TIPS FOR MAKING SUCCESSFUL SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS
Thousands of students apply for scholarships every year to study at the university of their dreams. Here are some tips to make your application stand out from the rest!
Scholarships are grants made to support an individual’s education and are awarded based on a combination of academic and extracurricular achievements. Securing a scholarship is not easy and takes a lot of preparation and hard work. These tips will not guarantee you a scholarship, but will definitely increase your chances of getting one.
Early Preparation is Key
It is never too early to start looking for scholarships and preparing for them. If you are nearing the end of your secondary school education, start checking for scholarships and their application dates. Bookmark the scholarships you are interested in and take note of their application deadlines. It is important to start your preparation a year before the deadline! This preparation includes researching about the scholarship and the body that offers it, compiling necessary documents and writing an application essay if needed.
Knowing what degree you want to pursue will help greatly when it comes to looking for scholarships. For example, if you are interested in engineering, find scholarships specific to that field. In addition, if you desire to study at a particular university, search for scholarships offered by them and work towards that. It is important to note that most corporate and government scholarships are offered for certain courses in selected universities only. For example, Bank Negara Malaysia offers scholarships to study Economics at the University of Bath. If you are vying for this scholarship, make sure you study the right subjects at pre-university to increase your chances of securing this scholarship.
Extracurricular Achievements are Important
Although excellent academic results are essential in securing a scholarship, it is not enough. Many scholarships take extracurricular achievements into consideration as well. A student who performs equally well in and out of class has a higher chance of receiving a scholarship. Therefore, it is important to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, performing arts and community service in secondary school and at pre-university. Associations who give out scholarships believe that extracurricular activities build leadership, teamwork and communication skills.
Write a Good Personal Essay
Some scholarship grants require applicants to submit an essay on why they should receive the scholarship. This essay also displays the applicant’s personality, maturity and passions and is used to filter out applicants who do not meet the requirements. If you need to prepare an essay, remember to be original and don’t plagiarise or use generic quotes to beautify your writing. In addition, proofread your essay to make sure there are no grammatical errors. A well-written, original essay may be your ticket to an amazing scholarship.
Research and Ace the Interview
Shortlisted applicants will usually go through a face-to-face interview. This stage is very important so you need to be prepared. Make sure to do your homework before the interview. Applicants who are knowledgeable about the scholarship they are offered and are passionate about their interests will be favoured by the interviewers. Furthermore, it is important to be confident and truthful during the interview. It is also good to be aware of current events and have a decent amount of general knowledge.
A successful scholarship application comes down to a combination of good results, hard work, and sufficient preparation.