Planning to study abroad- Know how to successfully receive a scholarship: The Indian Ministry of Education stated the year 2022 saw a nearly 68% surge in the total number of students who went to a foreign country to pursue higher studies. Pursuing higher studies abroad is a lucrative prospect. However, not many Indian students can make the most of such opportunities due to the high cost of education abroad. For instance, the average annual tuition fee in the US typically ranges from $15,000 to $30,000 annually.
The lack of funds for studying abroad often deters students from pursuing their dreams but the availability of merit-based scholarships backed by the Indian government and those extended by international universities abroad can help deserving students meet the financial gap. However, qualifying for a study abroad scholarship in the desired destination requires hard work and effort. In this article, let’s discuss tips to explore relevant study abroad scholarships and the best approach to secure them.
Tip 1: Look for scholarships at the right places
Today, multiple scholarships are available for students. However, finding them often becomes a challenge, especially if students do not know where to look in the first place. Students should note that every university has a designated scholarship section. Aspirants must go through it to find which one suits them the best. Subsequently, they should research the fellowship programs relevant to their course. To add more value to their research, students must explore the official websites of universities and government-backed agencies that typically offer scholarships in their preferred study abroad destination to ensure the information they find online is accurate and complete.
Tip 2: Read the eligibility criteria to know your chances
Once students identify the suitable scholarship program, they should carefully read the eligibility criteria and check the application deadline and other crucial requisites. Usually, the primary criteria to obtain a merit-based scholarship are the minimum age and percentage of marks secured. Similarly, some scholarships are designed for aspirants from specific countries and fields like STEM, humanities, and art. Some scholarships for post-graduate students often require relevant work experience or a certain GPA to qualify. Having an insight into the required qualifications helps students invest time and energy in scholarships they are eligible for.
Tip 3: Invest your time in building your application to stand out
Preparing for the application process is vital to ensure the student does not get lost among the thousands of other applicants. Besides an outstanding academic record, most scholarships require applicants to submit transcripts, data-backed essays, recommendation letters, mark sheets, and curriculum vitae. While the requirements are simple, students must dedicate their time and attention to drafting an informative transcript that reflects their academic prowess and present an essay that explains their interest in the degree and how the scholarship can help them meet their goals. In addition, they must provide a recommendation letter from their principal, professors, mentors, or an employer who can attest to their capabilities to add value to their application.
Tip 4: Select the preferred study abroad destination to narrow down your search
Students who want to pursue higher studies abroad on scholarships are always clear about the course they want to get into during the planning stage. However, they rarely narrow the list of their preferred countries to study abroad, making it exhaustive. This makes the task of looking for scholarship tedious, affecting the quality of research. To avoid this, students must identify whether they want to study in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or the UAE. Subsequently, they should check universities and relevant scholarships and find the cost of pursuing a degree there.
To give a headstart, here’s a brief on the popular scholarships available in these preferred study abroad destinations –
Australia: This multi-cultural study destination hosts three universities that made the list of top 20 QS World University Ranking in 2023. International undergraduate students studying in Australia spend nearly AUD 20,000 – AUD 45,000 AUD per year on tuition fees. However, several universities offer bursaries and country-specific scholarships, which reduce around 10-20% of their tuition fees. Notably, these opportunities are available to everyone, not just top students.
The United States of America: The USA is a preferred study abroad destination for Indian students as the country hosts top-ranking universities, popular courses, and harbors high-paying job opportunities. Typically, international students spend USD 15,000 – USD 30,000 as their annual tuition fee. However, Indian students can apply for popular scholarships like the Cornell University Tata Scholarship, AAUW International Fellowship, Microsoft Scholarship, and university-specific fellowships to support their dream of studying in the US.
The United Kingdom: The UK is a popular destination for students to pursue bachelor’s, master’s programs, or doctoral degrees. Indian students who want to study in the UK can apply for scholarships and fellowship programs. Notably, in the UK it is common for universities to offer intake-based scholarships, typically ranging between GBP 1000 and GBP 3000, to drive enrolment rates and fill their seats faster. This makes it necessary for aspirants to check if there are scholarships available for early applicants.
Tip 5: Set realistic expectations
Students should note that obtaining a scholarship that can help save 100% of the cost of pursuing a degree abroad is rare. However, several universities offer scholarships that can help them save 10-30%, which is equally vital because every penny makes a difference for aspirants. As an additional backup, they can explore Smart Programs that allow them to start the first year of their course from home to save a significant cost of education.
In these ways, students can ensure they avail of scholarships to study abroad. Preparing for the application and working on one’s skills and academic capabilities will help students move closer to their dream of studying abroad.
By Abhinav Mital, Founder, The WorldGrad