You might have nursed the dream to study abroad to complete your undergraduate or postgraduate education for some time, and even more predominantly, to achieve such with financial help, in the form of scholarship(s). Why shouldn’t you? After all, you deserve it. You might also have heard from cynics that it is ‘very very’ difficult for African students to win a scholarship, let alone students from Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya. I want to assure you that that statement is more false than true. For instance, in 2009/2010, two Nigeria students won double scholarships worth a total of $8,000 from the University of Bath, UK:
Oluwaseun Adetifa from Nigeria was awarded Steve Huckvale Scholarship for African Students and University of Bath International Scholarships for 2009/10. He is studying MSc Automotive Engineering.
Oluwatosin Ogunrinde from Nigeria was awarded Steve Huckvale Scholarship for African Students and University of Bath International Scholarship for 2009 /10. He is studying MSc Digital Communications.
There are many more other Nigerian, Ghanaian, Kenyan and other African students who have won international scholarships. It isn’t a news that winning a scholarship can be an uphill task, but what makes it even more difficult is ignorance. The question you should be asking at this point is, “where are scholarships to apply in 2011?”
There are a good number of scholarships open to international students in 2011, generally or specifically. You can find scholarships for specific countries, continents (like for Africa) and field of studies, or scholarships generally for international students. Students from Africa are eligible to apply for some of such scholarships (a good number of them) and have as much chances of winning as other applicants. It is then your application skills and qualifications that would determine how far you go.
The problem is that most Students applying for these scholarships do not first take the time to study and know what they need to know and do about applying for scholarships.
The Result? Poor, Mediocre applications that never make it through the first phase of selection. For instance, while I was about rounding off The Scholarship MasterPlan- the book, I ask AfterSchoolAfrica.com readers to make entry for a chance to get a free copy of the book. The instruction was simple; enter your name, your preferred Title for this book and preferred price, include a suggestion if you have one. But it should surprise you that 90% of the entries did not go by the rules, and this is something common among scholarship applicants that deprive them of the possibilities of winning.
With the tips in the chapters of this book (Now FREE), you will significantly improve your knowledge of scholarship application and chances of going farther and winning. So, where are these scholarships?
How to Find international scholarships online- Do It Yourself
In chapter one of the book, we discussed finding scholarships that are right for you and the likely places to find these information. Chapter 7 then, dealt extensively with the issue of finding scholarships.
Universities/ Colleges websites are a great source of scholarship information for international students. Some of these schools offer partial or full fee scholarships to international students, and in some cases specifically to students from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa etc.
For instance, The University of Sheffield offers a range of scholarships to students from Nigeria who show exceptional academic potential and are starting their studies at the University. In 2010, two (2) Nigeria Merit Undergraduate and four (4) Nigeria Merit Postgraduate Scholarships, each worth £6,500 of tuition fee per year, were available for Nigerian students starting their undergraduate or postgraduate taught masters’ degree studies in September. This takes the form of a tuition fee reduction (partial scholarship). To be eligible applicants just needed to be a Nigerian national or permanently domiciled in Nigeria, apply for a study place by 23 April and 25 July respectively, and hold an offer of a study place for entry in September. Eligible students, based on academic merit, were automatically sent details on how to apply. In this case you cannot apply for the scholarships before being offered a study place at Sheffield. There are, however, scholarships and funding for which all international students including Nigerian Students can apply.
Web link: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/nigeria/scholarships.html
The University of Bedfordshire, UK also provide information on specific scholarship for Nigerian students in the link below but it’s actually an international scholarship of which students from other countries are eligible.
There are a lot others international schools that offer such specific scholarships, but a good number (not all any way) of these university scholarships are partial-fee (fee reduction). So you still need other source of funding to completely finance your study in 2011/2012. Some institutions partner with scholarship foundations, organisations or even individuals to award scholarships to their admitted students.
To identify the scholarships associated with a university, locate the webpage (on the school website) for |International Students|, |International Office|, |Student Money Service|, |Financial Aid|, |Funding| or |Scholarship|. Different school websites use different texts to name the scholarship page. Whichever it is, high education institutions provide all possible source of fundings for their students on these pages.
Note: In order to be considered for many awards, you must already have been offered a place at the University, conditionally or unconditionally; you should therefore apply for admission earlier than would normally be the case.
Organisation/ Foundation Scholarships
The major sources of scholarship funds comes from the generosity of organisations and charity foundations. The funds are often raised from the donations of individuals, companies and profit organisations. These Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.
Many organizations offer scholarships or award grants to students whose background or chosen field overlaps the field of the organization. For example, the AACC (American Association of Cereal Chemists) International Foundation provides undergraduate scholarships and postgraduate fellowships to students excelling in studies relevant to grain-based food science and technology. These organizations help in cases of genuine needs, and need for special education, most often, Annually.
Some collaborate with specific higher education institutions while some are less specific regarding your choice of school. In some cases, you are required to have gained admission into a higher institution, but some programmes do not need applicants to have gained admission; You just need to be willing to further your education in the specified fields and have made some reasonable moves towards acquiring admission into a university or college.
The idea is for you to go all out and find a scholarship, instead of just waiting for a scholarship website you subscribed, to do all the updating for you.
Chapter 7 of the Scholarship book discussed this issue in details. You can download The Scholarship MasterPlan for Free from the sidebar.