How to Answer the Question “Why Do You Deserve this Scholarship?”

By Karen Palmer on June 2019
Category: College Life, Essay Writing

Applying for a scholarship might be nerve-wracking. You can’t be completely sure that you will get it and it makes you feel nervous. That’s not surprising, as scholarships can drastically change students’ lives. If you want to increase your chances of getting a scholarship, you have to know how to persuade the scholarship committee that you really deserve it.

Not everyone can advertise themselves, so we have gathered a few tips for you on how you can write a scholarship essay that will provide reasons for committee members to choose you and tips for how you should answer this question in a scholarship interview.

Scholarship Essay Basics

Scholarship applications often require writing a “deserve this scholarship” essay that will represent your personality and your strengths. The guidelines to such essays might vary for different learning institutions, but the format and the purpose stay the same.

Such an essay is a part of your application that provides the necessary information about you. As it is the first and maybe the only one piece of communication, it should give a good impression to the scholarship committee and persuade them that you are a worthy candidate for financial aid.

Here are a few general rules that you should follow when writing your scholarship essay:

  • Use the right language. Make sure to keep your language polite and clear. Be brief and stick to your topic, as no one has time to read long essays that are too stretched out.
  • Proofread and fix punctuation and grammatical errors. If you are not sure about your literacy, you can turn to a professional writing service to proofread and edit your essay or write it completely.
  • List your strengths starting with the most important one.
  • Mention your plans, aspirations, and ambitions to show how you will use the provided opportunity to study.
  • Make the introduction compelling and catchy. Start with the sentence that will catch the attention of the reader from the very beginning.
  • Follow the structure of a regular essay: the introduction, body paragraphs, the conclusion.
  • Follow the instructions of your learning institution for formatting and word count, which is usually about 500 words.

College education costs a lot. So, you need to understand that as an impressive sum of money is at stake, committee members want to be sure about the candidates they pick. They will check if your essay is written in accordance with guidelines and if it represents your best qualities and your accomplishments.

Scholarship Interview Basics

Interviews play a significant role in the scholarship application. They provide a chance to give a good impression and show yourself as a deserving candidate.

Before going into the interview, it’s important to prepare and conduct research on:

  • The mission and vision of a learning institution
  • The qualities that a learning institution is looking for in their candidates
  • The types of scholarship programs that a learning institution offers
  • The terms of different scholarship programs

There are also general questions that are often asked at this type of interview. It’s better to prepare answers beforehand to help your anxiety a little. Such questions might be:

  • What are your greatest strengths and accomplishments?
  • What are your weaknesses and some of the mistakes that you have made?
  • What are your life goals? What are your professional goals?
  • How do you see your future career?
  • Why did you choose this sphere? Why did you choose this learning institution?
  • What are the activities, events, or projects that you have participated in?
  • Why do you need this scholarship? Why do you deserve it?

Practice answers to these questions at home before going to the interview and looking through your application essay. Also, make sure you have all the necessary documents prepared, especially the ones that support your words on your achievements and your financial situation.

The Problematic of a “Why You Deserve This Scholarship” Question

This is a question that you will have to answer in any case. Whether it is in your essay or your interview, this is one of the key questions that is asked because your answer to it:

  • Shows your interest in the program;
  • Represents your skills, abilities, and achievements;
  • Shows your personality;
  • Helps committee members know you better;
  • Provides information that is used when choosing candidates among all the applicants;
  • Explains your motivation and plans for your future career.

So, when you write a scholarship essay, it is all about the answer to this question. In an essay, the answer can be more detailed than you would be able to give during an interview. This essay should represent your personality and give the right impression to the committee members. Make your essay emphasize your strengths or order a custom scholarship essay if you are not confident about your writing skills.

So, how do you answer why you are applying for this scholarship? We have gathered a few key points that you can use to support your application. So, here are “why do you deserve this scholarship: sample answers and ideas.”

1. Because You Have Something to Be Proud Of

If you have some impressive evidence to use in order to support your application, do it. Do you have high grades? Or maybe you participated in some extracurricular activities that were significant for your school? Great, use this information as the basis for your essay or answer.

All the documentation can be attached to your application and looked through when considering your candidacy.

Other significant achievements that can be used:

  • Achievements in sports, athletics, arts, music, etc.
  • Awards, certificates, etc.
  • A letter of support or praise from another person.

For example:

“The spring of 2018 was significant for me. This was the time when I won my first digital art contest. My art teacher was very proud of me just like all my classmates, who congratulated me the next day at school. I felt very happy that day and this achievement makes me proud of the hard work that I had performed. This contest made me understand that I am able to fight the competition putting in as much effort as I can and improving my skills to become a better specialist.”

2. Because You Can Overcome Obstacles

If you can mention some of the difficulties that you faced but managed to cope with, it will make you look even better. Mention difficulties from your past, but don’t use them to make someone feel sorry for you; focus on your effort to solve the problem instead.

For example:

“Through my sophomore year in high school I wasn’t able to attend all my scheduled classes because I had to babysit my little sister. Nevertheless, I was collecting notes from my classmates and did my homework every day. So, I managed to catch up and follow the educational program just like my peers. Because of this experience, I became more confident about my skills and talents. I also realized how passionate I am about continuing my education and how persistent I can be when overcoming difficulties in my life.”

3. Because You’re Passionate

Committee members love meeting students who are passionate and excited by the sphere that they are about to enter. Candidates who express their willingness to receive knowledge and become professionals in their sphere are more likely to win the scholarship than the ones who have high grades but are not sure about their profession choice.

For example:

“Now I understand that my life was all about me being a digital artist. As long as I remember, I have always been excited about the drawing process, different styles, and supplies. Now, I know that this is what really makes me happy and this is what I want to do in my life if you give me an opportunity to attend college.”

4. Because You Are Persistent and Diligent

Show them that you are not going to give up even if can’t afford paying for college. You have your goal, which you are going to reach without a doubt. Persistence is what helps people achieve what they deserve and become who they are. So, it’s a quality that you really must include in your answer.

Diligence is another quality that is highly valued by the committee members as it shows that you are willing to study and get the most from the opportunity that they provide you.

For example:

“Why am I deserving of a scholarship? I wasn’t born talented or gifted. Honestly, sometimes studying seemed challenging to me. But I knew that I had to try more as I felt like with every effort I made, the easier it became. Even though some subjects through my high school years were more difficult for me than for my classmates, I tried as hard as I could. It actually led me to getting the highest grades in the class.”

Final Thoughts

A scholarship application is challenging and unnerving, we know that. However, think about all the students that receive scholarships every year – you can be one of them. Keep the positive approach and be honest with the committee members.

If you are preparing for an interview, don’t forget to get a good night’s, set a few alarms so you don’t oversleep, and have a good breakfast in the morning. This way you will reduce your stress and will be able to be more concentrated during the interview. Good luck!

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