How to Write a Comprehensive Scholarship Application?

how to write scholarship application - LilacBuds

Aspiring to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees at Ivy League colleges but lack the financial means? This is where scholarships come to the rescue of deserving students. They are financial aids that help students realise their dreams of studying at the top universities abroad. Scholarship applications are cover letters expressing the candidate’s interest in a scholarship, detailing how the scholarship can prove helpful in achieving their personal and professional goals. 

Receiving a scholarship provides students with the opportunity to focus on their education without participating in financial activities to finance their education. However, it is important to know how to write a scholarship letter to secure the best scholarships. This article will delve into the best ways of writing a scholarship application, its components and the scope of scholarships. 

Tips to Write Scholarship Application 

It is imperative to stand out in a sea of applicants to bag the best scholarships to top colleges. Here are some helpful tips on how to write a scholarship application: 

  • Do your research: Before applying to any scholarship program for undergrad or postgrad, perform preliminary research to understand the different scholarships and their requirements. 
  • Early application: It is prudent to start applying early for scholarships. This approach serves a dual purpose of expressing your keen interest and maximising your chances of receiving the scholarship. 
  • Formal tone: Write the scholarship application in a formal tone following a well-structured flow. It showcases your precision as well as your intention to seek admission. The application should be free of grammatical and typographical errors.  
  • Describe your suitability: Highlighting the professional and educational qualities is important. Together with this, elaborate on your intention for future professional advancement and how securing admission to the college will contribute to it. 
  • Contextualise the application: Customising for specific college applications is imperative to draft an appealing letter. Ensure that the goals, aspirations and accomplishments are in line with specific undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

With an understanding of what makes a person a strong candidate to be eligible for scholarships, let us now look at the key components of a scholarship application. 

Components of Scholarship Application

A comprehensive scholarship application must include the following components: 

  • Self-introduction: The opening of the scholarship application must grasp the reader’s interest. It creates an impression that carries forward. Hence, it is important to start with a powerful opening showcasing your eagerness to take up the course. 
  • Get a recommendation letter: While the details in the scholarship application might be enough to help you secure one, adding a couple of recommendations adds weight to your application. It acts as a source of external validation for the claims made in the scholarship application. 
  • Delve into why you are an ideal application: After the opening paragraph, delve into your accomplishments, targets, and skills in accordance with the course you are applying for. Express your interest, detailing your passion for the course of study and elaborate on how you are a strong contender. 
  • Concluding Paragraph: End your scholarship application by thanking the scholarship committee for reviewing your application. Provide your contact details for them to get in touch in case further information or notification is needed. 

Finally, let us examine the size of funding available for undergraduate and postgraduate students to know the scope of scholarships and how far they can aid potential applicants. 

how to write a scholarship letter - LilacBuds

Scope of Scholarship Funding  

Scholarship grants come in different types and sizes. While getting a 100% coverage scholarship is rare, it happens in one case out of a hundred, there are numerous other scholarship sizes that can help stay afloat. It is a surprise to know for many that the US government allocates $46 billion annually as scholarship money. This provides a glimpse into the scope of scholarships.

Besides 100% coverage, there are part and full tuition fees and living cost covers. Further, there are scholarships targeted specifically for international students, students belonging to particular communities and students taking up education in a particular field. On average, first-time undergraduates receive $14,890 annually for a 4-year program. The amount of the scholarship mainly depends on factors such as:

  • Type of scholarship
  • Financial need
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Academic achievement 
  • Volunteer work
  • Field of study 

Let us look at the type of scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in depth. The three main types of scholarships offered are:

  1. Full Scholarship: This is the dream come true scholarship that covers full tuition fees and additional expenses on room and board in some cases. Usually, students with exceptional grades and a high financial need secure these scholarships at expensive private colleges. 
  2. Partial Scholarships: The average scholarship amount for partial scholarship ranges between $5000 to $10000 annually and about 25% of college students are able to avail of some partial scholarship, according to the Education Data Initiative. These scholarships are extended by educational institutions, professional organisations and community partners. The advantage of partial scholarships is that most of them offer flexible usage and can be utilised for covering tuition, room, books, board expenses, etc. 
  3. Small Scholarships: This category encompasses scholarship offers of less than $1000. These are mostly offered by private or non-profit organisations and have minimal requirements. Because of the low amount offered, fewer people apply for these scholarships which enhances the chances of securing them. 

With knowledge of the multiple scholarships offered and their scope, students can incorporate the best tips to write a convincing scholarship application. Aspirants must pay close attention to how to write a scholarship application letter to realise their dreams of studying at the best universities and kickstarting their journey towards success. For further simplification, we have listed down some of the best universities and scholarships with their features to help you navigate through the scholarship opportunities. 

Here are some of the most popular scholarships in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia that must top the list of aspirants. 

Scholarship Name Country  Highlight
Chevening Scholarship UK Fully Funded scholarship covering housing, tuition and other costs. 
QUAD Fellowship USA Offers scholarships to about 100 students in STEM
Australia Awards Scholarship Australia Covers the full tuition fee and contributes to living expenses
Oxford Pershing Square Scholarship UK Fully funded scholarship covering Master’s and MBA tuition fees and living expenses
Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan Canada Covers living expenses, travel and tuition fees
Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme USA Covers tuition fees and living expenses

how to write a scholarship application letter - lilacbuds

While this is a list of the common scholarships all students aspire for, the following is a list of colleges based on the level of study to further narrow down your research:

Top Scholarships by Program Type 

Scholarship Name Program 
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees Postgraduate
Fulbright Foreign Student Program Postgraduate
Cambridge Trust Scholarship Undergraduate
The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Clarendon Scholarships at the University of Oxford Postgraduate
Microsoft Scholarship Program STEM Undergraduate
Peggy Dixon Scholarship STEM Undergraduate
American Nuclear Society Scholarship Program STEM Undergraduate and Postgraduate
DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship STEM Postgraduate

The colleges offering maximum scholarships to students include Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University and Stanford University in the USA, the University of Nottingham, University of Oxford and University College of London in the UK, the University of Toronto in Canada and University of Adelaide in Australia. These universities not only hold the highest ranks but also make studying there an economically viable option by funding the education of the top applicants. 

Guidance and support from experienced professionals act as the support pillar to strengthen the application and avail of the maximum scholarship. Speak to the team at LilacBuds, who can extend support and guidance to aspirants to help them draft a convincing scholarship application. With more than a third of our graduate school clients gaining financial support and a fourth of our undergraduate clients gaining scholarships, our results speak for themselves. 

Get in touch with us to connect with highly experienced mentors and seamlessly win over the best scholarships.  

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