This week we've been answering questions submitted by Homayoon (see question 1 and question 2). His final question was about scholarships. Homayoon has shared in the past that this has been his greatest struggle when it comes to pursuing a degree in the U.S., saying:
I recommend that everyone who wish to study at U.S, He/She must get preparation for a couple of years at least (those who apply for scholarships). This [preparation] must be especially for writing skill because when you are not a top and excellent English writer, you cannot ...covey and communicate your knowledge and thoughts to others. Therefore, finding and winning a scholarship was and is the greatest challenge for me in my academic life.
So he asked us to share experiences about how to get a scholarship.
Can anyone share their experiences about how to get a scholarship? What you have done before start to submit your scholarship application?
In a past post, our bloggers talked about the scholarships they have and how they got them, so make sure to look at "Exploring Financial Aid and Funding Options" to hear some of their personal stories.
Anna is a Russian student at Mount Holyoke College
The biggest help on this question came from EducationUSA office, which shared with me a list of schools that offer need-based financial aid to international students. But I also had to do a lot of research on my own, selecting the schools that offer need-based financial aid to not only international freshmen but also to international transfers. I e-mailed each school I short-listed to make sure I am eligible for financial aid. One school said they normally do award need-based financial aid to international students but this year they have insufficient funds, so I crossed it off the list. Another school I contacted said that the competition for transfers is very tough and they normally award financial aid to 2 or 3 international transfers out of 120-150 candidates, so I had to reconsider if I still wanted to apply to that school. After I made sure I am eligible for financial aid at each school on my list, I tried to compare myself to other applicants and predict at which schools I stand a bigger chance of being admitted.