Are you wondering whether you should apply for a scholarship? Many students are hesitant to apply, worrying that they may not have a valid enough reason to do so. However, there are numerous good reasons to apply for scholarships, which are not only limited to financial need but also include the recognition of talents or achievements, potential career opportunities, and personal aspirations. Here is a list of ten valid reasons to apply for a scholarship.
- 1. Apply for a scholarship to alleviate financial hardship
- 2. Apply for a scholarship to reduce study loans
- 3. Apply for a scholarship to cover (part of) your costs of living
- 4. Apply for a scholarship to receive recognition for your academic achievement
- 5. Apply for a scholarship to receive recognition for your community service
- 6. Apply for a scholarship to receive recognition for extracurricular activities
- 7. Apply for a scholarship to improve your CV
- 8. Apply for a scholarship to create a position or employment opportunity
- 9. Apply for a scholarship to increase your chance of securing more scholarships in the future
- 10. Apply for a scholarship to challenge yourself
1. Apply for a scholarship to alleviate financial hardship
Scholarships are often associated with financial hardship, which means being unable to pursue a degree due to financial reasons. In fact, many scholarships have specific criteria that take the financial situation of scholarship applicants and their family into account.
However, financial hardship alone is often not enough to secure a scholarship. Applicants also need to demonstrate promise and potential in a particular field or activity.
Despite this, it’s important not to be too self-conscious when considering applying for a scholarship. You may feel that you are not good enough or deserving of a scholarship. However, there is no harm in trying.
Applying for a scholarship to alleviate financial difficulties is perfectly legitimate. So give yourself a chance and apply for a scholarship, even if
- you are experiencing financial hardship but have average grades and accomplishments.
- you are not sure whether your financial struggles are ‘significant’ enough.
With the right tools and strategies, as well as reference letters from supportive professors and mentors, you have a chance of making your life easier by securing financial support.
You may also like: How to write a winning motivation letter for a master’s scholarship
2. Apply for a scholarship to reduce study loans
Even if you are not currently experiencing extreme financial hardship, it can be wise to apply for scholarships to reduce the amount of your student loans.
A scholarship can help you to reduce your study loans, for instance by helping you to cover your tuition fees. This financial support will have a massive influence on your future financial situation.
Many people pay off their study loans for years or even decades. Thus, the money you borrow for your studies can become a huge financial burden for your future self.
If you manage to keep your study loans to a minimum with the help of scholarships, you can start building up your net worth much earlier, instead of just having to pay off your student debts.
3. Apply for a scholarship to cover (part of) your costs of living
Inflation is a growing concern, and many people who follow a degree are finding it increasingly difficult to cover living expenses.
The three biggest expenses are housing, food and transportation. And all are becoming more expensive. This makes it a valid reason to try and secure a scholarship to relieve some of the financial pressure.
Thus, even if you plan to study in a context with no or low tuition fees, covering or reducing your general living costs are still valid reasons to apply for scholarships.
Not only can it help with your finances, but it can also free up time to focus on your studies. For example, if you secure a scholarship, you may not need to work part-time to cover your living expenses.
4. Apply for a scholarship to receive recognition for your academic achievement
Being recognized for your academic achievements is another valid reason to apply for scholarships. In fact, high academic achievement is often one of the key criteria for securing scholarships of any kind.
For example, if you have achieved exceptional grades either in school or in a previous degree programme, this could be a reason to apply for a scholarship.
Other academic accomplishments such as winning contests or already conducting your own research may also make you a strong candidate for scholarships. For more examples, see the graphic below.
5. Apply for a scholarship to receive recognition for your community service
While academic accomplishment is important for many scholarships, you can also apply for a scholarship to receive recognition for your community service.
Here are some examples of community service:
- volunteering at a homeless shelter
- participating in a mentoring programme for disadvantages kids
- advocating for social justice
- being involved in your neighbourhood
- setting up a fundraising project
- supporting the elderly
Don’t underestimate the value of your community service. You have every right to try and secure a scholarship in recognition of your hard work and dedication.
6. Apply for a scholarship to receive recognition for extracurricular activities
Do you an outstanding athlete? Are you a chess champion? Are you a talented artist? Or do you have a gift for learning languages?
When considering whether you have a valid reason to apply for a scholarship, it can help to think a little bit outside of the box.
What makes you unique and what do you have to offer?
While not every scholarship may be suitable for your particular talents or interests, there are likely niche scholarships that support various areas of achievement. Creativity and uniqueness can be rewarded, so don’t hesitate to explore your options.
7. Apply for a scholarship to improve your CV
If you’ve received a scholarship, it means that someone recognized the value of your work and considered you eligible for funding. Scholarship programmes can be highly competitive, so it’s a significant accomplishment to secure one.
Having a scholarship on your CV can demonstrate your drive, dedication, and ability to excel, which can be attractive to potential employers.
In fact, most academic CVs even have a special section to list scholarships and grants that were acquired.
Thus, securing a scholarship now can have a positive effect on your future career trajectory. Hence, it is a valid reason to apply.
8. Apply for a scholarship to create a position or employment opportunity
Scholarships can do more than just provide financial support to the recipient. They can also create new positions or employment opportunities.
Scholarships are, for instance, one of the most common funding opportunities for PhD studies in Europe. This means that on the basis of a successful scholarship application, a new and unique PhD position is created.
Similarly, receiving external scholarships can fund positions such as researcher in a project, exchange student, or visiting scholar for a specified period of time.
The simple fact that you are interested in pursing one of these opportunities is a valid reason to apply for a scholarship.
9. Apply for a scholarship to increase your chance of securing more scholarships in the future
Securing a scholarship opens up new opportunities. Why?
As ironic as it may sound: Those who have managed to secure a scholarship in the past are more likely to secure one in the future.
Funding organisations tend to be impressed by candidates who already secured scholarships in the past. Often, it is seen as a confirmation for the candidate’s exceptional profile and achievements.
Thus, simply to increase your chance of success in the future is a valid reason to start applying for scholarships now.
10. Apply for a scholarship to challenge yourself
If you have a competitive spirit and want to test yourself by applying for scholarships, don’t hesitate to do so. As outlined by the previous reasons, obtaining a scholarship has only positive outcomes.
Therefore, if you believe you meet the eligibility requirements for a particular scholarship, take the chance and apply without holding back.