For anyone who is interested to apply for scholarships, it is important to prepare thoroughly as this will maximise your chances of being a successful applicant. From the viewpoint of someone who has applied for scholarships and is currently a Cagamas scholar, I will say that applicants need to focus on several key areas when preparing for their scholarship applications.
First and foremost, it is important to read the requirements of the scholarship to determine your eligibility. It usually includes academic results, household information and income, approved fields of study as well as approved list of colleges/universities. A good resource to tap is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of a scholarship website, where most of the commonly asked questions and answers are provided. Alternatively, you may email the organisation for clarification.
Once you have mapped out potential scholarships to your preferred course and other eligibility criteria, it is essential to organise all the application materials. Do check the documents required by the organisation when submitting the scholarship application. Some scholarships may even ask you to write an essay as a pre-requisite when submitting the application forms.
It would be desirable if you could list out all your goals, vision, mission, and even your past achievements as most of them may be related to the essays that you could be required to write later.
Another way to stand out from other applicants is to demonstrate your extra co-curricular activities. Do ensure that you’ve participated in events, competitions, or even any extra classes organised by your institution as this shows how active you are as a student. Gather and organise all your certificates as these will be required when you are submitting the application form as well. Most organisations would require for you to bring the certificates during the interview stage.
Finally, remember to submit the scholarship application form before the deadline. Double-check to ensure that relevant documents, including supporting documents are in order. Do remember that submitting error-free documents in any application form showcases your earnestness and meticulousness.
Preparing for scholarship applications may be time-consuming but all your efforts and time are worth it. Remember to start early, stay organised, and ask for guidance from the organisation or anyone with experience, if you need it. Avoid being a last-minute person.
Remember why you need the scholarship and how it could potentially change your life. Do your best and good luck!
Ahmad Kabeer bin Naushad Ali is from Batch 4/2019 of the Cagamas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme and is currently a fourth year Bachelor of Statistics undergraduate from Universiti Putra Malaysia.