There has never been a dearth of scholarships. Even the most capitalistic of societies recognizes the role of education in its progress. And yet, the abundance of a thing isn’t always a positive. For the uninitiated, finding a scholarship that matches their credentials could be akin to finding a needle in, well, a stack of needles.
Each scholarship has its own criteria. Some are awarded based on need, while others purely on merit. For others yet, you must be a member of an organization, be studying a certain field, or fit whatever guidelines the group awarding the money decides upon.
There are scholarships intended for students living in a particular state or town, or even for being a left-hander, being tall, or a vegan!
As mentioned, scholarships come with eligibility criteria an applicant must pass before they’re considered for the award. Most of these criteria can be divided by common categories. You should, thus, focus your search for scholarships based on the categories you fall under. The most common categories you can define your search around are:
- By social class – If you belong to a minority religion, or to a scheduled caste or tribe, chances are great you would find multiple scholarships you would be eligible for.
- By economic status – Need based scholarships set their eligibility criteria according to the annual household income of the applicant. If your household income falls below the scholarship’s threshold, you are eligible to apply.
- By merit – This is based directly on your academic performance. If your marks are above the prescribed limit, you stand a chance to win the award.
- By gender – The objective for certain scholarships is to promote gender equality, and if you are female, you would be well advised to search for scholarships
- By domicile – You can qualify for some scholarships only if you are a domicile of the particular state or region for which the fund has been set up. Check by your domicile if there are any scholarships you would be eligible for.
- By country – Finally, if you are looking for International scholarships, you would do well to check whether the country you’re looking to study in has scholarships for Indian citizens, as several nations do in a reciprocal arrangement with the Indian government.
Now that you know what to search for, the next thing you need to know is where to search for these scholarships. A few good places to start for your search are listed below:
- National Scholarship Portal – The National Scholarship Portal, launched as part of the Digital India initiative, contains all available information on various state-sponsored scholarships under a single umbrella. All Indian central and state government scholarships launched under the auspices of various ministries can be found listed here.
- At your university – One of the first places you should look for a scholarship is at the University where you’ve been admitted or are planning to apply to. The student counsellor’s office at the University should contain all the information about any scholarships that are offered by the university, applicable for the course you’ve applied to.
- Online search engines – The internet is a wonderful tool for research and since you now know what you are specifically looking for, it should give you tons of focussed results for scholarships you may be eligible for. Much better than physically rummaging and scouring hundreds of newspapers daily to look for scholarship announcements.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to find eligible scholarships, you now need to determine which one’s are worth applying for – in terms of the efforts you need to put in versus the chances of winning the scholarship. You would do well to spread your eggs in as many baskets as possible. At the outset, it is advisable for you to create a scholarship calendar. Enter all the scholarship details you’ve narrowed down, including the award money and the deadline. If there are scholarships that are exclusionary, that is, if you can only apply to it if you haven’t applied to any other, choose the one with the highest award, or the one with the least additional requirements. By excluding scholarships that are not worth your effort or too tough to land for any reasons (short deadline, too many requirements), you can focus your energies for better results.
THE EASIER ALTERNATIVE
The easiest way by far, however, to find and apply to all scholarships matching your credentials is to register yourself at Buddy4Study and enter your personal and academic information. By becoming a member, you get access to all Indian and International scholarships for Indian students. Find the best-fit scholarship and apply for the right scholarships at the right time. We also help with all your queries, send regular updates through SMS and email, and provide expert support to help you through the application process.
So what are you waiting for? Register yourself today and find all scholarships matching your credentials in a jiffy!