What does it actually take to earn and apply for a scholarship in the Philippines? Do you always need to be the best in class? Will schools only notice your grades?
Many students feel like they’re not smart enough to earn a scholarship. But this mindset is just one of the myths about scholarships. If you get past those myths, you’ll discover that a scholarship might not be a far-fetched dream after all.
Three Batch 2019 scholars and finalists of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines-NCR debunk common misconceptions about scholarships, with advice that can help you overcome them!
Myth #1: To be a scholar, you need to be a high achiever.
Advice from Anne Rey (Ateneo de Manila University): Look beyond your grades, focus on your potential.
If you feel like an average student, that’s okay! Anne says you shouldn’t immediately self-reject your chances of earning a scholarship. While grades may be important, schools will also look beyond your academic record and consider how you want to grow through college and beyond.
That’s what Anne realized when she applied for a Financial Aid scholarship as a high school student from Aklan. She said, “A lot of students tend to forgo applications thinking their grades aren’t high enough. But what if you try anyway? And what if you succeed?”
Her main tip in the application process? Align your potential with what the university is looking for. Amidst financial limitations, tell your honest, compelling story through an essay that will show them what you hope to achieve and how the scholarship could help you reach those dreams. For Anne, what matters is to look forward and believe this is something you deserve, too.
Myth #2: Only students from the city can earn scholarships.
Advice from Hya Bendaña (Ateneo de Manila University): Opportunities are abundant, but you need to actively search and apply.
There’s no denying that educational opportunities for students in rural areas tend to be less accessible than in urban centers such as Metro Manila, Cebu City, and Davao City. A valedictorian hailing from a small-town high school in Bicol, Hya didn’t know she could qualify for a needs-based scholarship when she first applied for university in Manila. When Hya passed the entrance exam, she felt disheartened thinking that it would be impossible to study there given the financial challenges of her family.
Thankfully, she learned of the opportunity by being proactive in searching and applying for scholarships after the college admission results came out. Now, Hya encourages more students from her community and all over the Philippines to do the same. Her practical tip? Contact many university admissions as soon as possible and inquire about your options. You can even begin with the Edukasyon scholarships platform to jumpstart the search!
Don’t just wait and settle, because you’ll never know what’s possible if you don’t discover them yourself.
Myth #3: Scholars should only focus on their academics.
Advice from Czieloh Villajin (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila): Through your scholarship, discover how you can serve the people and our country.
For scholars, the hustle to succeed is real, and it definitely springs from their well of gratitude. As a former student leader and high school valedictorian, Czieloh agrees! But what truly prepared her for success wasn’t intense academic pressure, but her deep involvement with activities in theater arts, female empowerment, and nation-building. As an Iskolar ng Maynila, Czieloh believes that Filipino students have a duty to do good for our country. She dares us to ask, “Mahal ba talaga ng Pilipino ang Pilipinas?”
Her best advice for aspiring scholars? Set personal dreams for the benefit of society.
For Czieloh, the essence of a scholarship is in teaching students to be of value to people through their education. Aspiring scholars should strive for extracurricular activities that will develop their values, passions and skills, and leadership abilities. These experiences will truly give you the edge, especially when you’re applying for a scholarship or finally stepping into college.
Now that you’ve overcome these scholarship myths and learned some advice from outstanding scholars like Anne, Hya, and Czieloh, it’s time to take action. Make the first step today by exploring scholarships on Edukasyon.ph!
Also, tell your close friends and family about all these scholarship opportunities. You’ll never know whose life you can change by helping someone discover a scholarship that fits them best!
About the author
Cristina Batalla is an intern at Edukasyon.ph and a Development Studies scholar at the Ateneo de Manila University.