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international scholarships: Busting popular myths about international scholarships and financial aid



Despite the pandemic, we have witnessed an upward trend in the number of students opting to study abroad. Destinations are no longer restricted to the United States, the UK or Canada. Instead, students are now open to exploring other countries which offer better opportunities.

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Studying abroad has always been an attractive proposition for aspiring candidates hoping to get a higher education from the leading global universities, but one factor that has remained a challenge is the cost of funding their education. Scholarships and financial aid are a major support for over 65% of the students who are planning for pursuing their higher education overseas.

We have come across several myths around scholarships and financial aid which have surfaced due to lack of information and awareness amongst parents and students, and due to information being circulated by fraudulent agents. This is surely a major cause of concern and can affect the plans of several aspiring students to go study abroad. Here we have highlighted the most common myths around scholarships and financial aid that are absolutely untrue:

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1. Scholarships are only meant for Class Toppers

Even though it is commonly believed that a student must have excellent academic scores in order to secure a scholarship, this is only partially true. Of course, students with better grades have better odds of receiving a scholarship, not all scholarships are directed towards academic performance.

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From need based to the ones relying on extracurricular achievements scholarships and awards have a wide range. So even if a student has not been the brightest when it comes to academics their other achievements can be highlighted.

2. Most scholarships are reserved for minority students

In order to support diversity and provide equal opportunity, major universities around the world keep a pool of scholarships and financial aid for students coming from certain minority backgrounds.

This is a great way for certain students to seek and leverage opportunities to study at the best universities in the world which would otherwise have been impossible. Even though a lot of effort has been put over the years to level the playing field, the journey is far from over. Contrary to what people presume, only 29% of students from minority backgrounds receive higher education scholarships.

3. Applying for scholarships is a very difficult process

So many students give up on applying for scholarships just by assuming that the process is tiresome and long. It is not easy to win scholarships, and certainly requires effort from the candidate. A lot of students end up wasting time as they do not use the available scholarship database and think its very difficult to earn a scholarship.

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4. All scholarships require you to write an essay

When we talk about scholarships, essays are usually synonymous to the process in most cases. A lot of universities want to understand your reasons for applying for a scholarship. Universities want to understand your story and see if you deserve to receive a financial scholarship. This is however not the case with all the universities. Some scholarships don’t require an essay and rely solely on factors like your GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities or financial need. If you feel like an essay is holding you back from applying, look for scholarships that don’t have this requirement.

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5. Applying for one scholarship is enough

Wouldn’t it be great if this was true? Students believe that they can apply for one major scholarship that will give them a full ride. While this may be true for a select few, it’s not the case for most students. Most of the time, you’ll need to rely on several scholarships to significantly reduce the costs of college. If scholarships alone don’t cover your needs, you may need to get other forms of aid, like grants or even student loans.

Hope you are better prepared to plan your finances for university now, but please do thorough research and check on reliable websites or reach out to trusted professionals to seek advice instead of believing myths that are misleading.

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