Conventionally, scholarships have been viewed as financial grants for exceptionally brilliant students. But with the multitudes of scholarships available today, most students have a fair chance of attaining scholarships for at least partial funding. Many educational institutes and several companies offer funding to students looking towards a foreign education.
Research on scholarships is of utmost importance, and this must include information on the exact requirements and deadlines of each scholarship. It is imperative that the scholarships should cater to your needs, in terms of country of travel, funding amount, payment arrangement (monthly allowance/lump sum) and number of years of grant.
Most scholarships can be classified into ‘Essay’ and ‘No Essay’ scholarships. While the latter does seem appealing, No Essay Scholarships are mainly sweepstakes. In other words, a No Essay Scholarship is similar to a lottery, and these are quite unreliable. Most scholarships have an essay requirement and it is essential to submit a winning essay.
Your essay should cater to the requirements and to the financial service provider (if mentioned). The essay must be original, and it should be a portrayal of your goals and ideals. Students often skim through the rules of the essay and this decreases their chances of attaining that scholarship. Extraordinary essays may be rejected if they do not adhere to the given rules. It is advised to submit scholarship applications well before the deadline. In addition, applying to more than one scholarship is highly recommended in order to increase your chances of acquiring a financial grant.
Let’s look at the types of scholarships. They are either university-specific or country-specific. Most universities provide financial aid to deserving students, and some funding services provide grants for degrees in certain universities. An example of this type of scholarship is the prestigious Tata Scholarship. It is awarded to undergraduate students at Cornell University, and includes complete funding for tuition fees for the entire course duration.
The other scholarships fall into the country-specific or general category, an example being the Welcome Master’s Fellowship for nearly all countries . The grant covers a stipend, fees and research expenses for 30 months, the total scholarship amount being £120,000.
While a study-abroad loan will definitely ease the financial burden, a scholarship will almost eliminate this burden, and it will add volumes to your achievements.