How can I apply for scholarships? This is one question that gets asked a lot of times by students, whether they are looking to acquire a bachelors degree or a postgraduate degree.
First, you need to know that there are different types of scholarships you can apply to. There are talent scholarships which require students to demonstrate skills in certain fields. For example, if you were applying for a scholarship to do a master’s course that would earn you a human resource management certificate, you need to show skills and talent through the human resource management subjects you undertook in your undergraduate level.
The same principle applies if you were applying for a talent scholarship to do an international business course or any course for that matter.
Besides the talent scholarship, there are other types of scholarships that do not need you to show expertise or skills in a given field or a stellar academic record. These scholarships are from religious bodies, professional bodies, fellowships, charity organizations, etc.
Some of these scholarships come in form of discounts, grants, award money, accommodation fees, etc. However they come, they go a long way in offsetting the financial burden of getting an education.
Knowing what type of scholarship you are applying to goes a long way in applying the right way, and that gives you a higher chance of success.
Now, when applying for scholarships, keep these tips in mind:
- Start early.
At least 12-18 months before you intend to gain admission, focus your scholarship research on the country or region where you want to study. That way you’ll have enough time to gather required documents and meet up with the deadlines.
- Research their requirements.
When you already know the scholarships you would be applying to, research their requirements to know if you are eligible. Each scholarship comes with its own set of requirements such as a certain grade point, IELTS score or even a certain nationality. When you know the type of scholarship you are applying for and their requirements, you can ascertain your eligibility.
- Gather the necessary documents.
It is common for international scholarship programs to require that students meet certain test score; TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GMAT or GRE. For some scholarship programs, if you do not have the required test result, you will not be eligible to apply. Start gathering other required documents, transcript, certificates, identification letters, so that you do not miss out on any of them.
- Research deeper to find out what the sponsors want.
A scholarship application often contains the selection criteria, but you should go deeper and research the scholarship sponsor on the web. Look for the organization’s mission statement, which you will find in the “About Us” section of their website. Strive to know what they are looking for in a scholarship awardee and position yourself within that ideal. This will increase your chances of success.
- Write a captivating essay.
Most scholarship applications require that you write an essay which gives them an insight into your personality. Before writing this essay, ask yourself salient questions that would help you communicate your academic and career goals succinctly. Let your passion be heard by the scholarship committee members, through your words. Be personal and reveal who you are and why you deserve a scholarship more than everyone else. Do not try to elicit pity, as that is off putting. Instead emphasize on how you solved a problem or overcame adversity in your life and how you believe you can do even more if given a scholarship.
In all, attend to guidelines and instructions, as a simple mistake can mar your chances of getting awarded the scholarship.