When students are applying for scholarships, they usually find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea. That is why they ask some questions while trying to fill their scholarship forms. Sometimes no one seems to answer them. Asking is necessary to avoid making some mistakes that probably would have been jumped over.
Today, as international Students’ friend, I decided to gather such questions asked by students while filling their scholarship forms and giving possible answers.
Questions Frequently Asked by International Students and Possible Answers
Question: Are there scholarships for specific field of study and nationality?
Answer: Yes! There are scholarships for most fields of study and for most nationalities. It’s just to find them through searching with keywords. In this Blog scholarships are categorized by fields of study and by target group(s).
Question: What are the general eligibility requirements when applying for scholarships?
Answer: The eligibility requirements differ from scholarship to scholarship. It depends on the level of study the scholarship supports. Based on the scholarships we have featured, some of the common qualifications include
- A previous University degree
- Proficiency in English
- High academic grades
- Unconditional/Conditional acceptance to a program offered at a participating/host University. Apart from the eligibility requirements of the scholarship, you must also consider the eligibility requirements of the program of study you are applying for.
Question: How do I apply for a scholarship?
Answer: This is so simple my dear scholar. It’s for you to strictly follow the application instructions given by the scholarship provider/University correctly. The application guidelines vary among scholarship providers. There are no standard ways of applying for scholarships.
The application instructions are usually outlined very clearly. So, you have to follow the instructions step by step to avoid getting overwhelmed by the amount of information presented. You must think positively that you may be one of the winners. Don’t just start with a discouraging mind while filing your forms.
Question: When is the best time to apply for a scholarship?
Answer: You have to hurry and apply before the application deadline of the scholarship elapses.
Question: Are scholarships offered every year?
Answer: Most major scholarships are offered annually but this usually depends on the University or the scholarship provider. If they have enough funds for their scholarship program, they can do it again and again. So, if you missed this year’s own, that’s not the end. Hopefully, scholarships awarded by Governmental bodies do repeat for a very long period. Kindly check back here always for new scholarships updates.
Question: I have searched for scholarships so many times but I’ve failed to see scholarships offered to undergraduates.
Answer: Most scholarships only cover PhD or MS/MA studies. Search our categories for such scholarships.
Question: Are there any undergraduate scholarships out there?
Answer: Although it is somewhat true that most of the existing scholarships are for postgraduate studies, there are international undergraduate scholarships.
Question: Is there any scholarship that will allow me to study at any University around the world or will it require me to study only at a specific place or university?
Answer: It depends upon the type of scholarship. There are scholarships that allow you to study at any country (e.g. Aga Khan Foundation Scholarships, Ford Foundation Fellowships, etc.) while others only allow you to study at a specified host institutions (e.g. World Bank Scholarships, ADB-JSP Scholarships).
Most government-sponsored scholarships can allow you study at any University in their country (i.e. Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme, Australian Government International Postgraduate Scholarships, etc.)
Question: Do I need to gain admission into my preferred course of study in the university first before applying for a scholarship? or Is it possible to get a scholarship when you are not yet been admitted into a university?
Answer: The application process differs from scholarship to scholarship. Most of the time, admission into the University is required before you are allowed to apply for the scholarship. Sometimes, admission and the scholarship applications are submitted at the same time.
In some instances, your application to admission already serves as your application to the scholarship – you don’t need a separate scholarship application. Still, there are some scholarship providers that allow you to apply for their scholarship even without admission to a program/school or while you are still processing your application to the program. One must then follow the application instructions set by the scholarship provider.
Question: Sometimes, the application form is not found on the website of the scholarship provider. How can I find the application forms easily?
Answer: The application form should always be found at the scholarship website but there are a number of reasons why it can’t be found. One reason could be that the scholarship application period hasn’t reached yet so, in that case the form will not be available for viewing/downloading.
Another reason could be that some scholarship websites don’t readily display the links to the application form. If this is the case, then you should try to visit all the relevant pages of the scholarship website.
Don’t forget to look at the left or right sidebars as the download link might be placed there. When all strategies fail, endeavor to contact the scholarship provider and request for the link to the application form.
Question: Is it possible for me to get a scholarship in the same country I am living in and can I choose the course I want to study?
Answer: Most international scholarships require you to study in any country except your own. If you want to study in your own country, you should try to find national or local scholarships. The liberty to choose a particular course of study will depend on the conditions set by the scholarship provider/University.
Question: I have applied for a scholarship and am still waiting for a reply from the University. I want to know whether it’s advisable to call them and find out how my application is doing. How will I know if I have won a scholarship?
Answer: Refrain from contacting the University regarding the results of your scholarship application. If you are shortlisted or accepted into the scholarship, the provider/University will surely contact you.
Usually, the scholarship provider indicates a specific time period when the selection results will come out. When you haven’t received any confirmation message during this time, then it would be safe to assume that you were not awarded the scholarship.
Question: I haven’t undertaken IELTS nor TOEFL exams. Does that hinder my chances of getting a scholarship? Example: I am from an English speaking country (e.g. Nigeria) and I have been taught in English Language right from when I started schooling, would TOEFL be a requirement?
Answer: Not all Universities require you to take the TOEFL or IELTS. A significant number of Universities accepts a Certificate of English as Medium of Instruction in place of an English proficiency exam. When it is absolutely required by the University, then you must take TOEFL or other English proficiency exams regardless if you were taught in English during your University studies or not.
Question: How do I write the scholarship essay? Answer: Did the scholarship provider provide any format? If they did, you should follow that. If they have not specified a specific format, then you can follow this simple outline when making your application/motivation letter:
(1) Background/Key Qualifications,
(2) Intentions for studying,
(3) Expectations of the Course, and
(4) Your plans during and after the study.
In making the letter, you should not just tell them why you need the scholarship but more importantly explain clearly why you deserve to get the scholarship.
Question: The issue to age is not mentioned in most scholarships I have come across. Is age not a criterion?
Related Question: Is there any age limit to obtaining a scholarship abroad?
Answer: Some scholarships set the age limit while some do not. If the scholarship provider did not indicate the age limit as part of their eligibility requirements then it is safe to assume that there is no age limit. When there is an age limit, scholarship providers set different age limits for different levels of study (i.e. Masters, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellowships).
Question: Is there a way for the application fee to be waived? I cannot afford to pay for it.
Answer: You should be prepared to use your own funds for the application fees because most scholarship providers don’t shoulder this cost. Most often than not, the cost of preparing for the application requirements including the TOEFL exam is not covered by the scholarship. If you are really serious in pursuing a scholarship, you must try to save up for the cost of TOEFL or the application fee.
Note: Not all Universities require an application fee, in fact, a significant number of Universities allow you to apply without having to pay any application fee. Be aware of “scholarship scams” and double check if the University really requires an application fee.
Question: How can I find Universities that offer scholarships?
Answer: This is one challenging task to undertake. Luckily, we have developed a list of Universities that offer scholarships for developing countries, for your reference. Always check here for any latest scholarships since we do the job for you.
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