Before you press the ‘send’ button, read this essential guide on how to apply a scholarship, from tailoring your application to asking for feedback before you submit.
1. Do your research
There might not be one single place where you can find all the information that you’re looking for, so make sure you do plenty of research so you know what’s on offer. Our website is a starting-point, but make sure you also check out your local British Council website and institutions’ own websites as well.
2. Check the eligibility criteria
Check the eligibility criteria carefully to make sure that you fit the scholar profile. Some eligibility requirements across different scholarships or bursaries, for example, will be the same. Pay attention to the details, and only spend time applying for things you are eligible for and have a real chance of getting.
3. Consider timelines
Be organized. Keep on top of all of your deadlines, for funding, for courses, and even visas. Plan ahead and make sure that you have all of the timelines in one place that makes sense to you so that you can meet all of the milestones that you have to.
4. Write tailored applications for each scholarship
Lots of different universities have different questions and requirements when applying for scholarships so you can’t just copy and paste your application. Make a real effort to understand, in detail, the needs and requirements of each university. This may take a little extra time in the beginning, but it will ensure that you have a high-quality, tailored application which will increase your chances of receiving funding for your desired program in your scholarship.
5. Seek assistance before you submit
Wherever possible, seek out someone trustworthy to help advise you on your application and to proofread it before you submit. For some applicants, this could be asking friends or teachers. However, for those who do not have that kind of support network, you could – for example – reach out on LinkedIn to a current or former scholar from the universities you are applying to and ask them to read your application and give you any feedback.
6. ‘Just go for it’
Isabela Nieto from Mexico, a GREAT scholar who is currently doing her master’s in Political Economy at the University of Essex, said:
‘When I learned about the possibility of being a GREAT scholar I thought there was a very small chance that I’d get it. But I decided that if I didn’t try I would never know. The ‘why not?’ was my main driver. The no was already there, so I thought I might as well take my chances.’
‘It’s normal to think that there are many people who are more deserving of certain opportunities and certain awards but you might be surprised. [Scholarships] can open doors that we never imagined existed. So, just go for it. And, if you don’t get exactly what you’re looking for there are always other options and different ways to meet our goals. Things happen when we push for them.’