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

If you’re anything like me, finding the answer for why do you deserve something, whether it’s a job, scholarship, or anything else, is one of the hardest things to do. It requires critical thinking about what you bring to the table as a person and as a student. A lot of scholarships will ask you why you deserve the award, and that requires some introspection. Here are some things to keep in mind when answering, “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”

College student looking out a window and thinking.

Be Yourself

This is not a situation where you want to say the first thing you believe will sound good to the scholarship committee and their scholarship interview questions. You’ll want to develop this answer. Your answer needs to make sense in context to the question asked or the focus of the scholarship. One of the most important ways to do this is to make sure that your answer is coming from an honest place within you. This will help make your answer unique and true to you, as well as the vision you see for yourself. The scholarship essay is your chance to show who you are as an individual to someone who can only learn about you through your writing.

You Deserve This Scholarship Because You Have Passion and Persistence

Letting your passion show through in your answer allows the committee to see your dedication. You deserve this scholarship based on your love of learning, your enjoyment of your field—if you are not having fun, why are you there? Does the scholarship help get you closer to your life-long dream? Make sure to show the committee your passion, rather than telling them about it. Not only does it make you more memorable to the committee, but it shows them that you’re someone who will put the award to good use.

Think About Why You Applied

You might need the scholarship to as graduating high school seniors or to stay in school. Maybe you thought you matched the desired qualities in the application. Perhaps winning this scholarship allows you to work fewer hours at your job and spend more time studying and earning better grades. The point is that you applied to the scholarship for a reason. Remember that, and incorporate it. At the end of the day, the scholarship organization wants to know who they’re awarding and why.

You Overcome Obstacles

Will you keep going even if you don’t get this award? Will you come back to this committee, better prepared having learned from the last time? Find a way to explain that you will keep learning from your experiences. Or, that you have learned something from past experiences already. It’s okay to acknowledge past failures or mistakes, as long as you follow up with how you learned and grew from that experience. Someone who will not stop even when some event slows them down is worthy of scholarships.

A Few Example Responses:

Let’s review a couple of examples that can inspire responses of your own!

Example One:

I believe I deserve this scholarship because it will help me achieve my long-term goals. By furthering my education in biology, I can work towards my career goals in the medical field. I aim to make a difference in my community, and this scholarship will absolutely be the difference-maker when it comes to affording the education I need to do that.

Why It Works: This paragraph works because you’re directly relating the scholarship to your own goals. You’re explaining how it will help you achieve both your education and career aims, and how you will also make a difference in your community. Scholarships want to know their money is going towards worthy recipients.

Think about your goals and how they directly pertain to the scholarship. Why should the award be given to you?

Example Two:

I understand you have quite a few people applying for this teacher-oriented scholarship, but I do think I deserve this award because of my background. I’m a perfect fit because not only do I meet the criteria of a 3.5 GPA, my volunteer work has specifically surrounded kids at the local camp as well as offering swimming lessons at my high school’s pool. This is in addition to working part-time at the town’s daycare for the past 8 months.

Why it Works: In this case, the student is applying to a scholarship that is dedicated to those who wish to be a teacher. They highlight that their skills go beyond just the “minimum,” and explained that they’ve worked towards making a real difference in kids’ lives already in their town.

When writing your own “why I deserve this scholarship” piece, make sure you’re talking about how you went above and beyond in your work. What sets you apart from the rest of the people applying?

Example Three:

I’ve worked hard to become a top player on my softball team, and that, to me, means more than just attending practice every week. In my sophomore year of high school, we had to move several states away due to my parents’ work, and trying out for the softball team where no one knew you is difficult. However, I worked harder before try-outs than ever before to sincerely show how I can make a difference to my school’s softball team and am proud to say I made quite the impression. I’m hoping I can make the same impression in this scholarship application.

Why it Works: For this example, the student is applying to an athletic scholarship and highlighting how they overcome challenges. When writing your “why I deserve this scholarship” essay, consider your own challenges. How did you overcome them? How did it affect your life, education, and hobbies afterward? Did you meet your goals?

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12 thoughts on “How to Answer the Question “Why Do You Deserve This Scholarship?””

  1. Avatar ANDREW NJAMBUYA says:

    thanks much Ellen. Your content was of greater help to me.

  2. Avatar Kallista says:

    Wish I would’ve found this before my fist scholarship interview. I blurted out I didn’t deserve it because I haven’t given back as much as I should’ve.

  3. Avatar Samuel says:

    Thanks. This article was really helpful

  4. Avatar Sabina says:

    This 100% percent helpful. I am grateful to whoever wrote this article.

  5. Avatar Sabina says:

    This 100% percent helpful. I am grateful to whoever wrote this article. It has helped me realize why I am applying for the scholarship.

  6. Avatar Olutomi says:

    Very helpful .

  7. Avatar Abbey says:

    Thanks a million Ellen.

  8. Avatar Emmanuel says:

    Very helpful and informative.
    Thanks for sharing

  9. Avatar Tayhard says:

    Awesome you Ellen, what a perfect, helpful and informative reply to while one deserve a scholarship. Thanks so much!

  10. Avatar Elias says:

    Thanks a lot

  11. Avatar Oluwaseun says:

    Thank you so much Ellen. Wow that’s helpful information.

  12. Avatar Moses Nasse Iakavai says:

    Thank you so much Ellen. This is really helpful. Cheers!

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