Applying for a college or university scholarship is equally important as applying to a degree course so you should treat it with a lot of care and responsibility. As you already know, scholarships are only offered to students with an excellent academic performance so you either prepare for a scholarship opportunity in advance or be realistic about your chances of getting one.
One of the most important things you need to consider is this: before you apply for a scholarship, even if you are 100 % sure you’re going to get it, contact an advisor from the university you wish to apply (or already applied) to and get more detailed information.
Some of the documents that you will have to submit for the scholarship application process are the same ones that the university will request from you when you apply for a Bachelor or a Master degree.
Most common documents requested for scholarship application
1. Completed scholarship application form
Carefully check and accurately fill in all the sections of the application form correctly
2. Copy of passport/ID
The passport must be valid for at least six months after your departure and only a copy of the main page of the passport, containing your photo and personal information is sufficient.
3. Copies of transcripts/diplomas
Send the transcript of records from the last school you graduated or currently attending (high-school if you apply for a Bachelor degree or Bachelor diploma and records if you apply for a graduate Master course). The transcript of records is a photocopied page of all your courses and grades and credits that you achieved for each course. This document should have an official signature and stamp from your school or faculty.
If you apply for a scholarship for an Erasmus programme, you should have already completed two semesters of studies.
Proof of English language proficiency (or other language – the one that is used as medium of instruction for the study programme you chose)
- for English it can be: IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge
- Spanish: DELE
- French: DELF or DALF
- German: DSH, TestDaF, OSD, telc
4. Statement of purpose/Letter of motivation
This statement should contain only one page, around 400 words in which you explain your reasons why you applied to the chosen degree course and how it relates to your future studies and career goals.
In this statement/letter of motivation, it is important, to be honest, and not inflate with anything. You should also briefly present your qualities and how they would fit with the degree you selected.
5. Letter of recommendation (1 or 2)
Usually, it’s just one, but in some cases, you may be asked to provide two letters of recommendation. The letter(s) of recommendation should only come from one of your teachers/lecturers or employer/person that supervised your work (volunteering work counts as well). This letter gives the scholarship provider more information about your qualities, skills, intellectual capacity and it can also reflect your desire or motivation for the degree course and/or university you chose.
6. CV (Curriculum Vitae)/Resume
Even if you don’t have any work experience at the moment you apply for a scholarship, you can simply include all your study experiences, hobbies, interests, achievements and social skills. Remember to include all the languages that you know (including language certificates), but be honest about your proficiency level; add computer skills, volunteering work and any other courses that you completed (even short courses), especially if they are connected with your study field.
7. Standardized test scores
SAT, ACT, GRE, GPA and other test scores can be an important factor when the university considers who they give the scholarship to. Most often, high scores are the ones that count first and foremost; however, the scholarship offer is rated based on a holistic approach, after taking all the relevant documents into consideration.
Additional documents you may be requested
In addition to the letter of motivation, you may be requested to write an essay and touch upon a certain subject, usually related to the scholarship. Think about what personal achievements recommend you for receiving the scholarship. Follow the guide lines of the essay as requested and make sure you don’t exceed by too much the number of words.
A portfolio is requested to students who apply for art, design and other similar degrees and it should include artistic work and projects. In the case of an art degree, a portfolio is much more or equally relevant compared to your GPA score when it comes to showing your skills.
c) Parents’ financial information, including tax returns
d) A medical report/ heath evaluation form
Signed by an authorized medical clinic/hospital from your home country
If it is the case, please take note that all documents must be translated either in English or in the official language of the country of destination, but the exact requirements for the language of documents first!
The translation of documents must be done by an authorized translator and they should always accompany the original documents as well.
Final tips before you send all the documents for the scholarship application
1. Check your application form and all other documents for spelling and grammar errors before you send it.
2. Do not exceed the word limit given for any section of the application or for any other documents you may be requested to write.
3. Only submit the requested documentation and nothing more.
4. It is recommended to make a complete copy of the application before you send it.
5. Keep in mind the exact date you have to send all the requested documents and be careful not to miss the deadline.