And this is how they won it...

Birju Shah (26 yrs)University of Texas, Arlington
Getting a scholarship for the course and university of your choice is sure to leave you elated. That’s how I felt when I received the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) from the University of Texas, Arlington for an MBA in Finance. The Financial Aid Office at the university was of immense help.

Grants are funds that normally do not require repayment, and are awarded on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. Funding for the programme is limited; applications for this grant for each academic year are available at the Office of Financial Aid.

What’s important is that students need to keep the eligibility criteria in mind before applying for a scholarship.  
Selection is based on financial need and academic performance. Candidates must maintain satisfactory scholastic progress and must pay out-of-state tuition fee to be eligible. A student needs to be in good academic standing — a currently enrolled (in status) student should have a  GPA over 3.2. Legal documents should be kept ready when filling up vital information in the application form.

As the grant is on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis, one must be on time. (The deadline for financial aid applications for the Fall 2010 semester is May 1, 2010) As the Financial Aid Office is the main contact, a student should only approach them to get the scholarship. To be considered for maximum grant funding, students must be admitted to UT Arlington and the completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any additional required documents must be received in the Financial Aid Office before the deadline.

Logging on to the website of the university will give you a better understanding.
Students should complete and submit FAFSA at least two weeks prior to the deadline as additional documents may be required later.I didn’t know about this scholarship. It was when I started interacting with other Indian and international students that I was told about the grant and I applied for it. I was one of the first applicants in that academic year, which made the process easier and smoother. The amount was deposited straight into my student account. A brief account of prior work experience and a little about the course of choice would be an advantage.

Achyutha Sharma (26 yrs)Domus Academy, Italy
Want to win a scholarship? Then fight for it! This is exactly what happens in Domus Academy, Milano. The institute organises design competitions annually for students and offers scholarships for their postgraduate courses like accessory design, fashion design, urban planning and business design to students who win the competitions.

The process is simple. I  logged on to the website and read about the competition.  All design competitions are based on a concept. As I had applied for a master’s in Fashion, they gave me a brief for the design competition and expected me to submit a complete design document of my concept, design research, design direction, colour and fabric palette and final garment designs — as a collection. The material, sent via email, was  evaluated by a panel of judges and, based on the design concept and deliverables, scholarships were awarded to the first, second, third prize winners.

The first prize winner gets a full scholarship, the second gets a 60 per cent scholarship while the third gets a 30 per cent scholarship. I won the second prize.
As a student of any form of design it is imperative that you build a portfolio of your best work as it reflects your ideas, capability and creativity. This gains greater significance when it comes to being selected for the course of your choice at colleges or universities where such competitions are not held. Showcasing some extra-curricular work will be an advantage.

Being a part of a sports club or participating in social work speaks volumes about your personality. This could also make an impression on the scholarships committee.
Although I didn’t approach any counsellor or expert to help me with my resume or portfolio, it works wonders if you speak to senior graduates or working professionals, who will provide you with an industry perspective. They can also help you polish your college application and infuse some relevant inputs to better your application — something you might not be able to do on your own.


Nikhil Agarwal (25 yrs)Thunderbird School of Global Management
I am pursuing an MBA in International Business at the Thunderbird School of Global Management under the AIESEC Provost Scholarship, which covers 25 per cent of my tuition costs for the entire course of study.
Additionally, I’ve also obtained 25-30 per cent of tuition scholarship every semester after the first semester, under the Continuing Student Scholarship programme. Scholarship eligibility and the required documents include your GMAT score, previous work experience, level of leadership position in AIESEC, international work experience, extra-curricular activities, essays, relieving letter from previous employers or a ‘No Objection’ certificate, certificate copies of any professional certifications (CPA/ CFA/ CA) or membership associations (Rotract, AIESEC), certificates of past achievements, recommendation letters from mentors or immediate supervisors, an updated resume and a cover letter to support your application.

As I was a part of AIESEC, which is a student-run organisation focused on providing a platform for youth leadership development, it made me eligible for the scholarship. The criteria being that you need show evidence of a minimum of an ongoing membership and a leadership role in AIESEC at the local, national or international level.

The application must have a letter of recommendation from a member of the AIESEC Board of Advisors or Board of Directors.A scholarship is like an incentive given by business/ management schools to attract students to their universities. Thus, they would like to draw students who they feel fit into the mould of their objectives and culture, and those who they feel might be successful in future. Try to sell this idea when applying for scholarship! They also value leadership experience — highlight this very prominently in your resume and cover letter.

Always remember that your GMAT score is the single most important factor to be considered for the scholarship amount. This is because universities get hundreds of applications every day — with many hopefuls having similar work experience, talent and achievements. The only thing that sets you apart from other applicants is your score. If you have a higher GMAT score, you get placed into the higher bracket where the amount of scholarship is high.

If you do not get enough scholarship before entering school, do not worry. There are tons of opportunities to obtain scholarship once you are in your second semester and the school has seen your performance. If you perform well, you will definitely get financial aid. I have been getting aid based on my performance in the previous semesters and it is more than the amount then I got initially. So, good luck!

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