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A Guide To Finding Scholarship Grants

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Many people are determined to go to an internationally recognized university but lack the money to do so. Finding a scholarship can often make the difference between being able to attend and having to work for another year - or two - before you can afford to.

Scholarships may be classified into three primary groups.

Merit-based - financial aid for which financial need is not used to determine the recipient. The recipient may be determined by students' athletic, academic, artistic or other abilities. The actual monetary value of the scholarship may be negligible, the scholarship being meant to motivate the student and promote the study of the subject. However, this is not always the case and the largest scholarships are almost always merit-based.

Need-based - financial aid for which the student and family's financial situation is a primary factor in determining the recipient. Usually such scholarship will cover all or part of the tuition and may even cover living-costs. Very often even need-based private scholarships require the awardees to be distinguished students, as the deed founding the award may include a phrase like: "for the studies of founder's favorite subject in founder's favorite institution of higher education for a talented youths of limited means from founder's home town/county/state etc.

Ethnicity-based - 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.

1. What Do Scholarships Cover?

* Tuition
* Book costs
* Dorm fees
* Housing
* Food
* Travel expenses
* Other

2. Scholarship Programs

The benefits of a scholarship are clear - you don't have to pay back any of the money you receive. Most of these programs offer money and other benefits for students. These are awarded, mostly my charitable institutions, company businesses, schools, universities, government and non-government (private) organizations.

Scholarships are given based on the criteria imposed by these organizations. The two most common categories are academic and athletic.

3. Free Money

Sometimes you can get a scholarship just for saying you saw an advertisement on the bus or in the paper. The amounts are usually quite small - under $300 usually, but every little bit helps. The best source of information about scholarships will often be your school student advisor. Your school might also have a student financial advisor for just such a need.

4. Keep Searching

You will likely have to apply to several hundred scholarships before you get a single one awarded to you. Even then, there are strict guidelines that you must adhere to in order to keep the scholarship, for example, you might have to keep your GPA above a certain level. Be sure to leave plenty of time for searching for scholarships, as it can take months for them to be approved.

In other words, don't start looking for scholarships a few weeks before your intended program of study starts.

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