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How to find scholarships

Are you looking for scholarships to study abroad? This article provides in-depth information on the various scholarships available for Indian students aspiring to study abroad.

Kavitha Vijeyavelan

Did you know that a good scholarship essay really helps you go a long way in impressing the University's scholarship committee? The essay should be well-structured and not be wordy.

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Every year, come admission season, the Unis from around the globe see a new crop of scholarship hunters (aka international students) venturing into their scholarship jungle. Some are well-prepped and navigate safely with a plan, while others, well, not very savvy. What we find very surprising is some students just blindly believe every scholarship myth that litters the internet and think twice to bother even applying. Quite obviously, you will never get one if you never apply! Don’t be a misguided student. Know your facts before jumping to conclusions.

We do agree with you that finding scholarships may be quite challenging, but it will be worth your time and efforts. So prepare yourself and also be ready to face some stiff competition.
It all probably seems hazy to you now, which is why we would like to shed some light on the topic for you. Here are a few how to’s on finding these highly sought-after forms of financial aid.

Sharp Drop!

With the falling rupee and the rising cost of tuition and living, scholarships are all the more crucial in your student life now.

In recent years with currency depreciation, the British Council calculated the average increase in cost of studying in the US, the UK, and Australia. It was found that for the US, the increase was by USD 10,780, for the UK by USD 9,156, and for Australia by USD 11,629.

Indian student numbers may have seen a slight decrease over the past few years due to such reasons. In response to this, did you know that the UK launched 370 scholarships in the year 2013, just to encourage Indian students? Recently, US News reported that 345 US colleges offered financial aid to international students.

Our Database!

We hold the largest international scholarship database in the world, and can support and guide you through numerous ways to help you get financial support for your studies abroad.  We have 58,492 scholarships listed with us from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the USA and the UK. We even have a dedicated scholarship search by study level and by subject area to make things easier for you. Interested to start your scholarship search with us? Check out our database of scholarships to study abroad .

Research!

As you go through a few Uni websites, you will probably be hit by realization of how hard this is. So many, many scholarships, grants, and loans are available for domestic students but only a handful for international students. Don’t get discouraged — you will have to do extra research but finding a scholarship is still doable.

Some Unis offer only a limited amount of aid, while some offer students substantial amounts. Some offer need-based, while others offer merit-based ones. Some are offered to students coming from some regions and countries. These vary to a large extent from institution to institution. The only way to know the current updated details is through research. Scholarship criterion also varies greatly from college to college so again thorough research helps. We can’t emphasize this enough — research, research, and research away.

There will be numerous resources but you have to look for them long and hard. Approach the Unis abroad and talk to the admissions office if possible — they will be able to provide up updated details.

What Type Are You?

Before you start your hunt, have a look at the kinds of scholarships available. Generally, they are classified into these four types:

  1. Offered by the Government.
  2. Offered by the Unis: For the academic year 2012-13, these were the top ten Unis in the USA that offered the most aid: Wesleyan University, Stanford University, Amherst College, Trinity College, University of Chicago, Williams College, Yale University, Skidmore College, Harvard University, and Dartmouth College.
  3. Offered by philanthropists and private organisations: Leading establishments like The Reliance Foundation, Tata Group, Sun Foundation, and Aditya Birla Group are just a few of many prominent ones that offers scholarships to students.
  4. Offered as research grants (for doctoral study).

Start Early!

If you wait till the last minute to go looking for scholarships, you will be far behind the ball and might have a tough time. When you should start looking is — as soon as you are done with the choosing of your program and Uni or when you are done with your short-listing. For application to some scholarships, the Uni may require you to produce a certification of finances to prove that you will be able to fund your education. Some won’t even consider giving you an admit without this proof. To have all these aspects of application covered, we advise you to get at it and start as early as you possibly can.

Tweet! Tweet!

Are you a social media addict? Next time you’re tweeting, we suggest you search for scholarships starting here. You’re always hooked to your smart phone so why not make the best of it? Twitter is a great place to search for things, without having to deal with distracting ads. Or just go on and post a question on facebook and make use of your huge friends list. If you have applied for a particular Uni, go and like their facebook page and stay in touch with all their updates — they may not update their website regularly but they will definitely update their facebook page with the latest details. These are a few simple ways to get you started.

Need-Blind!

There are certain need-blind Unis that offer students admissions regardless of their financial ability to pay and offer those that do not have the financial resources, scholarships and grants! Awesome isn’t it? Here’s a list of these Unis: Harvard University, MIT, Yale University, Princeton University, Amherst College, and Dartmouth College. You should check out their entry requirements to see if you are eligible for application. Why miss out if you have a chance?

Brush Up On Your Writing!

Did you know that a good scholarship essay really helps you go a long way in impressing the scholarship committee of the Uni? It should be well-structured and get straight to the point. Make sure you cover the essay topic given with supportive points. Once you’re done, have it proof read and spell check it over and over and over (it never hurts to be careful). This whole process could be a time-consuming one, so we suggest you don’t wait till the last minute to put pen to paper.

Do You Dance?

If you are looking to join programs in art, dance, music, or acting, you may need to apply for scholarships by showcasing a few work samples or your portfolio — in the form of paintings, DVDs or photographs as required by the Uni.

Lead The Way!

You’d be amazed at how many scholarship foundations just love students who can demonstrate good leadership skills. You should include any leadership experience you have had, while applying. This is because Unis understand that leadership skills are as vital as academic skills for you to be a successful professional. This holds to be true especially in the case of American Universities.

Your Quick Checklist!

For successful application of scholarships, here are a few things that you should run a check on:

  • Your eligibility
  • The mentioned deadline
  • Including all requested documentation
  • Keeping your referees posted about all scholarships that you are applying for. Some Unis request you to have referees. In such cases, we insist on you picking after careful consideration, as they must highlight your abilities well.

Say Hello!

We thought we would familiarise you with a few famous scholarships from around the world to help with your scholarship search:

  • Chevening UK Government Scholarships
  • Tata Scholarship (Cornell University for Indian students)
  • Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships (for Indian students)
  • Fullbright Fellowhips
  • Erasmus Scholarships
  • Royal Society Grants
  • Hubert-Humphrey Scholarships
  • The Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Programme
  • Commonwealth Academic Fellowships
  • Commonwealth Split-site Doctoral Scholarship

The British Council has announced educational scholarships worth Rs 40 crore for Indian students who want to study in the UK. The scholarships will cover a range of subjects from engineering, law, art and design to Information technology across more than 40 institutions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The amount of information now listed on the Internet is mind-boggling. If you research effectively, you are sure to discover information on scholarships that will help you fund a portion of your studies. We hope you found this article helpful? Feel free to drop us a line or two — we would absolutely love your feedback!

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