Education is every child’s right, but it comes with a price. Be it in India or abroad, the financial resources required aren’t always available. In such situations, scholarships or loans become the propeller of dreams.
One may believe that the process of scholarship starts when students apply to institutions, but, in reality, it begins when a student decides to be their best version and to work on oneself. Scholarships are diverse and awarded to students from various backgrounds.
Here are some common scholarships offered and availed by Indian students:
- Government-based ones such as the Prime Minister Scholarship Scheme and Post Graduate Merit Scholarship
- Those meant to educate a girl child or an adult woman
- Merit-based ones that consider academic excellence
- Means-based ones for those from economically-weaker sections
- Talent-based aid that recognise achievements in co- or extracurricular activities at the local, national or international levels
- Those offered by institutions for students
- Higher education or career specialisation scholarships to improve subject proficiency
- Community-based scholarships for minority groups or those considered backward
- Private scholarships offered by institutions, companies, or other groups.
Understanding the type of scholarship is essential to start the process. Given the variety of sources, a detailed understanding can be got from the National Scholarship Portal (NSP). Launched in 2000, it acts as a guide to several scholarships offered by various governments and the UGC.
Academic transcripts of consistent excellence
Financial statements and declaration of income
Aptitude assessments, entrance exams, qualifiers, or proficiency tests
Achievements in other fields such as sports or the arts
Written indicators of calibre such as essays and strong statement of purpose
Impactful Letter of Recommendation
Strong verbal and written communication skills
Service to the community and contribution to social welfare
The application procedure differs depending on the institution. Follow the individual procedure and submit the required documents in the respective portal. Keep the eligibility criteria and deadlines in mind. Before you apply to an educational institution, take a look at the scholarship options available from different sources. This can include government, corporate sector, private trusts and individual philanthropists.
When you start the application process, check if the scholarship covers all expenses. Some offer only partial cover. Ensure that necessary documents are valid and attested before submission. Remember, a scholarship is only a brief indicator of appreciation for your effort as a student.
The writer is the Founder and Key Mentor, University Connection.