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10 Steps: How to Apply for Scholarships for international students

“How can I apply for scholarship?” This is one question we get asked at least five times every day by students.

It’s been established that organizations, governments and universities around the world award scholarships worth millions of dollars to African students to study for undergraduate, masters and PhD every year. With AfterschoolAfrica.com scholarship database, finding a scholarship is easier than ever. It’s “Search; and ye shall find”.

The next stage of the awareness is for students who need these scholarships to understand how to apply and take advantage of these opportunities.

In this article, you’ll learn the general guideline to apply for scholarships – especially international scholarships.

how to apply for scholarship

  1. Start Early

As a student looking to study outside your country, your first step is to consider which country or region you want to study. Do you want to study in UK, USA, Asia or Australia? At least 18 months before you intend to gain admission, focus your scholarship research on the country or region where you want to study. That way you’ll have enough time to gather required documents.

  1. Look within your country.

A number of scholarships originate locally. There are government and company scholarships for citizens to study abroad. Ask and find out about them from your friends and colleagues. Emmanuel learnt about PTDF scholarship – Nigeria – from a colleague at his work place. He ended up winning a scholarship to study for Masters at University of Manchester UK.

  1. Get your test scores and required documents ready

It’s common for international scholarship programs to require that students meet certain test score; TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GMAT or GRE. For some scholarship programs, if you don’t have the required test result, you will not be eligible to apply. Register and take the required test and get your score ready. Start gathering other required documents – transcript, certificates, identification letters – ready.

  1. Ask – Am I eligible for a scholarship

It is important to note that there are no general rules to be eligible for scholarships. Each scholarship program has its unique application requirements. Some scholarships require students to have a certain TOEFL or IELTS score; that you are from a certain country; that you have a certain Grade Point Average. Once you identify a scholarship program, read through the guidelines to see if you are eligible to apply.

  1. Be in the process of admission

Most scholarship providers require that candidates must have admission or be in the admission process to be considered for scholarship. In such case, your scholarship application will not be considered if you have not been offered a conditional or unconditional admission at a university. Some scholarships however require that you apply for admission and scholarship at the same time. The point is that, in most cases, you cannot be awarded a scholarship before an admission.

  1. Know what scholarship sponsors want and give it to them

A scholarship application often contains the selection criteria, but you should go deeper. Research the scholarship sponsor on the web. Look for the organization’s mission statement, which you’ll often find in the “About Us” section of its website. Strive to know what they are looking for in a scholarship awardee. Position yourself within that ideal.

  1. Apply to every eligible scholarship.

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.

Don’t ignore the small funds. Some scholarships worth $1,000 or less may be less competitive, which could give you more advantage.

  1. Write winning essay if required

Applying for scholarships that require submitting an essay can increase your chance of success if you put in the effort to write a winning easy. Let your passion resonate with the scholarship committee members. Be personal. Reveal who you are and why you deserve a scholarship more than everyone else. Don’t sound pitiful. Instead emphasize on how you solved a problem or overcame adversity in your life. And how you believe you can do even more if given a scholarship.

  1. Follow Guidelines and attend to details

Most professions require attention to details. 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. Think about it. Who will want to assist an aspiring medical doctor achieve his dream when he/she cannot follow simple instructions? You may be surprised to hear that a large number of scholarship applications do not adhere to the application guidelines. Stand out. Go the extra miles to provide all required documents, including recommendation letters. Submit a meticulously completed application.

  1. Search for and contact past scholarship winners

A number of scholarship sponsors publish the names and press releases of winners. Find a way to reach the winners. You can search on social media. Contact them for questions and advice. You never know what you can learn from their experience.

  1. Submit your application early

Some scholarship programs just require you to complete an application form online or offline. Others require specially written piece of work. However, just make sure you submit your application and required documents before the deadline.

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16 Comments
  1. Gulilat Dache says

    i need scholar ship in marketing management. i am from ethiopia

  2. Getasew Tesfa says

    I am agree

  3. Dereje Dobocha says

    I have got enough information.Thank you!!

  4. Samuel Tilahun says

    Some what this information is good. But still I have some questions on this, how to get specific field scholarship and how we can search or find released free scholarships on websites is that search through university or field? if you have any idea about this pls tell me and sent websites.

  5. Twist Moze says

    the cost of taking TOEFL test is high to our country may be if it is free we can try, i have a will but no opportunity. thanks for the other information you can write to my e-mail:[email protected]

  6. Hagazi Berhe says

    It looks like sound but it would be better to be specific for every field you provide

  7. Jonathan Biala says

    with the current trend of Sierra Leone situation, can you please help me with free scholarships website or link. Can you also provide me with any free scholarship opportunity overseas

  8. Besufikad Tsegaye says

    p/s share your experiences

  9. Hilary Idiege says

    Am an undergraduate student of Business Administration in Nigeria University. How can apply for this Scholarship?

  10. Jerome Grabo says

    Iam a graduate of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University College with a bachelor in Accounting/Management, and i wish to apply for this great opportunity to continue my education to the Master level

  11. Gashaw Genet says

    now a pply for giefat for orhan

  12. Andrew K Fofanah says

    Have new things

  13. Maleutsoa Morie says

    I need scholar in HealthCare

  14. Mume Regassa says

    Just when time comes (after I have completed Bsc) I am 100% sure to get scholarships Msc.

  15. Bprincek Massaquoi says

    Firstly, i want to appreciate you guys for the opportunity.
    Besides, can please send me your website/(s) that contain all details regarding your organization? I am looking forward to becoming one of your beneficiaries, both academic and organization. Cheers,…….

  16. Dixon Nebo says

    I am a graduating senior and after my graduation comes December 2015, I will like to do my master in public Policy which requires me for international scholarship,hope if i will be provided all necessary information that will help me obtained scholarship abroad. please [email protected]

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