As India and the world across make their way into digital classrooms, more and more students are enrolling themselves online for pursuing higher education and opting for professional courses of their choice. Winning a Scholarship helps students fulfill their aspiration of higher studies. But is the job of finding the right scholarship as easy as it seems? Not always. Searching for a scholarship can be a challenge for students but it can be more difficult if their thoughts are surrounded by misconceptions. As we move to a world of online education, students need to be watchful of some myths and misconceptions that may be a hindrance in their successful academic careers. Before putting in efforts and precious time into researching for online scholarships, it is always beneficial to brush up on our knowledge about the misconceptions about them.
Misconception 1: Scholarships are only for the gifted
The misconception that tops the chart about scholarships is that only gifted students can earn a scholarship. Students believe that only academically outstanding students have the privilege of winning a scholarship. In reality, the scholarships are not merely for those students who score exceptionally well in their studies, but for those students also who fall into specific criteria that the scholarship sponsor might be aiming at. Many firms, sponsoring scholarships to school and college students, look for other criteria based on the scholarship they offer. While some of these sponsor scholarships aim at looking at studentsâ€™ parentsâ€™ occupations, others prefer to sponsor scholarships to students from a specific geographic area.
Therefore, the students are advised to keep their ears and eyes open and carefully read through and inquire about the selection criteria of the scholarship they aim to win.
Misconception 2. Time-Consuming
This is another most common misconception that holds students back from applying and attempting for a scholarship. It is believed that scholarships take up much of studentsâ€™ time. Earlier, applying for a scholarship did take up some time as students had to physically visit the institutions and firms to apply for the scholarship. The situation has changed completely with the onset of the digital world.
With online learning modules being implemented widely and the scholarships being online available, access to scholarships has become easier and faster. There is no need to run from pillar to post to get print outs or photocopy done for the documents or to go to the institutions for getting forms and submitting them. With a range of online scholarships available now, the students save a lot of their time that was otherwise consumed in researching for the right scholarship.
Misconception 3 - Students Fear Having Fewer Chances of Winning a Scholarship
Honestly, almost every one of the students suffers from this fear and misconception. Students and guardians believe that there are already thousands of applicants seeking a scholarship or a Micro Scholarship, therefore there is no way they would win the race and get a scholarship. On the other hand, the sponsors of scholarships usually have a different story to narrate. According to many sponsors, they do not receive enough applications as students believe that there are already too many scholarship applicants and they may not win a scholarship therefore the students do not apply for scholarships. This misconception ends up forcing even the deserving students to miss out on winning their scholarship and funding their education on their own.
Misconception 4 - One Gets a Scholarship Only at the Beginning of a Course
A major misconception, it prevents students from researching and applying for scholarships even when they lack funds for completing their educational courses. According to this misconception, students form a belief that they can only approach an organization for scholarship or micro-scholarship only at the beginning of a course. For some scholarships the above statement is true, but it is not true for all. There are many scholarships that one can apply for and avail of even during the academic course or in any semester of studies.
Misconception 5 - Scholarships Are Only for Economically Deprived
Not all Scholarships are meant for students who need financial assistance to complete their education or pursue a preferred course of study. This misconception in society restricts talented and meritorious students from applying for scholarships.
Contrary to this popular belief, a majority of scholarships also have other objectives to achieve like promoting a particular talent or art, creating better awareness about their sponsorâ€™s business through scholarships, and other reasons. In such cases, the scholarships are not limited to intelligent students in need of financial assistance whereas, the students can get scholarships even when they belong to affluent families but are worthy of scholarship based on the parameters of the scholarship provider.
Misconception 6 - After Receiving a Scholarship Amount, the Grades Donâ€™t Matter
For some scholarships, the students need to put in their best foot forward only before applying for a scholarship, but for recurring scholarships the conditions are different. In some scholarships, the students need to keep up their performance and grades so that they remain eligible for getting the scholarship amount. In the case of the recurring scholarship, the allowance of the fund depends on varied requirements. The theory of once-and-done does not work for all scholarship firms. Students need to put their soul, mind, and intelligence to score and maintain a certain GPA to avoid any chance of forfeiting the scholarship grant for further semesters. There are times when students failed on the required criteria and ended up getting placed on academic probation or completely losing the scholarship amount.
Misconception 7 - A Fee Guarantees You A Scholarship
Educationists warn students to be wary of any sponsor that asks for a fee for increasing a chance to win a scholarship. In the online learning age, the students often come across advertisements on e-learning websites instruct students to pay a fee that would help them fetch a scholarship of their choice or guarantee winning a scholarship. Many scams intend to extract money from online learners under the name of getting a scholarship. Sometimes, the intention behind asking for a fee is to attract as many applicants as possible.
Misconception 8 - Students Must Contribute to Community Work
Some scholarships have criteria that students should be socially committed but this is definitely a misconception that all scholarships require their applicants to be socially active and failing which would lead to losing the scholarship. In scholarships sponsored by some organizations, this criteria holds no relevance at all and students can earn the scholarship even when they do not take part in any kind of community service.
Misconception 9 - The Funding Is Not Worth the Efforts
First, it is important to understand that any amount small or big is a great assistance to manage educational expenses. Therefore, it is absolutely a misbelief that the funding is usually not worth the students' efforts or the amount of money is very less. Students can get full to partial scholarships depending upon the sponsor organization or the course for which the scholarship is being offered.
Misconception 10 - A Student Can Apply for Only One Scholarship
Lack of complete knowledge about scholarships can force students to come up with weird conclusions like this. Many students believe that they are entitled to apply for only one scholarship in an academic year which is absolutely misconceived. This leads to creating unnecessary mental pressure on students to compete, qualify and win the ONLY scholarship they applied for. Such intense pressure affects the performance of students and they end up losing the scholarship that they would have otherwise earned. A student can apply for as many scholarships as they wish to keep a safe bet for themselves. Sticking to a single scholarship would mean risking the chance of studying at an institute of oneâ€™s choice for at least that particular year.