By TARCAYANI PREBAGARAN
Upon completing SPM, tough decisions regarding your future plans await. These range from what courses to enroll in, to your college choices.
A significant influencing factor would be cost. Scholarships serve as a great assistance to deserving students to embark on their academic journey soon after high school. Setbacks in your finances should not be a hindrance for you to complete your formal tertiary education and work your way towards career success.
Government, corporate and university scholarships are available for you to achieve your dreams and aspirations. Just like everything else in life, an effective strategy can assist your way through. Here are some key tips on how you can obtain them:
GRADES, GRADES, GRADES!
As obvious as this may seem, your grades are your “passport” towards securing a scholarship. Extra-curricular activities and being a holistic person are absolutely vital but keep in mind that grades come first.
To apply for scholarships, besides your SPM results, some applications require you to send a record of your previous transcripts being either trials or your Form Four year-end exam results. So, ensure your grades are consistent.
That being said, even if you have done badly in your previous exams, if you use that as a motivating factor and work extremely hard for your successive exams, this may be a plus point. Your interviewer may be impressed with your will power and award you the scholarship!
SHARPEN YOUR SAW
Many students have an obsession to be a part of numerous clubs and societies. It’s true that it’s necessary to be involved in extra-curricular activities to obtain a diverse experience in leadership and team work.
However, it is better to focus on a few (two or three) clubs and societies that you are passionate about rather than having an array of them.
For example, sponsors usually prefer a student who has focused on a sport that he/she is good at and represented the school for, rather than someone who has joined various different clubs and societies but only is involved at the surface level.
Potential sponsors will be investing a great deal of money in you. Therefore, you should be thinking of contributing to them in the best way possible. To be able to do that means ensuring that your degree is aligned to your passion and your greater goals as an individual.
Take time to understand yourself. This can be done through various online assessment tests or asking yourself hard questions.
Some scholarship application processes involve an interview. If you bluff your way through the online application process, the experienced interviewers may catch you!
Many of us are unaware of scholarship opportunities out there. Always be on the lookout for scholarship opportunities that suit you!
There are sample resources out there to get you going. For instance,afterschool.my/scholarship or www.malaysiascholarships.my.
It is crucial to start early because the application process of many scholarships takes quite a long time and some application deadlines finish early.
TALK TO FRIENDS, SENIORS, COUNSELLORS
While browsing the internet and reading books on how to secure a scholarship are essential, you should also talk to people who have been through the entire process.
This could be a senior who has obtained the scholarship or an academic counsellor who has assisted many students in the past.
Don’t hesitate to drop by at your counsellor’s office and ask for further information.
Applying for a scholarship is evidently a challenging task. However, it is worthwhile to put your effort and time into it. It is an excellent way to learn skills and gain application experience.When your finances are not in the way, you can also focus on other crucial areas of your life.
I bid you good luck in your pursuit to obtain a scholarship. Be persistent and never give up! Remember, when a door closes, a window opens.
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