Everything Students Need to Know About Getting a Scholarship

GIIS communications team
May 19, 2021

There are plenty of scholarship programmes out there. Whether you’re an incoming high school student or already one, you have a lot of options to explore. If you’re checking out the programs and wondering what it would take to get a scholarship, this guide will help learn more about educational grants. Hopefully, everything you know will help you achieve the outcome you want: that is, to win a scholarship.

What is a scholarship?

It’s a set amount awarded to students—could be in any grade level—to cover the cost of attending school. Unlike other forms of financial assistance like a loan, a scholarship does not require the student to pay back the funds. 

How are they awarded?

Many scholarships are often awarded based on achievement or academic feats. If you need financial help to attend high school, university, or to continue your studies, an educational grant will be a massive help to you. International schools like the Global Indian International School offer plenty of GIIS scholarship programmes, many of which are open to GIIS and non-GIIS students, giving plenty of kids in any of its campuses the chance to get the financial assistance they need.


Is the competition tough? 

There’s always been a lot of competition surrounding these educational grants. However, there might be more now; many parents lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, which has impacted the lives of numerous students worldwide. Many are dropping out or have already dropped out of school as a result of the changes to their financial circumstances. Recent scholarships in many schools aim to address that issue by providing grants.


What are the benefits of the scholarship?

The most immediate benefit, of course, is financial assistance. With the grant, students like you have access to education. It opens doors that not only impact your academic life but also your professional life later on. Some scholarships offer a full ride, which means the money for all the expenses of your last two years in college won’t come out of your pocket or your parents or guardians. 

That frees you and your family up financially. Because you aren’t worried about the money, you can give your studies your full attention and focus. You can also study better because you won’t have to sacrifice sleep to work or review your lessons.

What are the types of scholarships out there?

A lot of students often think they won’t qualify for a scholarship because they have low grades, or their income level might not make them eligible. But that’s also the kind of thinking leading to many children missing out on these opportunities. There are many options, and educational grants aren’t awarded merely for academic feats or strengths alone. Here are some of the main categories that you’ll want to consider when you check out your options -

Academic scholarships - Students with an impressive academic record and grades will often bag these grants. They are usually the top of the class and so have the credentials to apply to these programmes. 

Personal scholarships - Companies or non-profit organizations usually give these out. Some private individuals might also award this grant. The scholarship will usually focus on the student’s goals and beliefs as well as accomplishments. If you have a solid record for community service or dedicated volunteer work, that could give you an excellent shot at winning a scholarship. 

Immutable characteristics scholarships - There are scholarships granted to a particular group, often termed niche scholarships. For instance, women in STEM scholarships, scholarships for kids with a disability, scholarships for women, for minority ethnic groups and people from a particular country. Check out these options, too. You might qualify for a few of them. 

Athletic or Activity Scholarships - These are scholarships best suited for students with an impressive record in sports or athletic performance. When you check out options, check out which sports activities the college or school you plan to go to supports. There are also activity scholarships which are grants for students with the talent to generate impressive output in fields such as the performing arts, or something similar. 

Book a tour banner kl

How do you find scholarships?

Consider local options. That will help you narrow down the competition as well since local educational grants already limit the kids who can join. That already improves your chances since it helps cut down on the competition. You’ll want to make sure you check your school’s website, too, for any student assistance in the form of educational grants. Some organizations and private individuals also hand out scholarships. Make a list. Collect information on every possible scholarship with criteria that matches you. 

When do you start applying for one?

Some scholarships need you to prepare for a full year ahead. That’s just from their submission deadlines. Some of the requirements they will ask for might even require you to go a bit further back than a year. For instance, how long does it take your school to release your school records? If you factor all that in, then you should start putting together your application as soon as possible. Besides, if you plan to apply to more than one programme, some of their deadlines might overlap. Starting early allows you to allocate more than enough time to handle all the tasks that every application requires. 

What are the steps to getting a scholarship?

1. Think big - Don’t just find one scholarship and put everything into applying to and getting accepted into that programme. Find several scholarships that are a good match for you and apply to all of them. You’re bound to get replies that way. 

2. Collect the requirements - Make it easier for you to send out submissions to several scholarship programmes. Put together an application kit. Collect all your report cards and grades as well as your awards and academic achievements. What are the important dates in your school’s records and history? Once you have all that information in one place, filling out application forms should be a lot easier. 

3. Make a timeline - Sort everything out. Make a spreadsheet of all your applications and update it with the status. Your file must also contain essential deadlines, requirements, and other details crucial to the application. 

4. Ask for recommendations - Educational grants often ask for advice. Think of your best references and approach them about writing a recommendation for you. It might take time, and you can’t precisely hurry them along as you’re asking for a favour. Instead, make sure you ask them in advance, so they have more than enough time, and you won’t feel compelled to pressure them to send you the letter right away. 

5. Prep for the interview - Get ready for a panel interview. Dress conservatively. Practice answering questions so that when that invitation comes, you’ll be more than prepared to face the panel and convince them why you’re the best student for the grant.


Getting a scholarship is full of challenges. But knowing these tips will help you tackle them much more comfortably.

GIIS communications team

Related Topics

More from same author

Featured Blogs

Top Scholarships

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Global Skills Scholarship


Talent Based - Technology

Learn More

Tunku Abdul Rahman Universal Values merit cum means scholarship


Gross Family Income RM 120K to RM 250K

Learn More

Global FUTURE-READY Merit Scholarship


91% Above or A and Above

Learn More

Global Citizen Scholarship


93% and Above or A*

Learn More

9GEMS Holistic Development Scholarship


Talent Based - 9 GEMS

Learn More