FEATURE 01 January 2013

Scholarships

A scholarship is an award of access to an institution, or a financial aid award for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria which varies from country to country.

An international students should apply for scholarship along with his application, as universities abroad require separate application for the same besides application for admission. Usually it is awarded with the I20/offer letter, but if not, a student needs to enroll in the various scholarship programs offered by the university and other agencies in the country depending upon his eligibility.

Moreover, there are some Indian foundations such as Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, which grants scholarships to Indian students and the duration of the scholarship will be up to 2 years. It covers for the period granted tuition fees, adequate living expenses and one-way travel.

Scholarships can be in form of:

  • Assistantships
  • Fellowship
  • Internship
  • financial aids

To apply for financial assistance to the universities, a student submit a separate application form before deadline and fulfill the specified requirements Criteria for Scholarships:

  • availability of funds to the university
  • academic requirements
  • citizenship requirements
  • enrollment requirements
Scholarships may be classified as
  • Merit: The recipient may be determined by students athletic, academic, artistic or other abilities. The monetary value may be negligible, if the scholarship is meant to motivate the student and promote the study of the subject. The largest scholarships are usually merit-based.
  • Sociology: This is financial aid where applicants must initially qualify by race, religion, or national origin. After filtering the applicants based on their ethnicity, additional factors are taken into consideration to determine the final recipients.
  • Institutional: These are scholarships awarded by a specific college or university (institution) to a student planning to attend that institution. The institutions of different countries have their own set of financial awards, which will not be same with the other university. The basic type of awards are:

Graduate Teaching Assistantship
Graduate Teaching Assistants are those graduate students who are involved in instruction, usually of undergraduates. Qualified GTAs perform instructional duties in an area of their expertise, most often within their home departments, although qualified GTAs may perform teaching duties outside their departments.

Graduate Research Assistantship
Research conducted by Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) is a significant portion of the total sponsored research at MSU. GRAs often conduct research in a relevant area of their major course of study under the direction of a faculty member. GRAs are expected to work 15 to 20 hours per week. The research is usually a component of the faculty advisors research that is directly supported by external funding. GRAs are generally expected to carry out a specific research project which often forms the basis for a thesis or dissertation.

Student Employment
Graduate students may also hold employment in other capacities (i.e. , student employment such as custodial, cafeteria help, tutoring, as well as classified, professional or adjunct positions). Any non-assistantship position must be approved by the university prior to accepting employment.

An individual who comes to the university as a student may be employed primarily through a graduate teaching or research assistantship. However, students may also work as a student employee. For this type of employment, a Employment Authorization Form must be submitted with approval from the student's advisor and the specific division of the university. Graduate students may not be employed for more than 20 hours per week cumulatively for all forms of employment on campus.

However keep in mind:
  • that many people apply for these awards, and scholarships do not cover the entire cost of study.

  • that the student may not be awarded scholarship in the first semester along with I20/offer letter, but surely the student will get it from the second semester only after the fulfillment of the requirements.

  • The grant is limited and the pool of candidates is enormous

  • It is often more readily available to Graduate rather than Undergraduate students

  • Competition for international student scholarships and aid is fierce

  • Schools are very choosy about picking the right candidates,

  • Good grades are extremely crucial in securing an international scholarship.

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