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11

Every year as the admission season approaches, there is always a breed of scholarship hunters that begin its prowl. Yes, you are right. This breed is that of the international students. Some are well prepared to negotiate through the turbulent waters, and there are some- not so savvy- believe every litter spread over the internet and get disappointed and do not even apply. You will not get anything unless you apply.

So in this post, we will discuss some to dos that will help you find some highly sought after forms of financial aid.

Sharp drop

In the recent years with currency depreciation, the British Council calculated the average increase in cost of studying in the US, the UK and Australia. It was found that for the US, the increase was by USD 10,780, for the UK by USD 9,156, and for Australia by USD 11,629.
This is really discouraging for the Indian students.
The Good News
In response to this, did you know that the UK launched 370 scholarships in the year 2013, just to encourage Indian students?
Recently, US news reported that 345 US colleges offered financial aid to international students.

Research

As you go through a university website, it would dawn upon you that how hard it is. Innumerable scholarships, grants and loans are available for domestic students but there is hardly anything for international students. Donít get discouraged Ė you will have to do extra research but finding a scholarship is still doable. Some Universities offer only a limited amount of aid, while some offer students substantial amounts. Some offer need-based, while others offer merit-based ones. Some are offered to students coming from some regions and countries. These vary to a large extent from institution to institution. The only way to know the current updated details is through research. Scholarship criterion also varies greatly from college to college so again thorough research helps. We canít emphasize this enough ó research, research, and research away.

There will be numerous resources but you have to look for them long and hard. Approach the Universities and talk to the admissions office if possible ó they will be able to provide you with updated details.

Where do you fit?

Before you start your hunt, have a look at the scholarships available. Generally, they are classified into these four types:
1. Offered by the Government
2. Offered by the Universities: For the academic year 2012-1023, these were the top ten universities in the USA that offered the most aid: Wesleyan University, Stanford University, Amherst College, Trinity College, University of Chicago, Williams College, Yale University, Skidmore College, Harvard University, and Dartmouth College.
3. Offered by philanthropists and private organizations: Leading establishments like The Reliance Foundation, Tata Group, Sun Foundation, and Aditya Birla Group are just a few of many prominent ones that offers scholarships to students.
4. Offered as research grant (for doctoral study)

Start early!

Early bird catches the worm. This adage is perfectly apt as far as scholarships are concerned. If you go looking for scholarships at the last minute, you are sure to miss the bus. You should start looking for scholarships as soon as you have finalized your specialization and your university short-listing. For the application to some scholarships, some universities may ask you to produce a certification of finances to prove that you will be able to finance your education. Some wonít even consider giving you an admit without this proof. To have all these aspects of your application covered, we advise you to get at it and start as early as you possibly can.

Social networking

Are you a social media addict? Next time youíre tweeting, we suggest you search for scholarships starting here. Youíre always hooked to your smart phone so why not make the best of it? Twitter is a great place to search for things, without having to deal with distracting ads. Or just go on and post a question on facebook and make use of your huge friends list. If you have applied for a particular University, go and like their facebook page and stay in touch with all their updates ó they may not update their website regularly but they will definitely update their facebook page with the latest details. These are a few simple ways to get you started.

Need blind!

There are certain need-blind Universities that offer students admissions regardless of their financial ability to pay and offer those that do not have the financial resources, scholarships and grants! Awesome isnít it? Hereís a list of these Universities: Harvard University, MIT, Yale University, Princeton University, Amherst College, and Dartmouth College. You should check out their entry requirements to see if you are eligible for application. Why miss out if you have a chance?

Brush up on your writing

Did you know that a good scholarship essay really helps you go a long way in impressing the scholarship committee of the Universities? It should be well-structured and get straight to the point. Make sure you cover the essay topic given with supportive points. Once youíre done, have it proof read and spell check it over and over and over (it never hurts to be careful). This whole process could be a time-consuming one, so we suggest you donít wait till the last minute to put pen to paper.

Bring out the leader in you

Youíd be amazed at how many scholarship foundations just love students who can demonstrate good leadership skills. You should include any leadership experience you have had, while applying. This is because Universities understand that leadership skills are as vital as academic skills for you to be a successful professional. This holds to be true especially in the case of American Universities.

Your quick checklist

For successful application of scholarships, here are a few things that you should run a check on:
• Your eligibility
• The mentioned deadline
• Including all requested documentation
• Keeping your referees posted about all scholarships that you are applying for. Some Universities request you to have referees. In such cases, we insist on you picking after careful consideration, as they must highlight your abilities well.

Say hello!

We thought we would familiarize you with a few famous scholarships from around the world to help with your scholarship search:
• Chevening UK Government Scholarships
• Tata Scholarship (Cornell University for Indian students)
• Fulbright-Nehru Masterís Fellowships (for Indian students)
• Fullbright Fellowhips
• Erasmus Scholarships
• Royal Society Grants
• Hubert-Humphrey Scholarships
• The Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Programme
• Commonwealth Academic Fellowships
• Commonwealth Split-site Doctoral Scholarship

These are a few points we feel would help you get a better idea of how to take the leap to become a scholarship winner! Do you have anything to add to this? Feel free to drop us a line or two ó we would absolutely love your feedback!

 
 
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