The Scholarship Quandary:
Studying abroad is an expensive investment and we internationals are always looking for financial assistance. The problem though is that most of us are fairly clueless about the scholarship process.
Separate applications or one? What makes or breaks a scholarship application? Which universities are more likely to give me scholarship? Can I apply for multiple scholarships? When is the right time to start looking?
If you have asked yourself any of the above questions, fear not. This article looks to answers at least some, if not all, of your financial aid related queries.
The Application Process:
Depending on the university, you may need to apply separately for a scholarship or by virtue of applying for a course, you maybe become eligible. In case of the former, the deadlines for scholarship and admission may differ. For some schools the scholarship deadline are at least 2 months ahead of the admissions deadlines.
Irrespective of the method of application, there is simple and straight formula for success.
GPA + CV + SOP + Recommendations
Though Different universities have different criteria, typically a combination of your undergraduate performance, GRE score, quality of recommenders, and nature of recommendations, any research papers published in area of interest, quality of internships, any other aspects that may contribute to diversity.
Academics are extremely important to universities while making a scholarship decision but a below average GPA does not necessarily have to be a deal breaker. Highlight instances where you displayed leadership and community involvement. For instance, holding a position in the student body would decorate the application.
In addition, publications and recognitions add huge value. A top rank in your under grad, paper publications, awards and competitions won make you shine in the crowd.
For most scholarships you will need to write an additional essay about why they should give you scholarship. The essay is the most important part of the package. It should be clear, crisp and concise yet convey how important the scholarship is to make your journey successful.
If putting your thoughts to words isn’t your strongest suit, you needn’t worry, the Bootcamp add the glow your story deserves.
Where to look for scholarships:
Scholarships are usually listed in the financial aids section of the university website. Make sure you check the eligibility criteria.
Irrespective of whether you find scholarships on the website or not, you must ask if scholarships are available and when are their deadlines. It just takes an email to get right information. A ‘financial aids coordinator’ should be able to help you out in the matter. Email IDs are available on the website itself.
The solution to the scholarship quandary lies in research and only research, the more you read, the more you will find.
To make your job a tad simpler, the Bootcamp has listed out a few scholarship options for international applicants, you’re welcome
Government-funded US Scholarships for international students:
- Fulbright Foreign Student Program – Perhaps the most popular of government-funded US scholarships for international students, Fulbright offers scholarships for graduate students, young professionals and artists to study in the US for one year or more. Open to international students in all fields excluding medicine.
- Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program – This is a non-degree scholarship program for international experienced professionals wishing to undertake 10 months of academic study in the US. Although the funding doesn’t support degree qualifications, students are able to study and develop their knowledge at academic institutions across the nation.
Non-governmental US scholarships for international students:
- Abbey Road Summer Scholarships – Offering US scholarships worth US$1,000 for language and art students, as well as US$500 fellowships for ‘summer enrichment’ at institutions within the states.
- The Next Gen Scholarship Fund – Scholarships to study in the US for non-residents and international students. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA (grade point average) and be enrolled on a program at an accredited university within Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia. Worth US$1,000.
- Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship – Awarded twice a year to passionate international students to study in the US. Worth US$1,000.
- David P. Shapiro Annual Leukaemia Scholarships – Two annual scholarships, worth US$1,000 each, open to current or prospective students in the US diagnosed with leukaemia.
For Asian students:
- East-West Center Scholarships and Fellowships – Scholarships to study in the US within selected institutions, aimed at international students from the Asia-Pacific region.
- Japan-United States Friendship Commission – An initiative run by Japan and the US, the commission offers grant programs to Japanese students wishing to study in the US (and vice versa).
For female students:
- AAUW International Fellowships – Fellowships offered by the American Association of University Women for female international students to study in the US.
- MIT-Zaragoza Women in Logistics and SCM Scholarship – US scholarships for female students of any age, ethnicity or nationality, to study at the Zaragoza Logistics Center at MIT.
- More scholarships for minority female students are listed here.
For graduate students:
- Rotary Peace Fellowships – Scholarships to study in the US awarded to master’s degree students studying within one of Rotary’s ‘Peace Centers’ (such as at Duke University or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
For students from developing countries:
- Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme – Scholarships for postgraduate international students hailing from countries in Africa.
- Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders – Scholarships for African students between the ages of 25 and 35 from sub-Saharan African countries to study in the US and gain leadership and business skills.
- The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program: The RSM fellowships are awarded to candidates aspiring to perform research work in US and are working on their doctoral thesis.
Eligibility of RSM Fellowship Program:
1) Lecturers and researchers working on doctoral thesis
2) Completed coursework required doctoral programs.
3) In age group of 25 to 45 years
Benefits of RSM Fellowship Program:
1) Funding for tuition and fees, living and related costs
2) Individual grant of up to $25,000
3) Funding for doctoral thesis research work
- More details visit site: www.worldbank.org/wbi/scholarships
- Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship program: The Ambassadorial Scholarships program is started to promote international understanding and friendly relations among people of different parts of the world.
The scholarship sponsors talented graduate students. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the country where they study and give presentations about their own culture to Rotary clubs and other groups. Back home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that deepened their understanding of another culture.
Eligibility of Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship:
1) Admitted for Master’s degree program in US University
2) Secured First class in 3 or 4 years Bachelor’s degree
3) In age group of 18 to 30 years
Benefits of Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship:
1) Funding for tuition and fees, living and related costs
2) Individual grant of up to $25,000
For more details visit site: www.rotary.org
- MasterCard Foundation Scholarships – Scholarships for African students to study in the US and Africa.
Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships for Indian students to study in USA: USIEF (United States-India Educational Foundation) is an educational body that is determined to promote mutual knowledge exchange between India and United States of America. USIEF helps advise young Indian students to pursue higher education in US and provides grants and fellowships to such students who require it. The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships for Leadership Development is one of the most popular fellowship or scholarship that is awarded by this body to brilliant Indian students.
The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship for Leadership Development:
Eligibility of Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship:
1) Admitted for Master’s degree program in US University in areas like Arts and Culture Management, Conflict Resolution, Economics, Environment and Public Administration
2) Educational Qualification equivalent to 3 years Bachelor’s degree in US
3) Minimum 3 years work experience
4) Commitment of returning to serve community in India.
5) Preferably in age group of 25 to 30 years
Benefits of Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship:
1) Round-trip economy class air travel
2) Funding for tuition and fees, living and related costs
3) Accident and sickness coverage per US Government guidelines
For more details visit: www.usief.org.in
List of websites where University and location specific scholarships to US Universities for Indians are available with full eligibility and requirement details:
- International Education Financial Aid: http://www.iefa.org/
- eduPASS – http://www.edupass.org/finaid/
- World Bank scholarships: www.worldbank.org/wbi/scholarships
- PEO International scholarships for women: http://www.peointernational.org/
- Ford Foundation – http://www.fordifp.net/