Types of Scholarships
What is a Scholarship?
A Scholarship is a financial grant awarded to students mostly on academic performance. A college education is extremely expensive in western countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, etc. and it is not easy for students to afford quality education. So, scholarships were introduced by various universities and educational institutes to facilitate students and families unable to afford the high tuition fees. This practice encouraged top-performing students to directly apply at the best education institutes without worrying about the tuition fees. Ever since scholarships have played an important role in helping needy families to get higher education in the top-ranked colleges around the world.
Where do Scholarships come from?
There can be various sources for a scholarship provided to students by the university. Many universities receive funding from government or non-government organizations to reduce the tuition fee load on students. Some charity organizations also provide grants to universities to cater to the less fortunate. Many students who graduate from the university after receiving scholarships set up an aid or charity and request crowdfunding to further facilitate underprivileged students. Some private business sometimes also provides funding for research projects which are utilized as student’s scholarship.
Types of Scholarships:
Now that we have understood what scholarships are and where do they come from, let us dive into the types of scholarships available for students in high school and undergraduate studies.
- Academic Scholarship – When we hear the word scholarship, the first thing that comes to our mind is academic scholarship. This is because scholarships have always been associated with top performers during our school and college life. Academic scholarships are the most common type of scholarships and are offered by almost every university. The eligibility for the academic scholarship is purely merit-based and the competition for this sort of scholarship is extremely high. All the best-performing students and high achievers compete neck to neck to avail this scholarship.
The amount of grants received with an academic scholarship varies between universities. Some universities offer partial scholarships, between 25% to 75% of the tuition fee whereas some universities offer a full tuition fee waiver for an academic scholarship. This scholarship is not a one-time payment but instead, the scholarship is divided into the number of semesters of the program against which the scholarship is awarded to the student.
Students awarded an academic scholarship must maintain a certain CGPA throughout their bachelor’s or master’s program. Since the scholarship is awarded on academic performance, students must maintain the performance throughout the semesters. Any student failing to keep up the minimum required GPA can lose their scholarship and pay the full tuition fee for the remaining education period. Hence, students are highly recommended to keep up their performance otherwise they can lose their scholarship.
- Athletic / Sports Scholarship – Athletic / Sports scholarships can be explained with the phrase all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Sports and extracurricular activities are an important part of a student’s life as it teaches them about teamwork and leadership. Also, some universities are very competitive in sports, so they give sports scholarships to maintain their ranking among other universities.
These scholarships are mostly reserved for bachelor’s programs as students completing high school education are more inclined towards sports and have greater exposure. Master’s students on the other hand are fewer opportunities to avail this scholarship.
- Scholarship for Developing Countries – A special type of scholarship was created for students residing in developing countries but were interested in applying for higher education in western countries. Students interested in applying for the UK can easily avail this scholarship. Pakistan is a member of commonwealth countries and students applying at UK universities can get a certain percentage of their tuition fee waived off as an international scholarship. This is the easiest international scholarship for Pakistani students as they can avail this scholarship for just being a national of Pakistan.
- Fully Funded Scholarship – This is the most ideal scholarship for any student. Fully funded scholarships cover your entire tuition fee, provides airfare, and living expenses for the duration of undergraduate or graduate studies. Although these scholarships are extremely attractive, they come with a certain condition as these scholarships are not usually provided by the university. The government of Pakistan provides this scholarship for Pakistani students interested in studying in a foreign university. Any student interested in studying in a foreign university can avail this scholarship, but he / she must sign a bond with the government guaranteeing that he / she will return to Pakistan after completion of his / her education. The government aims to produce highly qualified graduates with foreign degrees and then working locally in Pakistan to promote firms and businesses.
- Research-Based Scholarship – University rankings are evaluated yearly by times higher education and QS university rankings. There is a certain weightage for the research quality and quantity of a university in its global ranking. Universities greatly emphasize the quantity and quality of the research work and to maintain a high-quality standard, they invest greatly in their research.
Research-based scholarships are usually awarded to graduate students who have completed their bachelor’s education and are interested in pursuing research work. A bachelor’s degree equips an individual with a mindset that can be utilized for research work. Hence, many students interested in availing of post graduate scholarship opportunities apply for a research-based degree.
This covers all the basic types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. A common requirement for all the above-mentioned scholarships is a letter of motivation or a statement of purpose. Students interested in availing any scholarship opportunity should keep in mind that their motivation letter holds strong weightage in receiving the scholarship. Everyone’s life experience is different and the same should be reflected in the motivation statement. Students should focus on what makes them special or deserving of a scholarship and should write the same in the motivation letter.