"Focus on what makes you brilliant" – our guide to achieving your scholarship

28 February 2024

Kate Whiston is Warwick’s International Partnerships Manager, specialising in scholarships and sponsorships. Here, Kate shares some invaluable insight that could help you land a scholarship to support your studies at Warwick Business School.

Warwick is proud to offer a range of scholarships, many in conjunction with partner organisations, to reduce the financial barriers and to support high achieving individuals into higher education.

There are also independent scholarship schemes run by government agencies, foundations and charitable trusts that offer financial awards to help with the cost of studying abroad.

It will come as no surprise that scholarship schemes are incredibly competitive. The application processes are rigorous, time-bound and rigid to ensure fairness for all applicants. Here are some tips to help you submit your best application with Warwick!

Search for scholarships and check eligibility criteria

Discover scholarships using simple Google searches including ‘course of interest’, ‘scholarship’, and ‘university name’. If you’re an international student, try looking on the Ministry of Higher Education website of your country to see if there are any scholarship schemes to support students looking to pursue studies abroad. 

When you’ve found a scholarship scheme of interest, check the eligibility criteria. It’s easy to get excited by the prospect of a full fee scholarship or an award that includes a monthly stipend but a scholarship may have been created to fulfil a specific purpose or to align with a wider project and as a result, may have strict eligibility criteria.

These might include specific nationalities, academic areas and socioeconomic status. Don’t apply unless you can meet all of the requirements.

Make a checklist of requirements

Some scholarship applications are straightforward, and others will require you to upload a variety of documents, to evidence academic and English language qualifications, to have applied to the university first and to answer a variety of mini essay questions.

To ensure you have everything ready before the deadline, make a checklist highlighting anything that might require the involvement of others, such as acquiring official transcripts.

Note deadlines and schedule time to prepare 

Preparation and planning prevent poor performance! Note the application deadline in your diary but aim to submit in advance. If something goes wrong with your computer or there’s an error in the application portal, there’s still time to fix it and submit without risking a missed deadline.

Carve out time from your studies or work to dedicate to the application. You want to present your best self and you’re more likely to write a good application if you’re not stressed about meeting the deadline. Writing, taking time away, and then looking at your application with fresh eyes is also a worthwhile activity.

Showcase your achievements and ambitions

A commonly asked application question is a variation of “Why do you deserve the scholarship?”. Many applicants respond with a line about being academically gifted, but unable to afford the tuition fees because of the economic status of their family – but that’s not what our selectors want to know.

Instead, focus on what makes you brilliant. What have you achieved that showcases your ability and commitment to the academic area you want to pursue? How will you maximise the opportunity of studying abroad if you are successful? How will the scholarship support you to realise your career aspirations?

Consider the aims of the funding body

Warwick-funded awards are largely aimed at attracting high-calibre academic talent. Our government-funded awards, such as Chevening, will be looking to fund those who will be Change Makers in their home country and ambassadors for the UK, and the government of your home country is likely to be funding awards to drive capacity building and skills development.

In your application, you should try to highlight how the knowledge, skills and experiences you will gain through your education won’t just help your own personal and professional growth but also the growth of your community or nation.

Where awards are co-funded, you’ll need to write cleverly and concisely to address the different focuses.  

Demonstrate an understanding of the course you’ve applied to, and how it relates to your career goals

It’s important to show that you have researched the university and the course you’re applying to and to highlight both the particular interests you have and how the course will help you to realise your career goals.

Review your application

If the scholarship application form doesn’t have spell check functionality, paste your responses into Word and check for any spelling or grammatical errors before pasting back. In addition, ask a parent, tutor, manager or trusted friend to read your application before you submit. They might spot an error you’ve overlooked and may also remind you of other achievements to include.

Stick to the word limit

If a scholarship application requires a 300-word essay, don’t submit 500 words. It demonstrates that you can’t write concisely and don’t follow instructions. It also likely means you’ve included irrelevant information that detracts from your most important achievements.

Key takeaways

  • Do your research and check the eligibility criteria
  • Don’t leave it all to the last minute – rushing an application means a higher chance of missing key information
  • Don’t copy anyone else’s work and make sure that any personal experiences shared are relevant and real. If there’s an interview, you don’t want to come unstuck from a stretched truth or fabricated experience
  • Don’t lead with your financial need.

Finally, don’t take it to heart if you’re unsuccessful. If you’ve already been offered a place at Warwick, that’s an achievement in itself and you should be proud. Use the outcome as a driver to focus on your personal development so that you can gain the skills and experience that will enable you to submit an outstanding application in the next round.

Good luck!

Our challenging and rewarding courses will provide you with everything you need to take your personal and professional skills to the next level. 

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