15 Great Steps to Winning International Scholarships
International Scholarships, Every day, hundreds if not thousands of college scholarships for international students are announced by universities in America, Canada, the UK, and the rest of the world. However, many applicants do not make it and some even after several attempts.
There is cut-throat competition for the available scholarships and it is important to do things that make your application stand above the rest.
There is always a formula to the process of applying for a scholarship, and doing things the right way improves your chances of success in the application. In this article, we give a step-by-step guidelines on how to land a scholarship on the international stage.
The guidelines are courtesy of Ugochukwu Madu, a Nigerian Ph.D. Student & Teaching Assistant who in 2022 won six (6) fully-funded scholarships from five top universities in the USA that cumulatively worth over $ 1.5 million (₦1billion+).
As a way of giving back to the community of international scholarship hopefuls, Madu has decided to teach others how to win scholarships to study abroad for free. Here’s a list of the 15 steps you should take for you to win a scholarship.
1. Use 4icu.org to get a list of the top 100 universities in your preferred study destination. The destination could be the USA, Canada, UAE, South Korea, Germany etcetera.
2. Trim the list by removing the universities that don’t offer your program. By now, you must have settled down on what you exactly want to study at university, of course!
3. Keep downsizing the list using some of the following needs:
- Scholarship availability (Assistantships/Funding)
- GRE/GMAT and English proficiency requirements
- Application fee waivers.
- Research interest (is there a Professor in this university doing my kind of research?)
- Internal grants: Graduate school is tough; you need support.
4. Send out cold e-mails. Contact Professor(s) whom you’d like to work with. This is a marketing process designed for you to sell yourself. Note that his step is optional, and you can skip and disregard if you find it uncomfortable.
5. This step is very key and probably a reason most student applications for funding do not make it. READ the admission REQUIREMENTS page and make sure you completely understand the Statement of Purpose (SoP).
At this stage, it is also key to ensure you already have a good Academic CV. Remember that your CV for scholarships is and must by design and content be different from your regular job-seeking CV/
For a good academic CV template, See how to write a good CV.
Also crucial at this 5th stage is to ensure that you have at least the following documentation:
- Unofficial transcript
- Recommendation Letters: contact your lecturers early to avoid rush hour towards scholarship deadlines.
6. Work towards getting application fee waivers by attending Open House events or by simply requesting them.
7. Start submitting your applications. Keep within advertised window periods and dates. Late applications are a straight failure.
8. Wait for feedback from admission committees. Never solicit such feedback if you do not get it.
9. Attend interviews (for schools and colleges that do these). Be prepared financially or otherwise for this step, as sometimes this may require money for the internet (online interviews) or even travel.
10. You’ll get either an ACCEPTANCE or a REJECTION. This is a reality when you apply for a scholarship. If accepted, bravo. If rejected, wait for other offers.
If the offer isn’t fully-funded, discuss your chances of getting funding with the program Director.
11. If the Program Director or Coordinator of your scholarship can’t help, reach out to Professors doing your kind of research (this is where cold email works). If you’ve been in touch with them before this moment, ask if they have a Research Assistantship offer for you. This has worked for a lot of people, especially in the U.S. scenario.
12. If your offer is a fully-funded one, bravo! You are sorted and ready to soar. If rejected, go back to Step Do not tire!
13. Request for immigration documents.
14. Apply for a study visa. By now, you must have already checked with the local consul or immigration departments of your study destination and researched the new country’s culture and society, etc.
15. Fly to your study destination!
God Bless And All The Best !!