Full scholarships (also called fully funded scholarships) are the holy grail of funding opportunities and cover just about anything for a full three or four years of college. Your tuition and living costs will be covered by the provider, leaving you free to focus on your studies and social life without worrying about money. Sounds great, right?
Unfortunately, there are not many of these dream scholarships out there. Full scholarships are rare and those available are very competitive. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply – read on to find out how to increase your chances of receiving one of these prestigious scholarships.
Know where to look
First, where do you actually go to find full scholarships? Your first port of call should be the official website of your chosen university, as they may offer their own funding opportunities for students in your location or discipline, or possibly list external scholarships that you can apply for.
In addition to your university, you can check out sites like opportunityportal.info or FastWeb.com, as well as other Scholarships Abroad page, which lists funding opportunities in different study destinations, scholarships focused on specific disciplines, and scholarships geared toward the specific student.
Prepare in advance
If you know you’ll need a full scholarship to attend college, it’s important to start preparing as far in advance as possible. This is especially important if you feel you need to attend an interview: some universities host special “fellowship weekends” where 50-100 students will be invited to campus to interview a faculty member, answering questions about their goals and motivations and how they fit with this university and course.
If you need to attend a scholarship interview, you should treat it as you would any other formal interview, dress smartly and be well prepared with good answers to their possible questions, as well as have a few questions ready to ask when you are invited to participate. at the end of the interview.
Work hard and keep motivated
While some full scholarships are based on financial need rather than academic excellence, some will consider both or be awarded only to exceptional students. It goes without saying that you need to be working hard on your studies, but you will have to put in a lot of effort if you want to get the full scholarship as most of it is awarded to the best-performing students.
In some cases, colleges may automatically consider full scholarship applicants using their regular college application, making high scores crucial. While pushing yourself academically can be mentally draining, try to stay motivated by keeping your goals in mind and taking a break from time to time to relax (especially during and after exam season!).
Make yourself stand out from other applicants
With so much competition for a full scholarship, it is crucial to stand out from the applicant pool by demonstrating a real commitment to better yourself as an individual. This means having some extracurricular activities to show fellows, showcasing your passions and interests outside of the classroom, as well as examples of times you got involved with the local community, perhaps engaging in volunteer work for a good cause.
Read the application instructions carefully
This may seem extremely obvious, but you don’t want to miss out on your opportunities by accidentally losing a document or information that was stipulated in the scholarship application instructions. Be sure to read the app’s guidelines carefully and repeatedly so you’re less likely to miss something, and email the provider if you need clarification on anything. Also, Check Documents Required When Applying For Any Scholarship Application
Submit an exceptional scholarship essay or cover letter
Another one that goes without saying, is that your essay/cover letter should absolutely be of the highest quality possible. That means making sure it’s clear and concise, formatted correctly, draws the reader in with a strong introduction, stays focused on your main theme or topic, and has perfect spelling and grammar. Don’t just proofread it hundreds of times to make sure it’s perfect—have a friend proofread it and check for typos and sentences that don’t read as well as they could.
And finally, as we mentioned earlier, the sad truth is that there are not many full scholarships available and they are extremely competitive, which means that many applicants who meet and exceed the requirements for a full scholarship end up losing out.
Don’t let that stop you from applying, but be realistic about your expectations. And remember, there is no limit to the number of scholarship applications you can submit, and there is generally no limit to the number of scholarships you can receive, so you can create your own full scholarship using two or smaller scholarships.
(Of course, be sure to check with providers you can apply to and receive funds from other sources.) If you get rejected, try not to let them get you down, get up, dust yourself off, and keep trying in life until you get what you want.
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