Scholarships are like special keys that open many doors in life for people who have them. The allure of a sponsored education is hard to resist, and people desire the prestige that comes with a scholarship. With these goals in mind, a substantial number of aspiring scholars wind up pursuing organisations with the biggest names and awards with the most monetary value.
What many people fail to realise that a scholarship is more than just that. You should not go for a scholarship just because it is highly sought-after, you should choose a scholarship because it is the right thing for you. Choosing a scholarship is akin to selecting a career, and there are long-term ramifications that you must take into consideration.
Below are a few factors you should keep in mind when you are choosing your scholarship.
Course of Study
Make sure that the scholarship you choose allows you to pursue your course of choice in university. Most scholarships restrict the courses you can pursue in for your studies. Organisations tend to prefer degrees that are related to the nature of their business after all.
Perhaps you wish to study something less conventional, such as music production. But for the sake of a scholarship, you decide to compromise by going for a business-related degree instead.
You will be making a huge mistake if you do something like this. Understand that you are going to spend a few years studying this course. Studying for something that you are not interested in will be very taxing on your mental wellness. You might even have your scholarship taken away if you underperform.
This is related to the previous point. Consider the fact that most scholarships have bonds that you have to serve.
If your bond is in a field that you are not interested in, then your life will be difficult. You will be spending a significant portion of your life dreading work and wishing that you could be doing something different.
Even if you manage to persist through the years of studying a course you don’t care for and working at a position that you see no future in, you still have to worry about what comes after.
Ask yourself if you can actually do you want to do afterwards. Some scholarships require you to have a specific skillset in order to serve a specific function. For example, your scholarship might require you to take up a science degree and do lab-work while serving your bond. Such skills might not be transferable if you wish to go elsewhere.
In the end, you should not pursue a scholarship just for money or prestige. Do it because you are genuinely interested in all the scholarship has to offer.
Scholarships should not be viewed as a trophies of conquest. They are actually potential partnerships between two parties – the scholar and the organisation. A mutual understanding should be reached in order for partnerships to work.
So find the scholarship that suits your needs. Do as much soul searching as you can before going after a scholarship. Remember that it is your future that is at stake.