How to get a scholarship to study abroad

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Scholarships provide a way through which students can study abroad and fund their education expenses without breaking the bank. In simple terms, scholarships are monetary awards given to qualified students to help fund their education. 

One of the limiting factors affecting international students who want to further their education is funding. Quality education is expensive and not everyone can afford it. The expenses attached for international students are even more than the amount indigenous students have to pay as they have to consider other factors like transportation, accommodation, and feeding amongst other expenses. Hence the a need for a proper financing plan like scholarships to help with the cost of their education. 

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Suggested: Here’s All You Need To Know About Studying Abroad.

Financing Options available for international students

If you’re a prospective international student looking forward to furthering your studies abroad but facing financial challenges, there are different financing options you can consider to help with the cost of your education. These options include:

  • Scholarships: just like it has been established earlier, scholarships are granted based on merit to qualified applicants. There are also different types of scholarships available. They are open to undergraduates and graduates alike.
  • Fellowships: Fellowships just like scholarships provide funding for students. The difference is that fellowships are mostly open to postdoctoral students. There are two types of fellowships: academic and professional fellowships.
  • Grants: grants are often used interchangeably with scholarships and are awarded to qualified students without a promise of paying back.
  • Student loans: student loans are given by student loan providers to students to help with the cost of their education with the promise of paying them back with a certain amount of interest over an agreed period. 
  • Assistantships: additionally, another funding opportunity available for students is assistantships. There are salary employment opportunities available for graduate students. One of the benefits of assistantships is that they avail you the opportunity to garner the necessary experience that can aid your studies and employability in the future.
  • Crowdfunding: students can also set up online accounts and request donations from the good-hearted members of the public to help raise funds for their education. 
  • Funding from family: students who come from well-to-do families, families can decide to handle the cost of their education without any form of stress.

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Who awards scholarships?

Additionally, scholarships can be awarded by universities, the government, business organizations, non-governmental organizations, individuals, and so on. It is also necessary to know that there are many scholarship options available for students. However, access to the right information and following the due application process will guarantee a student’s success in securing the scholarship. 

What are the types of scholarships available?

There are different types of scholarship opportunities open to international and indigenous students. They include:

  1. Merit-based scholarships: They are given solely based on academic excellence. Students who have excellent results in their bachelor’s degree and want to pursue their master’s degree abroad can search for merit-based scholarship options. 
  2. Need-based scholarships: applicants for need-based scholarships must be able to prove that they need the scholarship and are unable to sponsor their education at that time. 
  3. Government-funded scholarships: they are financial aid options that are provided to students by the government in a particular country. Although many of these scholarship opportunities are often offered to citizens, there are also opportunities for non-citizens alike, 
  4. Country-based scholarships: these types of scholarships are often awarded to students from selected countries. Sometimes these countries might be plagued by natural disasters or insurgency. The awards are given to students to motivate and encourage them to further their education. 
  5. Privately-sponsored scholarships: Privately-sponsored scholarships are sponsored by private individuals or organizations. Moreover, it is important to note that some of the requirements might bother on gender, a particular discipline or they might be for citizens from a particular country. 

How can I apply for scholarships?

The application process for scholarships generally depends on the type of scholarship you’re applying for and the criteria given. However, most scholarship applications follow a particular pattern including: 

  • Online application
  • Upload of document
  • Submission
  • Awaiting results.

Suggested: Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad.

Additionally, the required documents you may be asked to submit include:

  • Motivation letter/Scholarship essay/personal statement 
  • Proof of your academic, athletic, or artistic achievements
  • Official proof of income (for need-based scholarships)
  • Acceptance letter from the university.

What do scholarships cover?

Generally, scholarships help to cover part of most of a student’s education expenses. Depending on the type of scholarship and the scholarship provider, a scholarship can cover:

  • Tuition fee
  • Accommodation fee
  • Book cost
  • Airfare
  • Enrollment fee and so on. 

If the scholarship is a partial one and cannot cover all of the education cost of the student, then the student needs to find alternative ways to complete the cost. 

How do I get scholarship updates?

Furthermore, having understood the types of scholarship opportunities available and the process of applying for them, let’s now consider how you can get scholarship updates. Some of the various ways you can get information on new scholarship opportunities include:

  1. The University’s website: universities often provide scholarship opportunities to students, both indigenous and international. Other times, organizations/institutions or individuals can partner with universities to give scholarships to students. One of the ways to access this information is to constantly check the university’s website for updates. If they have a newsletter you can subscribe to, go ahead and subscribe. This will help you to keep abreast of the information on the scholarship space. 
  2. Education-based website: there are education-based websites that are focused on publishing scholarship opportunities daily. Afterschoolafrica is an example of such a website. By subscribing to our newsletter, you get updates on the latest news in the scholarship space. 
  3. Country-specific search: in addition to searching university websites and education-based websites, including a country-specific search is another way to access scholarship opportunities. Once you’ve chosen a preferred study destination, go ahead to make a search on scholarship opportunities available in that region. Afterward, pick the option that is most suitable for you. 

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Who is qualified to apply for a scholarship?

Anyone is qualified to apply for a scholarship as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. They must also be able to can produce all the required documents. Generally, the scholarship’s eligibility criteria are dependent on the type of scholarship and the person awarding the scholarship. While academic scholarships will be strictly for students with exceptional grades, a sports scholarship on the other hand would require that the student in excellent in the chosen sports activity. If there’s going to be an emphasis on the grade, it wouldn’t be as much as that of the academic scholarships. 

Tips to help improve your scholarship application 

If you’re planning to apply for scholarships to help with the cost of your education, then below are some tips you should have in mind to enhance your chances and improve your application:

  • Be creative with your motivation letter. Ensure that it is properly, brilliantly, and beautifully written as it is an avenue to sell yourself. 
  • Be original and honest. Do not achievements it stories that are false 
  • Ensure that there are no errors in all of the documents that will be submitted to the scholarship board.
  • Gather all the necessary documents you need on time. 
  • Remember to submit your before the deadline. 
  • Before submission, properly review your application to ensure there are no errors. 

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Start With Us

Do you want to study abroad? Note that obtaining a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in this field helps to improve your chances in the labor market. Studying abroad is no joke for international students due to the cost. However, you can achieve your dreams without breaking the bank by applying for student loans, which you can pay for as long as 10 years. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require a cosigner or collateral before an application. Reach out to us today, and let’s help you begin the process.