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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Applying for International Financial Aid: 5 Steps to Get You Started!

By StudySearch

Studying abroad can be an expensive venture but with financial aid, most international students offset the high costs and go on to pursue their undergraduate and graduate degrees abroad. There are thousands of scholarships, bursaries and student loans available for students from around the world. Here is how to maximize on these opportunities.

1. Research funding opportunities

Look up and write down all funding opportunities that are available for international students. This will enable you to make a checklist and a schedule for each opportunity. Ensure that you meet the eligibility and  that you are aware of the deadlines of each scholarship or loan. There are several scholarship websites that list this information down. Some scholarships favor students who have already acquired part of their fees, so consider applying for several partial scholarships at once.

Note: (Did you know that Study Search is giving away a $500 bursary? Click here to find out more)

2. Talk to your referees

Most scholarships ask for recommendation letters from your referees. These can be academic or professional or a combination of both. Have a chat with your referees, well before the due date, and discuss your academic goals, career objectives and where you are planning to study. This will give them a clear view of what to write in your recommendation letters. Make sure your referees are people who know you on a personal level and not just lecturers who would probably struggle to remember your name. Remember, a poor reference can cost you a financial aid.

3. Know the specifics of yours or your parents’ financial situation

While this may be a touchy topic, financial aid institutions may ask for your, your parents’ or guardians financial situation. This information is kept private and is just a way for the committee to determine if you really need financial aid. Have this information handy so that you don’t give the wrong information.

4. Prepare writing samples (if necessary)

Most scholarship committees ask that you provide an essay that details your academic and career objectives, as well as why you need a scholarship. This is a valuable opportunity to have your voice heard. These committees want to learn more about you, and what you are likely to do with your degree once you graduate. Make sure that you take adequate time to write the essay. You can even ask one (or all of your referees) to review it for you and to make sure that it is perfect.

5. Apply early

You can do all the preparation in the world, but if you miss a deadline, it is very unlikely that your application will even be considered. Make sure that you have all your documents ready before the due date and that your referees are aware of the deadline. We recommend having a schedule where you can set a deadline for preparing your essays and handing in your recommendation letters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


StudySearch

Are you looking for the easiest way to apply to universities abroad? Get help from top peer advisors. StudySearch is the simplest way for International students to apply to universities abroad. We connect International students with top peer advisors that have experience successfully studying abroad.

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