Tips on how to easily win yourself a Scholarship
Tips on how to easily win yourself a scholarship.
In the last two years I have written 4 scholarship recommendation letters for students, out of which 3 have been successful. This is not to mean that it’s my recommendation letters that have enabled their success, but rather to imply that, once one is well guided, chances of getting a scholarship become higher. I have also in the process gained considerable experience in as far as snooping and successfully applying for and getting scholarships is concerned. In this write-up, I present to you a few tips to help you as you embark on your next academic adventure.
1. Decide that you are ready to go back to school and start a scholarship hunt. There are so many places to find scholarships. You could start with the embassies of the foreign governments in your country (they tend to offer genuine scholarships from time to time). Either on their websites or at their premises. They also tend to make similar adverts in Newspapers, look out for those too. Besides this, the ministry of education usually has scholarships too, and is an equally trusted place to find reliable options. It usually has credible info about new opportunities and is usually a middleman in the allocation of these scholarships. Visit websites of potential universities to check out their offered scholarships as well. Snoop around the internet and be careful of online scholarship scams. If you have to pay for it, then you are in the wrong place. You should also know that it takes about 9 to 12 months between application and finally starting school if you are successful. Factor this in your plans.
2. Once you identify the kind of scholarship you want, go ahead to see if you meet the necessary conditions, such as age, nationality, field of study, and other requirements. Most scholarships tend to be very competitive and once you don’t fit into their requirements, your application will easily be trashed. Take note of the deadline for submission. The next step is application.
3. Prepare the necessary documents. Any genuine scholarship will require one to present several academic and non-academic documents during the application stage. Documents such as academic transcripts, graduation certificates, and previous academic records, proof of nationality, Curriculum Vitae, and several others may be necessary. These vary from scholarship to scholarship. The application letter too is crucial. If you have to do the application online, you may need to submit these documents in soft-copy form; have them scanned and ready for submission in the required format. For graduate students, a study or research plan may be crucial for getting the scholarship. Spend more time on this.
4. Submit your application before the deadline. Avoid final-hour submissions. If online, you may miss the deadline due to a possibly higher volume of applications traffic at that time. One day before or much earlier is recommended. Although not disclosed, submitting at the very last minute may reflect negatively on your application. It may be a sign of poor preparation. Provide reliable feedback channels on your application. If you include an email address that you visit once a month, you may miss out on important communication. Provide a mobile phone number instead of your fixed home line.
5. Preparing for the interview. Most scholarships involve interviews after the initial selection process. These may be written examinations or oral interviews, or a combination of both. Here is when you need to impress most, and show your best. Prepare for the written examination (if any), plus the oral. If you make it to the orals, it’s where you must score so highly to be on the final list. Questions such as the contributions of your study will show up; be conversant with your submitted documents, plus have general knowledge of not only current affairs in your country but also around the world. For example you may be asked to name the four additional elements to the periodic table if your study plan includes chemistry.
6. Make additional follow-ups. If you have successfully made it to the final list, congratulations, but this is not the end. Some scholarships require you to submit additional documents. Some scholarships are only tentative until you secure yourself admission into university. This too is another daunting task; you must approach it with considerable attention to your study plan. Your scholarship process is only finished once you attain the final goal – of finishing the scholarship terms of your academic study.
These are just general tips and you must pay close attention to the various requirements of different scholarships. In reality we may also have colleagues who have attained the same scholarships. Inquiring on how to proceed could be a more specific approach.
The author is privileged to be a 2-times recipient of the MEXT scholarship of the government of Japan. This scholarship is available in most of the countries where Japan has diplomatic relationships.