What makes a good scholarship application?
If you decide to apply for a scholarship the first thing that you must come to terms with is that you will be competing with the most able students in the world. You will, therefore, need to present yourself at your very best. Be sensible and apply only for those scholarships for which you are certain that you are eligible for. Unless you are applying for a particular scholarship, simply and honestly tell the scholarship provider what level of financial aid you need, and they will fit the scholarship to you. Make copies of the application forms so that you can create a working draft: you will more than likely need several efforts to get it right.
The scholarship application form introduces you to the judges who decide to whom scholarships are awarded. You need to make your introduction as concise and business-like as possible. The application form must be completed on a computer. Don’t use complicated fonts but stick with standard business ones. Legibility and neatness are very important. Your application may be eliminated if it cannot be easily read. Check and re-check for typos. Enlist help as it is very hard to proof-read your own material. Inevitably, your mind’s eye reads what you thought you wrote, not what actually made it onto the page. A fresh reader will catch the words that you missed and find the spelling mistakes.
Place the requested documents in the package in the order that they are required. This consistency makes it easier for evaluators to locate your information and also makes it simpler for you to check the documents against the list of requirements. Do not send documents which have not been requested.
You should also make a copy of the full application as it is important to have a complete record of everything you send in exactly the form it was received. Use an envelope that will hold your application without folding it: the application will look much better without creases. Send the application “return receipt requested” or use a courier service which allows you to track the package’s path and verify who signed for it. You will require proof that the application was received by the University.
The scholarship application should be an accurate reflection of you. Make sure that your application is professional and convincing. This is an opportunity for you to speak about yourself. It should show that you have ideas and opinions, can think logically and can express yourself clearly, with economy and elegance. Clear writing comes from clear thinking. First and foremost, decide what you wish to say and carefully consider what you wish to impress upon the reader. Make sure that you have answered any questions. Many write what they want to say, not what the awarding committee wants to hear. Do not write in a cute or gimmicky style. You should show that you have thought deeply about what you have learned in your academic career so far as well as about what you hope to learn next and how this will help the development of your country upon your return.
When you have written the first draft, start the work of refining, editing, and polishing. Did you say exactly what you meant to say? Is any section, sentence, or word superfluous, ambiguous, or awkward? Are your verbs strong and active? Are you sure that each accomplishment and interest you list supports one of your main ideas? Do not misrepresent yourself in any way. Correctness and style are vital. Neatness counts. Check your spelling and grammar. Ask several individuals whose judgment you respect to read and criticise a draft of your essay. Remember, in any application, the reader wants to know three things: why is it important to you, why it is right for you and why you are right for it. Your application should be built around this message.
English Language Requirements
A Bachelors’ Degrees may ask for IELTS of 6, TOEFL or 6.5, TOEFL, and 7.0 for the most competitive, demanding courses.
A Master’s degrees for an MBA, for example, may require: Or 6.0 IELTS/ 550/79 TOEFL (or equivalent) plus a pre-sessional English course.
UCAS: The umbrella for all UK undergraduate courses. One application form for five choices. www.ucas.com
Brian Heap: Author of (UK) University Degree Course Offers – Trotman Press ISBN: 978 1 84455 246 7
British Council: Hryhoriya Skovorody St, 4/12, Kiev, Ukraine, 04070 www.britishcouncil.org.ua/en +380 44 490 5600
Matriculation: the start of a course, usually a 3 or 4-year undergraduate degree programme
BA, BSc, BEd, BEng: Bachelor of Arts, Sciences, Education, Engineering … qualification from a first degree (3-4 years)
MA, MSc, MPhil: higher degree, only possible after a BA, taught or by research, usually 1-2 years
MBA: Master of Business Administration. The standard postgraduate qualification for aspiring executives
Ph.D.: Doctor of Philosophy top level research-based qualification, on any subject, usually 3-5 years after a BA.