Though scholarships and student grants are both financial aids and usually used interchangeably, they do have a slight difference. While we won’t border much on such differences, our aim is to give you some of the very useful tips you need to win an international student grant without losing them again.
Difference between Grants and Scholarships
While ‘grants’ will usually be referred to a bulk some given to a student to support his/her study in the form of research support or fees or book grants, ‘scholarships’ are general financial aids awarded by academic institutions, government bodies, institutions, groups to individuals, other non-government bodies (NGOs), departments. These can range from light tuition fee waivers even to fully funded opportunities covering the student’s all-round expenses while on study.
Whether it’s a scholarship or student grant, it will offer financial aid to achieving your dreams. In plain words, the student grant and scholarship have the same functions. Be assured that you can apply for both.
Your study abroad dream can be fulfilled with the right international student grant. However, that will depend on how much work you are willing to put in.
Still, there’s no need to be bothered because we have some tips for you that will help you win that international student grant, namely:
1. Research and Extra Research
Of course, you’ll need to find them first, won’t you? It all starts with selecting the right scholarship.
There are many grants out there for different types of people, meeting different needs. Some target academic excellence, unique abilities, physically challenged, gender, athletics, continents, race, culture…you name it.
Get into the zone. Use specific keywords, don’t get tired of reading, write down student grants names and awards with deadlines, return to them later with a clearer head and zoom in on the usable ones. This brings us to the next point.
2. Meet All the Student Grants Requirements
Your research should give you all the needed information about a scholarship or grant before you apply for them. Ask some questions, “Do you meet all their needs?”, “Do I have these documents they are asking for?” Etc. Most scholarship platform will only bring you summarized information the program, hence there is the need to always reach to the program official page for detailed instructions. Read through the required documents and instructions yourself, compare past information and be your judge.
3. Follow Instructions to the Hilt
The student grants process is a regimented one, following a precise selection process. One will most like meet disqualification he/she deviates from the set rules or application instructions. For example, exceeding word limits in your personal statement could just terminate your chance of getting a grant that would rather have gotten very easily if you kept to the specified number of words.
4. Get Personal…Be Unique
Not to discourage you but there are probably other presidents of student clubs applying too, other 3rd time applicants, other champions so what distinguishes you?
You have to find the unique spark that will make the reviewers want to meet you. Use personal stories to answer questions. Tell them from a unique point of view. But avoid pitiable stories though.
5. It’s a War of Words.
Don’t go in half-baked cause you’ll get spotted immediately as lazy, uncommitted or undeserving. Your ambition is going to have to shine through your words.
Don’t be lazy about what you want to say but use sharp conscience words instead. Own your story. Own your experiences and let your dreams speak for themselves.
6. Apply for as Many Grants as Fits Your Needs
Yes, that is easy to say but different to put into practice. Failing to win at your first try should give you any idea to quit. The amount of work and exhaustion that comes from applying for one scholarship can be draining but if you really want it, you have to keep going.
The more student grants you apply for, the better your chances of winning one. Keep in mind point number two above on meeting requirements.
7. Set Personal Deadlines
A way to help you with your application deadlines is to set personal deadlines. You can set this to be from 3-7 days of the actual deadline.
It gives you the advantage of not being too hurried as you work but presenting your best. Your calendar will also have to be your best friend as you set reminders everywhere.
8. Show Excellence by Proofreading Your Work
Don’t say “duh!” because you’ll be surprised at the level of lazy work that gets submitted.
Grammatical errors, even the slightest ones that slip through your fingers make you seem unserious and you don’t want that. Use grammar-checking tools such as Grammarly. Ask friends to proofread or teachers and professors close to you if you know any.
9. Having a Letter of Acceptance into the University is a Bonus.
Most scholarships and grants require proof that you will indeed get into a university or already have admission and many will not give it until this is shown.
So, while you’re applying for scholarships, you can easily bag this one. Get as many admissions in the continent of your choice as you can.
10. Always Check your Inbox`
Many people miss their chances for winning a scholarship/grant because they blinked on checking their email messages regularly. A lot of information will be coming in through this channel like requests for interviews, online tests. So, you don’t want to be caught unaware or see them after deadlines, then keep track on your inbox. Setting your email settings to sync as often as possible with popup notifications can be very helpful.
11. Be Careful of Online Scams
This point re-emphasizes point number 1. In as much as you do your research on those programs, watch out for paid scholarship funds, agents claiming to have ‘insider information’ or slots available for just a “measly sum.” Lots of scholarships/grants are awarded strictly on merit and do not require any pre-processing fees! So, all you need to do is follow the laid down instructions and apply. That way you can avoid the danger of running into an online scam.
The greatest wealth is information! Scramble for information from there experts and those above you and in no time, you will find yourself be what you are seeking to be. Seeking knowledge about student grants is proof of a bigger goal beyond, which only explains ambition.