How to Apply to A Scholarship in the UK

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11 August, 2021

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4 mins read

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By attending university in the UK, you will have access to some of the best higher education institutions in the world. Home to the world’s oldest colleges and an extraordinary grading system, UK universities have an unmatched reputation for academic excellence. Thus, a degree from a UK school will be recognized and highly respected when spotted on a resume. 

If you are an international student looking to apply to a university in the UK, keep in mind that UK degrees only take 3 years. With shorter and more intensive courses, you get more value for your money by studying in the UK. Additionally, there are countless scholarships, grants, and bursaries available from UK universities. 

What’s a Scholarship?

Securing a scholarship is one of the best ways to pay for university. Scholarships are financial aid awards designed to assist students in paying for undergraduate or postgraduate education. Scholarships are also available to high school students and students who are studying abroad.

A scholarship can range from a single check to a recurring payment that covers the cost of each semester or school year. Unlike a student loan, scholarships don’t need to be reimbursed. If you don’t have a 4.0 GPA, don’t worry! There are a wide variety of scholarships available other than merit-based scholarships, including scholarships related to music and sports.

Tips to Apply to a Scholarship in the UK

If you are looking to land a university scholarship in the UK, here are the top tips you need to know.

1. Work Hard, Study Hard

Good grades can open many doors to UK scholarships – and while high marks aren’t everything, they certainly won’t hurt. Your grades reflect your academic performance, motivation levels, willingness to work hard, and your ability to capitalise on the resources available to you, all factors that scholarship judges will be looking for in their application pool.

If you are falling behind in a particular subject or course, don’t panic! There is always time to improve your grades, and with the right resources, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Online tutoring is both a convenient and accessible solution and can make all the difference, especially for trickier subjects, like math. There are many benefits to online math tutoring, including customised instruction and one-on-one support, and there are numerous online math tutoring services available. 

2. Stand Out in Your Application Essay

Your personal essay is a cornerstone in your scholarship application and also a great way for you to set yourself apart from the other candidates. From a compelling personal story to a challenging obstacle that you’ve overcome, there are many ways to catch the judges’ attention and make yourself a memorable candidate through your personal statement. This is your time to shine, so get creative, be yourself, and have fun with it! 

If you are planning on applying to multiple scholarships, creating several template essays might be the best way forward. A bulk of scholarships are most likely going to use a similar essay prompt on their applications. After creating your essay templates, you can make small adjustments to customise your essays instead of writing entire essays from scratch.

3. Stick to the deadline

This may seem obvious, but it’s incredibly important: submit your application by the due date. Unsurprisingly, students that submit their applications late, more often than not, do not receive scholarships. Take note – this small but easy step will go a long way in landing your dream scholarship.

Don’t procrastinate and wait until the last minute. Get a head start and submit your application early! If you want to be extra prepared, mark your application deadlines on a calendar. This will give you a better picture of when you need to get started and keep you from missing deadlines, especially if a bulk of your applications are due around the same time.

4. Look in the Right Places

It may feel like there are an overwhelming amount of scholarships to choose from – so where should you start? Oftentimes, a scholarship will be designed for a specific type of student. There are scholarships geared toward particular majors, first-generation college students, and underrepresented groups. The more personal the scholarship is to you, the easier it will be for your passion and interest to shine through in your application. Do some brainstorming – what makes you unique, and why are you applying for a scholarship in the first place? This will help you narrow down your options and make your search a little less daunting.

At the same time, it’s all a numbers game. Try applying to multiple scholarships while keeping in mind that quality is more important than quantity. 

What are some of the best UK scholarships?

The UK government offers hundreds of scholarships every year – so where should you begin your search? Read on to discover some of the top UK scholarships available to you. 

UK universities: Begin your search by checking out the official university websites for universities that you are applying to. Top UK universities will typically offer generous financial packages to students on both merit and need-based levels. If the website doesn’t have the answers you need, consider reaching out to a representative of the university for assistance. 

The Chevening Scholarship: Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship program. This scholarship is typically for a one-year Master’s program in the UK and awarded to students who demonstrate high leadership qualities. With over 43,000 Chevening alumni around the world, this scholarship will give students the opportunity to build professional networks and immerse themselves in UK culture while continuing their academic journey. 

The Commonwealth Scholarship: The Commonwealth Scholarship is geared towards citizens or permanent residents of a Commonwealth country who require financial support to study in the UK. Designed to help support future world leaders and innovators, the ideal candidate is a person who has the desire and potential to create positive change on a global level. 

The Royal Society Grants: If you live and breathe all things science, this may be the perfect scholarship for you. With an overarching goal to promote excellence in science, The Royal Society is a fellowship for the world’s most promising scientists that offers various grants and awards to students every year. 

The GREAT Scholarship: Granted by the British Council, GREAT Scholarships are designed to cover a year of postgraduate education at select UK universities. Candidates from the following countries are encouraged to apply: Bangladesh, China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.


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