Scholarships/ Tuition Waiver
A scholarship is a financial award given to a student on the basis of Academic Achievement, Excellence in Sports, outstanding Extracurricular activities and promise. Scholarships do not have to be repaid. The various types of scholarships are:
A.TYPES OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- MERIT BASED: Scholarship provided based on excellence in Academics in their last qualifications. This is the most common form of scholarship.
- NEED BASED: Provided to students with poor economic backgrounds. Normally, International Students won’t be eligible for it.
- SPORTS BASED: Provided to Students with exceptional sports performance at national or international level. We need to look at sports which are prevalent in USA.
- TUITION WAIVER: Some Universities provide waiver of tuition fees or allow international students to pay instate tuition fee. It is given mainly on basis of academic and research potential.
- ASSISTANTSHIPS: Many students are given an opportunity to work in the departments under professors:
- TEACHING: Mostly graduate students with impressive grades and excellent command over English. They take few classes for undergraduate and assist the professors in teaching duties.
- RESEARCH: Few students are given an opportunity to do various clerical and research activities by the department. In some cases they even answers generic queries on behalf of the professors.
- GRANTS: Some universities are given grants by government or companies for research in particular area or development of an application. These grants enable university to recruit students as part of the team wherein they are paid stipend.
- FELLOWSHIPS: Fellowships are provided to Phd Students as a stipend by the department where they are doing their thesis.
B. CRITERIA FOR SCHOLARSHIPS:
- MEETING SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE: One of the biggest mistakes most of the students commit is assuming Scholarship deadlines and Admission deadlines as same and think of applying to Scholarships along with admission packet. In all reality, that is not true at all the times.
- CHECKING ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: There are a plethora of scholarships available and everything has its own requirements. The below list is a generic view of scholarship committee for making a decision. Every scholarships has specific set of requirements and you have to meet those to get a scholarship.
- ACADEMICS PERCENTAGE: Academics are the most important for making the scholarship decisions. Sometimes students are not good with Standardized tests like GRE or GMAT. Since it reflects 4 years of academics they always have a higher weightage.
- GRE / GMAT / TOEFL SCORES: GRE/ GMAT and TOEL Scores are important for the scholarships decisions. These in combination with great Academics make a difference.
- LEADERSHIP AND VOLUNTEERING: Leadership skills and Volunteering are weighed significantly for scholarships decision. A typical leadership skill would be serving as a president or on the executive board for an academic or social organization in your Bachelors.
- ACHIEVEMENTS, PUBLICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS: Any kind of achievements, publications or Recognitions are very important for scholarships. If you have any kind of achievements like First rank in class, Essay competitions, Paper publications, having prizes in various competitions, it helps make your scholarship application stronger.
- SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY OR STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Most of the scholarships ask you to write an Essay asking – Why should they give you scholarship and explain your situation or story along with your goals, etc. Essay is the most important thing of your scholarship packet. You have to be genuine in your thought and explain why you deserve a scholarship. It should show your passion and explain your skills and plan to accomplish your goal. It should state things like how scholarship can make a difference and make your journey successful. If they are just asking for statement of purpose, then you have to focus on what you have to accomplish and how you want to accomplish. NEVER Copy and paste anything from others SOP. Try to read others and come up with your ideas and write your story and goals. Bottom line, your essay or SOP should be good and it should show your zeal to succeed and how you want to reach your goals and what it means to you and may be your family and society.
- RECOMMENDATION LETTERS :Sometimes, the scholarship applications asks for your recommendations letters from professors or anyone who you report to. It is your goal to go to good person who knows you well and can give you a good recommendation. The recommendation should tell the committee your academic, leadership and other skills and how the recommender got to know you through all the activities.
SUMMARY TO GET SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MS OR MBA :
Some have good GRE scores, some have good Acads, Some have good leadership skills, some have good goals stated in Essays, etc. The point is, not everyone are perfect and scholarship committee looks at your scholarship application for MS or MBA as a whole and comes to a decision. As always, the scholarship you are applying to defines what they are looking for. You will have to read the requirements and what they need and present yourself accordingly. Think of it this way, Everyone has Cake, it is how you add the cherries and decorate the cake that makes it attractive . So, present your strengths well and you will be rewarded!