International students are always on the lookout for new and viable academic scholarships. However, finding such scholarships can be extremely taxing and time consuming, especially if you don’t know where to look and what to look for. Generally students turn to their high school guidance counselors, local clubs and organizations, college financial aid departments and employers for assistance in the matter. Some use the internet to browse websites that specialize in finding suitable scholarships for international students or simply Google or Bing required information to find the right scholarship.
There are many avenues for finding scholarships but it takes both time and energy to sort through ones that are viable. Following are some tips that will help you move things along:
Look for Subject and Country Specific Scholarships
It is always beneficial to start your search by looking at scholarships specifically designed for your preferred field of study and the country/university of your choice. This not only helps you narrow down the field for the most viable scholarships available, but also saves you time and energy. By focusing your attention towards the most feasible scholarships you also increase your chances of landing it.
Don’t Apply to Every Scholarship
It is generally believed that applying to more scholarships increases your chances of landing at least a few. However, that is not always the case. To really increase your chances of getting your hands on a good scholarship, apply to a few really valid scholarships and make your applications shine, instead of applying to a myriad and struggling to meet the requirements for each. Following the Pareto Principle of 80/20, apply to 20% of the applications that will get you 80% chance of success.
Choose scholarships that are directed towards your specific area/nationality, subject matter and set of qualifications. Not only will you be increasing your chances of getting the best scholarship, but you will be doing so without all the hassle.
Search for School-Specific Scholarships
Subject-specific scholarships are offered by certain departments within a university. These scholarships are usually less popular and more difficult to find since they are not widely advertised. However, these scholarships are good for you as they are targeted to your field of study and have lower competition than university-wide scholarships. Look for school specific scholarships by visiting the university website you are interested in. You can also contact the university or the department itself to inquire about the scholarships offered. Such scholarships are usually advertised on the university’s personal scholarship database or page.
Remember that scholarships are not just given away, they have to be earned. You won’t get a scholarship just because you cannot afford tuition, you belong to a developing country or because you belong to a minority group. You earn it by establishing your qualifications and demonstrating your potential.
By keeping these important aspects in mind, you can set yourself up to receive a scholarship which will help you achieve your academic and professional goals.