Can I get A Scholarship? How?

January 3, 2018

What’s a scholarship?

ScholarshipsA scholarship is a form of financial aid that is utilized towards your tuition fully or partially and it’s awarded to certain eligible students or professionals as gifts (not a loan) and in some case, with certain conditions attached to it. However, many students ask this question: Can I get a scholarship? How?


Who is Eligible For a Scholarship?

Many people think scholarship is a financial aid given only to students with exceptionally high academic achievements and test scores (merit-based). Although this is widely the purpose of a scholarship and an automatic consideration in some universities and colleges, but scholarships can also be awarded for other reasons as well.

List of some scholarships to study abroad:

Financial needs-based: Awarded to students who cannot financially afford the tuition as well as living expenses in some cases.

Government-based: To encourage citizen students to further their education by studying abroad.

Athletic ability: Awarded to best athletes for the purpose of playing for the university’s team.

Special talents or hobbies: Awarded to students with talents such as in arts, music, and writing.

Ethnic-based: Awarded to minorities and some ethnic groups.

Specific programs of study: For example; nursing and engineering.

Employer-based: Awarded to employees or family members of employees.

Profession-based: Awarded to encourage students pursue professions like accounting.

Gender-specific: For example, scholarships for women only.

Religion-based: Awarded by religious associations to students who follow the same religious affiliation.

Community service: Awarded to students with excellent community service activities and leadership.

Refugees’ scholarship: Awarded to refugees who want to continue their higher education.

Other scholarships: For example, military scholarships which extends also to close family members.

There are several sources for scholarships including:

Universities and colleges: Most universities and colleges offer scholarships based on merit, specific ability, athleticism, ethnicity, gender and some other reasons.

Governments: Ministry of Higher Education in some countries sponsor certain number of students every year to study abroad.

Employers or parents’ employers: Your employer can sponsor your higher education or your parents’ employer can sponsor your education.

Religious organizations: Awards scholarship to students of usually the same religious affiliation.

Corporations and professional organizations: Award scholarships to creative and inventive students as well as for specialized scientific-research.

Private Sponsorship: Some highly successful business people sponsor a number of students yearly.

Organizations: For example, the military, air force, as well as large and successful businesses may sponsor academically high achievers.

Exchange programs: For exchange students or visiting researchers.

If you are not granted a scholarship from your government or if your government doesn’t offer scholarships, try other sources, there are many different scholarships out there, you just need to research them well and see what suits you and apply to one or two or more if you are eligible.

Always check the university’s or college’s scholarship programs for more details. It’s always recommended to apply early for scholarship, as early as the beginning of your 12th grade at school, that’s one year before you start your undergraduate study.


If you have any feedback or comment, I would love to hear from you.


  • Reply HolisticJB December 25, 2015 at 21:34

    Thank you for producing such a high quality post. I had no idea the number of different scholarships available. I was aware of academically gifted scholarship and off course for sport but I didn’t realise there was also so many others.
    I note you mention applying for 1 or 2
    Is there a cap on the number you can apply for and what happens if you are accepted by more than one? I assume you have to choose the beat offer?

    • Reply Mona December 26, 2015 at 06:06

      Thank you JB for your nice comments, really appreciated. Actually students can apply to as many scholarships as they wish if they are eligible to increase their chances of getting at least one and in some cases to complement another scholarship if it only covers part of the expenses. If the university awards 2 scholarships to a student, there is a high chance the student is deemed eligible for both. If there is an external scholarship, then some restrictions might apply. It will depend on the university’s scholarship policy. Hope this clarifies and I’m happy to answer any question you may have.

  • Reply Cathy December 26, 2015 at 09:13

    Hi there Mona,

    I had the opportunity to go to Japan as an exchange student under a full scholarship from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government during my high school days and just for the record, I was not a high performer in academics.

    The scholarship was awarded to students who had backgrounds in other non-academic activities and I happened to have a few of them. Didn’t like to study much, more of a playful kid when I was young. So, I really had a blast in Japan for a year!

    I think exchange program scholarships are less stringent as compared to the others because they wanted kids to mix around with people and not just focus on studies.

    • Reply Mona December 26, 2015 at 09:42

      Hi Cathy,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Apparently many people think that scholarships are only granted based on academic achievements but there are so many different types of scholarships out there.

      I agree about exchange programs. Wish this was offered during my time 🙂

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