Contrary to what most people think, getting a study abroad scholarship isn’t just for the academically inclined. In fact, 60-65% of grants and scholarships have less than a 3.5 GPA requirement. Some, don’t even have a GPA requirement at all!
Not everyone graduates high school and/or college with flying colors and that’s okay. Sometimes we figure out what we’re good at a little later, or maybe we’re just not geared towards being “book smart” but excel in other areas. If you are nodding your head like “yeah, that’s me” here are a few things you can do to score that study abroad scholarship even with low grades.
Send out a lot of applications – srsly.
Didn’t your momma ever tell you “don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” That’s true, both in life and your study abroad scholarship goals. The more applications you send out the more chances you’ll have of winning that scholarship. And sure, maybe you won’t get the first study abroad scholarship you aim for, or you don’t get 100% coverage – but help is help. Every amount covered is still something off of your expense list. To up the probability of you actually getting that scholarship, make sure you have a fine-tuned application that you’ll be confident in sending to a lot of scholarship providers. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s a game of numbers!
If it’s any consolation, there are more study abroad cholarships aimed towards students from developing countries. *Wink wink*
Ace the other exams
Okay, so you’re not exactly a star student – but even universities around the world know that your transcript of records isn’t an accurate reflection of your professional abilities. To get into a program abroad, you’ll have a series of tests you’re going to have to pass. Take those as challenges to pull up for value as a scholarship candidate. Aim to get an above average score on your entrance test or even exams that test your English proficiency. So, SAT, ACT, IELTS, and the like? Ace them all! That ought to put you on the top 25% of applicants.
Be extra at something
Sure, you don’t have to be the smartest person to get a study abroad scholarship, but put yourself in the shoes of those giving free education. What’s in it for them? If they were to grant you a scholarship, you have to be able to position yourself as an asset in one way or another. What you can do is, frame your application in a way that shows them the value you have to offer when they choose to fund your education. Think of it as if you were pitching to a potential investor. What can you do or give that will make them want to invest on you? It’s a good advantage to show what you intend to do with the education you give. How will that affect not just your future, but society at large? Will you end up empowering less fortunate students in rural areas? Will you build your own social enterprise that provides solar-powered light to homes around developing countries? Do you have skills that will make them proud to call you their graduate? Are you a stellar athlete or a future leader?
It all boils down to: What can you bring to the table that nobody else can?
Get someone to send in great words
You know how they say your reputation precedes you? And while you can’t control what everyone thinks about you, you do have a say in what your dream university will think about you based on the recommendation letters you’ll be sending. Make sure, you choose someone who knows you well enough and believes in your dreams as much as you do. It also helps if that someone is a person who has seen you work and has mentored you in one way or another. If you have a chance to get a recommendation letter from an executive, a senior teacher, or someone from a higher position to hype you up to your dream university then even better!
See! Having good grades isn’t the only way to score yourself a scholarship to your dream program! If this was helpful, we have more where that came from. Feel free to read through our study abroad blogs over at Edukasyon.ph.
From preparing for your big exams, to dealing with anxiety and cultural barriers, we’ll be there for you at every step of your study abroad journey. Want to review anytime, anywhere? You definitely can! Just bring out your mobile phone and start reviewing here!