“Scholarships” are that golden opportunity that every student wants. Fees for higher education courses are getting more and more expensive compelling the students to take Student Loans or any other form of debt which eventually suppresses their financial freedom. Hence, even a partial waiver of fee comes as a great relief both to parents as well as the student.
However, as we have all heard, getting a scholarship isn’t a cakewalk. We’ve listened to rants about how numerous applications were filled and about jogging from one office to the other, and nonetheless, despite all that scholarship application being rejected. It’s time you learn from their mistakes; a slight change in the approach can work wonders.
Dr. Kulneet Suri, Senior Director, Institute of Management Studies, Noida, has put together FIVE simple steps for you to follow. If you are a student of Medicine, Commerce, Arts, Literature or any other field, following this approach will bring you a step or two closer towards getting that scholarship.
- Filter it like Filter Coffee: Before jumping on to filling the application forms, it is necessary to check what kind of scholarships will be suitable for you. Think about it in this way, your friend and you don’t shop for all the same clothes, of the same size and colour, from the same store, similarly, not all and not even the most popular scholarships can suit everyone. Now to choose the right one, fill the application depending on the stream you’ve taken, the course you want to choose and the college you are looking for.
- One step at a time: When the competition is fierce, stakes are high and chances low, things can get pretty heated up. Pressuring yourself at this time can take a toll on your chances. If you aren't confident enough that you can crack the top scholarships you are aiming for, start small. Fill out application forms of smaller and easier scholarship exams, this would give a boost to your confidence to appear for the bigger ones.
- That Unique Essay: No pressure on you but this is the most important part of the application. The purpose of inviting essays is to filter out candidates. It is important to play by the rules, don’t exceed the maximum word limit and follow every criterion prescribed. An Institution providing scholarship opportunities to receive innumerable applications daily. An essay is that one tool you can use to make your application stand out. The perfect application doesn’t exist, hence, make yours unique. Throw out the generic statements out the window and talk about your inspirations and aspirations. Using anecdotes can also be helpful.
- Unlock the pattern: Scholarship exams are like unlock pattern on phones, not all are the same. To understand and crack this you’ll need to look at the history, previous years question paper, competition mix, cut-offs, difficulty level, and the question pattern. Once you’ve understood it you can stop wasting time on meaningless activities and shift focus to the important ones. Additionally, if scoring 89 will give you the same opportunities as scoring 59 then instead of aiming to score higher, this energy can be utilized towards learning a new skill that will give you a competitive edge.
- Check, Check and Recheck: If you’ve done all things right but failed to correct that one typo, your application can get rejected at the first stage itself. Don’t let that typo jeopardize your chances and efforts. Check every line of the application and then, recheck it. If needed, ask someone else to do it too. One way to check for errors is getting the hard copy of the application as pen and paper make it much easier to point out the errors. The suggestion is to apply all means necessary to make your application flawless.
The applicant doesn’t necessarily have to be the best to get into the scholarship program, instead, they must show the evaluators their goals and aspirations to make them understand that they deserve to be chosen. Don’t wait for deadlines, prepare right away, and do everything in your capacity to meet the eligibility. The pool of opportunities that seemed too far fetched in the beginning will be within your grasp.