Several organizations award free scholarships to international students to pursue their study abroad ambition. Sadly, these go unclaimed because applicants are unaware of how to prepare a scholarship winning essay or cannot give satisfying answers to scholarship questions asked by the scholarship providers. Hence In this article, we will discuss scholarships most frequently asked questions and how to provide answers.
Question: Tell us about yourself
Answer: When responding to this question, always bear in mind that the scholarship committee wants to have a better idea or a clearer picture of who you are as an individual. They really want to know why you are uniquely different from others. Avoid the trap of wasting time talking about what’s in your résumé. Hit the nail on the head! Tell them things/activities that are unique to you, and that distinguishes you from the other applicants. For example, you may be pursuing an engineering degree, but in your free time you create cartoons just for fun. Perhaps, you have a Tumbrl page filled with crazy food concoctions that were created to illustrate engineering problems, or maybe you are the direct descendant of the person who invented indoor plumbing. The important thing is to tell them what sets you apart from other applicants; it could be talent or a strange genealogical fact.
Question: Give us an example of a time you overcame adversity
Answer: Talk to the committee about a time where you were placed in an uncomfortable or difficult situation; for example, confronting someone who may have been bullying you or dealing with a difficult teacher. Other potential answers could include: instances of discrimination (gender, race, sexuality, etc.), being wrongly accused of something, or a sudden change in your family’s finances.
Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Answer: The scholarship committee wants to know if you’ve planned your life. Try to envision where you want to be in five years, and then figure out how to get there. Your plan should include how long you will remain in college (bachelor’s, master’s, or higher?), internships or other outside activities that will help improve your chances of accomplishing your goals, as well as a financial strategy to cover all your expenses.
Question: How do you plan to use the scholarship money?
Answer: If you were a scholarship provider and you wanted to give out scholarships worth $1,000 (or more), wouldn’t you want to know how the scholars will spend the money? That’s the same reason why the scholarship committee is asking you this question. It’s one thing to say you ‘need’ money for college, but it’s quite another to actually show a provider where the proceeds will be put to use. Plan ahead by creating a budget that spells out all your estimated expenses for obtaining your degree, and don’t forget to include any anticipated income you may receive from your family or other resources. Assure the committee that you are applying to other scholarships as well. It will impress the committee if they see you are taking an active role in keeping your student debt to a minimum. Don’t forget to bring along extra copies of your budget, too, just in case the committee wants a closer look.
Question: Why do you deserve this scholarship?
Answer: When you answer this question, please don’t brag about your GPA or how many clubs you belong to at school. Many finalists will also have similar academic accomplishments. So it doesn’t make sense repeating it. It’s also not a good idea to declare that without the scholarship you’ll be unable to attend college. In most cases, that will be untrue. Yes, you may be unable to afford your dream college, but I assure you that there are other less expensive alternatives to earning your degree. Instead, be honest with the committee and acknowledge that there are other worthy candidates that probably deserve the award as much as you do, but remind them that your work ethic and past accomplishments are a good indicator of your future success.
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