5 Common Misconceptions About University Scholarships

If the cost of higher education is something you need to consider before applying, then a university scholarship could be the best option for you. Scholarships come in many forms, with some paying your fees, and others offering relocation or accommodation costs. But did you know that the majority of students don’t apply for any form of university scholarship? \r\n\r\nThere are many options for funding for international students available from a range of different sources, but it seems there are several misconceptions about scholarships which prevent most people from even making an application.\r\n\r\n

“My Grades Aren’t Good Enough”

\r\n\r\nScholarships are awarded to students of varying academic ability, and there are only a small minority who limit applications to gifted students. Other criteria for consideration might include your earnings, your country of origin, your gender, your chosen educational subject, the university you are applying to, and what your family situation is. \r\n\r\nHaving good grades does mean you are eligible for more scholarships, but there are plenty of options if you do not possess them.\r\n\r\n

“I’ve Missed The Application Deadline”

\r\n\r\nThere are lots of different scholarships on offer from private institutions and charities through to universities themselves, and they all have their own individual deadlines for making an application. Some scholarships might be limited to the start of term, but there are lots which take applications throughout the year. \r\n\r\nIt is of course better to broaden your options by applying early to many different scholarships, but even if you’re late you’ll still be able to find some source of funding if you do your research.\r\n\r\n

“Scholarships Are Too Competitive”

\r\n\r\nIt is true that some of the most popular scholarships do receive a lot of applications, but did you know there are many less well-known organisations whose funding often goes unused due to lack of interest?\r\n\r\nIn the EU alone there are 8,000 registered organisations offering scholarships, and many will have very few applicants. Try to target those whose acceptance criteria closely matches your own, rather than simply applying to a huge number at once.\r\n\r\n

“It Won’t Cover My Costs”

\r\n\r\nThe money received from scholarship programs varies widely between organisations, as some may offer to pay your course fees in full, whereas others provide a monthly stipend on top of this to help with living expenses, travel costs or course materials. \r\n\r\nCombining several scholarships together is also allowed, so don’t be put off if you can’t find one scholarship that suits all of your needs. Regardless of what course you are taking, how much money you need or what you earn, you’ll be sure to find some form of funding somewhere to help.\r\n\r\n

“I Don’t Know How To Apply”

\r\n\r\nScholarships are available from many different sources and therefore have no centralised application process. Some require a simple email or the completion of an online form, whereas others might need a more substantial effort including references and an application essay. \r\n\r\nYour first step should be to contact the university you are studying at to see if they offer any scholarships, and also to enquire if former students have successfully applied for any external programs. Then you may wish to make contact with your country’s embassy to see if there is anything available via your government, and follow this with an internet search for charities and private organisations. \r\n\r\nSimple search terms such as “Scholarships in Canada“, “Scholarships for women” and “Scholarships for engineering” will return plenty of results suitable for your specific situation, and if you need more help with this or the application process, enlist the help of an international education consultancy such as IEC Abroad.\r\n