“Why do you deserve this scholarship?”

by Judge Josh on December 5, 2014

How should I go about answering “Why do you deserve to win this scholarship?” without sounding cocky? This is my first scholarship application and I’m a freshman student at a community college.


Good question, Emilio – why do you deserve a scholarship?  Notice the emphasis on the “you” and not necessarily the “why.”  Anyone can come up with stock answers as to why they should get a scholarship (I need it, don’t have enough to go to school, my dog died, etc) – but as I judge, I want to know why YOU?  What makes you more deserving than Bob over here?

So make sure first and foremost you dig deep inside and separate yourself from the other applicants.  Everyone needs this scholarship, or they wouldn’t be wasting their time applying for it.  Find what makes you unique and emphasize that.

Apart from talking about yourself and why you deserve it more than others, really get into the meat of what you will do with it.  No – not “I’ll pay for school.”  What will you turn that degree into?  What do you plan to do with your life once you get your degree?  If you have no plan or just plan to go work in a cubicle, as a judge, I am likely going to lean toward awarding the scholarship to someone who at least has a plan to make a difference in the world.  I don’t necessarily want to give my money to Dilbert.  I want someone who has a vision and wants to make a big difference.  Tell me why I won’t regret giving you the money.

Of course those aren’t the only two answers – just a couple that I really like to see as a judge.  What about you?  Surely some of you have great ideas for Emilio & the rest of us.  Anyone out there win a scholarship with a good answer to this question?  If so – let us know!



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