July 15, 2024
How to write a Mastercard foundation scholarship essay

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You will be required to write essays when applying for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. Oftentimes, what gives people who win the scholarship an edge over those who do not is the quality of their essay. But many people find writing a compelling Mastercard scholarship essay challenging. In fact, the thought of how to write the essay and what to include makes some people anxious. And I understand why. It’s not quite easy to sell yourself so you stand out from thousands of applicants in just 250 words. However, with the tips and examples on how to write a Mastercard scholarship essay that I will share in this article, you should be able to approach your essay with confidence and write a winning essay.

Tips for Writing a winning Mastercard scholarship essay. 

The Mastercard Foundation Scholarship essays come in two stages. The first stage requires you to write one essay of not more than 250 words when applying to the university you are seeking admission into (mine was the University of Cambridge). The second stage comes after you have secured an admission. At this stage, you will be required to write about three essays. The first is a 250-word essay while the other 2 are 100 words max each.

As someone who recently got the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship at the University of Cambridge, below are some tips that helped my essay stand out.

1. Evaluate

Preparing to write a Mastercard scholarship essay involves critical thinking and evaluation. With a 250-word count limit, it is crucial to focus on experiences and skills directly related to your course of study and Mastercard’s primary focus on Sustainability and Climate Resilience. So, before you put pen to paper, make an outline of all the skills and experience you have, decide on which are most relevant to your application then let this decision guide your essay writing.

2. Create a structure and outline

Your essay should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. It should include the benefits you hope to get from the programme.

 Writing the introduction:

Start with an introductory sentence that captures your research interest or general focus. For example, someone in Crop Science like me could start with, “Food insecurity is a global menace that is grieving food production systems, governments, and the world population at Large”.

This sentence captures a general focus- food insecurity.

Follow up the introductory sentence by establishing what sparked your interest in your chosen field. Was it a story, experience, a course you took or something else? Discuss this in 2 – 3 sentences.

Writing the body:

The body of the essay should contain your experiences (academic and professional). While writing your experiences, always ensure to capitalize on the skills you gained. Stories are good but what your essay readers and reviewers are looking out for is skills. So ensure you mention the skills such experiences gave you.

For example, “After my graduation, I worked at ABC… Working at ABC helped me gain DEF and opened me up for GHI’

You get the point, right?

This example tells your experience and shows what skills you have gained that are useful for the study you are coming to undertake.

Writing the conclusion:

The conclusion, or what I usually call the final part of the essay, should have the benefits you hope to gain out of your programme and how these benefits will help you solve problems especially in Africa- as this is the focus of the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship.

3. Proofreading and Editing

Every great essay comes with a series of proofreading, reviews, and edits. Read your essays through and through until you are convinced you have written your best. Also, give your essay to your (academic) mentors or friend to help you review. Finally, make edits where necessary.

Read also: How to win Mastercard foundation scholarship.

Extra tips on how to write a great Mastercard Scholarship essay.

i. Start on time.

You don’t want to rush through your essay writing process as you’ll need ample time to think about what best to include in your essay, make some revisions, proofread, and edit before submitting.

ii. Use grammar checkers.

No matter how careful or thorough you are, some grammatical errors may escape you when proofreading and editing. Grammar checkers will help you pick such errors. 

iii. Write within the word limit.

I understand how tough it is to sell yourself in just 250 words. But that’s the instruction, so please stick to it.

iv. Ensure you address all the questions asked in the prompt.

v. Be honest and realistic.

Read also: How to get the Flour Mills of Nigeria scholarship.


In summary, crafting a winning Mastercard scholarship essay is not just about writing. It is about strategy, and how you can tactically express your passion and how it connects to Mastercard’s scholarship objectives. With the tips I have shared on how to write a Mastercard scholarship essay above, you should be able to write an essay that makes the selection committee choose you for the scholarship.

Beyond the Mastercard scholarship, if you need an answer to the questions, how to write a scholarship essay 250 words and what is the best way to write an essay for a scholarship, consult this article.

Good luck with your scholarship application. 

Written by Tochukwu Chisom Iguh.

3 thoughts on “8 tips on How to write a winning Mastercard scholarship essay

  1. I’m curious, what is the first essay of 250 words made up of? would you be able to share with me your award winning essay? I would be grateful.

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