As the cost of higher education continues to rise as years pass by, many students tend to look for options to finance their college education. Thankfully, most organizations offer scholarships to support students who cannot afford higher education financially.
A scholarship is one of the best ways to fund your post-secondary education. When you get such an opportunity, the funds will go straight into your tuition fees. Some scholarships may also take care of all your living expenses during the entire study period.
If you are planning to apply for a scholarship opportunity, you need to understand how it works. In this guide, we explore the most useful tips that can help you win a free scholarship.
Tips on How to Get a Scholarship
Scholarships such as that of Knowledge First Financial are very competitive, and you need to stand out to get such opportunities. Here are the tips to help you get such awards.
1. Prepare Yourself in Advance
Winning a scholarship is not a one-day thing because it has many requirements, including quality academic grades. So, if you are anticipating an award, you should work hard in your current education level to get quality grades that can make you stand out.
You need to prepare adequately before a scholarship’s application deadline. Assemble all the documents that show your past academic and professional experiences. Here are some of the other things you need to do during the preparation stage.
- Find out the requirements common to all scholarships and get them ready. They include your certificates, transcripts, essays, and letters of reference.
- Try to figure out what scholarship committees are interested in on your application. Generally, they usually prefer applicants who excel in several areas.
- Gather all the certificates that prove you participated in extracurricular activities. Most scholarship committees prefer candidates who do well outside classrooms.
- If you are not from an English-speaking country, you need to sit for an English proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS. You may ask the organization granting the award about the type of test required.
2. Search for the Right Scholarship Opportunities
If you perform a quick search for scholarships on Google, you will find hundreds or even thousands of opportunities. You can narrow down your search by using search tools that will give you the results that match your interests as well as academic qualifications.
Thankfully, many scholarship search engines can help you search and find the right scholarship. An excellent example of such tools is the careerinfonet.org search engine. Its filter options can help you narrow down your scholarship search.
Here are some of the other things you need to do during the search.
- Search for available opportunities early and more frequently. That will give you enough time to prepare for the application process.
- Check if your college or university of interest awards scholarships or financial aid. You can check their websites to find out such information.
- List all the scholarships that you can potentially qualify for based on your academic credentials and study interests.
- Focus on the fully-funded scholarships more than the partially-funded ones. With such awards, you won’t need to raise additional funds to finance your education.
3. Apply for the Best Scholarship Opportunities on Time
Once you have searched and bookmarked all the potential scholarships to apply for, you can now proceed to the application step. However, you cannot apply for an award in one sitting. So, you need to find out all the requirements before starting the application.
Never apply for a scholarship opportunity if you lack some of the eligibility requirements. Otherwise, you will get disqualified automatically. Make sure that you assemble all the requirements for each scholarship.
In most cases, scholarship committees will ask for essays and recommendation letters, and that’s what they mostly use to make informed decisions. An essay can either be a personal statement or a study plan/objective. Some scholarships require both of them.
When writing your essays, you need to take note of the following:
- Be real when writing about your academic achievements and life experiences
- Be as honest as possible. You don’t have to exaggerate your experiences.
- Proofread your essays before submitting them. You may also forward them to others to proofread and review them.
Also, when a scholarship committee requests for letters of recommendation, you should get them from relevant people. The recommenders to select must have played significant roles in your life, both in academics and extracurricular activities.
A scholarship committee may take long to review all the applications and shortlist eligible candidates. So, you need to be patient and stay positive after submitting your application. If you get shortlisted, you’ll probably receive an invitation for an interview. If that happens, you should prepare for it by looking for the common interview questions for scholarships.