Scholarship for higher education
Thank you for attending our webinar todayon how to get scholarships presented by International Student loan. My name is Bryanna Davis andIím the Marketing Coordinator here at International Student Loan and today I am here with VictoriaTroupe, who is another Marketing Coordinator as well as our Director of Financial Services,Jennifer Frankel. So before we get started I would like to mentionthat if you have any questions throughout the webinar, please feel free to send thosein free through the webinar chat feature or you can jump on Twitter. Our handle is @InternationalStudentLoansand you can join the conversation by tweeting #FiniancialAidTalk. Please feel free to askquestions throughout the webinar and we will address them at the end of our program.First of all we are going to talk about what scholarships are, how to find them and howto apply. We will share some tips and tricks to make your application stand out, followedby a question and answer portion. Essentially a scholarship is free money. Itísnot money to use anywhere, of course itís for education and in most cases ñ in mostof your cases it will be used for international education. The great thing about using scholarshipsvs. personal funding or loans is that scholarships donít need to be repaid. Once again, itísfree money for school that you wonít be expected to repay later, making it a great option tofund your education. Just because scholarships are free doesnít make them easy to get anda lot of work is involved and we are here to give you advice on your scholarship journey.First we are going to look at different types of scholarships, but keep in mind there aretwo different places to look for all kinds of scholarships: your institution and privatemeans. So first we have the academic scholarship. This option is usually based on your GPA orcertain test scores such as the SAT, ACT or similar tests. Typically there will be differentrequirements within this type of scholarship but donít assume you will be eliminated simplybecause you donít have the best GPA, so itís always good to keep this option open. Nextwe have athletic scholarships. If you excel in a sport then take advantage and see whatscholarship options are available through your school and private institutions. Gettingan athletic scholarship at your school can be advantageous because not only do you getpaid to play the sport, you also have the opportunity to represent your school throughthat sport. Next we have special interests. Perhaps youare very passionate about choir or art or you play a musical instrument. You will wantto see if there are any special interest scholarships available. The best part about this type ofscholarship is the fact that there wonít typically be as many people applying as opposedto a general school scholarship. Situational scholarships have a few categories;the first is based on income. If you can show that there is a need for financial aid, thenyou want to find scholarships who will grant you money based on that. Next is achievement.Perhaps you are active in the volunteer world or within different organizations and mayeven hold offices within those organizations. You will want to stress your achievement whenapplying for those kinds of awards. Then we have field of study. If you are studyingbiology or nursing for example, you will want to find what kinds of scholarships are availablebased on the field of study you plan on pursuing. Later we will discuss how to find these differenttypes of scholarships, especially this kind because there are many different outlets tofind scholarships. Next we have country specific. This can goboth ways, meaning you could find a scholarship based on where you are from or the countrythat you are going to study in. Finally, we have school specific scholarships. These aregiven based on the fact that you will be attending the school, making it a very basic yet greatopportunity. You may also be able to find a scholarship at your school based on thefact that you are an international student, so thatís another outlet that you will wantto look at. So next weíre going to look at how you findscholarships and so Iím going to hand the mike over to Jennifer Frankel.Jennifer: When searching for scholarships itís importantto think about who you are and what sets you apart from everyone else. To help you do thisweíve compiled a list of to ask yourself what helps you stand out.What are your interests? What are you good at?What makes you stand out? What are your skills?Think about awards you have received in the past ñ perhaps different awards or meritsbased on skills or interests you may have. Additionally you will want to think aboutwhere you are from. There are many scholarships out there that will be based on either yourhome country or governmental scholarships. Think about this as you consider differentscholarships to apply for. There are two kinds of scholarships: needbased and merit based. Be sure to identify which you should apply to. If you do not needthe money then you wonít qualify for the academic based need scholarships, so focusmore on the merit awards. Additionally, itís important to think about your academics. Whatare you studying? Biology or chemistry? What is it that you enjoy doing and want to carryon throughout your academic career? What school are you attending? Many universities and collegesdo award scholarships when the student initially arrives or based on their performance in theschool. Finally, what is it that you are studying? As I mentioned, if you choose to study biologyyou may be able to talk to the department for additional funds or there are additionalinstitutions that can give you money as well. The stem, which is science, engineering, technologyand mathematics are all really great areas of study with a high demand. So if you dochoose to study in one of those areas you are at a higher chance for a scholarship award.So now that you know yourself after you have asked yourself all of those questions, thenext thing to cover is: where can you look for scholarship funding? The first place mostinternational students start with is their college or university. When you submit yourapplication, depending on the school, you will be applying through the admissions department.It is in this department that you can ëopt iní for different kinds of scholarships.Itís important to talk to your admissions department to ensure you have submitted thecorrect paperwork and check the deadlines. You will also want to talk to your internationalcenter. It can be a great resource for you because usually, you will be assigned an internationalstudent advisor who will be able to guide you throughout your education. Talk with thisadvisor and befriend him because they will be knowledgeable about campus awards becausethey deal with this on a regular basis ñitís their job.The next place to touch base with on the university level is your department of study. Whetherthatís the business school or humanities department, talk to them and let them knowwhat your passions are and where you want to take your education. This could end upleaving you with extra funds. Being partial scholarships or even a full-ride.There are also many students who attend universities in the US with academic or athletic departmentscholarships. These awards are usually given by the coach. Basketball, football, soccer,all of these are relevant areas of athletics where you can get awards to help you continuewith your education. Many of these are great scholarships so be sure to talk to the coachand look for organizations who can get you in touch with those coaches to whom you couldshowcase your skills and possibly lead to a scholarship.A large area that continues to grow is home country government awards as well as hostcountry government awards. If you are from Brazil or Saudi Arabia or Iraq for example,many of your home countries to provide funds to help students in exchange programs. Makesure to look at the government of your home country to see if they support internationalexchange funding as we are seeing a higher trend.As I mentioned, there are host country government awards also. So if you are coming to the USAfor example, there is an organization called Education USA that provides extra fundingfor you. Finally, there are international organizations. These include nonprofit organizations,international organizations, and multinational companies. All of these organizations canprovide different funding options for international students, depending on their mission.Itís important to keep your eyes and options open when looking for scholarships, but thisis easier said than done. I am going to show you a few different websites that can helpyou compile all of the different available awards. First is www.iefa.org. Here thereare a number of different awards for scholarships. In fact, you can search grants and scholarships,all of which you can narrow down by selecting the award name if you already know it. Alternately,you can find scholarships by entering where and what youíre studying and where you arefrom. You would simply click down. Letís say weíre studying aviation. We can quicklysearch and view available awards based on interest. It will also show us our nationalityand location so we can see which awards are available for whom.Another website than can be of help is www.fundingusstudy.org. Here you can search by program, sponsor organization,area of study, state location and region. So for example, if you want to come to Floridaor perhaps you are already studying in Florida, you can click and see 15 different programsfrom graduate and undergraduate scholarships and merit scholarships ñ making this a greatresource to find funding for your international education and you will never be given matchesfor domestic students. The third area that I would like to pointout is www.internationalscholarships.com. This website also allows you to search byvarious criteria including your field of study, where you are from and where you are going.There is also an area where you can search by ëindependent award listing.í This functionmakes searching for awards specific to your institution simple. Once you find the awardyou would like to search for click it and you will be able to view an overview of theaward and then ëregister nowí to contact the administration for more information. NowIím going to turn it over to Victoria Troupe to talk about your application and everythingyou need to get together to ensure your application is clear, concise and memorable.Tori: After you find a scholarship that you thinkyou qualify for the next question is how do you make your application stand out above the competition? On the slidein front of us is an example on the right hand side of a typical scholarship requirementand 5 things that are generally required in an application. The first is the essay. Sometimes the topicis assigned, not always, but this is the most important piece of the application. Secondly,you need to submit a resume or CV with your application as well along with transcripts.You will notice on the example here that you are required to have an average grade of aìBî or better in previous coursework. That means that you will have to submit your transcripts.Additionally, letters of recommendation are required and sometimes there will be an applicationfee, so that is something to keep in mind also. Like I mentioned earlier, the essay is themost important piece of the scholarship application. An essay or other written submission is oftentimesthe only time the decision committee will hear your perspective on why you feel youdeserve the scholarship. Itís important to make it as compelling as possible. Sometimesyou can look over the winners of past scholarships so that you can see what the judges are reallylooking for. The best thing you can do to ensure your essay is a winner is to startbrainstorming early for your essay. Donít wait until the last minute and give yourselftime to put ideas on paper to determine the direction you want your essay to take. After you have brainstormed and determinedthe direction of your essay, you should create an outline. This outline needs to includeeverything you want to write about and laid out in a logical order, leading from one topicto the next fluidly. Your essay should really emphasize your strengths and why you deserve the funding for college sobe sure to concentrate and spend a lot of time. Letters of recommendation are usually requiredfor scholarship applications and are written by faculty in your field of study. This couldbe a previous professor, or teacher who can really speak to your qualifications in academia.Sometimes they are written by supervisors or colleagues in your career field who canspeak to your character and work ethic. If this letter isnít required, a list of referencesmost likely will be. Here you can list two or three of the same type of references asin the letter of recommendation. Be sure to include their name, title and contact informationbecause the scholarship committee will contact the
ly so that they can speak to yourqualifications. A resume is usually required as well and isusually important to customize your resume for the scholarship you are applying for.
This can be reflected in the objective and ensure you put the most relevant or impressiveinformation at the top of your resume so thatís the first thing they see and to catch theirattention. Also, be sure to include key words in your resume that are included in the scholarshipdescription or qualifications so that it catches the readerís eye and so they will see youas a qualified applicant. Ensure you add your related accomplishments and qualificationssuch as volunteer work, clubs your associated with, any awards you have received for academiaor other things. Never forget to have a friend or family member proof read your resume beforeyou turn it in. A cover letter is also a great addition to any scholarship application, thesame way you would for any job interview. Lastly, to prove that you are academicallycapable of pursuing higher education, a transcript is usually required. The scholarship applicationwill tell you which type of transcript is required, sometimes it is an unofficial transcript,which you can usually download from your schools website. Or an official transcript may berequired. An official transcript is a little harder to get. It is signed and sealed andthen mailed directly from your school to the scholarship application office, so you willneed to request official transcripts early to ensure they arrive at their destinationwell before the due date. Itís often a good idea to request a few at once, that way youalready have them and so donít have to wait for them later on. To give you a brief synopsis of what we havetalked about today, here is what we have covered: Scholarships are available especially forinternational students, they are out there. The most important thing to consider is toperfect your application to increase your chances of winning. Resources are availableto help you. All of the websites that Jennifer shared are great resources to help you. Also,there are countless resources to help you with resume building, essay writing and everythingelse you may need to create a great application. Ensure you are following us on Twitter @InternationalStudentLoansand because we are going to post some great links to scholarship sources. Now Iím going to hand it over to Bryannato answer some questions, but feel free to continue sending questions on the webinarchat and twitter feed as well. Bryanna:Thank you so much. We have had a few questions come in and we will go ahead and address themnow. Question: ìShould I follow-up on a scholarshipapplication?î Answer: Typically you donít want to bombardthe scholarship committee, so typically only contact them after the deadline if you havenot seen any results as to the winner. This really is the only case you would want tofollow-up on the scholarship application. Question: ìI found a scholarship that requiresme to pay to apply. Is this safe and typical?î Answer: While you want to use caution forscholarships who require payment with the application, as long as you have done yourresearch and ensure itís for a reliable institution, thereís typically no problem with havingto pay a small fee. As Victoria mentioned, some scholarships do require a small fee,typically itís an administration fee. Also, those fees may be added to the scholarshipaward amount. Either way, ensure you do your research before sending any money. Question: ìWhat are keywords?îAnswer: Remember when Victoria was speaking on resumes? Keywords are words that are goingto stand out to the people reading your scholarship application. Those words may be positive wordslike determined, proactive, reliable etc. It looks like we have answered all of thequestions and so I would like to thank you for attending our webinar today, hopefullyyou are able to benefit from our information. If you would like any more information, checkout www.internationalstudentloan.com or you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.Feel free to follow us on twitter @InternationalStudentLoans. If you would like to register at www.internationalstudentloan.comyou will receive up-to-date blogs with relevant information. The next one we have coming upis going to be on different websites to find scholarships easily, so you want to be sureto sign up for our feed so you will have access to that information. Thank you again for attending and have a greatday.