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How to find and win scholarships

Finding and winning a scholarship is one of the biggest concerns if you're keen on studying abroad. BrainGain magazine gives you 7 simple steps which will greatly increase your chances of success.
BY Skendha Singh |   05-04-2018

Thinking about studying abroad? Finance will be one of your major concerns. And while a few students can pay tuition and living expenses from their own pocket, the majority need financial aid. And for this majority, scholarships are a great help.

Finding and winning scholarships is important not only because they help save tens of thousands of dollars in fees and living expenses, but also, because they look great on your CV, and boost your self-confidence.

If your eyes are set on the prize, don’t let the competition discourage you. The truth is, being organized, focused and smart takes you a long way. Here are 7 great tips for making a winning scholarship application. Let’s get started!
 

  1. Start early
    Applying for scholarships is a labor-intensive process. So, the sooner you start, the better. This will give you enough time to prepare yourself as a candidate, do your research, focus on your applications, and have a fallback option.
     
  2. Boost your skills
    Once you’ve decided that you want to apply for scholarships, and have enough time in hand, focus on developing your skills. Sponsors look for candidates who are well-rounded achievers. And lying is not an option.

    So, if you’re in school, and plan to apply for undergraduate scholarships, start participating in community programs, sports competitions, and extracurricular activities. If you’re looking for postgraduate scholarships, see how you can demonstrate leadership skills in your class and community.
     
  3. Do your research
    Again, the sooner you start, the better. This will give you time to understand the various types of scholarships offered for your country, university, and course of choice.

    Research will also help you differentiate between need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as the eligibility criteria. If you’re unsure about the source of information, approach the admissions office, or the sponsoring organization.

    The more diligent you are about your research, the less time you waste during application.
     
  4. Figure out eligibility

    Once you have a broad idea of the scholarships available, focus on the ones for which you are eligible. Often the governments, universities and departments have funding for international students at various levels of education. Apart from these, philanthropic organizations also offer financial aid to students. Figuring out eligibility will save time for you and the sponsor.
     
  5. Respond to the motivation

    Just as every applicant has a motive for applying, every sponsor has one for awarding scholarships. Kristina Ellis, author of ‘Confessions of a Scholarship Winner’, who won over $500,000 in scholarships, advises students to find out what motivates the organization’s generosity.

    This means understanding the qualities the sponsors want to reward, activities they prize, and common attributes shared by the previous winners.

    Once you understand that, you will be able to clearly demonstrate why you deserve the scholarship.
     
  6. Showcase your writing

    As a student, writing well is an indispensable skill. You will need it during your course, the admission process, and for your scholarship applications.

    Your essay must be well-structured and concise. If an essay topic is given, make a clear statement in your essay. Support it with facts and figures where possible. Once done, proofread and spell-check. Seek another informed opinion before you submit.

    As the essay is a time-consuming process, get started as soon as you can.
     
  7. Organize the process

    Be organized in your efforts. Make a list of scholarships you are applying to and then create a checklist for each one. The checklist should cover the following important points – deadline, documentation, referees. You should also track your application once it’s sent.

    This will give you ample time to react and implement alternative plans and options. It will also keep you on top of your game.


All the best!

Need more info on scholarships? Check out the links below:
5 great MBA scholarships for international students in Canada
How to win a GREAT scholarship
'Before worrying about fees and scholarships, find out what you're buying'

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