How and where to look for scholarshipsVincent Tan
How and where to look for scholarships
Scholarships come in various forms, value, conditions and from varied sources. Scholarships typically come from government bodies, private corporations or non-profit organisations. Some scholarships are specifically given to certain faculty of studies whereas some scholarships are open for any fields of studies. Depending on the purpose and/or source of these scholarships, some scholarships come with very limited conditions (almost like gifts) but some come with tight conditions including bonds for certain duration. Here are some of the typical places where you can look for scholarships:
Government institutions and bodies
The first place to search for scholarships is the government. Check through various government bodies or government agencies to see if they have any scholarships you can apply for. Government scholarships are typically quite general in the sense that almost everybody can apply (subject to eligibility and certain minimum requirements), applies across many various fields of studies and usually comes with study and living allowances.
Next, try to scour government-linked organisations to check what sort of scholarships they offer. Most large government-linked companies have scholarship programmes for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. However, the application criteria are now stricter than that of government scholarships. Most of the scholarships offered only cater to specific fields of studies in specific institutions. In addition, there are more conditions being stipulated by the awarder such as post-graduation bond and non-performance penalties.
There are also non-governmental organisations that offer scholarships. These scholarships are mainly for a very niche group of people – typically from very low income households or from marginalised communities. In addition, the value of these scholarships is usually not high and there are not many scholarships that are available for application.
Corporate firms and private companies
Another popular source of scholarships is from corporate firms and private companies. Most of the scholarships offered are usually for field of studies related to the business operations of the awarding companies. Also, scholarship recipients are typically offered permanent roles after the completion of their tertiary education. These companies usually promote their scholarships via their corporate website, through newspaper advertising and via education/career fairs. Be sure to browse through the papers and also go through corporate website to seek out these opportunities.
The company that you work for might also be awarding scholarships to eligible employees and even to children of staff. There are usually strict criteria for applying such as the fulfilment of certain duration of service, a bond period upon the completion of the programme and penalties for non-performance during the tenure of the studies. The training and development unit of the Human Resource Department is usually in charge of scholarship.
During your entrance application phase, you would be presented with various scholarship opportunities either by the university itself, the specific faculty within the university or from private foundations. Be sure to enquire all scholarship opportunities available through the admissions office.
Education and career fairs
One of the easiest ways to scout out a scholarship is by attending education and career fairs. These fairs tend to attract government agencies, non-governmental organisations, corporations, recruiters, universities etc.