You want to study abroad. That dream does not come cheaply, and for many international students a scholarship is the only way to get there.
So why are so many scholarship applications sent straight to the bin?
In this article, we’ll share the ten most common mistakes students make with their scholarship application. They may seem like commonsense – so make sure you avoid them if you want your application to succeed!
1. You don’t qualify for the scholarship
Let’s set some realistic expectations. Every scholarship – and there are a gazillion of them out there – has very specific requirements. So don’t bother applying if they require a straight-A student and you generally get C’s. Or if the scholarship is for Nigerian citizens, and you are from Singapore. Or if the scholarship is for post-graduate students and you’re studying a diploma. It’s just not going to happen, and you’ll be wasting your time.
And of course, there’s no point in applying for a university scholarship if you haven’t yet been accepted for that program!
2. You forgot to research all the options
It takes time to prepare a good scholarship application, and the first step is research. You need to know all the options available to you and get as much information as you can on what each scholarship is looking for.
Almost every university and college has some kind of scholarship or bursary system – usually based on merit and always very competitive.
There are many other scholarships available, including private foundation ones (such as the Fulbright), international government agency ones (such as British Council) and your own government. Contact your local Department of Education for more information.
3. You only applied for one or two scholarships
Apply for as many as you qualify for! That gives you more chance of success. Yes, it takes time, as you need to write each application specifically for that scholarship – but you want the money, right?
4. You left it until the last minute
As well as research, you need time to get organised. Find some appropriate referees and let them know what you need them to do and say. Arrange for the required documentation such as transcripts – they may need to be certified. There’s no point in sending off the application unless it is complete, so don’t run the risk of forgetting something important.
5. You missed the deadline
This is surprisingly common. Every scholarship has a different deadline, so don’t assume they all fit to the same intake schedule. Once that deadline passes, it’s over. And if you do submit it late, it doesn’t reflect well on your organisational abilities.
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