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Scholarship for Nigerian Students

Grew up listening to tales of people around me who left the shores of the country for overseas on scholarship, mesmerized by the thought of having the same opportunity, I began to mail several universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, and on different occasions they would often send me their prospectus on my request which I will always take forth to school to show to my friends. Back then it seem so funny as I knew I do not have the right qualifications to apply for the schools I was mailing but then the efficiency with which they replied back to my questions giving me the much needed information on how I can study in their university, choosing a course of study and also applying for a scholarship   wowed me. This made me realize that it is a process which one can do himself or herself.

To many the thought or mention of studying abroad always come with shrills of anxieties, this is because many still think that you do need hundreds of million to achieve this, however it is not so for all academic programs, you will do need to fund them yourself and be responsible for your finances over there, but then there are other academic programs that offers to their students full scholarship while others half scholarship.

So when thinking about scholarship for Nigerian students there are hundreds of them out there waiting for Nigerians to apply, supply all the necessary piece of information and dannng, you are on your way flying out of the country.

Who has the best chance of getting scholarships?

PhD-students: if you are going for a PhD you have a good chance to get funded. At this point in your academic career you can be a valuable asset for your university to help them teach classes and do research. You can also get a fellowship grant where universities, companies, individuals or governments support your research. This is particularly common if you do a PhD in technical subjects that are of interests to many companies.

Master students: as a Master student you have gained a lot of experience and can help out at your university as an assistant to a professor or to the administrative team. This usually involves about 10 work hours per week in exchange for free tuition. The exact reimbursement will vary between different universities some might even cover your living costs while others might reimburse you with an ordinary salary.

Academically talented: students with an outstanding academic record have a better chance to get a scholarship, especially if you also score well on the required entrance exams. This is particularly true if you apply for a university that is not in the top of the rankings since attracting great students can help to improve their ranking.

Students with a special skill: many universities especially in the US give scholarships to students that are very skilled within sports, music or similar subjects since such students can strengthen the university’s team and help to put the school on the map if they become famous.

Poor students: One common criterion for scholarships is the economy of the student’s family. Many scholarships aim to help poor students to get a good education, while students from more well-to-do families are expected to support themselves. Many high ranking schools like Harvard have generous financial aid programs with fixed amounts that you can get based on your family’s income, where almost all of your tuition fee will be covered if you come from a low income family. The challenge here is primarily to get accepted into these schools in the first place.

Minority students: schools like diversity. A good gender balance and nationality mix can help both their ranking and their general attractiveness. So if you are the only applicant from your country you will have a much better chance of getting a scholarship than if the school already has hundreds of students from your country

Types of Scholarship

Merit-based: These awards are based on a student’s academic, artistic, athletic or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant’s extracurricular activities and community service record. It’s important to note that qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship.

Student-specific: These are scholarships for applicants who initially qualify based on factors such as gender, race, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors. Minority scholarships are the most common awards in this category, but qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship.

Destination-specific: These are scholarships awarded by a country to students planning to pursue a study abroad program in that particular country. They are awarded as an incentive to study in that country instead of elsewhere. Check with government-sponsored travel websites of the country where you wish to study to see what scholarships are available.

 Program-specific: Program-specific scholarships are offered by individual study abroad programs and/or the colleges and universities where they may be associated to qualified applicants. These scholarships are often given on the basis of academic and personal achievement, but qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship. Check with your study abroad program and university to see what scholarships are available.

Subject-specific: Subject-specific scholarships are awarded by study abroad programs or institutions to students based on their particular major or field of study. These scholarships may require the recipients to enroll in subject-specific courses while abroad or conduct subject-specific research while abroad, but it’s important to note that qualifications will vary based on each scholarship.

University-Provided Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: Many universities provide scholarships or grants on a merit-basis to be generally applied to any students looking to study abroad. However, don’t just research financial aid provided by your home university! Study abroad grants for undergraduates can be available from different institutions depending on your affiliations. Also, look at the university you will be studying at while abroad; many higher education institutions throughout the world provide scholarships for international students to encourage a more diverse student body to attend their university.

Organization-Provided Scholarships/Grants: Be sure to do thorough research of nonprofit, chapter, or heritage organizations that may provide scholarships or grants to deserving students who match their criteria. Prime examples include scholarships for LGBT students or students of Italian or Hispanic descent. The possibilities are endless!

Government-Funded Scholarships/Grants for Study Abroad: Aside from assuring that your FAFSA financial aid will carry over for your study abroad semester, there are a number of government-funded grants or scholarships that encourage students to study or do work abroad. Good examples of this include the Fulbright Program, or Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships, which are funded by the UK government specifically for international student leaders looking to study in the UK.

How to apply for a scholarship

  1. Do your Research– before you apply for any scholarship position anywhere it is very important that you do a thorough and proper research. The more time you put into your scholarship search, the more option you get to have. You will certainly need time to research scholarship, request information and application forms and complete our application forms by the specified closing date.
  2. Check your Eligibility– another factor which you must consider during your research process is finding out if you are eligible for the doing a good and thorough research process online, you will be able to find the scholarship most appropriate for you
  3. Include all required information– It is very important that you take your time to read and provide all the necessary piece of information and document required from you. Be sure to commit yourself to ensuring that the entire documents that you are submitting are correct. You will need a cover letter, letter of introduction or recommendation letter
  4. Provide References/Referees- in some cases you will definitely need to provide the names of your referees, and in doing so it is quite important that you use credible people as your reference. Also do well to inform them before submitting the name. For most students, this means reaching out to professors and asking for their assistance. When asking a professor to be a reference, or to write you a recommendation letter, always ask them far in advance so that they may prepare. It is also important to choose professors or employers who you have interacted with, so that they know you well enough to recommend you. In other words, don’t ask your Spanish 101 professor who you took a class with two years ago to write your recommendation letter. Reach out to authority figures who you know not only would be happy to recommend you for a scholarship for studying abroad, but are also pertinent to the scholarship itself. For example, if you are applying for a leadership scholarship abroad, reach out to the academic advisor of the campus club you are a part of. If you are applying to an international relations scholarship, reach out to your political science professor. However, regardless of who you reach out to, always be respectful and realize that you are asking them to take time out of their busy schedules to help you (and a follow-up, written thank you note never hurts either).

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