Unfortunately, there just aren’t that many of these dream scholarships available to be won. There aren’t that many opportunities for fully funded scholarships, and the ones that are out there are extremely difficult to win. However, this does not mean that you should refrain from applying for them; in the following paragraphs, you will learn how to improve your chances of being selected for one of these prestigious scholarships.
Have An Idea of Where to Look.
First things first: where exactly can you look for scholarships that cover your entire cost? Your first port of call should be the official website of the university of your choice because they may provide their own funding opportunities for students who come from your location or who are majoring in your subject, or they may list external scholarships to which you may be eligible to apply.
Checking out websites such as InternationalScholarships.com and FastWeb.com, in addition to our very own YesCuba Scholarship Page, can help you find funding opportunities in a variety of study locations, scholarships focused on particular subjects, and scholarships aimed at particular student groups. In addition to checking with your university, you could also check out these other websites (e.g. African students).
Make Preparations in Advance.
It is imperative that you begin making preparations as far in advance as possible if you are aware that you will require a fully funded scholarship in order to be able to attend university. This is especially important if you find out that you need to attend an interview. Some universities hold special events known as “scholarship weekends,” during which anywhere from fifty to one hundred students are invited to campus to participate in an interview with a member of the faculty. During these interviews, students are questioned about their goals and motivations, as well as how this topic relates to the particular university and course. If you are required to attend a scholarship interview, you should approach it in the same manner as you would any other formal interview. This means dressing professionally and coming well-prepared with good answers for their possible questions. In addition, you should have a few questions prepared to ask them at the end of the interview if you are given the opportunity to do so.
Put in The Effort and Stay Motivated.
Although some fully funded scholarships will be awarded on the basis of a student’s financial need rather than academic excellence, other scholarships will take into account both factors or will only be given to students who excel academically. It goes without saying that you should be working hard in your studies; however, if you want to get that full scholarship, you’ll need to really put in the effort to do so, as the majority of scholarships are given to the students with the highest levels of academic achievement. It is imperative that students maintain high GPAs because there are instances in which universities may automatically consider applicants for full scholarships using your regular university application. Although pushing yourself academically can be mentally draining, it is important to try to stay motivated by keeping your goals in mind. Additionally, it is important to give yourself a break every once in a while to relax (especially during and after exam season!).
Find Ways to Differentiate Yourself from the Other Applicants.
Because there is a great deal of competition to win a fully funded scholarship, it is essential to distinguish yourself from the pool of applicants by demonstrating a genuine commitment to improving yourself as a person. This requires you to have some extracurricular activities that you can brag about to potential scholarship providers. These activities should demonstrate your passions and interests outside of the classroom. Additionally, you should have some examples of times that you got involved with the community in your area, such as participating in volunteer work for a charitable organization.
Scholarship providers also place a high premium on demonstrated leadership skills; one way to demonstrate this is by voluntarily taking the initiative to lead projects as part of your extracurricular activities or volunteer work.
Because a glowing report on your academic and personal qualities through your letters of recommendation could really make you stand out from the rest when it comes to scholarship applications, it is important to build strong relationships with your academic mentors. If a mentor knows you well, they will be able to provide a more personal and accurate reflection of you in their letter. If you build strong relationships with your academic mentors, you will have a better chance of being awarded a scholarship.
Read the Application Instructions Carefully
You do not want to jeopardize your chances of winning the scholarship by omitting on accident a required piece of information or document that was specified in the application instructions for the scholarship. This may appear to be an extremely obvious point. Be sure to read the application guidance thoroughly and multiple times, so that you are less likely to miss anything, and send an email to the provider if you have any questions regarding the content of the guidance.
Please Submit an Outstanding Scholarship Essay as Well as a Cover Letter.
The quality of the application essay and cover letter you submit should be of the highest possible standard at all times. This is another point that should go without saying. This requires ensuring that it is clear and succinct, that it is formatted correctly, that it grabs the reader with a strong introduction, that it remains focused on its key theme or topic, and that its spelling and grammar are flawless. If you want to be absolutely certain that it is error-free, don’t just rely on the fact that you have proofread it hundreds of times; instead, ask a friend to look it over and point out any typos as well as any sentences that don’t read as well as they could.
And finally, as was mentioned earlier, the unfortunate reality is that there aren’t many full scholarships to go around, and those that are available are extremely competitive. This means that many applicants who meet and exceed the requirements for a fully funded scholarship end up missing out on the opportunity to receive one. Don’t let this deter you from applying, but make sure your expectations are in line with what’s actually possible. You should also keep in mind that there is no limit to the number of scholarship applications you can submit, and there is normally no limit to the number of scholarships you can be awarded. This means that it is possible for you to create your own full scholarship by combining two or more smaller scholarships. (It goes without saying that you should confirm this information with the providers in order to ensure that you are able to submit an application for and be awarded funding from other sources.) If you do experience failure, try not to let it get you down; instead, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and continue to try different things in life until you succeed in achieving what you want.