Financial Aid is available to
students in various forms. They are mainly merit based but can be need based sometimes.
Though they are available, students normally get very few scholarships from universities
other than that in US and Canada. For this purpose, scholarship information given below is
meant for studying in these countries only.
Sources of Scholarships
- The Aid given by Universities you are applying to.
- Various organisations connected with the
universities in some way
- Federal government of countries where your
university is located.
- Various independent organisations in the country you
are located in.
From among all these sources, the
grants provided by the universities are the most accessible for students and most students
avail these scholarships.
There are different types
- Complete scholarships in the form of Grants or Aid
- Tuition Fee Waiver - Partial or Complete
- Teaching Assistantship
- Research Assistantship
: This is a scholarship to cover all your expenses, and includes tuition fees and living
expenses for the duration of the course. You can normally get such a scholarship by
applying for the same at the time of admission.
Tuition Fee Waivers
: These can be in the form of complete tuition fee waiver, or part tuition fee waiver to
cover say a certain percentage of the total tuition fee. Tuition fee waivers can be
obtained before or after the start of your course.
This involves helping a professor prepare for his/her lectures and presentation material,
working at a lab in the university, etc. You are paid money for the work you put in. You
normally apply for teaching assistantship after the start of your course. Please note that
for a Teaching Assistantship, the Test of Spoken English (TSE) is mandatory with most of
Very similar to teaching assistantship, and involves helping a professor in a research
he/she is conducting. You are paid for the amount of work you put in. Like in teaching
assistantship, you normally apply for research assistantship after the start of your
Factors that get you
- Your past academic
background: Since most scholarships are merit based, your past academic
background is a good indicator of your knowledge in your subject areas and is usually the
most important factor that will get you a scholarship.
- Your scores in the
standardised tests: Your GRE and TOEFL scores are the next most important factors
for getting a scholarship. You might also be required to take the TSE for teaching
- Your inclinations and
motivations: You have to project your ability to do well in your course through
your Statement of Purpose. These are the non-objective factors which universities consider
to know about your interest in the course you are applying to. How relevant is the course
based on your past academic and personal inclinations and how important is it to fulfill
your long term career and professional goals.
How to apply for Financial
From the university at the
time of sending out your application form
You need to mention your interest
to apply for a scholarship in the University’s admission application form. There is
normally no additional document you need to fill or no separate scholarship application
You should check the Financial Aid
application deadline from the university that you are applying to. The deadline to apply
for Financial Aid is normally much earlier than the admission deadline and is usually by
the month of December for admission to the Fall Semester of the following year and March
for admission to the Spring semester of the following year. It is necessary to send out
your completed application along with all required attachments before the deadline date.
From the university after
the start of your course
If you are running late to meet the
Financial Aid deadline of a university or if you been refused a scholarship, you need not
lose heart. You can apply for aid even after you join your university.
This would mean that:
- You will have to pay on your own for atleast one semester of your study. - You will have
to actively pursue getting a scholarship during the first semester of your study.
Though most students who get
scholarships get them after joining the university, we will not advise you to rely
completely on a possibility of getting a scholarship. Before leaving for the university,
you should arrange for finances for the entire duration of your study so that you can
continue with your education even in an eventuality of not getting any financial aid from
second semester onwards. And if you do, treat as a bonus or a saving.
The scholarships after joining the
university are mainly in the form of teaching or research assistantships. Which means you
will have to work along with study. A Grant or Scholarship will be awarded to students for
exceptional academic performance, based on merit.
From sources other than the
university you are planning to study in.
Before joining the
You could try some of the
scholarships available from private trusts and organisations in your country. There are
many of them available. We have seen them listed at lots of places but haven’t seen
any one avail them.
A list of these scholarships can be
seen at the following links: