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Financial Aid - Engineering Programs

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 of scholarships:

  • Complete scholarships in the form of Grants or Aid
  • Tuition Fee Waiver - Partial or Complete
  • Teaching Assistantship
  • Research Assistantship

Complete Scholarship : 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.

Teaching Assistantship: 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 the universities.

Research Assistantship: 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 course.

Factors that get you Financial Aid

- 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 assistantship

- 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 Aid?

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 form.

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 university

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:

http://www.infozee.com/application-issues/financial-aid.htm

 


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