How To Get Full Scholarships At Top Universities In The World

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Full scholarships are the real heart of funding opportunities. They cover almost all the expenses for the period of the university programme (three to four years). Tuition and living expenses are taken care of by the scholarship providers, which leaves you with the choice of focusing on only your studies.

Unfortunately for the full scholarships, there are just a few of them which make them more competitive. So many people apply for them each year, but only a few of them are fortunate to be awarded the scholarship. You should not lose hope, though because there are chances you may be picked up as one of the lucky winners.

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To increase your chances of being granted the full scholarship awards in one of the top universities of the world, we have compiled the following tips for you.

  • Be aware of where to search for full scholarship.

You must know where to look for the scholarship and the first place to call to mind should be the university’s official website. Here, the university might list their own scholarship opportunities or they may list external scholarships that are applicable to the university. Scholarships could focus on a particular subject or a particular set of students from a particular destination.

  • Get yourself prepared in advance

It is very important to start preparing in advance if you know that you will need a full scholarship to sponsor your programme. There is usually the need to attend an interview prior to the scholarship award. To make it easier, some universities conduct special scholarship weekends for a range of 50 – 100 students, with a faculty member available to answer all the necessary questions regarding the school. It is advisable to dress decently as if you are attending a normal interview. Get yourself prepared as well with questions and be ready to give good replies to their own questions.

  • Try hard to be an exceptional student

Most full scholarships are awarded to students with great financial needs rather than based on academic performance. However, some take both conditions into consideration while offering scholarships. You could be lucky if you are one of the top achievers in your class. Furthermore, universities that offer full scholarships may use your regular university application as a basic requirement for your scholarship application. This automatically means that high grades are very crucial criteria for consideration.

  • Carefully study the application instructions

When you study the instructions on the scholarship application, you are less likely to miss out on any instruction or valid point necessary for you to scale through. If there is any need for clarification, you can then email the management for more explanations.

  • Make your scholarship essay or cover letter an exceptional one

You should be able to write a clear and concise essay or cover letter for the scholarship application. It must be correctly formatted, with excellent punctuation marks and grammar skills. The introduction must be topnotch and catchy to the reader, while the body should not derail from the message you are trying to convey. For further clarification, you can give a friend or someone close to you to read and make necessary corrections.

  • Stand out from other applicants

One of the skills that are necessary to get a full scholarship is leadership skills. You can demonstrate that you have the skills which could be acquired through volunteering to head a project in your extracurricular activities or any activity outside the classroom.

  • Letters of recommendations are also another avenue to make yourself outstanding before the scholarship provider. This is why it is necessary to build a very strong relationship with your academic advisors and mentors because they will need to write something personal about you to convince the scholarship providers of your moral standards.

It is crucial to note that you might still meet all the requirements for the scholarship and still miss out. It does not mean that you did not put in your best efforts, it only means that the available scholarship is not enough to go round the many applicants. It should not stop you from applying though. Moreover, do not limit your scholarship applications; there is no limit to how many you could apply for. Similarly, you could build your full scholarship with smaller scholarships assuming you are lucky to be selected by other scholarship providers. However, it is necessary to find out if you are eligible to receive funding from other sources, as some scholarship conditions do not allow such. Keep trying until you get what you want.

Grade Point Average (GPA) for Scholarships

Many scholarships do not put GPA into consideration; however, there are scholarships that consider the grade of the individual applicants before offering the scholarships. It is not also true that all scholarships require a grade point average of up to 4.0. but if you graduated with a grade point up to 4.0, you might have more options to apply for.

Need-based scholarships could accept GPA lower than 4.0 because they consider applicants with financial needs first. They may not be able to consider your academic records. In a normal situation, if scholarship providers need a GPA, they would state what they want. Some schools also use a U.S letter scale.

For full scholarships, the GPA needed varies from institution to institution. Some scholarships require a certain GPA between 3.5 and 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants may also be assessed based on class rank. For example, it might require the top 10% or thereabout in a class. Similarly, they could be looking at the test scores on the ACT or SAT for the qualification. To be certain of particular test scores and GPA requirements for a particular scholarship, it is advisable to visit the website or contact the financial aid office of the scholarship providers.

Universities with Fully Funded Scholarships for International Students

To get a full scholarship in some of these top universities, all you need is to have a potential and focus on improving your skills and academic qualities. Many top and prestigious universities across the globe offer full scholarships to international students. Some of the universities include:

  • University of Westminster – Westminster Undergraduate Full International Scholarship

The scholarship is made available to international students from developing countries who hold an offer for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Westminster. It is subject to yearly renewal and academic performance.

The amount of the scholarship covers tuition, living expenses, accommodation, and flights. The major criteria are based on academic excellence, strong financial needs, and potential.

  • Maastricht University – UM Holland – High Potential Scholarships

The study level for the scholarship is the postgraduate/Master’s program. It covers tuition, living expenses, visa application costs, and pre-academic training costs.

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must be an international student and meets the requirements for obtaining an entry visa and residence permit for the Netherlands. He must have also applied for admission for a full-time master’s program at the university, as well as have an excellent result in the previous educational programme. The age requirement is 35 and below.

  • The University of Amsterdam – Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship

The University of Amsterdam provides scholarships to international students who apply for the postgraduate/master’s study. The selection is based on academic excellence, ambition and relevance of the selected master’s program to the future career of the applicant. The student also must be among the top 10% of the class.

The amount of the scholarship covers for tuition and living expenses.

  • The University of Cambridge – Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is made open to postgraduate students from any nationality outside the United Kingdom. The student must have the outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential, and commitment to improving the lives of others.

The value of the scholarship covers tuition, a maintenance allowance for 12 months (pro-rata for courses shorter than 12 months), one economy single airfare covering the beginning and end of the program, inbound visa costs, and so on.

  • The University of British Columbia – International Leader of Tomorrow Award

The International Leader of Tomorrow Award is provided to international students who applied for undergraduate programmes. The applicant must study in Canada on a Canada study permit. He or she must also be entering the University of British Columbia from a recognized secondary school, college, or university. Demonstration of superior academic achievement, (all A’s or equivalent), leadership skills, involvement in student affairs and community service, and so on are the conditions for the scholarship award. The award is subject to renewal based on the student’s academic performance.

The scholarship costs include tuition fees, living costs, and subtracting the student’s financial contribution.

Study Expenses for International Students

There are different ways to provide funding for international students. Some are through student loans, scholarships, bursary, or you may have to fund them with your personal money or through a sponsor. As an international student, there are two costs you need to put into consideration when you go to university. They include:

  • Study expenses and
  • Living expenses.

Study expenses include tuition fees and other costs like cost of books and equipment.

  • Tuition: tuition fee is the main cost of study. It covers such expenses as teaching, academic support services, computer services, library, laboratory, student well-being service, as well as career and employability service. There are other service charges that are ingrained in the tuition fees and one of them is the administrative expenses.
  • Other costs: costs like books, special or field trips, specialist equipment, and so on are some course-related costs that every international student should budget for. When you open the course page, you may see an additional study cost for each course.
  • Living expenses: You will need some cash to support yourself outside study activities. Living expenses include costs of accommodation, feeding, transportation, insurance, television license, social costs, phones, and so on. it is very necessary to make provisions ahead for these expenses to avoid getting stranded in a foreign country.

While applying for a full scholarship, it is necessary for you to have other plans for sponsoring your education in case you are not one of the lucky applicants. However, keep hope alive and make sure you meet the necessary requirements.


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