Scholarship Application Questions and Answers
Last updated: 10 Jan 2014
We hear you that’s why scholars4dev.com has developed a set of answers to your most frequently asked questions related to scholarship application. You can ask additional questions in the comment box found after this post and we will try our best to answer them.
Q: Are there scholarships for [specific field of study]? Are there scholarship for [nationality]?
A: There are scholarships for most fields of study and for most nationalities. The key is just to find them. In scholars4dev.com, scholarships are categorized by fields of study and by target group (see the sitemap). Click on a particular field of study or target group to view a list of available scholarships according to your criteria.
Q: What are the general eligibility requirements to get a scholarship?
A: The eligibility requirements vary from scholarship to scholarship. It will also depend on the level of study the scholarship supports. Based on the scholarships we have featured, some of the common qualifications include a previous University degree, proficiency in English, high academic grades, unconditional/conditional acceptance to a programme offered at a participating/host University. Aside from the eligibility requirements of the scholarship, you must also consider the eligibility requirements of the programme of study you are applying to.
Related Links: Am I eligible for a scholarship?
Q: How do I apply for a scholarship?
A: The simple answer to that is to follow the application instructions given by the scholarship provider/University. The application instructions vary among scholarship providers so there is no standard way of applying to a scholarship. The application instructions are usually outlined very clearly. Follow the the instructions step by step so you will not get overwhelmed by the amount of information presented.
Q: When is the best time to apply for a scholarship?
A: The best time to apply for a scholarship is within the application period set by the scholarship provider/University. Usually, scholarship applications (as well as admissions) should be done 6 months to one year before the academic year you plan to study.
Q: Are scholarships offered every year? If I missed the application deadline this year, can I apply for it the next year?
A: Most major scholarships are offered annually but this will always depend if the University or the scholarship provider has enough funds for their scholarship program.
From Neema Kallinga
Q: I have searched for scholarships so many times but I’ve failed to see scholarships offered to undergraduates. Most scholarships only cover PhD or MS/MA studies. Are there any undergraduate scholarships out there?
A: Although it is somewhat true that most of the existing scholarships are for postgraduate studies, there are international undergraduate scholarships that can be found (with a lot persistent searching).
Related Link: List of Undergraduate Scholarships
Q: Will a scholarship allow me to study at any University around the globe or the does it require me to study only at a specific place or university?
A: It depends upon the type of scholarship. There are scholarships that allows you to study at any country (i.e. Aga Khan Foundation Scholarships, Ford Foundation Fellowships, etc.)* while other scholarships only allow you to study at specified host institutions (e.g. World Bank Scholarships, ADB-JSP Scholarships). Most government-sponsored scholarships allow you study at any University in their country (i.e. Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme, Australian Government International Postgraduate Scholarships, etc.).
Related Link: List of Scholarships for Study in Any Country
From Aliu and Ngalim Adrian S.
Q: Do I need to gain admission into my preferred course of study in the university of my choice first before applying for a scholarship? Is it possible to get a scholarship when you don’t have admission in a university yet?
A: The application process differs from scholarship to scholarship. Most of the time, admissions to the Univeristy is required before you are allowed to apply for the scholarship. Sometimes, the application to admissions and the application to the scholarship are submitted at the same time. In some instances, your application to admission already serves as your application to the scholarship – you don’t need a separate scholarship application. Still, there are some scholarship providers that allow you to apply for the scholarship even without admissions to a programme/school or while you are still processing your application to the programme. One must then follow the application instructions set by the scholarship provider.
From Babalola, Yisau
Q: Sometimes, the application form is not found at the website of the scholarship provider. How can I find the application forms easily?
A: The application form should always be found at the scholarship website but there are a number of reasons why it can’t be found. One reason could be that the scholarship application period hasn’t started yet so the form is still not available for viewing/downloading. Another reason is that some scholarship websites don’t readily display the link to the application form. If this is the case, then you should try to visit all the relevant pages of the scholarship website. Don’t forget to look at the left or right sidebars as the download link might be placed there. When all else fails, contact the scholarship provider and request for the link to the application form.
From Nalumansi Moureen
Q: Is it possible for me to get a scholarship in the same country I am in and do i get to choose the course i want to study?
A: Most international scholarships require you to study in any country except your own. If you want to study in your own country, you should try to find national or local scholarships. The liberty to choose a particular course of study will depend on the conditions set by the scholarship provider/University.
From Mahama Alhassan and Hamidatu Salia Zakari
Q: I have applied for a scholarship and am still waiting for a reply from the University . I want to know whether it’s advisable to call them and find out how my application is doing? How will I know if I have won a scholarship?
A: As much as possible, you should refrain from contacting the University regarding the results of your scholarship application. If you are shortlisted or accepted into the scholarship, the scholarship provider/University will surely contact you. Usually, the scholarship provider indicates a specific time period when the selection results will come out. When you haven’t a received a confirmation during this time, then it would be safe to assume that you were not awarded with the scholarship.
From Alexandra Muhaya
Q: I haven’t undertaken IELTS nor TOEFL exams. Does that hinder my chances of getting a scholarship?
Related Question from Moses Byomuhangi:
I am from an English speaking country (Kenya) and i have been taught in English since i started school, would TOEFL be a requirement?
A: Not all Universities require you to take the TOEFL or IELTS. A significant number of Universities accepts a Certificate of English as Medium of Instruction in place of an English proficiency exam. When it is absolutely required by the University, then you must take TOEFL or other English proficiency exams regardless if you were taught in English during your University studies or not.
Q: How do you write the scholarship essay?
Did the scholarship provider provide any format? If they did, you should follow that. If they have not specified a specific format, then you can follow this simple outline when making your application/motivation letter: (1) Background/Key Qualifications, (2) Intentions for studying, (3) Expectations of the Course, and (4) your plans during and after the study. In making the letter, you should not just tell them why you need the scholarship but more importantly you should explain clearly why you deserve to get the scholarship.
From Carlos Mbuta
Q: The issue to age is not mentioned in most scholarships I have come across. Is age not a criteria?
Related Question from Clement Irhiemi:
Q: Is there any age limit to obtaining a scholarship abroad?
A: Some scholarships set an age limit and some do not. If the scholarship provider did not indicate an age limit as part of their eligibility requirements then it is safe to assume that there is no age limit. When there is an age limit, scholarship providers set different age limits for different levels of study (i.e. Masters, Phd, postdoctoral fellowships).
From Charity Mbuvah
Q: Is there a way for the application fee to be waived? l cannot afford to pay for it.
Is TOEFL exam supported by the scholarship?
A: You should be prepared to use your own funds for the application fee because most scholarship providers don’t shoulder this cost*. Most often than not, the cost of preparing the application requirements including the TOEFL exam is not covered by a scholarship. If you are really serious in pursuing a scholarship, you must try to save up for the cost of TOEFL or the application fee.
Note: Not all Universities require an application fee, in fact, a significant number of Universities allow you to apply without having to pay any application fee. Be aware of scholarship scams and double check if the University really requires an application fee.
Q: How can I find Universities that offer scholarships?
A: This is one challenging task to undertake. Luckily, we have developed a list of Universities that offer scholarships for developing countries, for your reference.
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