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8 False Ideas that could be Stopping You from Applying for Scholarships



Only about 12.5% of secondary school students leave school and apply for scholarships to further their education. The reasons are simply that a lot of these students especially here in Nigeria who do not apply have false beliefs and inhibiting ideas about scholarships. So what are the major misconceptions that hold students back from applying ... Continue Reading

Only about 12.5% of secondary school students leave school and apply for scholarships to further their education. The reasons are simply that a lot of these students especially here in Nigeria who do not apply have false beliefs and inhibiting ideas about scholarships. So what are the major misconceptions that hold students back from applying for scholarships?

1.  “There are barely any scholarships available”

The biggest organizations and companies that award scholarships in Nigeria always get the publicity and their names are well known. This often gives a false impression that there are only a few scholarships available since few of such companies are known, and the belief that with so many applications it must be impossible to get one. Nothing could be further from the truth. The secret is simply to voraciously do your research and search for the award that best matches your personal situation.

2. “Only the very best and most gifted students win a scholarship”

The mistaken misconception that scholarships are awarded only for exceptional exam results makes many students just not bother to apply. However, this belief is just not true. Only a small percentage of the many organizations awarding scholarships in Nigeria pick only the student with perfect exam scores. Many different selection criteria are used, including everything from where you live to what your parents do, so carefully check the criteria used before dismissing an interesting funding opportunity as unattainable.

3.  “There is never enough money to pay the true costs”

The amount of funding you receive actually varies enormously. Some scholarships, it is true, may just be a single payment of a few hundred thousand naira a year. It is normal for higher-level studies, like a doctorate, to be funded more generously. Remember that you can apply for several scholarships, and combining two or even three together is often allowed, which can make a huge difference altogether.

4.  “Finding scholarships in Nigeria takes a lot of time with no guaranteed result”

It is true that in the past searching for scholarships was time-consuming and difficult. You needed to use a variety of different resources and they were usually incomplete with just partial listings. Today there are lots of good listings, databases and sites like nigerianscholars.com that can help you find a relevant scholarship quickly.

5.  “The application process usually takes too long”

In actual fact, applying for scholarships is often very simple, requiring less information than applying for a job. Applications can often be done through email or directly online. Some do take longer, needing references such as verification documents from Heads of Departments. When you think of the financial stress you could remove, leaving you free to concentrate on studying, the time taken to apply for scholarships is really a great investment with a strong return.

6.  “With so many applications, my chances are very small”

The best-known and most-publicized scholarships such as those of the Federal Government Scholarship Board (FSB) really do get a lot of applications, but many other scholarships are usually up for grabs and some of them usually complain that they are not getting enough applications. Using the results from your search you can easily identify the smaller organizations where the competition will not be so strong. Remember that scholarship schemes of all shapes and sizes pay in the same naira notes!

7.  “I ought to be in financial need before I can get a scholarship”

Again there is a grain of truth here. It’s true that some scholarships are financial means-tested, which is why this common myth has developed, preventing many students from applying for scholarships at all. In reality, however, the selection criteria used vary greatly from just whether your parents are dead or such similar situations. Some schemes are targeted not at financial need but, for example, at building expertise in a particular profession or helping students from a certain region. With a complete overview of all the awards suitable for your goals, you will easily be able to find the ones you can apply for, whatever your financial circumstances.

8.  “Scholarships are only awarded at the start of a program to first year students”

You have struggled to get through your courses and you just need some help finishing up. It isn’t true that you can only apply for scholarships when starting a new degree in your first year or 100 level – in fact some are often available no matter where you are in your studies such as the Federal Government Scholarship Board (FSB), Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) and so on. It is always worthwhile to take a look at what is available, even if you are in your last semester.

Now that there are comprehensive tools available it is so much easier to find the scholarships available for you at your present situation and with your existing circumstances and needs.

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