06 Jul 2022 | How to Boost Your Profile to Get Scholarships
How to Boost Your Profile for Scholarships: Opportunities for Success
Creating a strong profile that resonates with scholarship providers requires a combination of careful planning, thoughtful preparation, and a focus on highlighting your unique qualities and achievements.
A question that almost all students have on their minds is "how can I get a scholarship to study abroad?." The answer to this question has many facets such as what kind of scholarship are you looking for, which country you want to go to, what major you want to take, etc. But getting a scholarship boils down to mainly two things; your achievements and accolades and how you showcase them. There might be people having similar scores like yours, but you want to present what differentiates you from others if you wish to get scholarships in premier colleges.
There are various criteria based on which a college or university grants study abroad scholarships. The criteria is based on the amount of scholarship being awarded and gets more stringent for higher values of scholarship. In this article, we will explore what are some of the topmost criteria for scholarships and how you can build a strong profile that makes it shine amongst other fellow applicants.
What are Scholarship Applications Judged Upon?
Before saying a yes or no to an applicant's scholarship, any college looks at the entire profile of the student. For a full-ride scholarship students need to write academic resumes and essays and also provide letters of recommendation. In general, the grades need to be straight As or 90%. Other things that count in deciding about granting scholarships are if you have volunteered to contribute to society, demonstrated leadership skills through extracurricular activities, sports activities, etc.
There are three primary steps that judges who award scholarships go through:
First step: Judges shortlist all the applicants who qualify based on their eligibility criteria. Hence, it is highly recommended that you apply for scholarships where you meet the eligibility criteria. This way universities can select the most deserving candidates and you increase your chance of getting selected.
Separate deserving candidates: The universities go through the applications and skim out great-looking profiles from not-so-great-looking ones. Things that they consider during this step are your skills, scores, achievements, work experience, etc.
Go through tiny details of the applicant: As the last step, the colleges go through every little detail mentioned in the applications of finalists and look at aspects like family background, relevancy to the course they are being considered for, economic conditions, merit, etc. After the last step, they select the best profiles that suit all the requirements.
Tips for Building a Stellar Profile for Scholarships
There is more than one way of building your scholarship profile. The essential thing to note here is that universities look for candidates with a holistic personality and select a wholesome profile for a scholarship. Creating a spectacular scholarship profile is not a day's job; you should start preparing for it even before you enter higher education. By participating in activities where your leadership qualities can shine (speaking, writing, etc.) you pave the way to gain your scholarship for studying abroad.
A competitive GPA score: The most vital ingredient of a scholarship profile is academics. If you want a good scholarship to study abroad, you must have a competitive GPA.
Extracurricular qualities: If you do not have a great GPA, you do not need to fret. There are many other ways to design a strong profile. Your creativity and leadership qualities also catch the evaluator's eyes. Try to build a profile listing your strengths for example try writing about what your friends come to you for. It is always recommended that you diversify your profile by doing certifications, participating in competitions, volunteering, online courses, etc. Your life experiences are capable of making your resume stand out so brainstorm about different challenges and events you have experienced and jot them down.
Write stupendous essays: One of the ways to make your essays shine is by approaching them from a unique angle. You must use your best writing skills, the essay should be free from errors and always try to add your unique spin to the essays (unless your application specifically mentions not to do that). Your unique spin means taking your life experiences and integrating them into your essays. Dive deep into your personal goals and dreams and take some time to reflect while writing the essays. It is also necessary that you stick to the principles of good essay writing which include a clear beginning, middle, and end. Try to be as concise as possible in your essays.
Plan letters of recommendation in advance: Getting letters of recommendation is the most stressful part of applying for a scholarship and needs the most advanced planning. If you ask your teachers, counselors, professors, etc. for a letter of recommendation at the last minute, it will only stress them out. You must notify them at least four weeks in advance.
Look out for similar applications: Let's be real! Between classes, studying, exams, homework, and extracurricular activities, you definitely can not write several great essays weekly. That is why it is alright to seek out similar applications and use the same responses. It might feel like cheating, but there is nothing wrong with it as it simplifies the overwhelming task of applying for scholarships.
Apply for as many scholarships as you can: There is no limit on the number of scholarships you can apply for, hence try to fill out as many scholarships as possible to maximize your chances of getting a scholarship. A good way to do that is to set aside time every week for searching and applying for scholarships. You could set aside a monthly goal for yourself for applying for scholarships.
Research your scholarship provider: If you research your study abroad scholarship provider it can give you an advantage in your application. You could try to find out what kind of person they are looking for and demonstrate your strengths in those areas to show them you are the perfect candidate. You could also research the type of student who won the scholarship in the past to get a good idea of what is the requirement.
Apart from your academic and extracurricular details, some colleges might need your detailed financial information as well, such as your guardian’s occupation, income, bank statement, etc. You must be through with what is needed for every tudying Abroad scholarship before applying for them.
FAQs About Scholarships
Q1: Can I apply for scholarships if my GPA isn't perfect?
Absolutely! Scholarships consider various factors, not just GPA. Highlight your strengths and experiences to make a compelling case.
Q2: Are there scholarships for specific fields of study?
Yes, many scholarships cater to specific fields like STEM, arts, humanities, and more. Research extensively to find scholarships relevant to your chosen field.
Q3: How do I approach asking for recommendation letters?
Choose individuals who know you well and can speak to your abilities. Politely explain the scholarship's importance and provide them with relevant information.
Q4: What's the ideal length for a personal statement?
Aim for around 500 to 800 words. Be concise, yet comprehensive, in conveying your aspirations and experiences.
Q5: Can scholarships cover all my educational expenses?
Some scholarships cover tuition, while others include additional expenses like books and housing. Research the terms of each scholarship to understand what's covered.