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5 Tips For Finding Scholarships

A college education can cost tens of thousands of dollars to attain. The struggles that may come with student loans can especially become a burden to your life. Therefore, you have to find financial aid in order to help you keep the cost down. The best way to do this is through a scholarship.

Scholarships are given to all sorts of students who meet particular qualifications. These will cover a sizeable part of the cost of an education. They are also given out to a variety of students for various purposes that vary by each option available.

The odds are there is a scholarship out there right now that you can qualify for. However, you must find such a scholarship to make it work for you. There are many great tips to follow when it comes to finding scholarships that you can qualify for.

Start Early

You have to start looking for scholarships as early as possible. It is easier to find scholarships when you do it earlier as that means you won’t have to worry about too many of them being taken.

This is especially ideal if you are about to go to college. Starting your search for scholarships before your senior year of high school is always a good idea as it gives you time to find what you are looking for.

Check Local Groups

You should look to see what local groups in your area have to offer when finding scholarships. Many local groups like churches, civic groups, business unions and even local banks may offer scholarships to people in your area. You might have an easier time finding a scholarship from a local entity than anywhere else, what with the competition for those scholarships being substantially less than what you might find elsewhere.

Look At the Requirements

There are various requirements that deserve to be seen when it comes to finding scholarships. Some might be based on the field of study you are in or the GPA you hold. Others might be focused on people who engage in community service activities. Others can focus on people who hold certain hobbies. The requirements for a scholarship will vary so make sure you look at them and see if you qualify for them.

Check Online Regularly

There are always new scholarships being posted online every day. These include many scholarships that are easy to search through on many databases. Be advised that many of these scholarships are available throughout the country but it never hurts to get your name in for consideration for one of them.

Put In Enough Effort

The last tip is to always put in a strong effort when trying to get a scholarship. You might feel down at times in the event that you cannot get the scholarships that you want. However, that does not mean you should give up. Put in a strong effort no matter how many times you are turned down for scholarships. Remember, there are so many options out there that there is certainly one out of that can be of benefit to you and your studies.

Scholarships can be rather easy to find if you simply know what to look for. Make sure you get out there to take a careful look at the different scholarships that are available for your use as you might be surprised at the options that you could potentially qualify for.

Top Universities in France

France is one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations and over the years has come to occupy a distinct place in the global imagination. This should come as no surprise given its rich culture, urbane sophistication, the rich history, and culture of its cities, and the spectacular scenery of mighty rivers, azure seas touching upon golden sandy beaches, and rugged mountains encircling vast rolling pastures, and verdant forests. Amidst all this serenity is the long and fiery legacy of French thought and academia that hungers for innovation with a revolutionary zeal. Consequently, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations by far.

Why study in France?

The intelligentsia and academia occupies a central place in the history of modernism and its evolution. It has a proud intellectual and artistic heritage and rightly so given that it is the nation that produced towering figures in the history of ideas. Names such as Rene’ Descartes, Michel Foucault, and Jacque Derrida; authors such Albert Camus, Marcel Proust; artists such as Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet; and filmmakers like Jean Renoir and Jean-Luc Godard. Add to the whole lists of 49 Nobel laureates and a host of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and researchers who have made spectacular achievements make France a haven for intellectual ventures in any field of study.

Universities in France

Though academic and intellectual tradition in France has permeated the lifestyle of its people, it’s academic and artistic tradition has been encased within the confines of various top-ranking universities, making the already rich intellectual lifestyle even more thrilling for students. Add to this the good news that most of the universities are heavily backed by government and private scholarships. This is apart from the fact that France’s leading universities offer some of the cheapest tuition fees in the world. With annual fees averaging under USD $1,000 for both international and domestic students alike, it leaves students hoping for a thrilling learning experience without a second option.

The table below shows a list of the top universities in France, their costs, global ranking, and student population.

University Name City Cost of Programs Total Student Population Global Ranking
École Normale Supérieure Paris €750 a year for both local and international students >3,000 students and researchers combined 65
École Polytechnique Paris €245 tuition fees
€11,000 for a 2 -years master’s program. Fee can be waived via Research and educational work.
>2,700 undergrads and post-grads combined 70
Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris Tuition fees for undergraduate programs €181 Masters €250, and PhD €380 ~30,000 96
Université Paris-Sud Orsay Admission Fees fixed to €183  for license degrees, €254  for masters and €388  for PhD. ~27,000 114
Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble An annual fee of €133 for Bachelors, €204 for Masters, and €556 for PhD >15,000 155
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon Lyon $1000 average (~€770) >2,400 156
Université Paris Diderot Paris A lot of offered courses have zero tuition fees. Average costs are on an average ~€750 ~26,000 178
Mines ParisTech Paris The cost of the whole program can range between €15,000 to €22,000, with 50% of the students covered by partners ~15,000 193

 

 

Guide to the Costs and Payoff of Attending University

With the cost of attending university rising every year, parents are concerned about what to expect when it’s time for their children to go to college. Funding is a huge issue for parents as well as students and it is important for parents to have all the information they need to see if their investment may pay off in the future or if attending college from home makes more financial sense.

Tuition fees

Universities in most countries today charge tuition fees and if your child is enrolling in a foreign university you may expect to pay a higher price in comparison to domestic students. Tuition fees vary greatly from university to university so parents will have to research and compare the costs of each university and course before they pick one. Tuition fees will also be different for private universities and state universities. As a general rule, private universities tend to have higher fees. The fees will also depend on the academic program you choose.

Living expenses

Other than tuition fees, parents will also need to factor in living expenses. Your child will need funding for accommodation, food, books, study materials, activities, transportation and more. Add health insurance, visas and other additional costs if your child will be attending a university abroad. In most cases you will be able to get an estimate of expected living expenses from universities before you enroll. You can also check government websites for local living costs to get better insight into what to expect when you budget.

Student loan

If your child plans to take a student loan to fund the expense of university, you should take the time to understand how these loans work. Student loans are made up of two parts: tuition fees and living expenses. The amount that you can borrow will depend on several factors such as grants they receive, household income, location of university and more. The living cost and tuition fee loans combined will provide you an estimate of the total debt your child will have. Student loans have to be repaid once your child graduates and starts working. Interest rates vary based on the source of the student loan but if it is a national scheme student loan, interest rates are generally very low. Use online calculators to get a close estimate of what kind of debt you can expect with different student loans.

Financial assistance

Most universities today provide fee waivers and bursaries to students from low income families. Scholarships and grants are also often available so you may want to first contact the shortlisted universities to see if your child is eligible for financial assistance. In certain cases, you may be able to make multiple payments towards the tuition fees throughout the year instead of paying the entire amount upfront. You may also be eligible for many government grants and financial assistance schemes based on your household earnings.

Student jobs

Most students attending universities take up part-time jobs to contribute towards their living expenses. Search for job options available on campus as well as off campus and estimate what your child may be able to earn. If your child plans to study abroad there may be restrictions on the type and amount of work that is allowed. It is important to understand that students do not spend too much time on a job since it may negatively impact their academic performance.

What is the payoff of attending university?

When you are investing a considerable amount in your child’s education, it makes sense to ensure that there will be some financial payoff from the money you invest. Graduates tend to typically earn more than those who do not have a degree. Before you pick a university and a course, consult reports, job market news and labor reports to get an idea of what type of jobs are available, salary expectations and estimate of future demand for graduates in a particular field. You may also want to select a university that provides your child career support, advice and internships.

Studying abroad definitely makes a student more employable as employers generally value international experience. Parents should also spend some time finding out how a particular university ranks in world rankings and if it is viewed favorably by employers.

How to Get a Graduate Assistantship at a US University

Graduate assistantships are a boon to students who cannot afford to pay the full cost of their tuition fees. Foreign students especially aspire for an assistantship as it takes care of their tuition fees and provides a stipend for living expenses. So they only need to shell out the airfare to go to the US and begin their academic life. In this article we offer valuable tips on how to get a graduate assistantship at a US university.

Complete Your Application with Care

Fill your application carefully and ensure you answer all the questions. Do not leave out any question as it may be important to the reviewers. Include your resume and a statement about your interest in the assistantship position and the skills you can offer to the position. Strengthen your case by expanding on your qualification and experience.

Avoid Errors

Your resume and application should be free of errors. Proofread them thoroughly to weed out all grammar and spelling mistakes. Format and present your resume in a professional manner to impress the reviewers.

Do Your Homework

Hit the Internet and research on which universities are more likely to offer you a graduate assistantship. Typically, public universities offer more assistantships compared to private ones. Do your homework thoroughly and calculate your chances of getting an assistantship before you start sending out applications.

Tips for International Students

International students should work hard and get good scores in their GRE and TOEFL exams to impress the universities. We recommend taking the Test of Spoken English (TSE) also to strengthen your case. If the university is reassured you can speak good English, it will certainly improve your chances a great deal. If you do not get an assistantship with your admission, we advise you to go the campus a month early to find out and apply for available assistantship positions in all the departments of the university.

Be Prepared for an Interview

If you have started classes without getting an assistantship, you should take care to maintain a good GPA and be prepared for an interview. Convince professors about your abilities and skills to impress them. Keep up your motivation and research all available opportunities on the campus.

How to Find Assistantships

Unlike graduate fellowships and scholarships, almost all colleges and universities offer assistant programs at the master’s and PhD levels. Do not be disheartened if you do not get an assistantship in the first quarter or semester. Directly contact staff members who manage assistantships in various departments to get details of available openings and how to submit applications for them.

How to Apply for a Graduate Assistantship

Find out the exact requirements for each opening. Prepare a document that lists all the requirements and deadlines for each position so that you do not miss out on applying to any one inadvertently. A strong statement of purpose as well as recommendation letters can strengthen your application greatly. Some departments may even ask you to complete a research or teaching task before selecting you for the role. So prepare yourself well to deliver what is required to get the assistantship.

Summary

Remember that though assistantships are intensely competitive, they are easily attainable for a well-prepared candidate. There are many benefits of working as a graduate assistant for a university. The experience will look good on your resume especially for foreign students who can boast of working for a US university. You can also get references and recommendation letters from professors and the university which can help you further your academic and professional career. Last but not the least you can develop your communication and leadership skills and build a network with students and professors to boost your career opportunities and social life.

Choosing a University: What Colleges Don't tell you

Getting the right college degree from the right university will probably one of the most important decisions of your life concern. Some of the most important factors in selecting the right university are:

Where Should You Attend?

The first decision should be whether to attend a school in your home state, out of state or a school in another country. One thing that will influence this, aside from cost, is whether you want to be close to your family and friends. Some college students enjoy the sense of freedom and adventure of being in a new place.

Think About the Career You Want

Not every school offers the best training in the field you want to enter. Some universities have a reputation for offering excellent courses in some fields. For example, MIT is known as a top-class university for people who are into technology. Check the website and look at the course listings and the curriculum of the schools you are most interested in attending.

What Can You Afford?

The amount you can afford to pay will have to play a big role in choosing a college. If you will have to depend on scholarships and financial aid to get through, make sure to find out what is available. Some schools will have more scholarships and funding opportunities.

Extra-Curricular Activities

If you are big on a particular sport, you should make sure that you choose schools that participate in these sporting activities. If you are a player, choose schools that will make it possible for you to play. If you enjoy going to clubs and giving back to the community, the school should offer these opportunities as well. Any college you consider should ideally have an interest in culture, sports, volunteering and being socially active.

You also need to be realistic about your choices. Some schools are extremely difficult to get into, so make sure to apply not only to the top schools but also to good, middle-tier schools. Other things that will help you in making a decision when doing your research are:

  • Your emphasis on religion: If this is important to you, find out if places of worship are on campus or if they are close by
  • What others think about your choices: Talk to current students and alumni about their own experiences in college. Alumni are a great source of information if the programs helped them meet their career expectations. Current students can share their feelings and insight into the university
  • Available resources and facilities: If for example you are planning to study the sciences, look for schools with well-equipped labs
  • The meal option that is available: For religious or personal reasons you might not eat certain foods. Make sure you will be able to get the food you want whether on campus or nearby. If this is not possible, find out if you can cook on your dorm.

After careful consideration, you should ideally have three or four schools that fit the bill. These schools should be at the top of your list. The advice as to how many schools to apply to varies, with some people suggesting a minimum of three, while others saying six. However, it is up to you to decide how many applications to send out. Talk to your school counselor and your parents to help you make a decision. Some students send out over 10 college applications to increase their chances of gaining admission to one.

Be practical in your selection of a school. With research and effort, you can find the ideal college at which to further your education. Just make sure that you are choosing a college for the right reason. Finally, if possible, visit the campuses to get a firsthand view of what is available.

A Guide to Finding the Right University

When deciding which university to attend, you may receive a lot of instructions, tips and guidance from others. There’s too much information to analyze and understand and much research to do, leaving you feeling lost and confused. There are several factors that need to be considered when selecting a university. This guide will provide you a list of things you should look into so you can find a university that truly fits your academic goals:

Admission requirements

Every university has different admission requirements so you will need to find out if you have the relevant prerequisites to get admission for the program you want to enroll for. Talk to the admission representatives of the university, the guidance counselor or search the university website to get more information about whether or not you will be able to get in.

Location

Moving away may help you feel and become more independent. However, you may want to be close enough to home so that you will have easy access to your family when you need their support the most. An ideal university should be no more than six hours away from your home. The geographical location of a university is a major factor that should be considered.

Cost

One of the most important factors to consider when comparing universities is the cost. Ensure that you include the tuition, program quality, board and room, transportation cost and the cost of social activities, when you calculate a year’s cost of studying at a particular university.

Financial aid

Studying at a university can be quite expensive today and not everyone can get full financial support from their families. It is therefore important to get more information about the financial aid options available at the university. While bursaries and entrance scholarships are available in almost every university, you may want to learn more about the requirements to determine which university will accommodate your financial requirements the best.

Academic program

The quality of programs within the university will vary greatly. For example, some universities offer excellent art programs but may not have equally good technical programs. Learn more about the kind of offers students get after graduation, program duration, class size and other details that will help you understand how well a particular university is suited to your needs.

Student feedback

Talk to other students at the university to learn more about their experience. It is important to understand that every student will have a different experience at the same university. Keep an open mind and gather more information about what others think about the academic programs, professors, job prospects and class sizes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to students.

The university you attend will have a long-term impact on your life and is therefore a decision that should be made after much deliberation. Prepare a list of universities that perform well on all the factors discussed above and visit them all personally. This will help you make an informed decision that works well in your favor.

Grants Available for International Students in the USA

International scholarships and grants are available for students of exceptional results, those who are serious about education and would like to improve their English. Finding US study grants, scholarships and awards is simple using the internet and the database of international student organizations. There are many ways of researching the offers, and you will find that governments and private sector companies run several projects for people like you. The below guide is designed to help international applicants find the grants they need for studying in the United States.

Government Sites to Search for International Grants

EduPass has a smart student guide that provides information about cost of living, amount of funding available and sources of financial aid. The US government also has its own scholarships you can apply for, provided that you match the initial criteria. The two main programs funded by the government are the Foreign Fulbright Student Program for postgraduate education and the Humphrey Fellowship Program, for those who already have experience in their field of expertise. The American University Scholarships award is designed for high-achieving international students in the first year of their undergraduate studies.

Financial Aid Offices

If you have already selected the college or university, you can contact their financial aid offices to see what type of grants are available for you. They can tell you about the criteria, application and selection process. Several universities and colleges in the United States also have their own international student program. There are programs designed for women, just like the AAUW scholarships fellowship project providing a generous funding of $18.000 to $30.000 based on the level of study.

Local or Regional Alumni Funds

You can search the database of the Infinite Connection online to find US and international regional Alumni Funds. The Alumni Association is designed to help students get the grants and scholarships they are looking for. You can even contact your geographic Alumni Fund community manager to get information on funds available for funds available for international students. If you register on the site, you will also get information and updates of application dates, criteria and support with writing your proposal. You can also start your search in your current country: there are offices in forty locations around the world to help students. Alternatively, you can contact the student office of your current school to find out about international and regional collaborations.

Department Offices for Your Academic Field

The Bureau of Academic Exchanges controls and coordinates state-funded programs. They select successful applicants based on their background, needs and academic achievement. You can contact the Bureau to get information on government-funded programs. Alternatively, you might want to contact one of the branches located in Asia, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. There are also several exchange programs created for international students, some funded by companies. Therefore, if you already have a degree in an academic field, you can get sponsored by a private sector organization. You can contact the Office of Designation in the U.S. Department of State to find out about private sector funds available for international students.

What Not to Do When Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships

Applying for Financial Aid and scholarships can be tricky at times, and downright confusing. There are many lists on tips on how to successfully apply for such aid but there are even fewer lists on what NOT to do. So, the following is a list on what NOT to do:

DO NOT apply late

Applying late can drastically hurt your chances at obtaining a scholarship. Many schools have their own financial aid deadlines. The official application deadline for the Free Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is June 30th but students living in certain states have different deadlines to meet. Many other countries also have similar programs with similar deadlines.

What is worse is that if you are applying for a scholarship being late in your application indicates that you may not be hardworking or deserving of the scholarship. This is exactly the opposite of what you want them to think!

DO NOT forget to check all sources for a scholarship

Scholarships can come from many unlikely sources. Thoroughly check all of these sources. Many religious schools will offer ‘matching scholarships’ where the school will agree to match all funds donated by the student’s congregation. Unlikely scholarship sources also include banks. Also, many companies offer scholarships to the children of their employees. If you are a part of a minority or a disabled person there are scholarships available that can be used to your benefit.

DO NOT forget to check application for any potential errors

Nothing says “do not give me a scholarship or grant” like handing in an application with bunches of errors and mistakes. You want the scholarship committee to see the best side of you. You want them to see the polished, professional side of you.

Also, if you make a mistake on your financial aid application packet it could mean that you may miss out on money. It helps to have a family member or friend look over your application to see if there are any obvious mistakes being made. If you are dependent upon your parents for financial aid it is important to have your parents check to see if their section of the application is correctly filled out.

DO NOT forget to have the necessary paperwork available

Having the necessary paperwork available means that you can successfully avoid some of the common mistakes that people make. Applications like the FAFSA can be tricky and remembering the detailed numbers and codes can be a challenge. Having your paperwork organized, ready, and available will greatly reduce the stress associated with submitting the application.

DO NOT forget to be creative!

Okay, so it may be impossible to be creative when filling out the FAFSA but when it comes to individual merit or achievement based scholarships you can truly let your creativity shine through! Do not be afraid to talk about the strange and unusual experiences that you have dealt with in your life. No matter what the scholarship is for, the scholarship committee loves seeing things that prove that you are bright, witty, and creative. Everyone has some sort of quirk that helps them stand out from the crowd!

DO NOT be afraid

Applying for scholarships can be very daunting at times. It is important to remember that you are not the only one going through the scholarship and financial aid process. There are millions of students who have gone through this process unscathed. Chances are, you will do just fine and you will come out of it with great life experience even if you do not get any grants or scholarships.

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