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How to Secure a Scholarship or Study Grant?

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Studying at a foreign university is a dream for many students; however, the costs associated with studying and living overseas means this dream is unattainable for many. 

Every student regardless of their academic ability wants to secure a lucrative scholarship. Whilst there is no guarantee you will receive a partial or full scholarship there are several things you can do to ensure the best chance of success.

But first, you should know the difference between Scholarships and Student Grants {or similar schemes}. Typically, scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and last for the duration of the course. Study Grants are used as a discount mechanism and are {typically} applied to your first semester, or first year of study only.

Book a FREE Consultation and find out how you can secure a scholarship from those that have lived, studied, and worked overseas. Follow these simple steps to secure the scholarship you deserve:

Apply Early

Applying for scholarships last minute often leads to an unsuccessful outcome. TOP Service recommends students start the application process at least 6 – 9 months prior to course commencement. Remember there is always a Supply Vs Demand imbalance with scholarships. Applying late signals to the university that you are not investing the necessary time or thought into your education.

Research & Application Process

Research universities and scholarship availability online. Most universities publish their scholarships and academic entry requirements on their website. Make sure you read the full scholarship application process and understand what is being requested. Ensure you attach all relevant documentation. If you fail to attach the correct documentation or you submit an incomplete application, you will be rejected immediately.

Semester Intake {s}

Most universities provide students two enrolment intakes per year. StudyOverseasNow.com recommends you apply for a scholarship in the first major intake of the year. For northern hemisphere countries {UK, Canada, Ireland & US} this is September and for southern hemisphere countries {Australia & New Zealand} this is March. Universities will allocate much of their scholarship budget to their first major intake of the year. The first intake will attract the majority of the domestic student market; this means you won’t be studying with just international students.

Justification

Students should clearly explain why they feel deserving of a scholarship and what they hope to achieve following a favourable result. This can be included in the SoP {Statement of Purpose} or the scholarship application.

Special & Unique

Universities and academics like to feel special and unique. Academic institutions don’t need to know you have applied to multiple universities. Focus your pitch on a single university and research your area of study and the academic institution. For more information download our FREE SoP Guidelines & Template.

Work Experience / Extra Curricular Activities / Internships / Volunteering

In some instances, universities will base their scholarship decision on parameters outside of academic ability. Evidence any extracurricular activities you have taken part in and include relevant work experience, if possible, include reference letters. Demonstrating skills and talent outside of the classroom can be the difference between success and failure.

Statement of Purpose / Scholarship Application

This document is commonly cited as the reason for a success or failure when lodging a scholarship application. Your submission should reflect the amount of money you are requesting from the university; thus, invest a significant amount of time, thought and research into your application. Universities and immigration officials will always review your SoP before deciding, make sure you stand out from the crowd!

Letters of Recommendation

Include “Letters of Recommendation” from individuals who hold notable positions within industry or those that can attest to your academic ability. These individuals should know you personally and / or professionally. Make sure those providing a recommendation include their contact details and are willing to be contacted by the academic institution.

Leadership

Those selecting scholarship recipients may consider a student’s current, and future leadership qualities. Provide clarity on the goals and ambitions you have following graduation; this should relate to your field of study. CSR {corporate social responsibility} is a fundamental requirement for most organisations, if you plan to “give back” to your community make sure this is emphasised in your SoP.

Realistic

Most students like to think they are special and deserving of special treatment. However well you perform at school or university there will be others who outperform you academically. Don’t assume you are going to receive full scholarships from the universities you apply to. If you are the smartest in the room, you are in the wrong room.

Advice & Guidance

Meet with a knowledgeable and reputable education agency. The team at StudyOverseasNow.com can help you gather the documentation you need to obtain a scholarship and / or study grant. A good education agent can save you thousands of dollars each year. In contrast, a bad education agent can leave your dreams in tatters.

Qualification Assessment

Whilst not widely publicised several universities will attribute an intrinsic bias towards student who completed an international curriculum at high school. These qualifications include A-Levels or an International Baccalaureate {IB}. At a postgraduate level every internationally recognised university will be assigned an assessment level within NOOSR or NARIC. Thus, an 80% GPA at a Section 1 university will be viewed favourably when comparisons are made to an 80% GPA at a Section 3 university. In addition, some university admissions teams will lower your grades based on the number of backlogs you receive. Remember, you will need to pay for any retakes / backlogs whilst overseas and this will affect your overall GPA.

Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Students place a disproportionate emphasis on their academic grades whilst severely neglecting their interpersonal and communication skills. Several scholarships: particularly those that are fully funded require students to attend an interview. Having good grades is NOT enough. Students will need to demonstrate their soft skills closely align with their academic ability. Students should practice their interview technique; and when invited, ask questions.

Funding Bodies

Education scholarships are not limited to academic institutions. Students should research government agencies, charities, sporting organisations, businesses, and international companies who provide education opportunities to future students.

Lapse Dates

Most scholarships / study grants will assign a lapse date. This means you have a limited amount of time to accept your offer. Most universities will not allow students to defer their scholarship due to budgetary reasons. Therefore, once a scholarship has been allocated you should accept or reject this offer as soon as possible.

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