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How to write a financial statement for a scholarship application

Updated April 17, 2017

A financial statement may be included as a component of an undergraduate or graduate scholarship application. The financial statement is used to assess the financial need of the student based on deficits in a financial aid package, family income and personal need. Personal need will likely be assessed in the essay portion of the scholarship application. Personal need may also be seen as "special circumstances," which would otherwise influence the application committee, such as great personal hardship or financial difficulty contributing to the financial need.

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  1. Obtain all the necessary paperwork for the scholarship application. The financial statement may be included in the application form or may be attached separately. Make sure you are clear on all deadlines regarding paperwork submission. The financial statement may be submitted as part of the scholarship application or delivered separately in a different format. The scholarship application may be submitted electronically, for instance, while the financial statement may be submitted via postal mail. Regardless, the financial statement will likely have the same deadline as the rest of the application.

  2. Look over the financial statement form or application section before putting in any information. Fill in all the necessary parts of the financial statement truthfully and clearly. Use ink, if the form is not to be filled in electronically, and avoid smudges and blotches.

  3. Read the instructions for the financial statement essay section thoroughly. Underline the stated purpose of the essay, if given. This section will likely ask you to include some information on why you need the scholarship due to past or present financial constraints, whether strictly monetary or for personal reasons.

  4. Write a rough draft of the financial statement essay section. It might be difficult to write about the reasons why you have been low on money, the difficulties in your past and the current situation you find yourself in financially. But remember, you are a student. Most students don't have a lot of money anyway, regardless of their personal and financial histories. Try to free-write the rough draft, or a least avoid getting caught up in details. Focus on the real reasons why you need financial assistance for your academic future.

  5. Edit the rough draft of the financial statement. Be sure to use professional and concise language, as advised by Scholarship Help. Personal language should be avoided.

  6. Don't write, "I grew up in a poor family." The professional way to state this information would be, "I am a low-income student."

  7. Focus on your positive qualities. Change a statement like, "My life has been almost too difficult to bear this year," for instance, to "I have overcome a great deal of financial and personal difficulty recently and would greatly appeciate a helping hand."

  8. Copy and paste or write in the edited financial statement essay. Make sure to check any requirements about font or word limits.

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Things You'll Need

  • Scholarship application forms
  • Pen

About the Author

Josalin Mitchell began her writing career in 2009. She has written web content as well as grants, training manuals, reports and brochures for nonprofit agencies. Mitchell has a Bachelor of Arts in English and women's studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching in English education.

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