I hope to do a part of my research in less developed or developing Spanish-speaking countries. This will also allow me to pursue my love of Spanish while pursuing my love of neuroscience.  I think that following such a career path will provide me the opportunity to learn about the medical needs of the autistic community and improve their quality of health.  Furthermore, I hope to train a new generation of students to strive to research and make comparable discoveries.  Whether it be through virtual reality labs or new drug discoveries, I believe that research leads to innovation which leads to a brighter future. 

This student does a great job of making themself appear competent and dedicated to the field of neuroscience. This is primarily because they provided tangible evidence of how they have pursued their dedication in the past—through their AP Capstone courses, their Abnormal Psychology class at Duke TiP, and their internship at UTD. There is no doubt in the mind of a reader that this student is high-achieving. 

This student also engages successfully with a past-future trajectory, where they end with a vision of how they will continue to use neuroscience in the future. This helps the review committee see what they are investing in and the ways that their money will go to good use.

This student has two major areas for improvement. As we have said, the purpose of a personal statement is for a student to humanize themself to a review committee. This student struggles to depict themself separately from their academic achievements. A solution to this would be for the student to establish a theme towards the beginning of their essay that relates to both their values as a human and their achievements.

At the beginning of the essay, the student explores how their interest in neuroscience began. They explain their interest through the following sentences: “During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions” and “Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.” The student made the great decision to tell the backstory of their interest, but they described their research in very mundane and redundant terms. Instead, they could have focused on their value of intellectual curiosity as a magnetic force that encouraged them to research their mother and sister’s ailments. Curiosity, then, could serve as a value-related thematic throughline to taking AP Capstone classes, taking college courses during the summer that weren’t required, and interning before even graduating high school.

A second area for improvement would be avoiding statistics. As the student identifies their valedictorian status and the number of AP classes they have taken, they might turn away certain personalities on a review committee by appearing braggy. Even further, these statistics are a waste of space. The review committee already has access to this information. These words distract from the major theme of the essay and would have been better used to humanize the student.

Throughout my academic career, I have been an avid scholar, constantly pushing myself towards ambitious goals. I held and continue to hold myself to a high standard, enrolling myself in rigorous curriculum, including Honors and Advanced Placement courses to stretch my mental potential. During my junior year of high school, I took four AP tests, two on the same day, and earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award. Additionally, I received the Letter of Commendation for the PSAT/NMSQT, and qualified for Rotary Top 100 Students both my freshman and senior year, a sign of my commitment to my studies. However, school has not been all about having the best GPA for me; beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem. I always give each class my best effort and try my hardest on every assignment. My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result. It is a major goal of mine to continue to aspire towards a high level of achievement regarding future educational and occupational endeavors; I plan on continuing this level of dedication throughout my educational career and implementing the skills I have learned and will learn into my college experience and beyond.

This fall, I will begin attending the University of California Los Angeles as an English major. I chose this major because I am fascinated by written language, especially its ability to convey powerful messages and emotions. I also enjoy delving into the works of other authors to analyze specific components of their writing to discover the meaning behind their words. In particular, I cannot wait to begin in-depth literary criticism and learn new stylistic techniques to add more depth to my writing. Furthermore, I recently went to UCLA’s Bruin Day, an event for incoming freshmen, where I was exposed to many different extracurriculars, some of which really piqued my interest. I plan on joining the Writing Success Program, where I can help students receive free writing help, and Mock Trial, where I can debate issues with peers in front of a real judge. The latter, combined with a strong writing background from my undergraduate English studies will be extremely beneficial because I plan to apply to law school after my undergraduate degree. As of now, my career goal is to become a civil rights lawyer, to stand up for those who are discriminated against and protect minority groups to proliferate equality.

As a lawyer, I wish to utilize legislation to ameliorate the plight of the millions of Americans who feel prejudice and help them receive equity in the workplace, society, and so on. Though this seems a daunting task, I feel that my work ethic and past experience will give me the jumpstart I need to establish myself as a successful lawyer and give a voice to those who are often unheard in today’s legal system. I have been a Girl Scout for over a decade and continually participate in community service for the homeless, elderly, veterans, and more. My most recent project was the Gold Award, which I conducted in the Fullerton School District. I facilitated over ten workshops where junior high students taught elementary pupils STEM principles such as density and aerodynamics via creative activities like building aluminum boats and paper airplanes. I also work at Kumon, a tutoring center, where I teach students to advance their academic success. I love my job, and helping students from local schools reach their potential fills me with much pride.

Both being a Girl Scout and working at Kumon have inspired me to help those in need, contributing significantly to my desire to become a lawyer and aid others. My extracurriculars have allowed me to gain a new perspective on both learning and teaching, and have solidified my will to help the less fortunate. In college, I hope to continue to gain knowledge and further develop my leadership skills, amassing qualities that will help me assist others. I plan to join multiple community service clubs, such as UCLA’s local outreach programs that directly aid residents of Los Angeles. I want to help my fellow pupils as well, and plan on volunteering at peer tutoring and peer editing programs on campus. After college, during my career, I want to use legal tactics to assist the underdog and take a chance on those who are often overlooked for opportunities. I wish to represent those that are scared to seek out help or cannot afford it. Rather than battling conflict with additional conflict, I want to implement peaceful but strong, efficient tactics that will help make my state, country, and eventually the world more welcoming to people of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. These goals are close to my heart and therefore I will be as diligent as I am passionate about them. My perseverance and love for learning and community service drive my ambition in both education and life as a whole, and the drive to make the world a better place is one that I will carry with me for my entire life.

This student emphasizes two values in this essay: hard work and community service. These are values that go together nicely, and definitely make sense with this student’s end goal of becoming a civil rights lawyer! That said, some changes could be made to the way the student presents their values that would make their personal statement more convincing and engaging.

Structurally, instead of using a past-future trajectory, this student starts by explaining their academic achievements, then explains their career goals, then explains their history of community service, then explains their future desires for community service. This structure loses the reader. Instead, the student should have started with either the past or the future. 

This could look like 1) identifying their career goals, 2) explaining that hard work and a commitment to community service are necessary to get there, and 3) explaining that they aren’t worried because of their past commitment to hard work and community service. Or it could look like 1) providing examples of their hard work and community service in the past, then 2) explaining how those values will help them achieve their career goals.

Additionally, like with our other example, this student shows a heavy investment in statistics and spouting off accomplishments. This can be unappealing. Unfortunately, even when the student recognizes that they are doing this, writing “beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem,” they continue on to cite their achievements, writing “My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result.” They say they are going beyond the numbers, but they don’t go beyond the awards. They don’t look inward. One way to fix this would be to make community service the theme around which the essay operates, supplementing with statistics in ways that advance the image of the student as dedicated to community service.

Finally, this student would be more successful if they varied their sentence structure. While a small-scale autobiography can be good, if organized, every sentence should not begin with ‘I.’ The essay still needs to be engaging or the review committee might stop reading.

Feedback is ultimately any writer’s best source of improvement! To get your personal statement edited for free, use our Peer Review Essay Tool . With this tool, other students can tell you if your scholarship essay is effective and help you improve your essay so that you can have the best chances of gaining those extra funds!

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Essays, Personal Statements, and Résumés for Music Students

Essays, personal statements and résumés for music students can be daunting. While the audition is a key component in the acceptance process, admission reps want you to keep in mind that the paperwork side of the application is also important.

by Caitlin Peterkin

“We have a small interview component to our audition process and we review recommendation letters and a student’s music history (typically via the résumé),” says Megan Grady, music recruitment coordinator and assistant director of Admission at the University of Puget Sound School of Music. “We also like to see what else students do and if we think they’ll fit in well with our liberal arts university, not just the School of Music.”

Applying to music school is a highly-competitive process. Brittany Jimenez, associate director of Undergraduate Admission at USC Thornton School of Music , encourages students to be genuine and to put their best foot forward in all parts of the admission process.

“There are many parts of the application and admission process you cannot control, like who else is applying,” she says, “so carefully managing the parts you can control (like the writing supplements and portfolio submissions) will be very important.”

Catch the attention you want

An essay, often referred to as your personal statement, is required by many music schools. Each school posts its own guidelines for these. If you’re uncertain about what they’re asking for, contact the admissions office.

The Common App streamlines the process of applying to several schools, although not all schools use it. You’ll find out whether colleges and universities that use the Common App require a personal essay once you create your Dashboard on the Common App website. The Common App provides a list of “prompts” or ideas to write about and you are given the option to edit your essay after you submit your first application. Even if schools don’t require a personal essay, you’ll have the option to submit one.  

Music schools within universities as well as some colleges require you to apply to the university or college as well as to the music school. A separate school of music essay may also be required. Schools will indicate the word count as well as prompts or a specific theme they want you to write about. This may be referred to as a “supplemental essay.”

You can also choose to apply directly to schools instead of using the Common App. A request for supplemental materials including writing requirements is built in to these applications.

Note that these requirements may be different for transfer students.

So how do you make sure your essay and personal statement stand out from the crowd?

Here are suggestions from recruiters and admission representatives for creating essays they’ll they’ll be eager to read:

1. Do your research.

“It is beneficial to research the school and program and speak to the specific aspects and opportunities you find most relevant to you and your interests,” says Jimenez. “Getting to know the specific programs and faculty is important because every school is going to be unique in the type of experience they offer.”

Patrick Zylka, assistant dean for Admission, Financial Aid and Graduate Services at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music , agrees. “We want to know an applicant has done the research on our institution, not just that it’s a top ten ranking, or that their best friend goes here, but that they’ve really dug a little bit deeper and understand what the institution offers….and whether we’re actually a good fit for them.”

But he adds the caveat to not just regurgitate what’s on a school’s website: “Don’t tell us we’re a beautiful campus next to Lake Michigan—we already know!”

2. Don’t copy and paste.

Faculty and staff recognize that you’re probably applying to multiple institutions. Make sure to write a unique statement for each one, tailoring each essay to the specific program you’re applying to. Schools do not want to see a generic, cookie-cutter answer as to why you’re choosing their particular program.

“Essays that are clearly ‘cut and paste’ versions of an essay you’ve sent to a dozen schools…are not very persuasive,” says Christina Crispin, assistant director of Admissions at Eastman School of Music .

3. Show your personality!

As faculty and admissions reps review hundreds of applications each year, they want to read thoughtful statements from prospective students to get a better sense of each individual’s personality.

According to Zylka, admission reps view the essay as an applicant’s only opportunity to really show who they are as an individual, more than what any transcript or test score can reveal. “Speak from the heart,” he says. “If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re serious, be serious.”

Grady agrees: “We are looking for students to tell us more about themselves. We like to see creative essays that tell us something we may not be able to learn from the rest of their application.”

4. Proofread—multiple times.

Not only are essays a good way to show your personality, but they’re also a chance to demonstrate that you can write in a clear and coherent way.

“The essays that we are least impressed by are those that have typos, grammatical or punctuation errors—anything that screams, ‘I didn’t proofread this,’” says Crispin.

Some other no-nos: run-on sentences and “writing one big paragraph instead of a thought-out essay,” according to Grady.

Your résumé – the right way

Nearly all applications for music schools require a résumé.  

“The résumé is the place for applicants to highlight their musical accomplishments and experiences,” says Crispin. “If they want us to know about other extracurricular activities, leadership, volunteer work, etc., the résumé is a good place to capture that information.”

“It’s important to tell us about any honors, awards, summer festivals, private lessons,” adds Zylka. “Things that show us you didn’t just go to high school from a certain time in the morning to the afternoon.”  

• Make it clean and organized.

There is no one right way to format a résumé unless specified by the schools you’re applying to. They should be easy to read. Include your contact information plus music-specific information and experience.

“Present your résumé in an organized way so it is easy to review what you have done and when,” says Jimenez. “The résumé is typically 1-2 pages in length and mostly focuses on accomplishments and activities during high school.”

“Clean résumés are best—for musicians, that involves what you’ve performed, competitions you’ve won, ensembles you’ve performed along with chair placement (if applicable),” says Grady.  

“Keep your activities limited to your high school achievements,” she adds “unless there’s something particularly outstanding (like a performance at Carnegie Hall) that took place before high school. Show that you play multiple instruments and for how long, who you’ve studied with, ensemble directors, etc.”

• Proofread.

Edit your résumé multiple times, and have a trusted friend, family member, or teacher look it over. “We never want to see typos, misspelled words, or grammatical errors,” says Jimenez.

Final thoughts

Crispin advises all students to start their application early. “We often hear from applicants that they were surprised how much time it took to fill out their applications, and you don’t want to be rushing and risking errors right before the deadline,” she says. This also includes reaching out to teachers for recommendations well before applications are due.

Just like no two music programs are the same, no two application processes are the same. Do the research on what exactly is needed for each program you’re applying to, and make a checklist with deadlines for each one.

Finally, utilize all the resources available online and in admission offices. “Our website should be your best friend throughout the process,” says Jimenez. “Your other best friends will be the people in the office of admission. Applicants are always encouraged to ask questions anytime! We want our applicants to be successful throughout the admission process and are here to help however we can.”

Caitlin Peterkin is a writer/editor and arts enthusiast currently based in Portland, OR. She has worked as program manager for Earshot Jazz (Seattle) and has written for BestNewBands.com , Chronicle of Higher Education , and Paste Magazine . She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Music.  

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Music Personal Statements Example

Sample statement.

I love music but I also enjoy a challenge. That is why I have decided to focus on music as my future career rather than just a way to relax. I have had an instinctive feel for playing music, singing and moving to music since I was a small child and I have enjoyed training to improve my skills and to make my playing and singing a pleasure for others. That has not always been easy. It’s a lot of hard work at times but the rewards for sticking with it are very worthwhile.

A university course in music is the next natural step for me and I realise that it won’t be easy. It will be an opportunity to grow as a musician and I look forward to being able to immerse myself in music and to develop my skills both on a personal and academic level. Music for me is relaxing but it is that all-encompassing relaxation that comes with the self-discipline required to practice and improve. Learning to play a musical instrument can be torture, but getting through the difficult stages and learning to make the instrument sound good is so satisfying.

Music needs determination, commitment and skill to be able to make it sound good, but being able to apply your musical achievements to build a career also needs a thorough grounding in the music industry. I want to focus on expanding my musical skills and knowledge but also on where it can take me in the future. Studying at university level seems a very natural next step.

I have looked for music courses that allow flexibility and that will give me the widest experience and appreciation for different types of music and different ways of making it. I want to learn the technical knowledge too, building on my experience with music software I have already been using.

College has been a positive experience for me and I am lucky to have been within an environment that was encouraging and challenging at the same time. My music teachers provided the push we needed to achieve our best but were also realistic in the deadlines that they set. This has made me able to cope well with time pressure and I work consistently and well to finish set tasks, which has given me added confidence. I have a high natural ability, with a good ear, timing and good rhythmic skills but I have learned to become a polished performer and to work well within a group.

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The College Application

How to Write a Killer Scholarship Personal Statement: Definitive Guide With Examples

A lady searching for scholarships, and preparing to write a scholarship personal statement

The Importance of an Effective Personal Statement

Whether you’re coming straight out of high school, are a transfer student, or are an adult student returning to college after a long absence, one of the first things you’ll want to do when preparing for college is to look for scholarships.

At all levels, college is expensive. Winning scholarships that cut down on costs is a priority for most of us, and writing an effective scholarship personal statement can help you do that.

There are many important parts of the process when it comes to scholarship applications. Locating the scholarships and gathering all the relevant information are key components, but your scholarship personal statement is arguably the most important part of a scholarship application.

Writing a powerful and memorable personal statement can really make your application stand out among the hundreds of other submissions.

Table of Contents

What Exactly Is a Scholarship Personal Statement?

A personal statement is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a statement, paragraph, or essay about yourself. It should tell who you are, where you came from, what your dreams, goals, and aspirations are, and more. It should focus on your strengths and tell scholarship committees why you deserve their money.

Sometimes, personal statements can be written in response to an open-ended question, such as, “ Tell us about yourself. ” More often, though, scholarship applications have a very specific prompt that you’re supposed to follow when writing your personal statement.

Following the Prompt

A prompt is something that many colleges or other types of scholarship committees will give you to help guide your writing. Some essays won’t have a prompt. We’ll discuss those later on in the article. For now, let’s focus on the applications that provide you with prompts.

When given a prompt, please stick to it and answer it fully. You don’t want to trail off onto some other tangent or write your statement how you want to write it simply because it sounds better or because you already have a standard scholarship personal statement you like to use. Answer the prompt that is given, and answer it honestly and completely.

Some prompts require you to respond to the questions asked in the order given, while for others ( most of them ), you can follow whatever order that suits you, so long as you address all questions.

Knowing about some common prompts beforehand will help prepare you for what you may be asked and will keep you from being blindsided. Knowing some common prompts early on can also prepare you a little more about what to write.

Common College Scholarship Personal Statement Prompts

1.   why do you deserve this scholarship.

This is probably the most commonly asked prompt for any scholarship personal statement. Most organizations that give scholarships know why you want the scholarship. What they don’t know is why exactly they should give it to you. Your answer to this prompt should be one that fully answers the question by telling the scholarship committee not only why you deserve the money, but also why you need it at all.

Why you deserve something and why you need it are two totally different questions. This prompt, though, requires you to answer both. The reasons you need the scholarship money could involve a number of factors, including:

  • Financial hardship in your family
  • Coming from a single-parent or foster-parent home
  • Older siblings already at college
  • Parent(s) is disabled, out of work, or incarcerated
  • Coming from a low-income family, neighborhood, or Title I school
  • Receiving government assistance (housing, food stamps, etc.)
  • Being a ward of the state with no support system

All of these reasons – and more – are why you might need the money. Tell the committee that in your scholarship personal statement.

Telling them these things should not be seen as “feeling sorry for yourself” or begging for help. These are all legitimate reasons you could potentially need help paying for college. As long as you’re being honest, these are definitely things that should be included in your personal statement.

Telling the committee why you deserve the scholarship is a little different. While all those reasons are why you need the money, they don’t explain why you deserve it. This is the part of the scholarship personal statement where you sell the committee on YOU.

Tell them about all the great things you’ve done. If you were an honor roll student, a member of the BETA Club or National Honor Society, or a National Merit Scholar, put that in your statement.

Other reasons you could cite as to why you deserve a scholarship include:

  • Exceptional athletic ability or talent
  • Many hours of documented community service
  • Having served your country honorably in the military
  • Impressive personal stories of overcoming adversity
  • Exceptional ACT/SAT scores
  • A schedule that shows an impressive balance of grades, sports, community service, etc.

Just as listing the reasons you need the scholarship isn’t begging, listing these reasons for deserving the scholarship isn’t bragging. There are hundreds, possibly even thousands, of people, trying to get the same scholarships you’re trying to get. You need to stand out above the crowd.

2.  Tell us about overcoming your greatest challenge.

Although this prompt is worded quite differently from the first prompt, in essence, you can answer them both in a similar way. All of those reasons you might have for needing the money are also challenges you’ve had to overcome to succeed in life.

Other possible challenges could include the loss of parents, a physical or mental disability you’ve had to learn to cope with throughout your life, or a dangerous, scary, or upsetting life event you’ve lived through in your past.

For this type of prompt, you’ll want to start with the challenge you faced. Be as honest and descriptive as possible about what it was. Then be equally honest and descriptive about the steps you took to overcome it. If, after overcoming the challenge, you received some kind of recognition or award, make sure you mention that as well.

3. Why do you want to attend college?/Why is education important?

This is another very popular question that’s asked on scholarship applications. A scholarship committee wants to know that you have actual, obtainable goals for your education and your future before they give you money to use for college.

If you can’t effectively explain why college – and education in general – is important to your future goals, most committees won’t want to take a chance on you.

There are different ways to approach this particular prompt. If you fit into a category of people who have notoriously been excluded from higher education in the past, such as African Americans, women, or other minority groups, talking about that can help your case.

You can discuss how hard the generations that came before you fought for you to be able to attend college and how you want to honor that.

You can also take a wholly personal approach to answering this question. Mention any relevant struggles you’ve been through, and don’t be afraid to talk about your family. Did they go to college?

If not, discuss what an honor it’ll be to be the first in your family to graduate from college. Those types of things are all relevant reasons you might want to attend college.

No matter which way you decide to go with your answer to this question, don’t forget to talk about your goals and how college is the only way for you to achieve them in your scholarship personal statement.

Be specific. Talk about your intended major and how that major and the classes you’ll take for it will help you become what you want to become. If you’re applying for a college-specific scholarship, talk about why you want to go to that specific college.

4. Random and Unique Essay Prompts

Sometimes, no matter how hard you study and prep in order to write a good essay, a scholarship committee comes up with a personal statement essay prompt that seems like it’s entirely out of left field. These types of prompts can be anything.

For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been known to ask students seeking scholarships in the past, “ What do you hope to find over the rainbow? ”. And for 2022/23, one of UNC’s application prompts required fill-in-the-blank type of responses, including:

  • If I had an extra hour in every day, I would spend it…
  • If I could travel anywhere, near or far, past, present or future, I would go…
  • The last time I stepped outside my comfort zone, I…

The 2022/23 Yale-specific questions on the Coalition and Common App included the following short answer questions:

  • You are teaching a new Yale course. What is it called?
  • Yale’s residential colleges regularly host conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What would you ask them to discuss?

Another unusual prompt you might come across is “What would you do if you were a superhero?” .

There really isn’t a way to prepare for these types of prompts, but knowing they exist and that you might run across one is a good start.

For many people, these are the best kinds of prompts to receive. They give you a chance to let your imagination run wild, and they’re a nice change from the same old “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” type of questions.

So if you do happen to run across one of these, don’t immediately dismiss it. These types of prompts give you a chance to have a little fun. They are a chance to have your personality shine a little, and who knows- you might just impress the scholarship committee!

Writing Scholarship Personal Statements for Applications without Prompts

If you’re asked to write a personal statement but aren’t really given a prompt, simply tell the college a mixture of all those things listed above. Talk about your achievements, accomplishments, and instances of overcoming obstacles. Talk about your history, and tell them why you need the scholarship and why you deserve it.

There are also a few other Do’s and Don’ts to remember. Do be specific, but don’t get too complicated. Keep things simple and light, while also being thorough. Your personal statement is like a mini autobiography.

You want to highlight all the key points while putting a heavy emphasis on your strengths. You can mention a weakness, especially if you’ve learned to overcome that weakness, but don’t focus too much attention there.

Arrange your essay in a logical order that makes sense and flows well. Also, try to keep to one or two central themes throughout the entirety of the statement. Clear, concise personal statements are easily read and extremely memorable. Don’t be afraid to tell a story, though.

You never want to lie or exaggerate in your personal statement, but you should make it as interesting and as entertaining as possible while sticking to the facts.

Be very clear and precise about your goals and dreams. Don’t add in a lot of hypotheticals, maybes, or uncertainties. Scholarship committees want to know that you have a solid goal for your future.

They don’t want to give money to someone who might want to be an engineer and thinks botany is great but also really loves the idea of cosmetology and is just going to “stay undeclared until I figure it all out.” Umm…that’s an extreme example, perhaps, but you get the idea.

Don’t add in a lot of unnecessarily long words. Your personal statement should read like an actual story of your life, not a poorly written thesaurus. Trust us on this.

Scholarship committees will be much more impressed if you write an honest, well-organized, and coherent essay about yourself than they will if you find a way to use the words “ platitudinous ,” “ audacity ” and “ impecunious ” in your personal statement.

Also, avoid cliches and extremely long and wordy sentences.

Personal Statement Review: If you need help brainstorming or reviewing your essay, check our personal statement helper page.

Standard Scholarship Essay Format

The first thing you want to do when writing your scholarship personal statement is to set the formatting up correctly. Some scholarship applications will provide you with specific formatting requirements.

If not, the standard formatting requirements of a scholarship essay or personal statement are usually as follows:

  • One-inch margins on all sides
  • Double-spaced
  • No additional line spaces between paragraphs
  • Typed in Times New Roman
  • Typed with 12-point font

Specific guidelines given in the scholarship instructions always supersede these formatting guidelines. Be sure to use proper grammar and punctuation. If these aren’t your strong points, ask a teacher, mentor, or friend to look over your essay for any errors.

You could also utilize this awesome  spellcheck and online grammar check tool , or use any other that works for you. 

After you’ve got the formatting correct, the next thing you want to do is put together your outline. This can be done on paper, on the computer, or just inside your head, but it does need to be done.

You need at least a loose outline to make sure your essay flows smoothly and makes sense as written. While the exact structure of your essay will depend largely on your own writing style and the essay prompt, here’s the general structure for most essays.

Step 1: Introduction

Your introduction should be no more than 2 paragraphs long, and you want to catch the reader with a very interesting and engaging first sentence. You should also outline the key points you’re going to be making in the remainder of your essay. If you were writing an English paper, this would be your thesis.

Step 2: Body Paragraphs

You should always have at least 2 body paragraphs, preferably 3. Remember, long paragraphs of text running together can be hard for readers to wade through and absorb, so try to keep your paragraphs to no more than 5 sentences if possible.

If you change topics, such as moving from talking about your family to talking about your strengths, you should also change paragraphs.

Your body paragraphs are where you really sell yourself as a great student with a lot of potential to the scholarship committee. Remember- be specific but simple!

Don’t get bogged down in big, thesaurus-like words, and avoid clichés. Just be honest about your life experiences, your accomplishments, and your future goals.

Step 3: Conclusion

In this last paragraph, you’ll want to sum up everything. This is also the paragraph where you talk about how much being awarded this particular scholarship would benefit you and what you would do with the money that will help you achieve your goals.

It’s also nice to thank the scholarship committee for taking the time to read through your application and consider you for the scholarship.

Scholarship Personal Statement Examples

Below you’ll find some examples of actual scholarship essays that were written by actual college students seeking scholarships. Some are examples of what to do, while others are examples of what not to do.

If you’re stuck and don’t know where to begin, hopefully, these will give you a little inspiration.

Sample Essay 1

“The day was May 28, 2014. My doctor told my parents that I would need Spinal Fusion Surgery with rods and screws, and it had to happen quickly. Before surgery, the doctor suggested strength training for the muscles in my back so that I’d recover faster. I immediately went to the local gym and began working with a personal trainer, Justin. I learned so much from him including how the body works and how surgery takes time to heal. After surgery, I knew that I wanted to use my experience to help others, just like Justin helped me.”

– Read the rest   here .

This is an excellent example of an introductory paragraph for a scholarship personal statement. With the author’s first two sentences, I was hooked. This student knows how to immediately capture the reader’s attention and pull him into his story.

He’s relating a true story in response to a prompt asking him about his after-college plans, but he’s doing it in such a way that it’s instantly interesting, and engaging, and makes us want to read more.

The student also has a great transition sentence. Although we only provided a portion of the essay that stops just before he tells us exactly what his goals are, it’s obvious by the last displayed sentence that that’s exactly what he’s about to do.

He’s about to tell us his plans for his future, after already telling us why he chose those plans.

In just a few short sentences, this student catches our attention, tells us about a horrible thing that happened to him that he had to overcome, explains how that situation shaped what he wants to do with his future, and transitions into telling us his goals.

This is a masterfully crafted introductory paragraph.

Sample Essay 2

“Unlike other teens, I’m not concerned about money, or partying, or what others think of me. Unlike other eighteen-year-olds, I think about my future and haven’t become totally materialistic and acquisitive. My whole outlook on life changed after I realized that my life was just being handed to me on a silver spoon, and yet there were those in the world who didn’t have enough food to eat or place to live. I realized that the one thing that this world needed more than anything was compassion; compassion for those less fortunate than us.”

In contrast to example one, this sample section is an example of what not to do when writing your personal statement. It starts off badly and just keeps ongoing.

The first couple of sentences of this student’s essay don’t paint her in a great light because of how they’re written. It’s fine to tell the scholarship committee that you aren’t a partier and that you care about your future, but it’s not okay to do it while sitting in judgment of other people.

The very first words of this essay are “Unlike other teenagers.” This automatically sets the writer apart, which would be fine if she were going on to say something positive about “other teenagers.”

For instance, if she were to say that she didn’t grow up getting to socialize and spend time with friends because she was homeschooled her whole life or that she didn’t learn about the advantages of technology because she grew up in a rural community, her opening words would’ve been fine.

Instead, she immediately jumps into saying harsh, degrading things about “other teenagers.” She lumps all teenagers into a stereotypical group of irresponsible partiers who care only about their appearances and material things.

Casting other people in a bad light is never a great way to let your light shine in any arena, but this is especially true when trying to craft a strong college personal essay.

The transition to her revolutionary life moment didn’t make a lot of sense, either. She says her “whole outlook on life changed” after realizing there were poor people in the world. This is off-putting for 2 reasons.

The first is that most people, including children, know there are poor people in the world. It isn’t really a secret and doesn’t usually come as a life-changing shock.

Secondly, the way her essay is written, she says she never did those bad things that other teens did. Then she says her whole life changed when she realized there were poor people in the world.

As written, this makes it sound like she changed and started doing these things after her revelation, which is certainly not what she meant at all, but because of the chronology of her essay, that’s how it sounds.

Sample Essay 3

“And, that strength was something that came not only from knowing how to cook my own food, lug armfuls of wood three or four times a day, and make my own safe and cozy place in the world, no matter where. It came from an inner sense of seeing things as they are. Life isn’t just out of a magazine with the best appliances and the nicest furniture. There are other things in life, like dirty floors, and relationships that don’t always work, and meals that have to be made. But, that’s not all bad.”

– Read the rest   here .

This is another example of an essay Don’t. The whole essay, which isn’t listed here, isn’t bad as a whole, but it also isn’t clear and precise. The sentences are long and wordy, and the student uses conjunctions, like “and” and “but,” to start sentences.

Grammatically, that isn’t the best way to write. This is an example of an essay that could have been quite good if only the student had spent some time editing it, proofreading it, and perhaps handing it over to someone else to look over it before he submitted it.

Never underestimate the power of revision and constructive criticism when writing your own scholarship essay.

Sample Essay 4

“Through the successes of my efforts, I also realized that poverty was just a societal limitation. I was low-income, not poor. I was still flourishing in school, leading faith-based activities, and taking an active role in community service. My low-income status was not a barrier but a launching pad to motivate and propel my success. […] Success is triumphing over hardships — willing yourself over anything and everything to achieve the best for yourself and your family. With this scholarship, I will use it to continue focusing on my studies in math and engineering, instead of worrying about making money and sending more back home. It will be an investment into myself for my family.”

– Read the rest here .

These are two paragraphs from the same essay, both excellently written. This student came from a very poor background and had to begin making money to help out their family at a very early age.

In this essay, the student does a great job of discussing hardships in the past in an honest, straightforward way that invites the reader’s admiration rather than pity.

The way he spends a brief amount of time talking about his hardships and then moving swiftly into how those hardships motivated him to want more from life is very well-done.

His conclusion paragraph is also spot-on. He acknowledges that the only way to overcome hardship is “willing yourself” to achieve. This shows that he has a willingness to work hard and experience to back it up.

He then goes on to tell how he’ll use the scholarship money if he receives it. He says that he’ll “invest into [him]self” and take this opportunity to work hard, even if it means he has to suffer financially for a few years, in order to achieve what he needs to achieve to ensure future financial success for both himself and his family.

This shows him to be a hard worker, someone caring and empathetic enough to put family first, and intelligent and enterprising.

These are all great things colleges want from prospective students, and he showcases these traits in himself without being overt or in-your-face about it.

Sample Essay 5

“To be able to hold onto your money you have to know how to manage it. Money management is a complicated process. As teenagers, we often have no idea how to manage money and we end up wasting a lot of it. But in a bad economy, most of us have had a crash course in what happens when you don’t manage your money properly. We have had to delve into a world foreign and unfamiliar to us and solve our own money problems. The most successful of us have managed to still have some semblance of a social life without going over our small budgets. The keys to doing this successfully are actually quite simple.”

The prompt for this particular essay was about managing money. In terms of staying on topic and having a good opening sentence, this writer did a really nice job.

The writer also makes the article very relatable because being a teenager and not knowing how to manage money is something most of us can remember quite easily.

In addition to being relatable, the first paragraph also holds our interest because it is easily read, not packed full of synonyms from the thesaurus, or written loftily.

The writer also does a great job with his “thesis” sentence. The last sentence of the paragraph is simple and straight to the point.

It lets us know what’s coming next; he’s about to list the keys to managing money successfully. This is a very well-organized introductory paragraph.

Where the writer falls short, though, is with his grammar. There are obvious run-on sentences and missing commas in that first paragraph. He also starts a sentence with a conjunction, which isn’t great as a general rule. The bad grammar and poor editing/proofreading take away from his entire paragraph, which otherwise would have been really good.

We’ve said it once, and we’re saying it again: Don’t skip the proofreading/editing stage ( fyi , we have great packages here to help with this ). If that isn’t something you’re good at doing, ask a teacher, mentor, friend, or loved one.

Grammar is important. You can have the best idea in the world, and bad grammar will keep people from hearing it because they’ll be too distracted by the errors.

When proofreading or editing for grammar, here are the most common questions to ask yourself:

  • Did you write in complete sentences? (No fragments, run-ons, or comma splices)
  • Did you run the paper through spellcheck and grammar check?
  • Is all of your punctuation correct?
  • Is it clear to whom or what your pronouns are referring?
  • Are there any  misplaced or dangling modifiers  in your essay?
  • Did you write in an  active voice ?
  • Are you being repetitive?
  • Did you use the right word between  commonly confused words ?
  • Did you use proper subject/verb and noun/pronoun agreement throughout?
  • Does your essay make logical, organized sense?

Before submitting your essay, edit through it using these questions as a guide.

Summing It All Up

The importance of writing a great, moving, and memorable scholarship personal statement cannot be overstated. Scholarship applications are uniform for all students.

Scholarship committee members are forced to read through the same types of information for all the students who apply. The one place you’re able to stand out and be creative is in your personal essay. That’s why it’s so important that you make it count.

A strong personal scholarship essay can be the tipping point between no money and lots and lots of money, so plan for it. Make time to do it right and edit it properly.

Consider it the most important part of your application process, and set aside the appropriate amount of time for drafting it, writing it, and editing it before the submission due date.

Finally, never be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s an educator, parent, spouse, or friend, there is someone out there who wants to see you succeed. That person will be happy to help you craft the best possible scholarship personal statement.

How long should a scholarship essay be?

A scholarship essay should typically be between 500 to 1000 words. However, always adhere to any specific word limits set by the scholarship. If no limit is specified, aim for a concise essay within this range.

Focus on clear expression of ideas and experiences, and ensure to proofread for clarity and coherence. It’s more about quality than quantity.

Further Reading:

The Best GMAT Prep Courses, According to MBA Students

Best MCAT Prep Courses, According to Med Students

Best NCLEX Prep Courses, According to Nurses

Accredited ABSN programs in North Carolina

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How to Draft a Creative Music Grad School Personal Statement

Table of Contents

Are you considering pursuing a graduate degree in music? Writing a personal statement for your application can be an intimidating task. It is, after all, the one piece of writing that will give admissions officers insight into who you are as a person and musician.

Let’s dive into how to write an effective music grad school personal statement without further ado.

Steps to Writing a Music Grad School Personal Statement

Brainstorming.

Before you begin writing your personal statement , it’s essential to take some time to brainstorm. Reflect on why you want to pursue a graduate music degree in the first place. Consider what experiences have led you to this point—what has been meaningful for you about past musical endeavors? What made those experiences unique or special? What do you hope to experience in the future after attending grad school?

Explaining Your Passion

Your personal statement should also explain how your passion for music has evolved and how it drives your decision-making process . You may choose to discuss any challenges faced along the way or successes achieved that demonstrate a solid commitment to the art.

Providing Specifics

It is essential to be as specific and detailed as possible when writing your personal statement. This will give admissions officers a better understanding of who you are as an individual and musician. Try to include specific examples from past experiences demonstrating why you are uniquely qualified for the program. State how your skill set has grown over time.

Once you’ve completed the first draft of your personal statement, it’s time to do some editing! Read through it carefully, looking for any typos or errors in grammar or punctuation. Ensure the content is clear and concise—you don’t want to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Finally, review it for style to ensure that the tone and voice are consistent throughout the statement.

Music Grad School Personal Statement Examples

tilt selective photograph of music notes

I have been passionate about music my entire life. As a child, I was constantly listening to and playing various instruments. After attending Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos performance, I was deeply inspired and decided to pursue music as my career path.

I attended college and earned a degree in Music Performance, where I honed my skills as a musician. I performed with many renowned ensembles during this time and developed close relationships with experienced musicians worldwide. My education has given me an appreciation for all genres of music, but classical music truly drives my passion for performing.

Now that I am ready to pursue a graduate degree in music, I am looking to expand my knowledge and skill set. A graduate program would provide me with the opportunity to learn from accomplished mentors. It will give access resources that will allow me to pursue unique performance opportunities.

My love for music began when I was very young. I started singing at an early age and eventually progressed to playing several instruments, including piano, guitar, and drums. Music has always been an outlet for me—not just as a means of expression but also as a way of understanding myself better.

I have had the privilege of studying with some fantastic musicians throughout my collegiate career. My professors have always encouraged me to push myself beyond my comfort zone and have helped shape me into the musician I am today. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Music Performance, I am ready to take the next step and pursue a graduate degree. This will help to expand my knowledge of music theory and composition.

Grad school will open up many unique opportunities for me as an aspiring musician. I am excited to learn from experienced teachers and peers who can help me reach new heights as an artist. I can achieve great things in this field with hard work, dedication, and commitment.

Final Thoughts

Writing a personal statement for music grad school is no small feat! However, take the time to brainstorm, explain your passion, provide specifics from past experiences, and edit thoroughly. You can craft a compelling personal statement that will make a great impression on admissions officers .

Good luck with your application process!

How to Draft a Creative Music Grad School Personal Statement

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Scholarship Story

Personal Statement for Scholarship: How to Write and Examples

Table of Contents

A substantial part of the applications are personal statement for scholarship. Writing a stunning personal statement is vital if you’re hoping to win a scholarship. The personal statement is your chance to convince the board that you deserve the scholarship. While your curriculum vitae may be remarkable, hundreds, perhaps even thousands of students are likely to be just as remarkable. A personal statement is an excellent way of setting yourself apart.

Personal Statement for Scholarship

There’s no right way to write a personal statement for a scholarship, but here are some tips on how you can write a killer personal statement that can help you to elevate your pitch.

What is a personal statement for scholarship?

A personal statement is an overview of your accomplishments, talents, interests and objectives that are often included in applications for universities or scholarships or on resumes. It is a sample of writing (often about 2 pages) that describes you to the best of your abilities, your reasons for choosing the course you have chosen, your research interests, your goals and the creative ways you can add value to the program you are applying to.

The purpose of the personal statement is to provide an opportunity for those reviewing applications to learn more about you, your education goals, and how the scholarship will help you to continue your education.

How do you write a personal statement?

To guide you in composing your scholarship personal statement, here are some tips on how to get started.

Be concise, be organized, be focused

Make sure that your personal declaration follows a coherent order. Try to ponder how it might sound to an audience that doesn’t know you. Getting input from people you trust can help you get different points of view on how those who read it actually impact your personal statement. Avoiding long, drawn-out essay responses will not only help keep the attention of your reader, but will also show you’ve been thoughtful about your writing.

Be reflective

A personal statement, just because it narrates challenging times, is not always impactful. Strong personal statements should show that the writer has reflected on their past experiences and achievements and learnt from them. Ideally, the writer will be able to show progress towards a clear outlook on how he or she sees the world and the direction he or she is heading in the future. An effective personal statement gives a clear sense of your personal qualities and how you used and developed them to respond to your challenges and opportunities.

Get personal

The readers want to get an understanding of who you are, and the only way to do that is by sharing a little about who you are. That’s why it is called a personal statement after all. This is your opportunity to share what you feel they should know about you for making an informed decision with the reader.

Make it authentic

A personal statement for scholarship should show you who you really are and what you support about, not what you assume the readers want to hear. Remember that those who read your application will also be able to read many other applications, and will be able to tell you immediately if what you write is honest and genuine. It’s also worth remembering that some programs require a finalist interview where it’ll be easy to spot those who haven’t been authentic in their personal statements.

Give yourself plenty of time for revisions

Before submission, personal statements need to go through several revisions. Read your writing to others, and rewrite the content and style for accuracy. Pay attention to proper grammar and punctuation rules, and don’t forget spell checking. It’s also strongly advised that you make use of campus resources to gain valuable insight into how to improve your personal statement for scholarship.

A short personal statement, a strong personal statement

“My love of astronomy started when I looked up as a child at the darkness of space and found it captivating and awe-inspiring at the same time.” “From seeing my first production on stage I have been passionate about William Shakespeare’s works. I am fascinated by the way in which Shakespeare is still relevant today.

Can you see why these two examples are inaccurate?

While they are very favorable and well-worded statements about why a student might want to study astronomy, or Shakespearean literature, both of these examples of Personal Statement lead to clichés and generalization very rapidly.

We are not suggesting that when writing a personal statement for scholarship you should not use positive words, but this positive language needs to be supported up with solid, specific examples and thorough analyses. Remember: Showing, not telling, is the key to an excellent personal statement.

Why, then, is Shakespeare relevant to today? What specific examples could you use of an author from the 16th century to demonstrate its relevance to the modern age? Similarly, proclaiming a love for night sky wonders is all well and good, but why did it make you want to study astronomy?

Impose a limit on how many adjectives or descriptive sentences you use in your writing. It is important to remember that a personal statement in a relatively short number of words has to accomplish a lot. If you over-use words such as ‘ambitious,’ ‘astonishing,’ and ‘awe-inspiring,’ you’ll end up repeating yourself.

Structure of a personal statement

Structuring your statement is important to ensure it reads well. Write your personal statement as an ongoing prose piece, just like an essay. You might want to follow this structure:

Introduction

Your introduction should be brief, explaining why you’re excited about applying for the scholarship. The strongest introductions often have an academic focus, so think about the reading of the background that you did.

Avoid such phrases as ‘I always have’ or ‘from a young age’ or anything like that. Focus on one particular thing about the offered field that interests you. If you have a hardship, leave your introduction to the end. Once the main body of your personal statement has been written, it will be clear what your strongest motivations for applying are. Then you can integrate that into your introduction.

The main body of your personal statement should include examples that show your preparedness.

Start by choosing between three or four examples. For an idea of what examples you could include here, refer back to step one. Try to have at least one example related to your course which focuses on academic reading. Just avoid listing skills or qualities, and explain in detail your skills and experiences. Make sure you show when writing about skills or qualities that they are relevant to your future studies.

Try to think academically, as well. Imagine you are an admissions tutor when choosing your examples: are you demonstrating your knowledge of the subject through detailed examples? Are you showcasing the skills you need to apply the scholarship successfully?

Your conclusion should summarize your statement’s key points and remind the granting committee of your strengths. This is a good opportunity to write about your future plans, too. How does the scholarship that you apply for fit into your larger picture?

Examples of personal statement for scholarship

Whether it’s a scholarship essay about yourself, a creative writing scholarship, or an essay on why you deserve the scholarship, the personal statement for scholarship examples below can help you better understand what may result from following a good format.

Personal statement for scholarship: Example #1

As a child of immigrant parents, I learned to take responsibilities for my family and myself at a very young age. Although my parents spoke English, they constantly worked in order to financially support my little brother and me. Meanwhile, my grandparents barely knew English so I became their translator for medical appointments and in every single interaction with English speakers. Even until now, I still translate for them and I teach my grandparents conversational English. The more involved I became with my family, the more I knew what I wanted to be in the future.

Since I was five, my parents pushed me to value education because they were born in Vietnam and had limited education. Because of this disadvantage, I learned to take everything I do seriously and to put in all of my effort to complete tasks such as becoming the founder of my school’s Badminton Club in my sophomore year and Red Cross Club this year. Before creating these clubs, I created a vision for these clubs so I can organize my responsibilities better as a leader. The more involved I became, the more I learned as a leader and as a person. As a leader, I carried the same behavior I portrayed towards my younger cousins and sibling. My family members stressed the importance of being a good influence; as I adapted this behavior, I utilized this in my leadership positions. I learned to become a good role model by teaching my younger family members proper manners and guiding them in their academics so that they can do well. In school, I guide my peers in organizing team uniform designs and in networking with a nonprofit organization for service events.

Asides from my values, I’m truly passionate in the medical field. I always wanted to be a pediatrician since I was fourteen. My strong interest in the medical field allowed me to open up my shell in certain situations: when I became sociable to patients in the hospital as a volunteer, when I became friendly and approachable to children in my job at Kumon Math and Reading Center, and when I portrayed compassion and empathy towards my teammates in the badminton team. However, when I participated in the 2017 Kaiser Summer Volunteer Program at Richmond Medical Center, I realized that I didn’t only want to be a pediatrician. This program opened my eye to numerous opportunities in different fields of medicine and in different approaches in working in the medicine industry. While I may have a strong love for the medical field, my interest in business immensely grew as I soon discovered that I didn’t only have to take the practical approach in the medical field. With this interest, I plan to also become a part of a medical facility management team.

In the future, I hope to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor by attaining an MD, and to double major in Managerial Economics. I intend to study at UC Davis as a Biological Sciences major, where I anticipate to become extremely involved with the student community. After graduation, I plan to develop a strong network relationship with Kaiser Permanente as I’ve started last year in my internship. By developing a network with them, I hope to work in one of their facilities someday. Based on my values, interests, and planned future, I’m applying for the NCS Foundation scholarship because not only will it financially help me, but it can give motivation for me to academically push myself. I hope to use this scholarship in applying for a study abroad program, where I can learn about other cultures’ customs while conducting research there.

Personal statement for scholarship: Example #2

Nothing is more important to me than ending racial inequality and discrimination in America, as I do not want my younger siblings to face the discrimination Black people continue to face in our present society. After winning our fight to freedom and provoking the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, why do Black teens face higher poverty rates than Whites and are still four times more likely to be incarcerated? “That was such a long time ago. You really need to get over it,” my White peers say when referring to racial inequalities. But, why then, in 7th grade, after winning Nazareth Academy’s Spelling Bee competition, did my fellow White classmate state with a heavy dose of surprise, “You know…when I first saw you, I didn’t think you were going to be smart?”

I hope to contribute to ending racial discrimination by utilizing our present interconnectivity and running a social media campaign titled #It’sNotOver. #It’sNotOver aims to oppose the widespread misconception that, because racial inequality was legally outlawed, de facto racial inequality does not still persist in our society. Our recent presidential election may have brought life to a ‘Divided America’, but it also exposed how influential social media is. By raising awareness of racial disparities that occur everywhere, I might encourage a new wave of change in our country like that of the present Time’s Up movement. Furthermore, if I can access the influence of celebrities in my #It’sNotOver campaign, like that of Time’s Up, I might similarly capture the attention of millions of people and inspire action against this issue across the globe.

I know that social media can only do so much in addressing these issues as not everyone can afford the luxury of having internet access. However, I hope that my campaign can inspire all those who do have access to take it upon themselves to be the change by being inspired by the fact that we are globally united in this issue. Although I expect negativity and criticism from people who either do not believe that this issue exists or do not believe in our cause, I am willing to encounter it if it means our society as a whole irrevocably can grow to accept each other’s differences.

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Popular music personal statement example.

An early introduction to music was something I welcomed enthusiastically, not only in primary school (recorder etc), but also outside school. Many of my family being musicians, I was very much brought up amidst musical surroundings. I started learning drums and guitar from my dad and brother, at around 9, and was playing gigs in my own band, at the age of 10. Since then, I have been taking my music a lot more seriously but with the same joy and excitement. At secondary school, I was the drummer/percussionist for many school ensembles, including: orchestra, wind, cellidh, jazz, and choir bands, as well as my own band. These commitments were taken very seriously and I am now grateful to have had the opportunity to gain such an understanding of different situations and applications for my instrument. My main achievements in this field are: a tour of Germany with the orchestra and winning a Balerno School Music Award with wind band.

Not only have I had experience playing drum kit, orchestral percussion, and hand drums, but I also write my own solo material on acoustic guitar and piano. Another interest of mine, is the use of electronic instruments, both hardware and software. Having played in an electronica act, I have learned and developed skills in using this equipment, which have broadened my abilities in music production.

I was also involved in the founding and running of a promotion company, mainly intended to promote my band at the time. Having more success than predicted, I started to put on club nights and other live music nights in Edinburgh and Glasgow. With the proceeds, I designed and built a project studio, together with some fellow musicians. In the basement of a rented shop, it's purpose was for our own projects, with the occasional commercial recording session and guitar/drum lesson. This did not only teach me a lot about working with others in a business environment, and about the technicalities of building the studio (sound proofing/acoustics etc) but also presented a whole new area of creation for me to explore. I have since learned a lot about analogue and digital recording techniques and am competent in many software packages for sound recording/production. With my brother and friend both having HND's in Audio Technology, I was fortunate enough to learn from them. Since then, I have moved to a larger and more professional setup where I teach and record, alongside my brother, who is my partner in music as well business. On top of experience in recording artists, I have also had work in live sound engineering, (Ego, Ark, Cannons Gait, Renfrew Ferry).

Outside of music, my greatest interest has to be travelling; though invariably my passion for music follows. Checking out gigs, getting involved whenever possible (jazz/folk sessions etc). Often I try to gain some education from the more exotic places, where the music is perhaps a little different from my learned styles. In Morocco, I had lessons in Arabic/Berber rhythms, in Cuba I had conga/bongo lessons and in India I attended an ashram for sitar. All incredible experiences that have definitely helped broaden my scope as a composer and understanding as a musician. Like many musicians, I have had to look outside the music industry for work in the past. For 4 years, I worked in an office/telephone centre for opinion research. As a project supervisor, I was personally responsible for 10-100 employees, and had various other responsibilities, which did teach me a lot.

It has always been a goal of mine to do the degree in popular music. As someone who has been involved in the music industry, in various fields, I feel I have an understanding of what I want to achieve from the course and believe I will have the focus and drive to complete it and to move on to a postgrad for teaching music. My recent experience in teaching drums and percussion, has been very rewarding to me, and has made me even more certain of my choice of career.

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Wed, 24/07/2013 - 23:52

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Music scholarship personal statement

wawadiary 1 / -   Jul 23, 2009   #1 this is the personal stament for the master's degrees in music it's really long,,,,and i'm not sure about my gramma thank you very much for your help PERSONAL STATEMENT As far as I can remember, I always had a keen interest and passion for music. I always sing a song because of my father's hobby. When I studied in secondary school, I was participate school band as piccolo player then later flute. On last year in high school, I became a member of Thai youth Orchestra (TYO) and performed several concerts. I got experience of playing chamber music or orchestra through public. My musical interests have developed greatly over the years and I am fascinated by all aspects of music. I decided to continue my study in music. My father against it, but I got accepted from the university, so he leaved me. As a music education student, I studied both musical term and teaching method for being teacher not only give many valuable knowledge but make me know how to improve myself from teaching I joined the university orchestra as flute and piccolo player also became principle flute of TYO. Besides, I did other music activities like music organizer which I gained experience of managing in concert performance like stage, sheet music, musicians dealing, program book writing, etc. After graduation, I work as flute instructor at MCGP, Siam Paragon. My responsibility is teaching private and ensemble flute classes. To working independently with them who ranging in age from 10 - 46 is really challenge. For students, I plan each individual lesson for each student depends on their purpose of study, period, age and personality. Otherwise, I got select to be assistant flute instructor at the TYO. My work involves leading flute practice and coordinating with other instructor and the music director about flutist selection and performance program. To TYO members, they are like my sisters and brothers who sometimes need suggestions, encouragement, and motivation. TYO is really precious experience for me. That time I think I should be only flute teacher. As musician, I usually play piccolo part in profession orchestras in Thailand such as Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and Galyani Vadhana Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, I took part in two workshops by Sir James Galway and Cristina Bojin which make my attitude of being flutist clearer. I got inspiration from these two flutists by their professions, techniques even their kindness. I want to be real flutist, I have to learn more. There are many purposes of applying to AMA scholarship program in KNUA. First of all, KNUA adopts a conservatory system which has been production professional artist. I had never studied in this system. I still have not enough skill to be well-know flutist, so I need to study and develop my flute playing. The KNUA curriculum is the second point that I interested in. I believe that the private lesson, group discussion, workshops, joint production and field works will help me to be the profession flutist in the future. Due to my financial limitation, getting the scholarship is the only way to make me continue studying; maybe this is the main purpose. Lastly, the KNUA is the university which has the Korean Traditional Arts school. I interested in Korean Traditional music for a while, if I have a chance I will learn Yang-geum as minor instrument. My goal now, is to obtain the AMA scholarship, work hard, and participate music activities for gain experience that push me to be truly musician. Moreover, I will join a Korean cultural organization where I can gain experience in the art of cultural exchange. After completion the program from KNUA, I will return my homeland, continue career as profession flutist in orchestra, chamber music, or soloist. Within the next ten years, I will be ready to work with TYO and other institutes, to set up cultural exchange camps in Korea which will help strengthen relations between Korea and Thailand. With my strong commitment dedicate my life to the music, I would like to humbly ask the AMA Scholarship committee to give me positive evaluation and to grant me a seat in your university. Your king consideration will unquestionably help make significant contribution to the cultural exchange and promote strong relations between Koreans and Thais.

personal statement for music scholarship

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  1. Music Personal Statement Examples

    Music Personal Statement Example 1. My interest in music was well established at the age of 5 when I won a National Composition Competition to compose a song for the Rainbow Guides. I began piano and recorder lessons shortly afterwards and was consequently able to perform with a renaissance ensemble, where I played a variety of renaissance ...

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    Personal Statement Example: Breakdown + Analysis. Example 1. My interest in the field of neuroscience began at a young age. When I was twelve years old, my sister developed a condition called Pseudotumor Cerebri following multiple concussions during a basketball game.

  3. How to Write an Amazing Personal Statement (Includes Examples!)

    5. Use an authentic voice. Your personal statement reflects who you are, so you should use a tone that represents you. That means you shouldn't try to sound like someone else, and you shouldn't use fancy words just to show off. This isn't an academic paper, so you don't have to adopt a super formal tone.

  4. Top 10 Music Scholarships You Should Apply for ASAP

    10 MORE Music Scholarships for Music Majors and Music Lovers in 2019 1. ... Applicants simply submit a 500-word statement about what they intend to do with the scholarship, a personal statement that reflects their passion for music and written music or performance clips. "When I won the scholarship as a high school senior, I was elated.

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    Here are suggestions from recruiters and admission representatives for creating essays they'll they'll be eager to read: 1. Do your research. "It is beneficial to research the school and program and speak to the specific aspects and opportunities you find most relevant to you and your interests," says Jimenez.

  6. PDF Sample Mitchell Scholarship Personal Statement Student #1

    Sample Mitchell Scholarship Personal Statement ... Music Shop on Capel Street in Dublin to take a trad lesson with Mr. Ò Broin. Irish music is an aural tradition—meaning that in order to perform it authentically, one must learn tunes by ear. Being trained classically, I was used to reading notes on a page, but one

  7. Personal statement advice: music

    Awareness of what different music courses cover: practical or academic, your statement should engage directly with the actual courses you're applying for. If you're applying to a conservatoire, do refer to the relevant advice on our website. Make sure your statement highlights some of your skills, knowledge, achievements, or experience that ...

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    Music Personal Statements Example Sample Statement. I love music but I also enjoy a challenge. That is why I have decided to focus on music as my future career rather than just a way to relax. I have had an instinctive feel for playing music, singing and moving to music since I was a small child and I have enjoyed training to improve my skills ...

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    Music personal statements. On this page you'll find a collection of real personal statements written by students applying to study music and related courses at university. These personal statements are written by real students - don't expect them all to be perfect! But by reading through a few of these samples, you'll be able to get some ideas ...

  10. The Killer Scholarship Personal Statement Guide: w/Examples

    A personal statement is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It's a statement, paragraph, or essay about yourself. It should tell who you are, where you came from, what your dreams, goals, and aspirations are, and more. It should focus on your strengths and tell scholarship committees why you deserve their money.

  11. Writing a Personal Statement for Music courses

    Writing a Personal Statement for Music courses. This article is intended to provide advice and suggestions for students who are applying for Music courses in the U.K. and who are about to start, or have already started, writing their personal statements. It should be noted that this advice is aimed at those applying for straight Music courses ...

  12. How to Write a Good Personal Statement for a Scholarship ( 7 PDF Sample

    Step Eight (8): Proofread, edit and hit "submit". Look specifically for spelling and grammar errors. For example, say you are writing a fulbright personal statement example. Find a friend who has a strong command of the written word and can completely address the people alongside the content.

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    Providing Specifics. It is essential to be as specific and detailed as possible when writing your personal statement. This will give admissions officers a better understanding of who you are as an individual and musician. Try to include specific examples from past experiences demonstrating why you are uniquely qualified for the program.

  14. Personal Statement for Scholarship: How to Write and Examples

    Personal statement for scholarship: Example #1. As a child of immigrant parents, I learned to take responsibilities for my family and myself at a very young age. Although my parents spoke English, they constantly worked in order to financially support my little brother and me.

  15. How to write a personal statement for a music course

    The following step-by-step guide may help you: 1. Make a plan for your personal statement. Before writing your personal music statement, make sure you create a plan. It helps you to note down all the potential points you want to cover. You can then expound on these points in your statement.

  16. Popular Music Personal Statement Example

    Music Personal Statement Example 2. I am currently enrolled in St. Andrews University, in my final year of studying Mathematics at honours level. As my Advanced Higher's indicate, I found myself at the end of school with two interests, Mathematics and Music; I saw the former as a convenient skill to pursue, but nearing the end of this degree ...

  17. Music scholarship personal statement

    Music scholarship personal statement. wawadiary 1 / -. Jul 23, 2009 #1. this is the personal stament for the master's degrees in music. it's really long,,,,and i'm not sure about my gramma. thank you very much for your help. PERSONAL STATEMENT. As far as I can remember, I always had a keen interest and passion for music.

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