Every day scholarship awarding bodies give out plenty scholarships both partial and full to qualified applicants. Sad to say, most of these scholarships go back unclaimed because applicants don’t know how to prepare a good scholarship winning application. They cannot provide satisfying answers to questions asked by the scholarship providers. In today’s article, we shall take a look at top 5 questions you will encounter when applying for a scholarship and we will also provide tips on how to give a satisfying answer.
Question1: Tell us about yourself
Answer: Before you respond to a question like this, have it at the back of your mind that the scholarship committee wants to have a better idea or a clearer picture of who you are as an individual. They are interested in knowing why you are uniquely different from other applicants. Avoid wasting time talking about what you have in your résumé. Hit the nail on the head! Tell them qualities you posses that are unique, and that distinguishes you from the other applicants. For instance, you may be pursuing an Engineering degree, but in your spre time you create cartoons just for fun. Perhaps, you have a Tumbrl page filled with crazy food concoctions that were created to illustrate engineering problems, or maybe you are the direct descendant of the person who invented indoor plumbing. The most important thing is to tell them what sets you apart from others; it might be talent or a strange genealogical fact.
Question2: Give us an example of a time you overcame adversity/problem
Answer: Talk about a time where you were placed in an tough or difficult situation; for example, confronting someone who may have been harassing you or dealing with a difficult teacher. Other possible answers could include: instances of discrimination (gender, race, sexuality, etc.), being wrongly accused of something, or a sudden change in your family’s finances.
Question3: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Answer: The scholarship committee is interested in knowing if you’ve planned your life. Try to imagine where you want to be in five years, and then figure out how to get there. Your plan should include but not limited to how long you will remain in college (bachelor’s, master’s, or higher?), internships or other outside activities that will help improve your chances of achieving your goals, as well as a financial strategy to cover all your everyday expenditure.
Question4: How do you plan to use the scholarship money?
Answer: Assuming you were a scholarship provider and you wanted to give out scholarships worth $1,000 (or more), wouldn’t you want to know how the applicant will make use of the money? That’s the same reason why the scholarship committee is asking you this question. Its one thing to say you ‘need’ money for college, but it’s quite another to actually show a provider how the money will be used. Plan ahead by creating a budget that spells out all your expected expenses for obtaining your degree, and don’t forget to include any anticipated income you may receive from your family or other resources. Assure the committee that you are applying to other scholarships as well. It will impress the committee if they see you are taking an active role in keeping your student debt to a minimum. Do not forget to bring along extra copies of your budget, too, just in case the committee wants a closer look.
Question5: Why do you deserve this scholarship or why should we give you this scholarship?
Answer: When giving answer to this question, please don’t brag about your academic achievements or how many clubs you belong to at school. Many finalists will also have similar academic accomplishments too. So it doesn’t make sense repeating it. It’s also not a good idea to state that without the scholarship you’ll be unable to attend college. In most cases, that will be untrue. Yes, you may be unable to afford your dream college, but I assure you that there are other less expensive alternatives to earning your degree, like studying in tuition free universities. Instead, be honest with the committee and acknowledge that there are other worthy candidates that probably deserve the award as much as you do, but remind them that your work ethic and past accomplishments are a good indicator of your future success.