Scholarships are vital for people who want to carry on with their higher studies without feeling the burden of tuition fees. Numerous scholarships are available that can help you to build a successful future. However, bagging the coveted one becomes a whole new ball game altogether.
There are many ways in which you can streamline your process of bagging a scholarship that you deem perfect for your ambitions. The easiest way to find a whole range of scholarships that are relevant for you is through various dedicated portals like accessscholarships.
Now one thing that intrigues us all is what steps they can take to ensure that they have a better chance of bagging the scholarships. Below are a few practical tips that will surely help you improve your chances of bagging a scholarship.
1. Search for the appropriate scholarship according to your target
As mentioned earlier, in this age of internet connectivity, it is not tough to find the most suitable scholarship that you are looking for. According to your needs and the available programs, you can find the ones that interest you. Primarily there are three types of scholarships that are fully funded ones. These pay for almost everything from studies to accommodation.
Then some scholarships are partially funded. These are best suited for people who can afford to pay for their accommodation. The last type is short exchange program scholarships that are for short duration like summer or winter exchange programs. Once you decide the scholarship, shortlist the ideal ones, and note down the deadlines for applying carefully along with other requirements related to the scholarship.
2. Write a winsome SOP or Statement Of Purpose
The statement, also known as the letter of motivation, can be the differentiating factor between you and the other applicants. It also is powerful enough to offset some pretty ordinary academic records. There are a few crucial things to keep in mind when writing the SOP. The points are: having a clear purpose, being concise and not beating around the bush, making sure that answers to all questions of the admission committee are mentioned properly, a good and interesting starting line for the SOP. The other vital points to keep in mind are: ensuring that the formatting is well maintained and lastly, make sure that your purpose for choosing the scholarship is clearly mentioned, and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.
3. Letter of recommendation play a vital role
It is very critical as to who you choose for your letters of recommendation. It is crucial to choose people who will write enthusiastically about you, who can genuinely vouch for you and your qualities. The scholarship providers might contact the people who write a recommendation letter for you. Hence, they must have a clear idea about who you are, what you do, and your capabilities. They should know what they are talking about and should have the skill and prowess to make sure that they can convince the admission committee about your good qualities. The people who are recommending you can make a world of difference as far as your chances of making or breaking the scholarship are concerned.
4. Your social media presence bears significant weightage
When applying for scholarships, it is mandatory to mention your social media presence. Mention the details about your various accounts on various social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The university and the admission committee will undoubtedly check your social media profiles to find out what your interests are, what kind of topics you discuss etc.
There is a clear implication of this on whether you are selected or not because social media presence can give a clear idea about you and your tendencies. Say, for example, someone has a lot of negative stuff shared on his or her social media like articles and topics related to racism or phobia towards a particular group of people; be it a comment on religion or ethnicity.
The university will be sure to check this, and they will discard the application of the person straight away. Thus being active on social media in a constructive way and making sure that very little negativity is there on your social media profiles is a very positive addition to the list of good things that can help you bag that scholarship.
5. It is not just academics that will help you get the scholarship
In fact, a majority of students who have made it to the top universities with scholarships, vouch for this fact. Topnotch universities give priority to a student who has a mediocre academic record but exceptional extracurricular record over a student with an excellent academic record yet no extracurricular records to show. Various extracurricular activities can help you get the edge over your competitors that include skills like debating, adventure sports, athletics, volunteer programs, and writing activities.
6. Understand the details of the program for which you want to apply
Many scholarships will open up to you after you have applied for the corresponding program in the university. Thus knowing well about the program and having in-depth knowledge as to why you want to apply for the program is critical to your success of bagging the scholarship. The primary question of why you chose the field of study or why you chose the program is a common one, and you should be ready with a detailed answer. The details will have key points like what triggered your interest, what you expect to achieve, and how you will contribute to society once you have finished the program.
7. Don’t give up; keep applying and shortlist quite a few scholarships
Understandably, you may not make it to your first scholarship or the one next. So keeping the options open is wise.
There are multiple scholarship opportunities available both in your country and abroad. All you need to do is ensure that you keep an extraordinary academic record, keep indulging in extracurriculars, and keep your eyes open to pick the opportunities at the right moment. You will surely bag one of the scholarships that you target if you follow the tips religiously.