The opportunity to learn in a classroom of an accredited university or college is a privilege that may not apply to everybody. Benjamin Franklin tells us that “investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” No doubt, parents would exert support in financial and emotional matters. However, the cost of education may be too much for a family earning less. In that case, a scholarship opportunity is a student’s superhero.
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What Is A Scholarship Application Form?
Not everybody has access to quality education. Studying in school can cost a lot even though there are tuition fee waivers. The promise that public institution is free can add up some unnecessary school fees. Aside from tuition, the daily allowance, school outputs, extracurricular activities involvement, and medical insurance fees are among other factors to consider in studying. Textbooks become a student’s buddy in attaining learning goals such that buying one’s book can already cost you $300. More or so, low-income earning families might prefer not sending their kids to school because their expenses priority goes to food and accommodation fees.
Because of this challenge, the United Nations set forth sustainable development goals to ensure that every human being has a brighter future ahead regardless of race, religious affiliation, and color. One of those goals is promoting quality education. It is no doubt why most universities can offer their students scholarships, whether full or partial. The nature of a scholarship award and the amount a scholar may receive is dependent on the sponsoring company or institution. They can also have different terms and conditions.
Moreover, a scholarship application form is a document that any interested applicant fills out to determine if he or she qualifies. In this document, it requires an applicant to share his or her details, history of school attendance, interests, beyond the classroom activities, and financial capacity of the family. Aside from that, information about the eligibility criteria may be present in this piece of paper.
The Core Requirements of Applying For A Scholarship
The process of applying for a scholarship is a meticulous and time-consuming activity. For instance, scholarship applications attract thousands, but there are only limited slots. If you are part of the screening committee, you must expect to examine tons of papers and sort out which are the best candidates for the opportunity. Because the committee has full responsibility for the person to receive the award, these people take their time on evaluating each candidate based on the criteria and the submitted supporting documents. If you have plans apply for a scholarship this year, here are a few of the standard materials to prepare for your application:
Proof of Birth
In almost any government-related transaction for registration, a birth certificate is the best evidence to show the officer-in-charge. Your birth certificate is the primary and permanent valid document that demonstrates the country’s recognition of your existence. This document can also provide evidence of your nationality, which becomes a determinant to categorize you as an international student or not.
Besides, universities have a different rate for international students. If you cannot provide proof that you are a US citizen in school, you may pay higher than most of your local neighbors. Take note that some states can give a discount to students who are also residents of the said state. That is why proof of birth becomes a vital piece of paper to the scholarship screening committee.
Proof of Academic Achievement
Institutions can maintain a good reputation by carefully monitoring the progress of their students. Some impose strict standards on the academic standing of the institution that they offer scholarships to achievers. As soon as you get the final grades for the last semester, you can request a transcript of records from the respective department. The transcript of records serves as your proof of academic achievement because this document shows the subject description, units earned, and final grade.
Aside from the transcript of records, competition and training certificates are another evidence of your merit standing. If you are fond of joining extracurricular activities, keep the documents because they might be helpful during employment and, in cases like these, scholarship grants.
Proof of Financial Constraint
If you are not academically-blessed, then do not worry. Not all scholarship grants are for outstanding students only. Perhaps, you may be familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that new college students fill in before the semestral term starts. If you can provide enough proof that your family cannot afford the expenses for tertiary education, then looking for financial aid opportunities like FAFSA is the best place to begin.
The primary requirement for such grants is proof of your parent’s annual income. As long as you stay true with the documents you submitted, there is a higher possibility of you getting that chance of pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree. In some way, a student’s life circumstance affects his or her performance in school. Examples of conditions that can affect a child are the following: poverty, domestic violence, parental drug abuse, and homelessness.
Proof of Extraordinary Potential
If you feel that you cannot qualify for financial need or academic standing, there are scholarships for extraordinary potential in sports, arts, music, and dance. Most varsity players in the university qualify for an athletic scholarship. Some art enthusiasts and music geniuses get an award by screening their works. Dancers can also get the opportunity to study at a university for free, given that the evaluator can see his or her potential in the field. The possible documents that can provide proof of your potential are certificates, portfolio, or a competition.
Proof of Language Skills
Living in a vast continent with different states also means people have varying spoken languages. Take a look at the European continent where different languages exist. The university cannot adjust their medium of instruction for you. Thus, proof of language proficiency becomes a need, especially for international students. However, if the institution you are enrolling has the same medium of instruction as your mother tongue, such a document may not be necessary. Of course, the scholarship committee wants to check if you can understand the teaching medium.
Proof of Good Health
Medical certificates are like passports in school. There may be instances that you get rejected because of a health condition. Perhaps, a medical certificate is an athletic scholar’s lifeline. Because athletes go through rigorous training within the academic year, their bodies must be physically capable of meeting the demands of conditioning for a sports event.
Proof of Transportation Capability
For those of you wanting to study on foreign soil, your passport is a must. Illegal immigrants might not have proper treatment once caught. Similarly, scholarship grants for international students require them a passport to avoid illegal immigration. Aside from that, the passport is an essential requirement for a student visa application.
Who Funds A Scholarship Opportunity?
There are a lot of funding sources for a scholarship grant. It can be generous alumni of the university who wants to help students in their academic journey. Some opportunities are government-funded like the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, British Chevening Scholarships, and the Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship. If you are persistent enough, there are a lot of grants in the form of waivers that can partially pay for expenses such as books, accommodation, and tuition. Private companies may also sponsor the education of their employee’s children. Perhaps, there are just people with a generous heart to sponsor the education of the younger generation.
Because of the Internet, searching for scholarships with the use of your mobile phone is more convenient. You can even submit documents electronically. Indeed, there is no reason for you not to have access to such an opportunity. It takes patience and effort to browse through them.
How To Make An Application Form For Scholarship
Making an application form for a scholarship is easier than evaluating the documents. A scholarship application form needs to exhibit brevity in explaining the instructions and qualifications. Here are detailed steps for you to create a scholarship application form in no time:
Step 1: Provide Concise and Brief Description About The Scholarship
Introduce the scholarship to the applicant. Include a description of the benefits of this scholarship and the condition of return service, if applicable. It is essential to highlight eligibility criteria at the beginning of the form to reduce the effort of sorting out ineligible applicants. Somehow, the documents that will reach the screening committee’s hands pass the eligibility criteria. If possible, you can also give a short background of how the scholarship fund started.
Step 2: Make A List of Other Requirements
Aside from giving scholarship details, it would be convenient for the applicant’s end if there is a list of other requirements. By doing so, it gives them ample time to process the necessary documents before the moment that they pass their application. Some applicants may find it hard to request for their records because there might be discrepancies in their data. Be prepared for such instances.
Step 3: Ask For the Interested Applicant’s Personal Information
After giving the form enough instructions, you can start a section wherein it asks for an applicant’s information such as name, birth date, age, and highest educational attainment. You can also ask for the family background of the applicant. Aside from that, the applicant’s involvement in school activities and community projects are other factors that make an applicant unique.
Step 4: Understand How The Scholarship Helps the Applicant
Most application forms may include an essay portion that answers the applicant’s proposition to the question, “Why do I deserve this scholarship?” Most of the time, an applicant’s records do not justify if they deserve the slot. Moreover, by letting them express their situation, the evaluators can take consideration of their application.
Step 5: Provide Space For the Applicant’s Photo
The best way to make an application form unique is to provide a space to paste an applicant’s photo. Some applicants may have similar first names. In rare cases, the applicants have the same spelling of their family name. More so, a picture can set an applicant apart from those with a similar spelling of their names.
Step 6: Authorize the Application
A scholarship application form must have the signature of the applicant to verify that all the details are true. Moreover, the signature can also tell that you, as an applicant, understood and agree to the contents, terms, and conditions associated with the scholarship. Before applying for any purpose, it is advisable to read any stated information to avoid getting sued in court.
Any aspiring scholarship holder may feel the intense competition for a slot. Some may fail in one of the eligibility criteria; others may come short-handed with their qualifications. If you are eyeing for such an opportunity, make sure you are pursuing what you truly love. The cliche line may not bring an impact when spoken but, indeed, love conquers all. Remind yourself that learning is not a race. The chance to understand our world is not a competition against other human beings. Choose your scholarship application wisely.
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