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Learning Minds Special

Want to study for free?

Want to study for free?
iIlustration: Ong Ze Teng

Want to study for free?

6 things you need to know about getting a scholarship

1) LOOK EVERYWHERE

Want to get a scholarship but don’t know where to start?

It helps if you already have a career path in mind or a sector that you want to work in. Some companies and organisations offer scholarships as it helps them recruit and train talented future employees.

For example, if you hope to work in healthcare, turn to MOH Holdings for awards and scholarships. And if you want a career in the public service, check out scholarships offered by the Public Service Commission.

Universities like Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore University of Social Sciences and Singapore Management University also offer scholarships for students. Some institutions may not advertise their scholarships, so you’ll need to do a thorough search.

2) PICK AND CHOOSE WISELY

Now that you know what’s available, shortlist your options. Read through the scholarship requirements and find out more about the university or company. Then, consider which scholarship suits you best and helps you meet your career goals, plus which institution you want to be associated with. 

At the end of the day, you’ll need to decide if you are a good fit for the university or the organisation awarding the scholarship. For example, some students prefer a bond-free scholarship as they like the flexibility to choose their career paths. Others like a scholarship that bonds them to the company as it offers job security after graduation.

3) START EARLY

Some institutes that offer scholarships require you to write an essay. Some may also require your portfolio. 

To ensure a solid application, don’t wait till the last minute to search for scholarships. Check the deadline and give yourself ample time to prepare relevant documents. After all, it doesn’t hurt to send in your application ahead of time.

4) MAKE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION

Your initial contact with the scholarship panel will be through your application, so you’ll want to make a good impression. You want your personality to shine through in your essay. But in your application, keep it professional. 

Use easy-to-read fonts, such as Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial, and address all questions. Make sure your sentences are coherent, spell-check your application and check for grammatical mistakes. If you need help, get a friend to help you proof-read your application. 

5) GET READY FOR YOUR INTERVIEW

Yay, you got shortlisted and scored an interview! But that’s only the beginning. You’ll probably have to go through a rigorous selection process of interviews and other assessments. Do thorough research. Read up on industry issues and stay updated with the latest happenings to show your interest in the company or degree course. 

Ask previous applicants about the interview process, so you know what to expect. You might get some great insider tips.

6) ALWAYS BE ON THE LOOK OUT

If you were awarded a scholarship, great. If not, don’t be disheartened. 

You can still get financial support for your education through other ways such as study grants, sponsorships and bursaries. Some awards may not be based solely on your results, but may emphasise other areas like your character, passion, sportsmanship and financial need. 

Some universities also offer student loans to help ease your financial burden.

This article is published in the Sept 2017 issue of The First Degree, a publication of TODAY, Mediacorp Press.