Types Of Scholarships
For those with shallow pockets and big dreams, a scholarship is one of the best options to obtain financial support for your education. Early scholarships were designed to help bright students who, due to circumstances, could not afford university or college tuition fees. These days they come in many forms to accommodate various eager and promising candidates from various backgrounds.
Who provides scholarships?
Scholarship providers, also known as benefactors, are people and organisations such as educational institutions, corporations, charity organisations and government bodies. Your challenge is to impress these individuals or organisations and justify why they should spend their money on your education.
1) Government scholarships
Most governments offer full and partial scholarships for students to study locally or abroad. In most cases, the only requirement is for the candidate to complete their studies within the given time and maintain good grades in the process. Some scholarships may require applicants to choose from a list of fields such as engineering, accounting, law etc. Successful applicants will also be expected to complete the course for which the scholarship has been awarded. Switching courses may void the scholarship and even require students to repay the funding awarded to date.
In Malaysia, you can apply for government scholarships to study in public and private universities locally or abroad. Government scholarships usually come with a bond that requires you to work for the government for a specific number of years after graduation.
Students who are offered scholarships by overseas governments are usually expected to return and contribute to their home country after completing their studies, as well as act as a goodwill ambassador for the foreign country. Each programme has its own conditions, so it is best to check with the embassy of the country where you wish to pursue your education.
2) University and college scholarships
Educational institutions offer a range of scholarships to students who are enrolling on their courses or currently studying at their institution. Some of these scholarships are sponsored by the institution while others are collaborations with corporations, government bodies and other organisations.
The majority of these scholarships tend to be course-specific or merit-based. Scholarship recipients are expected to maintain exceptional grades and actively participate in extra-curricular activities that can help promote the institution, such as competitions and forums. In some cases, they are required to be student ambassadors and may be bonded to work for the university after graduation.
Some institutions have strict procedures and terms when offering scholarships while others evaluate applicants on a case-by-case basis, allowing students to negotiate the amount of funding and the responsibilities involved. Hence it is advisable to speak to the counsellors of the individual institutions that you are interested in enrolling in.
3) Charity and other benevolent organisation scholarships
Many charities and benevolent organisations (clan associations and so on) give out scholarships to all-rounders. The general expectations are a good academic record, good moral character, active participation in extra-curricular activities and the desire to serve the community. Specific requirements may include being bonded with the organisation or working within the country after completing studies.
Some of these scholarships are given out by the organisation itself while others are received as a donation from generous individuals or given out as tributes in memory of significant people who have passed on.
4) Corporate scholarships
As part of their corporate social responsibilities (CSR), many corporations are willing to invest in funding the education of outstanding students, with the hopes of grooming future employees and managers. Funding levels and conditions will differ. In most cases, the student is required to study a course that is relevant to the organisation's needs. An attachment with the company for a period of time is also a common requirement, though not in every case.
While some scholarships are willing to fund you without any conditions, certain scholarships may contain specific requirements that must be met. These preconditions are usually stated clearly in the application guidelines, so make sure you read application conditions carefully and choose wisely to avoid misunderstandings in the future.