Let’s face facts - studying abroad and getting a tertiary education overseas isn’t cheap. Not only do the most competitive institutions ask for a lot in tuition fees, but living costs are going to eat into your wallet like no tomorrow.
Many top US and UK schools help people with their bottom line offering financial aid, including scholarships, bursaries and loans.
But aren’t they competitive? Don’t I need to be destitute to apply? How do I know I qualify? Isn’t it all a massive headache?
Sure, university scholarships can be competitive and have a lot of red-tape when applying, but guess what - it doesn’t always have to be difficult, or competitive, or restrictive. Some scholarships are for everybody, including you.
Tips For Winning University Scholarships
Here are some general tips for winning scholarships in general - including international scholarships. Making your life a little easier no matter which one you're targeting.
- Align your views with the entity awarding the scholarship. Read the organisations mission statement, or do some research around their brand or objectives. This is most effective in essay admissions sections
- Spend a lot of time editing your work when completing scholarship applications. Every first draft is garbage. You need to review your work, eliminate superfluous words, make everything tighter and, most importantly, remove errors.
- Submit your scholarship application as early as possible. Most winners seem to apply earlier.
- Stay on topic. Unfortunately, many application essays drift off-topic. Give a good hour to analyse the topic, no matter how vague or general, to see what it’s really asking. Plan out what you’re going to write in advance, then move from point-to-point, making a strong conclusion. No waffle.
- Volume. Apply for the most scholarships. More applicants means more chance of success.
9 Easy Scholarship Applications
The following scholarships aren’t in any particular order, but were chosen for their simplicity to apply. This list should give you an excellent jumping-off point to start your financial aid journey.
But first - Buyer Beware
- Never pay to apply for a scholarship.
- Be wary of large bank fees or deals too good to be true.
- Never pay a deposit to anyone you haven't met.
- Awarded monthly
- 250 words essay on why you deserve the scholarship
- Deadline: every month
All you need to apply is a proof of enrollment and a grade point average above 2.5 - couldn’t be simpler.
- 10x $2,500, 5x $25,000 or 5x $100,000 in tuition fees
- Open to students ages 18-24
- Write 350 words on why you'll change the world
- Submit a 1 minute video
- US citizens only
- Deadline: October
While restricted to US citizens, it’s worth noting that Dr. Pepper hands out A LOT of cash for very little effort. The video component also requires a bit of product placement. It’s a bit icky, but $100k for 350 words - that’s $286 dollars a word (J.K. Rowling eat your heart out).
- Prizes range from $1,000 to $10,500
- Turn scholarship application into a literal turkey shoot
- Complete activities to earn scholarship points
- Use points to enter random prize draws
- Will sell your data to third parties
- Deadline: N/A
You want easy, this is it. Perform marketing activities, such as completing surveys, referring friends, reading emails and articles, to earn points. Use those points to enter random draws and perhaps win a scholarship. Basically, you’re trading your personal and social network data for a small chance at some scholarship money.
- Ranges from $250 to $2,500
- Available to students and parents
- Take common knowledge quizzes
- Scores graded on speed and accuracy
- Money can only be used at US universities
- Deadline: N/A
After registering, you take a few quizzes on subjects, such as books, websites, movies, and try to win some money. A non-profit institution that tries to give everyone a fair chance at financial aid.
- Open to UK undergraduates of all nationalities
- Make YouTube video about your course, why you chose it, what you'll gain and what you plan to do after the course.
- Include 'CastleSmart scholarship' in the title
- Deadline: December 15
A great scholarship opportunity for those looking to study in the UK. You’ll need some skills with video and editing - they’re looking for people to stand out, so be prepared to add some creativity.
- 10x $2,000 or 5x $1,000
- Criteria not based on financial need, GPA or demographics!
- Home-schooled students can apply
- High school seniors residing in the US
- Deadline: April
Okay, yep. This one is included for being weird. It’s an online quiz and essay for anyone in their final year of high school in the US. You get money if you can show how automatic fire sprinklers have positive effects… seriously.
- Up to £3,000
- Chinese PhD students looking to study in the UK
- British PhD students looking to learn in China
- Deadline: April 10
This scholarship is specifically for Chinese or British students in STEM fields looking to advance their education in each other’s country. It’s fairly rigorous application process - defeating the purpose of this article - but it’s niche is so specific and it’s awareness low that it’s worth bringing up.
- Open to all students
- International students with a valid visa are eligible
- Will sell data to third parties
- Deadline: N/A
Drop your name in a hat and see what happens - literally open to everyone who’s going to study or is studying in the USA. Talk about easy. Like Scholarship Points, you’re the product.
- $2,000 winner and two $500 runner-ups
- 500-1000 words
- 2.5 GPA
- Enrolled full-time in academic institution
- Deadline: N/A
CGTrader is a 3d modelling company, but opens up their scholarship to students who would like to write about the future of technology. Pretty easy and broad application process for a good reward.
University Scholarships don’t always have to be a burden. Thousands of opportunities are available to you, you just need to research them. Sure some of them will be difficult, but this article has hopefully illustrated how easy applying for money can be.
If you’d like advice on which scholarships would best suit you and your needs, whether at home or internationally, why not speak to one of our expert academic advisors? We’ll help guide you through your options and get you the best financial aid for your time studying overseas.