Studying at a university and obtaining a good education is no longer impossible for students without strong financial background. Tertiary education is one of the costliest investments for students and their families, but fortunately enough, it is becoming more accessible than ever.
Scholarships are an emblem of academic or non-academic achievements. Therefore, holding a scholarship is a very fulfilling experience and the students should try eluding the misconceptions about the scholarship application process and become one step closer to being entitled as a scholarship recipient.
Below, I have listed 5 common myths about scholarship application that deterred a lot of potential students from winning the ultimate scholastic prize.
Myth #1: Grades are the only key
In Reality: It is good to outshine the graduating class and go top-notch, but a decent academic grade doesn’t guarantee a scholarship. Scholarship administrators often look for someone who carries distinct and individualistic characteristics that add to the value of the campus and the community. A strongly defined personality conveys a lot of other aspects of the candidate such as their passion, goals, mindsets and preferences.
Therefore, when you are rooting for a scholarship, make a good attempt to distinguish yourself from the other thousands of those like you, most of whom may also have attained the similar grades as yours. This can be done by displaying your unique and riveting personality that the admission staff or scholar assessors may find as an asset to their university.
Myth #2: Not knowing much about the university is okay
In Reality: If you do not have deep understanding about the university you’re applying to, you will sabotage your own chance of securing the scholarship even if you have a stellar academic background and a strong extracurricular engagement.
The scholarship awarding board is keen on the extent of your eagerness towards attending the university of your choice. They will be curious to know why you decided to apply for their university over thousands of others. Your demonstration of interest toward the institution is a plus factor. Exhibiting a good mount of knowledge on the university also reflects the firmness of your decision and certifies how determined you are to work towards the defined future with that educational institution.
Myth #3: Interviews are intimidating
In Reality: A lot of scholarship applicants find it daunting to have to experience a face-to-face interaction with those who are constantly evaluating them throughout the conversation. Interviews are challenging due to its interpersonal nature that requires the candidates to be self-analytical. Nonetheless, there is nothing too frightening in taking a scholarship interview.
The reason is that the scholarship questionnaires are designed to learn more about the intellectual and personal profile of the candidates and most of the time, there is barely a question that gets too technical or inclined toward a particular field. Just think of the interviews as a good supplement to your submitted document applications and for the scholarship committee to get to know you a little bit better as a person.
Myth #4: Flooding the admissions office with multiple documents will help your application
In Reality: One misconception about scholarship applications is that the more you showcase your standings and statistics, the more likely you are recognized by the scholarship committee, thereby, enhancing the chances of winning that scholarship. Many scholarship applicants submit unnecessary documents together with their applications. However, this is not true. You do not want the scholarship committee to go over pages of your application just to wring out one piece of information.
The scholarship board are more excited to see how the applicants present themselves in a concrete and concise style, instead of in exaggerated information about self-appraisal jammed in numerous paragraphs. Like it was mentioned earlier, academic achievements and personality are generally more important than the rest of the application. Keep your submission documents and attachments succinct and straight to the point to craft a more impactful application.
Myth #5: The chances of you securing the scholarship is very low
In Reality: Many students believe that scholarship criteria are rigidly designated so that very few students will be eligible for it. Scholarships, indeed, are specially designed to award the students based on merit. That said, numerous other types of financial aid like need-based scholarships, bursaries and loans are available to help the students and their families to finance the tuition fees.
In addition, there is not a set formula, guarantee or strategy of winning a scholarship from a particular university or organization since each awarding institution does have their own quota of scholarship awardees, sometimes based on demographic distribution. Some awarding institutions allocate more of their resources to financially underprivileged students so even with equal qualifications, two students with different levels of privileges do not hold equal chances of winning that scholarship.
Overall, the scholarship awarding procedure is as complex and unpredictable. There is no exact telling of who will have a better chance of winning. A national level athlete, an award-winning artist or a young entrepreneur with budding impacts all are evaluated holistically, and no preference is exhibited toward any of these talent categories throughout the application assessment process.