Top tips on applying for a scholarship


Before you hit the send button, read this essential guide on how to apply for a scholarship, from tailoring your application to asking for feedback before you submit.

1. Do your research

There may not be a single location where you can find all of the information you seek, so do your homework so you know what’s available. Our website is a good place to start, but don’t forget to check out your local British Council website and the websites of the institutions themselves.

2. Check the eligibility criteria

Examine the eligibility criteria thoroughly to ensure that you fit the scholar profile. Some eligibility requirements, for example, will be the same across different scholarships or bursaries. Pay attention to the details, and only apply for things you’re qualified for and have a good chance of getting.

3. Consider timelines

Be organised. Keep on top of all of your deadlines, for funding, for courses, and even visas. Plan ahead and make sure that you have all of the timelines in one place that makes sense to you so that you can meet all of the milestones that you have to. 

4. Write tailored applications for each scholarship

Lots of different universities have different questions and requirements when applying for scholarships so you can’t just copy and paste your application. Make a real effort to understand, in detail, the needs and requirements of each university. This may take a little extra time in the beginning, but it will ensure that you have a high-quality, tailored application which will increase your chances of receiving funding for your desired programme in the UK. 

 Be very honest about your motivations for studying that particular course in that particular institution. What interests you about them, and what would you want to do with your UK degree in the future? Think specific, and think ahead. People will notice.


5. Seek assistance before you submit

Wherever possible, seek out someone trustworthy to help advise you on your application and to proofread it before you submit. For some applicants, this could be asking friends or teachers. However, for those who do not have that kind of support network, you could – for example – reach out on LinkedIn to a current or former scholar from the universities you are applying to and ask them to read your application and give you any feedback.

6. ‘Just go for it’

Isabela Nieto from Mexico, a GREAT scholar who is currently doing her master’s in Political Economy at the University of Essex, said:

‘When I learned about the possibility of being a GREAT scholar I thought there was a very small chance that I’d get it. But I decided that if I didn’t try I would never know. The ‘why not?’ was my main driver. The no was already there, so I thought I might as well take my chances.’

She added:

‘It’s normal to think that there are many people who are more deserving of certain opportunities and certain awards but you might be surprised. [Scholarships] can open doors that we never imagined existed. So, just go for it. And, if you don’t get exactly what you’re looking for there are always other options and different ways to meet our goals. Things happen when we push for them.’

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