The scholarship is an opportunity to finance your studies that often goes unused, although a scholarship has many advantages.
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is financial support that is usually awarded by a foundation that uses it to pursue a specific purpose. Each foundation aims to advance values, ideas or issues through its activities. Political foundations, for example, support students who identify with the values and ideas of the foundation. Businesses sponsor students who are involved in their field of research. Other foundations, on the other hand, aim to enable children from low-income families to study.
Scholarships do not have to be repaid and usually include non-material support with seminars and events.
Why should I apply?
A scholarship is the cheapest way to finance your studies. It does not have to be paid back. On top, it has many other advantages: It looks good on your CV, there are often interesting seminars and events and you get to know many different people.
However, many students do not apply for a scholarship because they believe they are not suitable for it. But that's not so easy to say. Of course, an application can be time-consuming and success is not guaranteed. After all, the criteria according to which scholarships are granted are as varied as the hundreds of foundations that award them. You don't have to be highly gifted. Criteria such as commitment or political convictions are often decisive.
What else do I have to consider?
Foundations are partners - not just donors! Every foundation pursues a specific purpose with its scholarships. Pay attention to this foundation purpose and look for a foundation that suits you and your attitudes.
Think of the large foundations which promote gifted students, but also look for smaller and unknown foundations. You can research these in various databases. Start your research early. Many foundations have deadlines for applications - and you shouldn't miss them.
Always think about a plan B for financing your studies! The application process often takes several months. And even if you have a good chance, there is no guarantee that you will be accepted for a scholarship.
Don't do everything on your own! Have your application documents proofread by friends and family. Ask the foundations if you are unclear about anything during the application process.