Did you know that the student debt hit an all time high of $1.4 trillion in U.S.?
Across the world, the college tuition fees has been increasing year-on-year.
As a result, the amount of student loans has skyrocketed.
Before you hit the panic button, here’s something you should know: A scholarship can save you the hassle of a student debt and cover for a lot of living costs as well.
Since scholarships are reserved for highly meritorious students, they also add strong value to your resume.
However,the process of selecting and applying to the right scholarships can be quite tedious.
Below are some tried-and-tested tips that will help you find your ideal scholarship and boost your selection chances.
Check them out here!
7 Actionable Tips To Get Your Dream Scholarship
1.How To Research For Scholarship
Here’s the cardinal rule for scholarship research : Start Early!
Preparing a scholarship application takes time, and majority of the students lose out on great scholarships due to a missed deadline.
Here are some of the best resources that you can use for your scholarship search :
The above sites are rich databases of scholarships, and will help you filter out your ideal opportunity.
Pro-Tip : Get Social!
Apart from online research, you will get a lot of updates by following the social media
Pages of your target schools.
2. What Type Of Scholarship Is Best Suited To You
It is a myth that scholarships are awarded primarily on academic grounds.
Scholarships can be filtered out on several criteria such as arts, sports , merit, minority, economic conditions and so on.
Here are some of the most popular scholarships by category:
1.Merit Scholarships : One of the most competitive scholarships in the field, merit scholarships are awarded to candidates with steller academic performance.
E.g: Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme (France)
2. Community Development Scholarships : If you have been actively involved in social development for a considerable period of time, you must definitely apply for this category.
However, make a note that only active participation is not considered worthwhile; you must demonstrate certain tangible impact through your participation.
E.g. : National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)
3. Minority Scholarships : These are the scholarships awarded to the under-represented sections of the society.
E.g : African American Scholarships (U.S.A, China)
4.Athletic Scholarships : These scholarships award partial or full tuition waiver to student athletes.
E.g: Manchester University’s Focus Sport Scholarship
For more details and examples of different categories of scholarships, click here.
3. How Many Scholarships Should You Apply For ?
Check for the eligibility criteria and apply for as many scholarships as you can.
Now, this might seem intimidating, especially if you have to prepare unique applications for all of them.
However, you will realize that you get better at the applications with practice and it does give a big boost to your selection chances.
4. Skills Needed By An Ideal Scholarship Candidate
Here are 4 core skills that the selection committee looks for in candidates:
1. Strong Academics: You need not be a university topper, but it is essential to have consistantant and above average test scores.
The criteria holds for
2. Contribution towards social welfare: Volunteering for community development projects is a
Must-have criteria while applying for scholarships.
Social Volunteering demonstrates empathy besides providing abundant opportunities to
Gain leadership experience and develop industry skills.
In case, you want to build up on your volunteering experience, check out AIESEC,
Global Volunteers and Rotaract International.
3. Leadership Acumen: The selection committee is looking for someone who is a self-starter
And can inspire others to achieve their targets.
5. How To Write Scholarship Essays
Institutions receive thousands of applications for a single scholarship program.
In such a scenario of cut-throat competition, your scholarship essay is your strongest tool to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Here are some steps to write a winning scholarship essay:
1. Read the essay guidelines thoroughly: Make a note of the word count, and analyze what the admission committee seeks to understand through your essay.
2. Demonstrate your long-term & short-term goals: Your essay should directly talk about the efforts you have been taking to achieve your immediate and long-term goals. Highlight how this scholarship will help you get closer to your objectives.
3. Highlight Impact : A common mistake that most applicants make is basing their essay on
Participation. Only participation does not get you any brownie points, it is the impact that matters. Talk about how your actions affected your surroundings or how they helped you become a Better leader or decision maker.
4. Get your essays reviewed: Always get your essays proofread and reviewed by someone
With strong editing skills. A third person’s perspective will go a long way in making your essays perfect.
6. Tools and resources to write scholarship essays
Here’s are some tools to help you write stellar essays:
7. Never Miss A Deadline
There is practically no solution to a missed scholarship deadline. Keep yourself on schedule by using time management Apps like Wanderlust, 30/30 and Deadlines Reminder,
Implementing the above tips is bound to increase your selection chances exponentially. Now, go get that scholarship that you were eyeing!