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The basics
Study abroad : Student Finances

Scholarship recipient responsibilities explored

If you receive a scholarship to help with the cost of university, there could be certain expectations of you once you arrive. We explore what this means.


When you apply for a scholarship, you must be prepared to carry out a set of responsibilities as a scholarship recipient. You’ll receive funding for your education and in return, the university will expect you to fulfil certain criteria. While some scholarships are renewable, it’s even more important that you satisfy the requirements to keep receiving the award. As universities and colleges only have a limited amount of funds to offer and scholarships are highly desirable among students, it’s vital that you follow this advice to secure yourself that financial aid.


Here are some of the things that might be expected of you…


How are scholarships awarded?

Scholarships are awarded to students for various reasons such as merit, athleticism, financial hardship, musical talent etc. It really depends on the university and organisation awarding the scholarship. Unlike bank loans and overdrafts, you do not have to repay a scholarship which is why they are particularly sought after by international students. However, there may be certain expectations that you will need to satisfy during your studies.


Provide accurate documentation

When applying for a scholarship, you will be asked to submit evidence to support your application. It is vital that the documents you provide are accurate, comprehensive and you have supplied everything that is required by the deadline. It’s important to get this bit right as mistakes could cost you the financial aid. If you are receiving any other form of financial assistance, you must declare this at every stage.


You need to be a model student

Some scholarships are awarded on merit and so to make sure that your university renews your scholarship, you have to maintain good grades. Similarly, if you are awarded a scholarship based on your athletic abilities, you may need to demonstrate your participation in sporting events and other sport-related activities at the university. It also goes without saying that you should not get into any sort of disciplinary problems, as this could jeopardise your funding.


You may be expected to participate in events

The university will have a variety of functions throughout the year. It could be welcoming a famous ambassador, helping to organise events or being the face of your institution – whatever task that’s given to you, you could be required to participate actively and with full commitment. Consider this as work that enables you to continue renewing your scholarship.


There’s almost always a bond

Usually the best scholarships, especially the ones that sponsor everything, come with a bond of employment that could range from 2-10 years. Some may view it as a bonus as it means guaranteed employment upon graduation. Others may see it as a disadvantage as they may prefer to work elsewhere or in a different industry. While you can opt to get out of the bond by paying your sponsor, it’s a lot to consider as this will involve a huge sum of money. Whatever it is, it’s wise to not turn down a scholarship just because you’re not happy to be tied down. Try asking if you’ll be allowed to work in other departments that might interest you more.


You must be a juggler

You’ll find that your responsibilities are far greater than other normal students. While they only need to focus on studies and have a lot of time for social activities, you’ll find that your time needs to be evenly split among a few activities. From study groups and mentoring sessions to welcoming new students and holding important positions in various organisations, it could get a bit stressful. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, see all of these as opportunities for you to grow, with a firm training platform for you to learn to juggle your workload. 


Other expectations

As mentioned, the expectations of a scholarship will depend on the awarding body. The Chevening scholarship for example requires recipients to move back home for at least two years after graduating from a masters. This is so that students can take their new skills and knowledge back to their hometown, positively impacting the local community.


Want to find out more about applying for a scholarship? We’ve also got guides on student budgeting, comparing the cost of degrees overseas and understanding the different types of financial aid on offer for international students.


Ready to start taking a look at courses and universities? Use our course matcher tool to find what you’re looking for.

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