Very few students know exactly what scholarships they could apply for and subsequently miss out on funding which could help to finance opportunities beyond their wildest dreams; so what are the most common misconceptions, and how can we debunk them?
1. Scholarships are only for the most academically gifted students
A lot of students believe that the sole criteria for applying for scholarships and the awarding body’s motivation behind allocating financial backing is merely the achievement of high grades, which isn’t always the case. Scholarship awarding organisations look for a range of candidates and base their decisions on other factors, including: income, where you live and what your area of study is.
2. The number of scholarships available is very limited
There are more than 8,000 scholarships available for the students to apply for in the EU, with many of the schemes undersubscribed. Although some have particular criteria, through researching relevant funding databases (such as those on: www.european-funding-guide.eu then you can filter out the ones which aren’t applicable.
3. You have to be involved in community work to be eligible
Although some scholarships linked to social work and the community will require some evidence of you working in your locality, many scholarships won’t have this as a requirement (not to say that we’d discourage it!)
4. The funding amount will be too low
The amount of funding that you can receive from scholarship awarding bodies can vary greatly, from one off payments to monthly sums which can help to supplement your living costs. Some scholarships will even allow you to apply for other schemes to help make up the short fall, so make sure you read up on the criteria.
5. I have to be in financial distress to apply
Although there are some awards in place to help students from low income backgrounds or financial difficulty, not all scholarships are means tested. Some awards may exist to help promote a certain career path or profession, or to support students from certain places.