Searching and applying for scholarships can be time-consuming. With the cost of tuition on the rise in the U.S., more students are turning to scholarships to fund their education.
While the scholarship application process can be tedious and competitive, there are several ways to increase your chances of getting a scholarship as an international student.
Here are four ways to improve your chances of being named a scholarship recipient:
1. Find the Right Scholarships
There are a variety of scholarships available to international students in the U.S., as well as in their home countries. Continually be on the lookout for new scholarship opportunities because you can never apply for too many scholarships. There are many scholarship search engines and websites, including:
- International Student
- Top Universities
- #YouAreWelcomeHere National Scholarship Program
Be sure to read the requirements carefully before applying for a scholarship—there is no point in wasting time if you do not fit the criteria!
2. Follow the Rules
Read the scholarship guidelines carefully and thoroughly. After reviewing a scholarship, if you have outstanding questions or concerns, try reaching out to the contacts listed on the scholarship application page. Students often get eliminated because they missed a crucial step in the application process, and one way to ensure you have all the materials necessary is to create a checklist for each application and cross off completed tasks. Also, be sure to have someone else review your work before you submit your scholarship application.
3. Write and Rewrite
Even though English may not be your native language, you must still show mastery of the English language in your scholarship application essay. Most scholarship applications—although not all—will require applicants to write a clear and well-structured essay explaining why they deserve the scholarship or how the scholarship will help them achieve their academic goals.
An essay gives the scholarship committee an idea of who you are both at an academic and personal level. Try having a native English speaker proofread your work for grammar and fluency, whether it is a friend, teacher, or an online editing service.
Be prepared to write and rewrite your essay until it is perfected. You should get in the habit of writing several drafts of your work before submitting a final version.
Some scholarship committees allow applicants to submit a video instead of an essay. Consider a video application if you are not a strong writer or struggle with the essay format.
4. Be Prepared
Many scholarships require interviews from chosen finalists, so be sure you are prepared for this final step. If you are chosen for an interview, see it as the perfect opportunity to showcase who you are and communicate your goals for what you will achieve if chosen for the award. You can even research common scholarship interview questions and prepare sample responses ahead of time.
Remember that each scholarship, no matter the amount, counts. While amounts vary, each scholarship you receive brings you one step closer to being debt-free. Take your time on your application and be sure to submit only your best quality work.