Getting a scholarship in the US may seem like a hard nut to crack, but, it isn’t. Having a scholarship can work as a financial aid for you while studying abroad. Plus, when you know you have financial support and don’t have to worry about the expenses of studying abroad burning a hole in your pocket, it helps boost your morale. Getting a scholarship during your MS or Phd in the US also reflects good on your resume and can further help enhance your profile when you go for interviews. Now, getting a scholarship might seem like an arduous task, but it really isn’t if you prove your eligibility for the scholarship and finish all the paperwork correctly. In this blog, we are going to talk about how you can get a scholarship and ease up your masters in the US.
- Keep the GRE/TOEFL Scores High
Ten to one a phenomenal GRE score increases your chances of getting an admission greatly. Same goes with scholarships. However, not many scholarships are based entirely on GRE or TOEFL scores. Still, you need to score at least above 165 in the quantitative and verbal part of GRE, 4.5 in writing skills part of GRE and above 110 in TOEFL to get a scholarship. Here’s a deeper insight as to how important a GRE score becomes in different circumstances. A good GRE score can help you if you have an average undergraduate percentile or grade and vice versa, but for the latter to happen, your overall profile should be unique and very different from others. Now by this we do not intend to imply that you draft a multi-lingual profile, but other parts of the profile such as the Statement of Purpose, work experience or achievement record have to outshine the other ones competing against yours.
- Statement of Purpose
Statement of Purpose is a short essay which you have the liberty to give a personal touch to. Instead of making it seem like any section of your profile where you have mentioned your scores and skills, let this one be more about yourself and your background. The other sections already have enough information regarding why you deserve to be admitted into the university in the form of your academic records, talents and achievements, but this one should talk about what inspires you to choose this field and why is financial assistance necessary. It should speak volumes about how much the course and the university means to you. Lay all the facts bare, even if it means revealing that you are working hard to make ends meet.
While a dozen of dummy SOPs are available on the internet and people might give their valuable suggestions to you on how to write an SOP, make sure NOT to copy paste a Statement of Purpose from anywhere. Precisely, you should own your SOP, both literally and figuratively. This post provides all the details that you need to keep in mind to draft a flawless SOP.
- Record of Achievements and Leadership
Stood first in a science fair, headed your college’s cabinet as an undergrad or got a research paper published? Well, put it all on your profile. However, you need to be both generous and judicious here. Feel free to add any of the preferably latest achievements if they relate to an MS or your PhD profile. Avoid adding achievements that will do a little good to your chances of getting a scholarship.
Your leadership stints, such as being the head of your department at work or the forerunner of a campaign of sorts, ‘Save the Environment’ for example, is also going to reflect well on the resume.
Community involvement and voluntary work should specifically be added. If you’ve ever volunteered to help others, for example, by organising seminars to raise awareness among school kids on online safety, drug abuse, sexual health etc.or organised workshops for underprivileged kids to teach a new skill – make it a point to include them in your profile, for this section could be a game-changer. These are very important because scholarship endowments are typically created to encourage students who have good ideals for society and take up leadership roles to help others and the community succeed. Hence, get more and more involved in community work and volunteering.
- The Know How
Practically speaking, this point should be taken as read. This is to say that to get a scholarship, you must be well aware about the technicalities of getting one. For superficial information on scholarships, Google is the best source. Hence, while you’re shortlisting colleges for yourself, you must visit their websites and look for their Financial Aid section. This section is especially designed to provide information on scholarships, such as, the names of scholarships provided by the university, the deadlines for applying for the colleges, a contact number that you can call to enquire more about the scholarship, etc. The eligibility for every scholarship should be mentioned in its description and you should check whether you fit in or not. Please note that it isn’t necessary that all the websites are going to provide you with all the information mentioned here, but ideally it should be as informative as possible.
However, do not simply rely on websites, because as mentioned earlier, they might not be completely or sufficiently informative. What you need to do is look for other and more comprehensive sources of information. Find a way to reach the admissions coordinator or financial aid coordinator. If you find no luck then simply mail the admissions committee, they might prove to be helpful.
Scholarships are the only kind of financial assistance one gets from his/her university. Besides applying for a scholarship, you can also work 20 hours per week for $8 per hour and earn a considerable amount monthly. It might seem and get tough initially, but remember, your hard work is definitely going to “pay off” someday! Follow the above mentioned guidelines and we guarantee that applying for a scholarship will be a cakewalk.