Real truth behind winning scholarships
With the cost of studying overseas rising higher, students dream of winning a scholarship that would cover their fees and overseas stay. But there are some truths about winning scholarships that you should be aware of if your child is planning to travel for studies abroad.
There are several misconceptions surrounding winning scholarships such as your child needs to be straight.
A student or athlete. However, there are many scholarships available for minorities, meritorious individuals, athletes, and many others.
The truth about winning scholarships
1. Only for the Meritorious
Being a straight A-student is not enough to win a scholarship. While good grades do help, international universities look for the all-round development of the student when considering applicants for scholarships.
2. Extra-curriculars matter
Scholarships for students with extracurricular achievements. There are separate scholarships for students with accomplishments in sports, theatre, music, art, and volunteering activities.
Most Indian students are unaware of these options and miss out on going to a great university thinking that a lack of ‘A grades’ means no scholarship.
3. Minority Scholarships
Check if you qualify for the many minority scholarships. These are usually categorized under gender, race, and sexual orientation.
There is a lot of impetus being given to women in the STEM fields, and there are Scholarships for Asian students that your child may qualify for. So make it a point to explore the many options available out there today.
4. Different types of scholarships
There are scholarships for students from every stratum of society, not just the economically backward. Do your research and see which categories of scholarships your child is eligible for.
Apply for as many as you can. This will improve your chances of winning the scholarship.
5. Country-specific scholarships
In most countries, universities offer government and private scholarships. In most cases, government scholarships are reserved for students of the said country.
But if your country of origin has diplomatic arrangements that facilitate higher studies across borders, there may be scholarships reserved for you. Make sure you check these out.
6. Need-based scholarships
Some colleges review need-based benefits for students who enroll under scholarships. This could mean that if you get a scholarship, you may be denied other need-based benefits at the university.
This may make you rethink your scholarship application. But you don’t have to. If you are really in need of the money, present your case to the university and they often have the flexibility to sanction funds along with the scholarship if need be.
Don’t be put off by the effort required to apply for scholarships. Of course, you and your child will have to put in hours of research, meet the eligibility criteria, draft applications, send them out, follow up for confirmation of receipt, and submit a host of documents but you will find it is all worth it.
The scholarship pay-out as the reward makes all the effort meaningful. Once your application is drafted, you can usually rework it slightly and apply to multiple colleges.
So don’t shy away from the effort. You could save some serious money in the bargain.
8. Partial Funding
Not all scholarships do not cover the cost of your entire study. This is one harsh truth of winning scholarships that people find out later in life most scholarships only cover a portion of your expenses.
Some scholarships cover one-year tuition costs, some cover accommodation, and flight expenses while some may cover your books and research apparatus.
Take the example of the Rhodes scholarship, it covers Oxford University course fees and gives an annual stipend. It does not cover the cost of your accommodation or living expenses.
While it would be great to win scholarships for study abroad, it is something you cannot count on. The parameters of the scholarships and academic and non-academic requirements of the universities are constantly being tweaked and upgraded.
Keeping these variables in mind, it is important that you start saving for your child’s overseas education well in advance through various investment instruments.
Some scholarships for Indian students
Invest wisely and build an adequate education fund so that when your child finally does win the scholarship, it will be a delight and a bonus!
You will have extra funds to use for other aspects of your child’s growth with what you would have saved.