Since scholarships are a way of offering free education to deserving students, they are incredibly coveted. All schools and universities have a percentage of seats set aside for scholarship students for every course. For example, Global Indian International Schools coveted 9GEMS Scholarship reduces the fee significantly for students who showcase their 9GEMS skills. While some scholarships may offer a full ride, which means that they cover 100% of the student’s tuition fee, mostly offer only a part of the percentage. The competition is intense and the seats are limited.

Some schools may offer scholarships to 20-30% of the student body, which is very generous. But most schools and universities offer scholarships to only 8-9% of the students. Even within this minimal percentage, not everyone gets a full ride. For example, of students in Bachelor’s degree programs (of universities in the USA) in 2015-16, only 1.5% got enough scholarships and grants to cover 100% of the cost of attendance.

Through these statistics, you can imagine how difficult it is to bag a scholarship, especially to the school of your dreams. So, here are a few ways in which you can impress the review board with your application and ensure your seat.

Read the requirements and instructions carefully: Read the eligibility requirements carefully and make sure you meet all of their requirements. If you do not meet the criteria, you will probably be automatically disqualified when the scholarship committee reviews your application. Read the instructions carefully and do everything that is required of you. If you miss even a single step can lead you to disqualification.

Recommendations: Recommendations are vital in certain scholarships. Recommendations can make or break your chances. Choose your recommendation writer carefully. Don’t go for generic letters. Give them ample time to craft an impressive recommendation. Choose someone who knows you and can speak about all of the great things you have to offer. Since the scholarship awarding organization will undoubtedly contact the person recommending you, it is significant that you choose someone who is efficient and will respond to the emails or calls of the selection committee.

Write an Impressive SOP: SOP stands for a statement of purpose and is one of the essential parts of your scholarship application. SOP is also called a ‘Letter of motivation’ in some applications and has the power to set you apart from the rest of the applicants. You cannot change your academic records, but you can indeed write a winning SOP that could help you make up for a not so great academic record (to some extent). A well-written SOP is definitely what we would label as the most crucial element out of all the ways to increase your chances of getting a scholarship.

Proofread: Read your application and essay a few times to ensure everything sounds right. Edit the essay, if necessary, to make sure you will be submitting an application you are proud to put your name on. Also, pay close attention to the following things:

Spelling. You may have sent in a very impressive application. However, if there are misspellings, your credibility may go down very quickly.

Grammar. Grammar can make a big difference in an essay. Incorrect grammar can sometimes make it hard for the reader to understand what you are trying to share.

Meet the Word Count: Some scholarships give a word count requirement for the scholarship essay. Meet the requirements. If they want at least a certain amount of words, make sure you have at least that many. But be concise. Don’t write unnecessarily.

The main objective of scholarship organizations is to reward talent. So, ensure that you show all your abilities fully in your application to stand out.