There are many resources available to students to search for scholarships, and there are also many services that charge students for either access to their scholarship database or to conduct a scholarship search on a student’s behalf. If you have the time and available resources, most of the scholarship searches can be found online for free. InternationalScholarships.com is one that offers a free scholarship search, and with a little research you can find many more out there. Take your time, do your homework and you will be able to find all the information you need.
Am I eligible for a scholarship?
Eligibility for a scholarship depends entirely on the scholarship; there is no general rule of thumb on whether you are eligible for a financial award. Some scholarships require students to have a certain TOEFL score; some ask that you are from a certain country; some ask for you to have a certain grade point average. You will need to do your own research to see if you are eligible for a scholarship.
How do I apply?
As with eligibility, there is no set rule on how to apply for scholarships. While some just require you to complete an application form, others may require a specially written piece of work, or for you to be pursuing studies in a certain field. If you find a scholarship for which you think that you may be eligible, contact the award administrator of that award. All the scholarships found in the InternationalStudent.com Scholarship search contain contact details of the award administrator.Visit the InternationalStudent.com Scholarship Search.
Scholarship scams are all over the place, and as an international student you are a prime target for people trying to scam you out of money. To help you, we have created a list of things to look out for and help you spot a Scholarship Scam:
Money up front / Application Fee
Whenever you are applying for a scholarship never send money up front or pay an application fee, you should not have to send money to an organisation to get a scholarship. These organisations will most likely just pocket the money and you will never hear from them again
You should be careful of companies that ask for a loan fee before they will disburse and money to you. Real loan companies will ap fees to your loan balance which you repay over time and will never make you pay a fee upfront.
Never trust a company that advertises that they will guarantee to get you a scholarship. These companies will ask for a fee and may even offer a money back guarantee but will never get you a scholarship. Legitimate services will never say they guarantee to get your scholarship.
Company / Scholarship Names
If you see a scholarship service or company that is using words like "official", "national", "government" or other governmental or official sounding names be careful. They are most probably trying to sound official to cover up the scam
Now you have the information to spot a scam, you need to be able to protect yourself:
Too good to be true?
If an offer or scholarship sounds too good to be true, it usually is! If you think something is just too good then sit back and do a little more research as things that sound too good to be true, usually are.
Never pay money
You should never give any money out to companies to cover things like application fees, service fees or really for any reason. Legitimate scholarships will be free to apply and will not ask you to pay money to get money - it does not work like that.
If you have a scholarship offer that is asking for money up front or you want to make sure they are real contact them personally and make sure you can get hold of them by phone and ask for their physical apress and any other information you want. Real companies will be glad to hand this information out and scam organisations will be hesitate to do this.
Do some checks on the company or organisation that is offering the scholarship, for example use google to check their name (if someone has been scammed by them you will probably see their name online somewhere about it. Also check the country company directory for that organisation, for example all UK companies have to be registered and you can search them online for free.
Take your time
At the end of the day, the best advice that anyone could give to find a legitimate scholarship is to use your time to search yourself for a scholarship. Scholarships will not fall into your lap and there is no quick and easy way to finding one - so just use your time wisely and follow the rules above and you should be fine!
Legitimate Scholarship Resources
As you might have noticed by now, one of the main themes is that there is never any need to pay money out to find or get a scholarship. All the high quality resources that are out there are free and will not charge anything to search - and I have listed some of the major scholarship search sites thate are all FREE!