Student scholarship is a financial aid provided to students based on their merit, gender, geographical location, and needs. Various scholarship schemes have different eligibility criteria. However, many times students are unaware of these schemes and don't know how to take advantage of those schemes. Let us get into the details of student scholarships and understand how you can apply for financial aid, what are the portals to look at, and the best scholarships available for you.
What is a Student Scholarship?
Student scholarship provides financial support to students and is available in three forms: grants, fellowships, and tuition waivers. However, it must not be confused with a loan, as you do not need to pay back the scholarship amount. It assists you in your educational journey and helps you get quality education from the best educational institutions. Different organizations provide student scholarships, and you can approach them to get help in your higher studies.
What Costs are Covered in a Student Scholarship?
Scholarships cover various costs related to educational needs. The costs of books, transportation and accommodation, lab fees, tuition, and more are covered under it. A student scholarship comes in two forms. Either you will get all the amount at once, or you will get funds at the start of each academic year or session for the entire duration of your study. Moreover, it may cover your complete educational expenses or cover a part of them. You can get the scholarship amount directly in your bank account, or the amount may be given to your school or college. Certain rules are laid down by the scholarship providers on the usage of funds and they might stop a student from getting the financial aid if they see:
1. A drop in academic performance
2. Student’s involvement in illegal activities
3. Inappropriate usage of funds
Why is a Student Scholarship Important?
Getting quality education requires more expenses from your end. Moreover, better education improves your chances of getting a quality life. However, meeting the increased expenses is a challenge for many students. That’s when a student scholarship comes in. The financial aid closes the gap between your higher education budget and increasing tuition fees. Moreover, it opens the door to opportunities and helps you get the best possible education.
Types of Student Scholarships
A student scholarship can be divided into the following categories:
If you have a strong academic background or high scores in the qualifying exams, you are eligible to get a merit-based scholarship. Many students believe that merit-based scholarship is only provided to students with high academic performance. But, some universities consider a wide range of talents like musical and performing arts for a merit scholarship.
- University scholarships
It is one of the forms of a student scholarship and helps you fund a part of your foreign education. This kind of scholarship provides a discount on tuition fees.
If you are planning to pursue your studies in a specific field or subject, you may be eligible for a subject-specific scholarship. These scholarships encourage students to participate in the education program of foreign universities.
Various universities offer student scholarships based on your gender, race, religion, family, and medical history.
- Government scholarships
If you are planning to study abroad, you can look for various scholarships offered by the state and central governments.
- Private scholarships
Many companies, communities, and private companies offer student scholarships to Indian students willing to pursue higher education in other countries. The scholarship amount is based on your financial needs and academic performance.
- Financial scholarships
Financial scholarships provide grants based on your family’s income level and citizenship status.
Foreign Scholarships Offered to Indian Students
Details of some popular scholarships for Indian students are mentioned below.
- National Overseas Scholarship
This scholarship is provided by the Indian government to students wanting to study abroad. National Overseas Scholarship provides learning opportunities to 100 Indian students belonging to different target groups like scheduled castes, semi-nomadic, and denotified tribes, and traditional artisans. Students can avail of these scholarships within one year of receipt of intimation from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This student scholarship provides financial support to students under the following categories:
- Tuition fees
- Contingency allowance
- Maintenance allowance
- Poll fee
- Visa fees
- Local travel
- Equipment allowance
- Air passage of economy class
- Fees and medical insurance premium
2. Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship
This student scholarship is available for all Indian students willing to pursue a master’s degree in the United States. However, students must have an outstanding academic record to be eligible for this scholarship. Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship is a fully-funded scholarship for Indian students. The scholarship allows them to study the following subjects:
- Arts and Culture Management
- Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies
- Environmental Studies
- International Affairs
- Public Health
- International Legal Studies
- Gender Studies
- Urban and Regional Planning
- Journalism and Mass Communication
- Public Administration
This student scholarship program covers the following costs:
- J-1 Visa Support
- Tuition and fees plus living and related costs
- Accident and sickness coverage according to the US Government guidelines
- Round-trip economy class travel by air from India to the US
3. GREAT Scholarships India
Under this scholarship scheme, a maximum of 20 postgraduate students are offered a scholarship by the universities situated in the UK. The program is funded by the GREAT Britain Campaign and the British Council.
- Maximum funding of USD 10,000
- Tuition fees, adequate living expenses, health allowance, and one-way travel allowance
4. Commonwealth Scholarships
It is a scholarship offered to Indian students who cannot afford to study in the UK without financial support. Different types of Commonwealth scholarships include:
- Ph.D. scholarships
- Shared scholarships
- Master’s scholarship
- Distance learning scholarships
- Medical fellowships
- Full funding includes tuition fees, living allowance, and airfare to and from the UK
5. Indian Global Leaders Scholarship
This scholarship provides an opportunity for Indian students to study in UQ’s faculty of business, economics, and law. The Indian Global Leaders Scholarship helps students develop the necessary skills required to thrive in the corporate world. It covers 50% of the tuition fees for Indian students.
How Can Students Apply for a Student Scholarship?
You can visit the National Scholarship Portal to know about different scholarships offered by the Government of India. It is taken as a Mission Mode Project under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The platform is a one-stop solution for students and helps them understand the current status of their scholarship applications. The platform takes care of student application, application receipt, processing, sanction, and disbursement of scholarships.
The NSP portal is keen on creating a SMART system for faster and more effective disposal of scholarship applications. Moreover, the portal maintains transparency as the funds are directly deposited into the beneficiary’s accounts. For more information on different schemes covered in NSP, you can click here.
Benefits of the National Scholarship Portal
- All scholarship information is available at the same place to make the application process easier for you.
- The portal provides accurate information and helps you identify the scholarships that you can apply for.
- Duplicate applications can be reduced to bring transparency to the process.
- Makes the scholarship application process standardized.
- Provides up-to-date information to various ministries and educational departments.
- Comprehensive MIS platform to track every process of student application.
Who is Eligible to Apply for a Student Scholarship Program?
The eligibility criteria for a student scholarship differ for different schemes. If you are studying in Indian colleges or universities and fulfilling the requirements of various schemes issued by various Ministries, you are eligible to apply for a scholarship. You can look at the detailed procedure on the website of NSP.
How Can Students Apply for the Scholarship Available on the National Scholarship Portal?
The NSP has two categories for a student scholarship: Pre-Matric and Post-Matric. If you are an eligible candidate, you can apply for the scholarships through these two categories. You can apply for fresh requests or renew the existing scholarship through the portal.
- Fresh Application
If you are a new user, you can register yourself on the portal by entering the relevant details. Fill in the required information to set up your account. Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive a unique application number and password on your registered mobile number through SMS. You can enter this application number on the portal to log into your account and receive the required information.
2. Scholarship Renewal
You can visit the home page and select the Login option to get a list that displays the Fresh and Renewal option. Select this option to renew your existing scholarship.
In addition to visiting the website, you can also apply for a student scholarship through a dedicated mobile app-National Scholarships (NSP) available on the Play Store. Alternatively, you can use the UMANG app for the same.
What are the Crucial Documents Needed to Apply for the Student Scholarship?
The document requirement depends on the scheme you are applying for. Therefore, try looking at the guidelines on the NSP thoroughly before applying for a scholarship. If the scholarship amount is more than INR 50,000 per annum, you will need to submit the documents mentioned below.
- Caste/Community certificate as per the scheme requirement
- Income certificate
- Disability certificate
- Single girl child certificate issued by the competent authority
- Residential/Domicile certificate
- Scanned copy of bank passbook reflecting bank account details and IFSC only if you have not opted for Aadhar based payment
How can Students Fill in the Bank Details on the Portal?
You need to fill in the correct details to get the maximum benefits from the NSP platform. Always provide the correct IFSC details of your bank. You must keep the bank account operational until the fund is not received into that account. Other things to keep in mind before filling up the bank details are:
- Maintain the same bank account throughout the academic journey.
- Try to open your account in a nationalized bank; however, it is not mandatory.
- Check your KYC status and keep it updated for smooth disbursement of the scholarship amount.
- Try linking your bank account with Aadhar for faster disbursement and ensure that the account remains active.
- If you are applying for a post-matric scholarship, try opening a bank account in your name. In the case of a pre-matric scholarship, you can have a joint account with your parents.
A student scholarship can give you more than you expect from it. If you are going to study at international universities or colleges, you will get the opportunity to connect with students from different countries and cultures. It helps you develop a different perspective and gives you an idea of various cultures. Moreover, you become a part of a strong alumni association and get opportunities to expand your professional network.
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