Do you want to study abroad as an international student, “If Yes” This article will provide you with some scholarship guide to help you get started.
Who is Qualified in Getting Scholarships?
1. PhD Students
As a PhD student, you have a good chance to get funded because at this point in your academic career you can be a valuable asset for your university to help them teach classes and carry out research.
You can also get a fellowship grant where universities, companies, individuals or governments support your research. This is particularly common if you do a PhD in technical subjects that are of interests to many companies.
As a Master’s student, you have gained a lot of experience and can help out at your university as an assistant to a professor or to the administrative team. This usually involves about 10 work hours per week in exchange for free tuition.
The exact compensation will vary between different universities some might even cover your living costs while others might compensate you with an ordinary salary.
3. Students with a Special Skill
Many universities, especially in the U.S., give scholarships to students that are very skilled in sports, music or similar subjects since such students can strengthen the university’s team and help to put the school on the map if they become famous.
Students with an outstanding academic record have a better chance of getting a scholarship, especially if you also score well on the required entrance exams.
This is mostly true if you apply for a university that is not at the top of the rankings since attracting great students can help to improve their ranking.
5. Minority Students
Schools like variety. A good gender balance and nationality mix can help both their ranking and their general attractiveness. So if you are the only applicant from your country you will have a much better chance of getting a scholarship than if the schools already have hundreds of students from your country.
6. Poor Students
One common criterion for scholarships is the financial system of the student’s family. Many scholarships aim to help poor students to get a good education, while students from more wealthy families are expected to support themselves.
Many high ranking schools like Harvard have generous financial aid programs with fixed amounts that you can get based on your family’s income, where almost all of your tuition fee will be covered if you come from a low-income family. The challenge here is primarily to get accepted into these schools in the first place.
If you do not have any of the qualities above, there are also many that you can apply for a chance, as long as you are willing to put more effort.
Method to Apply for a Scholarship
1. Organize, prioritize and apply on time:
Ensure to take notes when you do research for scholarships. Write down the scholarship website (if you found it online), the amount of the scholarship, what you need to include in the application, the deadline and who it is for.
Prioritize the scholarships you have found, once you have finished your research.
2. Apply for many:
The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances of actually getting one, and you may be lucky to get more than one scholarship. But make sure to put in the effort for each application you make.
A careless or incomplete application will not get rewarded so it is better to do 10 good applications than 20 bad ones.
3. Apply early to your preferred school:
Schools are the leading scholarship givers. Many schools let you apply for their scholarships at the same time that you submit your application to study there.
They will only award scholarships to accepted students and scholarships are limited so make sure to apply early (at least six months before your course starts) to increase the chances of getting a scholarship from your school.
4. What to include in the application:
This varies between different scholarships so make sure to send everything that is required. The most commonly requested documents are a CV/resume, an essay, a transcript of your grades, financial aid documents and letters of recommendation.
5. Make your application stand out:
For competitive scholarships, it is important to make your application stand out from the rest. An excellent academic record and/or an inspiring essay is a good start. You might also want to include a photo and maybe use a colorful envelope or a special stamp without exaggerating it.
If you have some strong references or merits you can include them, but they are not mandatory. You can even record a YouTube-presentation and include the link and a QR-code if you are comfortable in front of the camera.
However, what works for one scholarship application might not work for another. Sometimes it is best to stay formal. Try to get a feeling for the organization that you are applying to. If you have contacted them in advance they might remember you, which can be helpful.
6. Submit your application:
Always apply before the deadline. Ensure that you have included all the requirements in your application. Double check your essay and CV for spelling and grammatical errors and make sure that the address and label on the envelope are accurate.