As the year 2012 is just as fresh, it is the time of the year most of us set goals with hopes of achieving them through the year. Winning a scholarship in 2013 may be one of those goals you set to achieve in 2013 and there is every possibility you can achieve your goals.
Like most things, winning a scholarship is not as easy as logging on the internet, searching and then applying for the financial award or discount education programme you find. It takes a lot more. If you have read scholarship success stories from previous scholarship recipients, you would have noticed a common similarity; these lucky students had a goal to focus on – “I need to win a financial award. And I can”. Although most never expected to win, but they had put in what is required of them.
A scholarship programme is often created to reward students who have worked hard in their career path. And it’s apparent that how much you succeed in such competitive financial award programmes is directly proportional to how well you “sell” your personality, achievements and aspirations (basically the three things scholarship providers look out for).
How to Win Scholarships in 2013
Applying for a scholarship isn’t like entering for MTN lottery promo: you can control your chances of winning with a good application.
Showcasing that you have the discipline, attention to detail, and enthusiasm to make good on what the scholarship has to offer is the key to making your application outstanding.
Extent your Resource
The most important part of winning a scholarship is finding programmes you meet the minimum requirements. This may seem like the difficult part but with the help of online tools freely available to you here on AfterschoolAfrica, you only need to take a few minutes to search through our scholarship database by Deadlines, Course of study, Country or Target groups, from the navigation bar. Here on AfterschoolAfrica, we try to make finding financial aid opportunity easier than it used to be for Africa students. You have the free options to:
- Search through our scholarship database
- Get our free scholarship eBook; The Scholarship MasterPlan and
- Subscribe for regular email update to be notified of current and open scholarships and financial opportunities for African Students.
With these tools and resources, you have a good start at planning to win a scholarship in 2012.
Decide What Scholarship you want
Do you desire a scholarship to study within your country or to study abroad? If you aspire to go abroad, do you want to study abroad in UK, USA or Australia? Making these decisions will help you narrow down your preferred scholarship options.
From time to time, you will likely find international and/or national scholarship(s) award programmes you qualify for. The next most important thing is to follow through the scholarship process religiously. Many applicants make the mistake of not following scholarship application guidelines.
Who wants to assist a medical doctor or social entrepreneur achieve his dream when he/she cannot follow simple instructions? You would be surprised at how many applicants simply do not do what they are asked. For example, if you are told to send three complete sets of paperwork, ensure that you send three copies of each page of the application. Make it an obligation to be meticulous with every scholarship you apply for in 2012. It’s better to not waste your time applying than to not follow guidelines.
Promise to get the most current and appropriate recommendation letter for each application where necessary.
Procrastination will hardly help
Believe it or not, many scholarships go unawarded each year.
“But we had no eligible applicants. The same thing happened with some engineering scholarships–we failed to award all we had to offer for lack of applicants,” said Mary Ann Eiff Co-Chair scholarship committee for Women in Aviation.
Be sure to apply to every scholarship you are eligible for. Also, be sure you are eligible for what you are applying for.
Most professions require attention to details and most scholarship providers take this seriously when considering the right applicant for a scholarship award. How you prepare your application speaks loudly about how detail-oriented you are.
Get your Documents ready
Start making all the possible scholarship requirements available; from transcript, certificates, identification letters, etc.
Fill in the white spaces
Your level of conscientiousness continues to show by how you complete any forms in a scholarship package. On the application, as with all forms, fill out all blanks legibly, unless otherwise stated. When you leave them totally blank, you leave the readers wondering whether you forgot or missed the blank, or if it was intentionally left blank.
Write the essay to count
A number of scholarships do not require an essay, but most (especially international scholarships) do. The essay is your opportunity to give the sponsors a feel of your personality. Be original! Don’t make your essay do the job of your recommendation letter, resume or any other document. Ignore every aspect of your personality, qualifications or achievements that has been described on other documents. Focus your essay on giving the scholarship committee an insight into who you really are and what you intend to achieve with their help. This is what you are graded on.
In your essay, you are to tell what makes you unique and why you should be the award winner.
Submitting your scholarship package earlier than the deadline is a very important step towards increasing your chances. Try as much as you can to avoid late submissions even if you have to use fast secure mailing services where necessary.
Look beyond Scholarships in 2012
While winning a financial award may seem like a worthwhile goal, you need not rely totally on getting free money. There is a vast array of business and freelance opportunities, online and offline to earn extra income in 2012 to self sponsor your education. Opportunities are as available as it has ever been. If you have an obsession for writing, develop your writing skill and earn money online doing freelance writing, editing, proofreading or ghostwriting. Enter for Essay writing contests. (You will find some open writing contests here from time to time). If you posses the skills in graphic design, you can earn extra income with your skills. Granted, these are not as easy as it sounds but it’s doable if you do your homework (research and study how it works) properly.
Relying solely on scholarship offers may not get you the desired result. Look at the abundance of opportunities you come across every day. You have as much right to it as anyone else. You only need to take the step.
Overall, an important aspect of winning a financial award or discounted school fees award, among other things, is to be realistic about it, make it a goal and work towards it. Scholarship providers are not insensitive, uncaring people and they realize that sometimes, special circumstances are unavoidable, but do try to assemble everything well in advance and give that dream your best shot.
To your success!