Applying for scholarships is a skill that must be learnt by all students irrespective of the study level. This is because at one point in one’s educational career, there may be the need to apply for a lucrative scholarship especially in resource-poor nations where there is paucity of funds.
Winning a scholarship either as a domestic or international student is not an easy task considering the fact that there are a lot of scholarship applicants applying for scholarships and only a few scholarship awards are available. Your ability to win a scholarship is largely dependent on one’s ability to convince the assessors that you are they right candidate for such a scholarship. How then can you position yourself to win a lucrative scholarship when there are several other competitors?
Here are few tips on how to improve your chances of winning a scholarship:
- Search for Scholarships that are only known to few people
Most at times, knowing the right scholarships available is key to winning such scholarships. During your search for notable scholarships, you must have encountered popular and lucrative scholarships and flagship scholarships of popular universities and organizations. These types of scholarships are great to apply to but highly competitive. However, there is one type of scholarships that you might stand a better chance of winning such as: school-specific or course-specific scholarships. Generally, there is less competition in applying for these scholarships and you may stand a good chance of winning them as they are not widely known as the popular ones.
- Search and apply for Scholarships that best suits your qualifications
Scholarship applicants at one point tend to drift into applying for all scholarships not minding if that scholarship is the best match for them. This means that before you apply for a scholarship, you are to carefully read through the requirements for such scholarships and the eligibility criteria. You are to apply for a scholarship whose priority relates to your field of study taking cognizance of your degree and research experience. For instance, applying for a scholarship meant for a certain country, field of study or age-grade that you are not eligible for will render such scholarship application null and void as you have not adhered to the eligibility criteria of such scholarships. This will make the time, resources and energy put into such an application to be a wasted effort.
- Ensure your scholarship application stands out
This is one of the most important aspect to consider if you wish to improve your chances of securing a scholarship. This means that you must not only meet the scholarship criteria set by the scholarship provider but ensure that you exceed such criteria. Look up the specific criteria set by the scholarship provider and take advantage of it. Once you know the eligibility criteria, you can find ways to highlight the strengths of your scholarship application and requirements.
For instance, if your academic grades are not very good, you can highlight relevant extra-curricular activities in your personal motivation letter. Also, you can do a little extra research about the current areas of focus of the scholarship provider because sometimes, students are chosen based on their chosen field of study or research. Go extra miles to search for winning motivation letters or get to be acquainted with the profiles of previous scholarship recipients. This will give you an idea of the kind of student that the scholarship providers are looking for.