How To Get An International Scholarship

How To Get An International Scholarship

September 1, 2019 33 By Stanley Isaacs


Thank you for attending our webinar today
on how to get scholarships presented by International Student loan. My name is Bryanna Davis and
Iím the Marketing Coordinator here at International Student Loan and today I am here with Victoria
Troupe, who is another Marketing Coordinator as well as our Director of Financial Services,
Jennifer Frankel. So before we get started I would like to mention
that if you have any questions throughout the webinar, please feel free to send those
in free through the webinar chat feature or you can jump on Twitter. Our handle is @InternationalStudentLoans
and you can join the conversation by tweeting #FiniancialAidTalk. Please feel free to ask
questions throughout the webinar and we will address them at the end of our program.
First of all we are going to talk about what scholarships are, how to find them and how
to apply. We will share some tips and tricks to make your application stand out, followed
by a question and answer portion. Essentially a scholarship is free money. Itís
not money to use anywhere, of course itís for education and in most cases ñ in most
of your cases it will be used for international education. The great thing about using scholarships
vs. personal funding or loans is that scholarships donít need to be repaid. Once again, itís
free money for school that you wonít be expected to repay later, making it a great option to
fund your education. Just because scholarships are free doesnít make them easy to get and
a lot of work is involved and we are here to give you advice on your scholarship journey.
First we are going to look at different types of scholarships, but keep in mind there are
two different places to look for all kinds of scholarships: your institution and private
means. So first we have the academic scholarship. This option is usually based on your GPA or
certain test scores such as the SAT, ACT or similar tests. Typically there will be different
requirements within this type of scholarship but donít assume you will be eliminated simply
because you donít have the best GPA, so itís always good to keep this option open. Next
we have athletic scholarships. If you excel in a sport then take advantage and see what
scholarship options are available through your school and private institutions. Getting
an athletic scholarship at your school can be advantageous because not only do you get
paid to play the sport, you also have the opportunity to represent your school through
that sport. Next we have special interests. Perhaps you
are very passionate about choir or art or you play a musical instrument. You will want
to see if there are any special interest scholarships available. The best part about this type of
scholarship is the fact that there wonít typically be as many people applying as opposed
to a general school scholarship. Situational scholarships have a few categories;
the first is based on income. If you can show that there is a need for financial aid, then
you want to find scholarships who will grant you money based on that. Next is achievement.
Perhaps you are active in the volunteer world or within different organizations and may
even hold offices within those organizations. You will want to stress your achievement when
applying for those kinds of awards. Then we have field of study. If you are studying
biology or nursing for example, you will want to find what kinds of scholarships are available
based on the field of study you plan on pursuing. Later we will discuss how to find these different
types of scholarships, especially this kind because there are many different outlets to
find scholarships. Next we have country specific. This can go
both ways, meaning you could find a scholarship based on where you are from or the country
that you are going to study in. Finally, we have school specific scholarships. These are
given based on the fact that you will be attending the school, making it a very basic yet great
opportunity. You may also be able to find a scholarship at your school based on the
fact that you are an international student, so thatís another outlet that you will want
to look at. So next weíre going to look at how you find
scholarships and so Iím going to hand the mike over to Jennifer Frankel.
Jennifer: When searching for scholarships itís important
to think about who you are and what sets you apart from everyone else. To help you do this
weíve compiled a list of to ask yourself what helps you stand out.
What are your interests? What are you good at?
What makes you stand out? What are your skills?
Think about awards you have received in the past ñ perhaps different awards or merits
based on skills or interests you may have. Additionally you will want to think about
where you are from. There are many scholarships out there that will be based on either your
home country or governmental scholarships. Think about this as you consider different
scholarships to apply for. There are two kinds of scholarships: need
based and merit based. Be sure to identify which you should apply to. If you do not need
the money then you wonít qualify for the academic based need scholarships, so focus
more on the merit awards. Additionally, itís important to think about your academics. What
are you studying? Biology or chemistry? What is it that you enjoy doing and want to carry
on throughout your academic career? What school are you attending? Many universities and colleges
do award scholarships when the student initially arrives or based on their performance in the
school. Finally, what is it that you are studying? As I mentioned, if you choose to study biology
you may be able to talk to the department for additional funds or there are additional
institutions that can give you money as well. The stem, which is science, engineering, technology
and mathematics are all really great areas of study with a high demand. So if you do
choose to study in one of those areas you are at a higher chance for a scholarship award.
So now that you know yourself after you have asked yourself all of those questions, the
next thing to cover is: where can you look for scholarship funding? The first place most
international students start with is their college or university. When you submit your
application, depending on the school, you will be applying through the admissions department.
It is in this department that you can ëopt iní for different kinds of scholarships.
Itís important to talk to your admissions department to ensure you have submitted the
correct paperwork and check the deadlines. You will also want to talk to your international
center. It can be a great resource for you because usually, you will be assigned an international
student advisor who will be able to guide you throughout your education. Talk with this
advisor and befriend him because they will be knowledgeable about campus awards because
they deal with this on a regular basis ñitís their job.
The next place to touch base with on the university level is your department of study. Whether
thatís the business school or humanities department, talk to them and let them know
what your passions are and where you want to take your education. This could end up
leaving you with extra funds. Being partial scholarships or even a full-ride.
There are also many students who attend universities in the US with academic or athletic department
scholarships. These awards are usually given by the coach. Basketball, football, soccer,
all of these are relevant areas of athletics where you can get awards to help you continue
with your education. Many of these are great scholarships so be sure to talk to the coach
and look for organizations who can get you in touch with those coaches to whom you could
showcase your skills and possibly lead to a scholarship.
A large area that continues to grow is home country government awards as well as host
country government awards. If you are from Brazil or Saudi Arabia or Iraq for example,
many of your home countries to provide funds to help students in exchange programs. Make
sure to look at the government of your home country to see if they support international
exchange funding as we are seeing a higher trend.
As I mentioned, there are host country government awards also. So if you are coming to the USA
for example, there is an organization called Education USA that provides extra funding
for you. Finally, there are international organizations. These include nonprofit organizations,
international organizations, and multinational companies. All of these organizations can
provide different funding options for international students, depending on their mission.
Itís important to keep your eyes and options open when looking for scholarships, but this
is easier said than done. I am going to show you a few different websites that can help
you compile all of the different available awards. First is www.iefa.org. Here there
are a number of different awards for scholarships. In fact, you can search grants and scholarships,
all of which you can narrow down by selecting the award name if you already know it. Alternately,
you can find scholarships by entering where and what youíre studying and where you are
from. You would simply click down. Letís say weíre studying aviation. We can quickly
search and view available awards based on interest. It will also show us our nationality
and location so we can see which awards are available for whom.
Another website than can be of help is www.fundingusstudy.org. Here you can search by program, sponsor organization,
area of study, state location and region. So for example, if you want to come to Florida
or perhaps you are already studying in Florida, you can click and see 15 different programs
from graduate and undergraduate scholarships and merit scholarships ñ making this a great
resource to find funding for your international education and you will never be given matches
for domestic students. The third area that I would like to point
out is www.internationalscholarships.com. This website also allows you to search by
various criteria including your field of study, where you are from and where you are going.
There is also an area where you can search by ëindependent award listing.í This function
makes searching for awards specific to your institution simple. Once you find the award
you would like to search for click it and you will be able to view an overview of the
award and then ëregister nowí to contact the administration for more information. Now
Iím going to turn it over to Victoria Troupe to talk about your application and everything
you need to get together to ensure your application is clear, concise and memorable.
Tori: After you find a scholarship that you think
you qualify for the next question is how do you make your application stand out above the competition? On the slide
in front of us is an example on the right hand side of a typical scholarship requirement
and 5 things that are generally required in an application. The first is the essay. Sometimes the topic
is assigned, not always, but this is the most important piece of the application. Secondly,
you need to submit a resume or CV with your application as well along with transcripts.
You will notice on the example here that you are required to have an average grade of a
ìBî or better in previous coursework. That means that you will have to submit your transcripts.
Additionally, letters of recommendation are required and sometimes there will be an application
fee, so that is something to keep in mind also. Like I mentioned earlier, the essay is the
most important piece of the scholarship application. An essay or other written submission is oftentimes
the only time the decision committee will hear your perspective on why you feel you
deserve the scholarship. Itís important to make it as compelling as possible. Sometimes
you can look over the winners of past scholarships so that you can see what the judges are really
looking for. The best thing you can do to ensure your essay is a winner is to start
brainstorming early for your essay. Donít wait until the last minute and give yourself
time to put ideas on paper to determine the direction you want your essay to take. After you have brainstormed and determined
the direction of your essay, you should create an outline. This outline needs to include
everything you want to write about and laid out in a logical order, leading from one topic
to the next fluidly. Your essay
should really emphasize your strengths and why you deserve the funding for college so
be sure to concentrate and spend a lot of time. Letters of recommendation are usually required
for scholarship applications and are written by faculty in your field of study. This could
be a previous professor, or teacher who can really speak to your qualifications in academia.
Sometimes they are written by supervisors or colleagues in your career field who can
speak to your character and work ethic. If this letter isnít required, a list of references
most likely will be. Here you can list two or three of the same type of references as
in the letter of recommendation. Be sure to include their name, title and contact information
because the scholarship committee will contact them directly so that they can speak to your
qualifications. A resume is usually required as well and is
usually important to customize your resume for the scholarship you are applying for.
This can be reflected in the objective and ensure you put the most relevant or impressive
information at the top of your resume so thatís the first thing they see and to catch their
attention. Also, be sure to include key words in your resume that are included in the scholarship
description or qualifications so that it catches the readerís eye and so they will see you
as a qualified applicant. Ensure you add your related accomplishments and qualifications
such as volunteer work, clubs your associated with, any awards you have received for academia
or other things. Never forget to have a friend or family member proof read your resume before
you turn it in. A cover letter is also a great addition to any scholarship application, the
same way you would for any job interview. Lastly, to prove that you are academically
capable of pursuing higher education, a transcript is usually required. The scholarship application
will tell you which type of transcript is required, sometimes it is an unofficial transcript,
which you can usually download from your schools website. Or an official transcript may be
required. An official transcript is a little harder to get. It is signed and sealed and
then mailed directly from your school to the scholarship application office, so you will
need to request official transcripts early to ensure they arrive at their destination
well before the due date. Itís often a good idea to request a few at once, that way you
already have them and so donít have to wait for them later on. To give you a brief synopsis of what we have
talked about today, here is what we have covered: Scholarships are available especially for
international students, they are out there. The most important thing to consider is to
perfect your application to increase your chances of winning. Resources are available
to help you. All of the websites that Jennifer shared are great resources to help you. Also,
there are countless resources to help you with resume building, essay writing and everything
else you may need to create a great application. Ensure you are following us on Twitter @InternationalStudentLoans
and because we are going to post some great links to scholarship sources. Now Iím going to hand it over to Bryanna
to answer some questions, but feel free to continue sending questions on the webinar
chat and twitter feed as well. Bryanna:
Thank you so much. We have had a few questions come in and we will go ahead and address them
now. Question: ìShould I follow-up on a scholarship
application?î Answer: Typically you donít want to bombard
the scholarship committee, so typically only contact them after the deadline if you have
not seen any results as to the winner. This really is the only case you would want to
follow-up on the scholarship application. Question: ìI found a scholarship that requires
me to pay to apply. Is this safe and typical?î Answer: While you want to use caution for
scholarships who require payment with the application, as long as you have done your
research and ensure itís for a reliable institution, thereís typically no problem with having
to pay a small fee. As Victoria mentioned, some scholarships do require a small fee,
typically itís an administration fee. Also, those fees may be added to the scholarship
award amount. Either way, ensure you do your research before sending any money. Question: ìWhat are keywords?î
Answer: Remember when Victoria was speaking on resumes? Keywords are words that are going
to stand out to the people reading your scholarship application. Those words may be positive words
like determined, proactive, reliable etc. It looks like we have answered all of the
questions and so I would like to thank you for attending our webinar today, hopefully
you are able to benefit from our information. If you would like any more information, check
out www.internationalstudentloan.com or you can email us directly at [email protected]
Feel free to follow us on twitter @InternationalStudentLoans. If you would like to register at www.internationalstudentloan.com
you will receive up-to-date blogs with relevant information. The next one we have coming up
is going to be on different websites to find scholarships easily, so you want to be sure
to sign up for our feed so you will have access to that information. Thank you again for attending and have a great
day.