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Written by Anna MuckermanAnna Muckerman

Scholarship resume example & writing guide

A resume for a scholarship helps the committee understand your achievements, motivation, and academic record. This guide will walk you through writing a scholarship resume and offers an adaptable example to get you started.
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Scholarship resume example & writing guide
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Scholarships play a crucial role in making higher education attainable and fostering both personal and professional growth for high school students. They are also a key factor in promoting educational equity and preparing future generations for success. 

If you’re a high school student facing the high price tag of tuition and other educational costs, scholarships can help to offer financial relief and reduce stress as you transition into your college studies.

According to the College Board, approximately $6 billion in private scholarships and institutional grants are awarded annually. If you’re ready to earn some of that money for your studies, you’ll need a great resume showcasing your motivation and academic success.

Resume guide for a scholarship resume

Accelerate success with Resume.io. Our guides and resume examples cover over 500 professions, and our resume builder makes creating a compelling resume easier than ever.

This resume guide and corresponding scholarship resume example will cover the following:

  • How to write a scholarship resume
  • Choosing the right resume format for scholarships
  • How to add your contact information
  • Using summaries
  • Adding your experience
  • Listing education and relevant experience
  • Picking the right resume design/layout

How to write a scholarship resume

The first step in writing your scholarship resume is understanding what sections to include. Your resume should contain the following elements:

While these sections are commonly geared towards job seekers, in this guide, we will discuss how to adapt each one for your high school education, including showcasing a wider range of experiences like volunteer work, clubs and organizations, after-school jobs, and leadership positions.

While writing your scholarship resume, consider this winning formula:

  • Focus on your accomplishments, both academic and extracurricular. If you are not yet in your senior year, it’s not too late to join clubs, play sports, volunteer, and create valuable experiences to share on your resume. These are key to showing the scholarship committee you’re worthy of their scholarship.
  • Highlight positions of responsibility, such as club president, team captain, or event organizer. Even if you didn’t hold an official title like secretary or treasurer, you can still discuss times when you went above and beyond to help the team or took charge of a particular project.
  • Customize your resume for each scholarship you apply for. While the details of your experience may remain the same, at the very least you should mention the name of the scholarship in the summary or profile section. We’ll cover how to write a great summary later in this guide.

Choosing the right resume format for scholarship applications

Believe it or not, you have more flexibility when choosing a resume format for a summer job than when applying for scholarships! That’s because a restaurant or movie theater will hire you with limited experience, while a scholarship committee will only choose the best candidates with a proven track record of academic success.

That’s why we recommend choosing the reverse chronological resume format. For job seekers, this format focuses primarily on the employment history section, listed in reverse chronological order. For high school students, it’s possible to use this section to list all your high school activities, volunteer positions, sports clubs, after-school jobs, and more. This is the format of our adaptable scholarship resume example because it’s the structure that scholarship committees expect to see.

Other types of resume formats include the functional format and the hybrid resume format, but these structures are better saved for applying to jobs with limited experience.

Include your contact information

Your contact information is a crucial part of your scholarship resume as it allows the committee to contact you. Your contact details should go in an attractive and eye-catching header section at the top of the page. Here is the information to include:

  • Full name. List your first and last name.
  • Professional email address. Use a clean format like [email protected].
  • Phone number. List a number where you can be easily contacted. Be sure to set up a professional voicemail greeting.
  • Location. Nowadays it is only necessary to list your city and state.
  • Links. If you have a LinkedIn profile, personal website, successful blog, photography, writing, coding portfolio, or other impressive link to share, you should add the URL to your header. However, do not include any personal social media profiles, websites, or blogs that contain unprofessional information that may affect the committee’s impression of you.

If applying in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K., don’t include:

  • Date of birth: Not necessary since the committee knows you’re in high school.
  • Personal details like social security number, passport number, etc.

Our adaptable scholarship resume sample can help you with creating an effective header.

Do

Jessica Brown

090-080-0000

[email protected]

Don't

Jess Brown

090-080-0000

[email protected]

Make use of a summary

The summary on a high school student's resume for a scholarship is a brief, compelling statement highlighting your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, and career aspirations. Since the scholarship committee will likely receive many applications, this section is placed at the top to grab the reader's attention. It summarizes the most important and relevant aspects of your background and goals. Here’s how you can craft an effective summary for a scholarship resume:

Here’s how to craft a great summary:

  1. Aim for 3-4 sentences that encapsulate your key achievements and goals, while describing your personality and career aspirations.
  2. Mention your GPA, major awards, and any significant academic accomplishments.
  3. Briefly touch on leadership roles, volunteer work, or significant extracurricular activities. The reader should be able to find more details further down the page.
  4. Clearly articulate your educational and career aspirations, and how the scholarship will help you achieve them. Make sure to include the exact name of the scholarship here and update this for each application.

Scholarships are geared towards different types of students with various backgrounds, interests, or qualities. There are scholarships for students who wear glasses, are interested in agriculture, or ride horses… the list is endless! If the scholarship you’re applying for is based on a unique experience or interest, the summary is the best place to explain why you’re a qualified candidate.

Need inspiration for your summary? Check out our related resumes

You can find adaptable scholarship resume example summaries below:

Adaptable resume summary/profile example (academic scholarship)

High-achieving high school senior with a 4.2 GPA and top 1% class ranking. National Merit Scholar and recipient of the AP Scholar with Distinction award. Actively involved in the Math Club as president and lead tutor, helping peers excel in mathematics. Passionate about pursuing a degree in physics to contribute to advancements in renewable energy. The NMC Math Merit Scholarship will enable me to attend a top-tier university and focus on research and innovation in sustainable technologies.

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Adaptable resume summary/profile example (sports scholarship)

Dedicated high school athlete with a 3.8 GPA and four years as a varsity soccer team captain. Led the team to three state championships and named MVP for two consecutive seasons. Committed to balancing athletics and academics, demonstrated by maintaining honor roll status while training intensively. Aspiring to play collegiate soccer while pursuing a degree in sports medicine. The Sports Leader Scholarship will support my dual goals of excelling in sports at the collegiate level and preparing for a career in athletic training.

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Adaptable resume summary/profile example (interest-based scholarship)

Enthusiastic high school senior with a 3.9 GPA and a deep passion for environmental sustainability. Founder and president of the Green Earth Club, which has implemented successful recycling programs and organized community clean-up events. Aiming to study environmental science and policy to drive impactful change in conservation efforts. The Green Advocate Scholarship will help me attend a university with a strong environmental program and further my commitment to ecological preservation.

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Outline your scholarship-worthy academic and work experience

While the work history section is a staple for job seekers’ resumes, it’s just as important for a scholarship resume for a high school student. However, if you have more academic or extracurricular activities to show than professional work experience, you can rename this section to “High school experience,” “Academic experience,” or “Extracurricular experience”. 

Begin by listing the name of the club or organization and your title in each role. Your title may be a leadership role like “Class President” or you could add “Active member” if you held more of a supporting role. Be sure to add the location (often your high school name) and the dates you participated. List these entries starting with the most recent and working backward through your time in high school. Do not include any information from before high school.

Under each subheading, add 3-5 bullet points that describe your key duties and accomplishments. To save space, create concise statements, omitting “I.”  Be specific and use dynamic action verbs like led, initiated, orchestrated, developed, managed, or collaborated. Focus on your impact, awards, leadership duties, or other measurable achievements showing your initiative.

For example, consider these weak bullet points:

  • Member of student magazine staff
  • Posted to social media accounts
  • Helped gain funding for publication costs

Now check out these results-based points:

  • Pitched, reported, and edited 10+ articles for school’s top monthly magazine
  • Crafted and launched social media strategy resulting in 60% increase in followers
  • Organized monthly raffle events to raise 4K+ to cover publication costs

Take a look at the scholarship employment history resume sample below:

Adaptable resume employment history example

Software Engineering Intern at Airbnb, San Francisco 
June 2023 - September 2024 

  • Collaborated with the engineering team to develop and implement new features for the Airbnb mobile app
  • Conducted code reviews and contributed to the optimization of existing codebase
  • Participated in agile development processes, including daily stand-ups and sprint planning

 

Coding Instructor at CodeCamp, San Francisco 
July 2022 - August 2024

  • Taught introductory programming concepts to middle school students using Scratch and Python
  • Developed and delivered engaging lesson plans and coding projects
  • Provided individualized support and feedback to help students improve their coding skills
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How to write a scholarship resume with no experience

With rising costs of tuition, scholarships are becoming increasingly competitive. Committees are looking to award their money to the best of the best, so winning a scholarship with zero high school experience is unlikely. However, even if you think you have no experience, you likely do have something to show for your time in high school. 

Think about volunteer activities or class projects that were built into the academic curriculum. You may be able to add these to your resume in a way that shows initiative and leadership skills, even if they were completed as part of your coursework. You can also focus on your most impressive grades and discuss why you’re interested in a particular subject matter. Here are a few more tips:

  1. Highlight work experience: Many students need to work in high school to support themselves or their families. This is still great experience for your resume. Include part-time jobs, babysitting, lawn mowing, or other ways you have earned money or taken on responsibilities. Emphasize skills learned, such as time management, responsibility, or customer service.
  2. Showcase your skills and interests: Mention skills like computer proficiency, languages spoken, or any other relevant abilities. Highlight interests that align with the scholarship's focus, showing your passion and commitment.
  3. Don’t overlook personal projects: Many students run successful blogs, publish photography, create their own clothes, or have other hobbies outside of school that showcase creativity and dedication. Include these on your resume to showcase your unique passions!
  4. It’s never too late to start: If you’re not yet in your senior year, then you still have time to join high school clubs, find volunteer positions, or take on internships that will provide valuable resume experience. If you’re graduating soon and haven’t done any of these things, it’s still not too late! Make sure to be more active once you’re in college. Plenty of scholarships are available for college students, too.

Include the relevant key skills that make you a great scholarship candidate

For job seekers, the skills section often includes hard and soft skills from the job description. Students on the other hand should open this section up to hobbies, clubs, areas of interest, and activities. This is a great way to show the committee what you’ve been up to at a glance. You should still include more details for these entries in other sections of your resume. The skills section is also a great place to include foreign languages. 

Here’s what the skills box looks like in our scholarship resume template. 

Key Skills and Proficiencies  

Testing
Mathematics
Database Management
Excel
English
Organized
Presentation
Communication
Quick Learner

Detail your education & relevant certifications

The education section is an essential component of your scholarship resume. After all, education is currently your profession! List your high school diploma with the school name, location, and dates attended (or the start date and “present”). If you haven’t yet graduated, include your expected graduation as a bullet point under the entry along with your GPA and any other notable academic achievements. There’s no need to list your education pre-high school.

Beyond formal education, this section is a great opportunity to list any additional info that doesn’t have any entry elsewhere on your resume. Publications, training, or school jobs can all be placed here.

Expert tip

Should I place my GPA on my high school resume?

Yes, but only list your GPA if it is 3.5 or above. If your overall GPA isn’t high enough to include, include a GPA from one or two of your strongest subjects like Math or History.

Check out the education section from our adaptable scholarship resume sample below.

Adaptable example for education and certifications

High School Diploma (Expected June 2024) , Lowell High School, San Francisco 
June 2024 

  • GPA: 4.0 / 4.0 Class
  • Rank: 1 out of 500
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Pick the right resume layout and design for a scholarship resume

As a scholarship candidate, your layout and design help you be taken seriously and make a positive first impression. A poor layout could negate all the great experience your resume has to show! A good design starts with an attractive header at the top of the page that displays your name and contact information. A professional accent color can help draw attention to your name, but a monochromatic color scheme is an equally solid choice. Make sure to include clean lines and bolded subheadings to divide information. Keep a balance of white space to text for easy reading. One way to save time while creating a professional-looking resume is to use an expertly designed resume template.

Scholarship resume text only

Scholarship resume text only

Profile

High-achieving student seeking the XYZ Scholarship to support my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Committed to leveraging my skills and education to make a positive impact in the field of technology.


Employment history

Software Engineering Intern at Airbnb, San Francisco 
June 2023 - September 2024 

  • Collaborated with the engineering team to develop and implement new features for the Airbnb mobile app
  • Conducted code reviews and contributed to the optimization of existing codebase
  • Participated in agile development processes, including daily stand-ups and sprint planning

 

Coding Instructor at CodeCamp, San Francisco 
July 2022 - August 2024

  • Taught introductory programming concepts to middle school students using Scratch and Python
  • Developed and delivered engaging lesson plans and coding projects
  • Provided individualized support and feedback to help students improve their coding skills


Skills

  • Computer Skills
  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Excel and Words and Prezi
  • Self-motivation
  • Communication


Education

High School Diploma (Expected June 2024) , Lowell High School, San Francisco 
June 2024 

  • GPA: 4.0 / 4.0 Class
  • Rank: 1 out of 500
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Key takeaways for building a scholarship resume

Writing a scholarship resume can be a pivotal step in securing financial support for your educational aspirations. It’s crucial to present yourself confidently by highlighting your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, and personal skills. Focus on your strengths and any unique experiences that demonstrate your dedication, leadership, and potential. Tailoring your resume to align with the specific values and criteria of the scholarship can make your application more compelling. Remember, the goal is to create a clear, concise, and honest portrayal of who you are and what you aspire to achieve, showcasing both your accomplishments and your potential for future success.

A strong layout and presentation also show the scholarship committee that you’re a serious and motivated student worthy of the opportunity. Our online resume builder can help you quickly create an impressive application that highlights your strengths and stands out from the crowd.

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