“Quantcast”/
Scholarship Providers Tell Us What They Want In A Scholar | Edukasyon.ph
Scholarships

Scholarship Providers Tell Us What They Want In A Scholar

Let’s be real. While everyone deserves to receive an education, it comes with a hefty price tag that some parents choose not to enroll their children anymore. And it’s no easy feat to be a scholar, and scoring a study grant is only the first mountain to conquer. With thousands of other students to compete with, how can you make your way to the top and stand out from the rest? 

We sat down with two scholarship providers to provide us some answers to scholarship interviews and receive that scholarship. Here’s your cheat sheet to make the cut as a scholarship applicant:

1. MJ Thorne

Section Head

Education Department, Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc

Aside from the grades and essay or document requirements, what special qualities do you look for in a candidate?

Every time we conduct an interview of scholarship applicants, aside from academic performance, we equally look for their way of helping their family, their attitude towards school responsibilities, and their participation in school-based and outside organizations. Most importantly, his opinion on having a quality education despite life’s shortcomings.

Given your answer above, what activities or organizations should scholarship candidates sign up for?

School organizations, Youth Development groups, or NGOs with education and community service as main thrusts.

What were the specific difficulties you encountered when picking candidates? How can students avoid these problems?

With the current Grading System that we have, we normally encounter difficulties with the following: First, a limited number of slots. Second, applicants living in areas with poor telephone signals (communication from initial interview up to the announcement of the results). Finally, applicants who are not disclosing other grants that they are enjoying prior to applying with us.

What’s your advice for students to ace the scholarship interview with you?

It’s always great to assess yourself (your personal goals as a student as well as your family goals). List down all the organizations you’re working with as well as the activities implemented (include details of your beneficiaries if possible). Lastly, you don’t have to impress your interviewer, all you have to do is just be true to yourself. Always follow the given instructions.

Could you share a one-liner or motto for those applying for scholarships?

If you can imagine it, give your best and take it!

2.  Louie Boy de Real

Program manager

Security Bank Foundation

Aside from the grades and essay or document requirements, what special qualities do you look for in a candidate?

Aside from the grades and proof of family income, we also look at the leadership potential of the scholar. That’s the reason why part of our screening process is an interview. 

So during the interview, we check if the scholar applicant has leadership qualities. Because our main goal for the scholarship that we also offer is to eventually provide an opportunity for them to be possibly employed in Security Bank and build their career here. 

Number two, we also look at the personal values of the applicant. For Security Bank, we have core values: people, integrity, empowerment, innovation, and execution excellence. We look at the manifestations of those values. Usually, it is shown by how they perform in school, and how they deal with people. Is he or she the type of person who joins extracurricular activities? Does he or she join a community activity, have personal advocacy, contribute, volunteer or donate to a cause? 

Given your answer above, what activities or organizations should scholarship candidates sign up for?

As long he or she has writing skills. We’re not looking for scholars who join specific orgs. Rather, we want to see if that scholar is actually taking advantage of the opportunities being offered in his or her school to further hone his/her skills. 

Very few people actually have additional job experiences while they are a student. So we also want to see if the student actually is involved in organizations. This is because organizational activities show possible manifestations of the skills and qualities before a student actually gains work experience. For example: arranging events, communication skills (oral and written), dealing with people, and teamwork.

What were the specific difficulties you encountered when picking candidates? How can students avoid these problems?

Most of our pain points right now involve the completeness of requirements. For example, we require them to show a certificate of enrollment, proof that he/she is actually involved in our partner school. Sometimes they usually share just the proof of passing the entrance exam, which is actually not proof that they’re already enrolled. Maybe they passed in that school but they did not pursue enrolling in that school. 

It’s critical that whenever we screen, whatever we require, it should be submitted as soon as possible. Since we accept a lot of applications, we will prioritize those who completely submitted the requirements correctly. So they’ll become a priority before those students with incomplete or incorrect submissions. 

What’s your advice for students to ace the scholarship interview with you?

Be yourself. Because if you want to pass something, sometimes you over package yourself but we really want to get to know the scholar. For example, their personal experiences. Because for us scholarship providers, we also want to give the opportunity to people who actually need it. That, if we give this opportunity, we know that he or she will not waste it; hopefully, they’ll eventually be grateful and use this tool or benefit that we give, to inspire other people. We can tell when the person is really genuine in terms of getting the scholarship and applying for it. 

Because you know, in dealing with various applicants, there are also applicants who don’t necessarily need this scholarship. There are people who really need it because this is really something that would eventually help them to finish their education. So they just need to tell us their story so that we will be inspired to get them.

What are three things students can do now to help their chances of getting a scholarship?

  1. Be prepared. Number one, because I was also a scholar before. Make a record of your documents. Also, record your experiences in organizations and your achievements while you’re still in high school. Because eventually when we interview you, if you already have a full grasp of your personal experience and your records, you can easily repeat it during the screening process. Even while they are still in senior high school, one year before their graduation, students can prepare the requirements already. Mostly grades and certificate of graduation. So that immediately after graduation after they actually enroll in schools, they can already go to scholarship offices and actually get the actual application forms. If the requirements are already on their hands, they can immediately submit their applications on the same day that they got the application form. 
  2. Be proactive. Number two, be proactive in looking for scholarship opportunities like you have Edukasyon.ph, a website that actually consolidates all available scholarship opportunities for students in the Philippines. So search online and if you have target schools that you want to enroll in college, look at the website of that school—maybe they have a listing of their partners for a scholarship or even contacts from their scholarship office. Don’t just be complacent and wait for announcements from foundations or schools.
  3. Be active. Scholarship providers nowadays don’t just look for someone that just needs a scholarship. We look for people who not only have good grades but also have the potential to become sources of inspiration. So, be actively engaged not just in school but in extracurricular activities. Because if you build yourself in academics and community work or in volunteer work, it also gives the scholarship providers an idea that you’re a person who could also help other people. 

Could you share a one-liner or motto for those applying for scholarships?

Education is a tool that can empower individuals to definitely have a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

We hope you’re feeling more confident now that you’ve heard advice straight from the experts. As MJ puts it, “if you can imagine it, give your best, and go for it!” The path to graduation is never easy, and not everyone gets to be a scholar. But every scholar has the potential to shoot for the stars and empower people along the way. You got this! 

We’re rooting for you, so stay tuned for more articles on scholarships, schools, courses and everything else that Filipino students need on Edukasyon.ph. 

Enjoying the blog? Register on Edukasyon today!

Tags: