Alone in Europe there are in total 15.6 billion Euros worth of scholarships available every year! But which scholarship is the right for you? This article gives you an overview about the different kinds of scholarships. You will discover that scholarships can be very individual and the best scholarship for you might be completely different to your best friends! Thats why you should check all the possible options for you for example on ScholarshipPortal.General information
Of course the main reason for getting a scholarship is financial support. So-called full-ride scholarships are the most comprehensive ones. They cover all your tuition costs as well as your living expenses but are of course comparably hard to get. However, there are also lots of partly scholarships available. They do not cover all, but at least a part of your expenses during your studies.
Scholarships are not only about money, though! Besides the financial support, scholarship givers often provide you with book support, internships, seminars or valuable business- and academic contacts for example. On the other hand, some scholarships have also certain requirements for you to fulfil. You might for example be obliged to participate in certain research projects, take part in conferences or work for a certain company or institution after your studies. Also, some scholarships need to be renewed regularly, mostly on a yearly basis! That's why you should inform yourself carefully when choosing your scholarship.
Merit-based scholarships (fellowships)
These scholarships are among the most common ones and are usually awarded by private organisations as well as by public institutions or directly from the university where you are going to study. Most scholarship holders of merit-based scholarships are chosen by considering the academic performance as well as extracurricular activities like volunteer commitment, work experience or other experiences. However, there are also special fellowships that focus less on the academic but for example more on artistic, athletic or musical abilities. Many merit-based scholarships are awarded without regard for financial need.
Besides fellowships, many organisations award specific scholarships where the awardees have to meet certain criteria such as nationality, gender, religion, political affiliation, race, special needs e.g. due to disabilities or a specific medical history and many more. The David Herzog Fund for example, offers scholarships especially for Jewish students to study in Israel. The Graça Machel Scholarships Programme in contrast, provides postgraduate scholarships to female students from Southern African countries. Do you belong to a special group of students or a minority?
Depending on your personal and your familys financial situation, you might qualify for a need-based scholarship. In Europe those scholarships are often referred to as student grants and offered by public institutions such as governments (government funding) but also by charitable organisations for example. Even if you are not citizen of the country you are going to study in, you might qualify for a need-based scholarship if you fulfil certain requirements. For example in Germany! Often, need-based scholarships are combined with low-cost or free student loans.
Student prizes are not a classical form of a scholarship but they are also a good opportunity to support you during your studies. In contrast to scholarships which usually give you a monthly payment throughout your program, student prizes are one-time awards for academic achievements, winners of competitions or research results. They can range from a couple of hundred to several thousand Euros. The University of Reading for example has an achievement prize for the years best students worth £1000.