I know it’s Winter break, but study abroad scholarship deadlines for summer, fall, and academic year-long programs are going to come up fast! The Boren campus deadline is in January, PKP is in February, and there are more in March and April. Now is the perfect time to get started!
By applying for scholarships, you’re essentially asking a stranger to help you pay for your experience abroad. You have to make your request stand out! Here are a few tips to make your application the most convincing one possible.
• Review eligibility criteria & ensure you meet ALL necessary requirements before applying! If you meet some, but not all, or have any questions, contact the giving organization.
• Learn about the organization providing the scholarship.
o Why did they create the scholarship? What do they hope that students will accomplish with the money?
o Be sure to address how you fit those interests/needs in your application, particularly the essay.
• Answer all the questions they ask in the essay. Your essay should address every point they’re looking for in a concise, and engaging manner. Remember that the essay is usually your only chance to distinguish yourself from the rest of the applicant pool!
• Proofread. Then proofread again. Even one error could take you out of the running. Watch for tricky misspellings like “aboard” vs. “abroad”. Take advantage of the Writing Center for something this important!
• Choose references wisely. If your scholarship requires references, put some thought into who can best represent you.
o Make sure your reference(s) know you well and are appropriate for the scholarship. (Never use a family member as a reference!)
o Get to know professors before references are required, or at least hold on to some of your papers/assignments to help jog a professor’s memory of you.
o Provide a summary of the scholarship program so that the professor can speak to your abilities as they relate to that organization.
Those are just a few things you can do to make sure you’re the best candidate possible. For more information on scholarships, and upcoming deadlines, see the scholarship listings website.