Studying abroad, particularly in the United States, has numerous advantages. You get to encounter a variety of cultures in addition to receiving a high-quality education. However, without proper planning, the expenditures of studying in the US might quickly deplete your cash. A scholarship can be extremely beneficial in this situation since it ensures that students pursuing higher education have the financial support they require.
However, obtaining a scholarship in the United States is not as simple as it may appear. As per the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) research, only one out of every ten college applicants win a scholarship. Furthermore, 40 per cent of all scholarships issued are restricted based on location, nationality, and citizenship, 37 per cent are determined based on the field of study, 6% are confined to a specific race, and 5% are gender-based.
Even though things look bleak, not all hope is lost. There are specific steps you may take to improve your chances of receiving a scholarship in the United States. Here are the top suggestions to help you improve your odds.
Don't limit yourself when applying for scholarships
When studying in the US, most applicants concentrate solely on applying for scholarships at A-list universities. The scholarship selection process can be rigorous and thorough. This, combined with the high volume of applications (tens of thousands), can significantly reduce your chances of winning a scholarship.
You should apply to every scholarship you are eligible for to boost your acceptance chances dramatically. This includes applying for smaller-award scholarships, which are more likely to be awarded because they're less competitive. While lesser awards may not be sufficient to cover all of your tuition costs, they can assist you with ancillary expenses such as books and living expenses.
For this, you can start by looking through GoAbroad's Scholarships Directory or NAFSA or create lists of scholarships for study abroad students.
Apply as soon as possible
The deadlines for scholarship applications are not the same at all universities. Also, in most situations, university admissions and scholarship application dates do not necessarily coincide. In rare situations, the deadline for applying for a scholarship may fall before the admissions deadline.
Many students, however, make the error of applying for scholarships at the same time as they apply for university admissions.
You will almost certainly miss the scholarship application deadline if you make this mistake. Because the demand for scholarships is constantly increasing, it's never too early to begin researching the application procedure.
Inquire for assistance
First and foremost, don't be hesitant to ask for support from those around you. Inquire with your university's study abroad office, teachers, the financial aid office, and academic advisors about any available scholarships or grants. Go in person to these offices to ask for help on receiving a scholarship to study abroad.
This will ease your instructors or study abroad office to assist you in discussing financial aid in person. Finding study abroad scholarships is the most challenging component, so be sure to ask professionals if they know of any!
Submit an application that is free of errors
The apparent flaws in the materials submitted are the fastest way to have a scholarship application denied. It's a good idea to constantly double-check the entries you've made in the forms when you're filling out applications. Having someone else check your application for problems and validate it before submitting it is also a good idea since it ensures objectivity.
In addition, international students frequently neglect to complete the optional fields on scholarship applications. Ignoring these parts can work against you because they serve as entry points for the institution to learn more about your background and hobbies. Answering optional categories like hobbies, credentials, and extracurricular activities honestly can increase your chances of receiving a scholarship in the United States.
Perform well on tests and in school
Because merit-based scholarships are awarded only to the most deserving students, academic performance plays a significant influence in deciding your prospects of studying in the United States. A strong performance on standardized tests like the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS will help you a lot. While achieving a high standardized test score is vital, having a high college GPA is more important. So work hard and score well!
Demonstrate your leadership talents
Participating in community service is an excellent strategy to boost your chances of winning a scholarship dramatically. What American universities look for in a student asking for a scholarship is a willingness to serve others and manage people and circumstances.
Special comments on any function you may have served in an organization or other events in which you may have participated will help your scholarship application stand out. Including certificates and other documented evidence to support these statements adds to the claimant's credibility. While academic achievements are crucial, abilities and accomplishments like these can help students stand out.
Make changes to your resume.
After you've made a list of study abroad scholarships you'd like to apply for, the next step is to focus your resume. Make sure to include any international experiences you've had, as well as any of your recent university activities. It is critical to write concisely.
Cover letters are often a vital component of an application, as they are your only chance to make an argument for why you deserve to be awarded a scholarship. You must do some research into how that country's resumes or cover letters are typically organized, and try writing them in the language of the country you'll be studying in!
Create a well-written scholarship essay
Almost every scholarship application requires applicants to write an essay explaining why they deserve an award. This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight your skills and set yourself apart from the competition.
Not only must your essay be devoid of grammatical faults, but it must also make an emotional connection with the reader. The language should be lyrical, free-flowing, and simple to read and comprehend. Furthermore, the essay should demonstrate your enthusiasm for the course you wish to follow and how a scholarship might assist you in achieving your objectives.
Scholarship funders and providers want to know that their money is going to a worthwhile cause and that the student applying for the scholarship is grateful for the chance. So don't be afraid to speak up; tell your experience and explain why you deserve a scholarship to study abroad.
Include letters of recommendation wherever possible
Universities in the United States value recommendation letters. Excellent letters of recommendation are sometimes the deciding factor in a student receiving a scholarship to study in the United States. These letters, on the other hand, are usually only valuable if they come from professionals or academic specialists. As a result, it's preferable to approach a professor or teacher that you see as a mentor and get a recommendation for your scholarship application.
An excellent letter of reference usually succeeds in highlighting a student's capabilities, academic achievements, and other abilities.
Make a note in your calendar
If you're applying for a variety of scholarships or grants, as well as the study abroad programme itself, it might be challenging to keep track of all the deadlines and application criteria. Making a calendar specifically for your study abroad scholarship applications, with each deadline indicated, may seem apparent. When applying for multiple scholarships (or even just one), it is essential to stay organized.
Checkout scholarships on GyanDhan Portal
To get information about scholarships available for study in the US. Visit GyanDhan Scholarship page and filter the type of scholarship as per your requirement. You will find a comprehensive list of scholarships and also the link of the page where you can go and apply for the scholarship.
If you're looking for a scholarship in the US, the above suggestions can greatly improve your prospects. In addition to these suggestions, you can make your case for a scholarship by including your accomplishments and publications in your application. And, because there is no limit to the amount of scholarship programmes you can apply for, it's ideal for applying for each one you qualify for.
Even if you do not receive as many scholarships as you had hoped for, there are other ways to fund your abroad studies, including finding tutoring and some jobs. At the same time, you are abroad (a great way to immerse yourself in the culture you are studying in!). You may go all out and seize every opportunity this way.