Scholarships! Pheww! When was the last time you applied for a scholarship? Albeit, you already concluded they’re awarded to the most brilliant and brightest to fund their education without stress. Therefore, you’ve removed your mind entirely from the thought of applying for one.
Well your thoughts might not be exactly correct as I’ve got some really good news, you could apply for a scholarship and land one precisely. Does it necessarily mean you have to get more brilliant? No. You only need an outstanding strategy.
Scholarships are designed to be monetized rewards as in awards or an aid given to a student to enable him or her further their education. Usually the criteria for awarding a student a scholarship varies. The criteria most times is made to suit the purpose of the sponsor organization or donor as the case may be.
In Nigeria, there are close to 500 indigenous scholarships open to students for both international and national levels. Sadly, they’re hardly exploited for lack of knowledge on how to go about them.
The idea of applying to scholarships can be overwhelming for students, especially for freshers and people who are just about getting into school. Many people have a range of misconceptions about how the scholarship process works, when you can apply, where the money goes, and even if it will ever get easier. Luckily, there are answers to all of those concerns!
So, before you let the scholarship process turn into a giant black hole in your mind, here are some major things you need to know.
Scholarships have different purposes;
Yes, they do! Align your search for a scholarship according to your strengths and suitability. What I mean is, you should reconsider applying for a scholarship that requires an essay submission if you know you suck at writing. Don’t get me wrong, with a lot of effort you could still nail it right? But you could decide to apply for scholarships that accentuate your strengths and talents the most.
For example, you could be pretty good at painting, there could be two available scholarship opportunities, one would involve an artistic submission and another an essay write-up. The essay could be worth a 100,000 naira and the painting, 70,000, assuming your school fees costs 40-50,000, it would be more advisable to go for the painting because you do stand a better chance at performing way better.
Scholarships have a timing
Generally, scholarships are on the high side during the time for school resumption, and you can only guess why, to make sure you’re using them appropriately. Find out the right timing for the scholarships you want to apply to and start early. You would not want to be applying for that scholarship under a tense condition or state of mind, knowing the deadline is just a matter of hours away.
During your time of waiting for the opening date of application, get the requirements ready. Sometimes you could be expected to have referees or letters of recommendation from particular persons, acquiring these things could take sometime. Hence the importance of starting out early.
Get the requirements right to the minimum detail; There is where meticulousness comes in play. I don’t suppose you’ll want to gamble with the slightest chance of securing that scholarship. Get both originals and photocopies of required documents ready. Submit nothing less than the required word count for your essay entry.
Send in your entry before the deadline. Double check everything you’re submitting. If you’ll be having an interview, dress appropriately. Get ready for questions, check up what you’re likely to come across in those interviews. Get super ready, it’s an actual competition.
Scholarships are not restricted to freshmen; Another common point of confusion is based on the idea that scholarships are for incoming freshmen.
Each scholarship is in control of the qualifications that determine a student’s eligibility, and many are available to undergraduates during any year of their education. So, even if you don’t get selected for a scholarship as an incoming freshman, you might get another shot to apply for them in your first, second and third years as the case may be. In fact, some are even available to graduate students, so you might be able to go on to that Masters or doctoral degree without having to pay the full cost out of pocket.
So, don’t stop looking just because the first round of deadlines passed, and don’t give up if you don’t win the first time. Instead, save those websites and schedule a calendar reminder to check back when it opens up for the next year. Then, you can make sure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to get more scholarship money the next time around.
Continue to Part 2