How to Prepare for Abroad Scholarships? MBA Scholarship 2020
How to Prepare for Abroad Scholarships?MBA Scholarship 2020
Financing an MBA is a common problem, and not just among those who come from low-income backgrounds. Even if you get into a top MBA program, chances are you’ll not be able to afford it, if you rely only on your personal savings.
You’ll have to look at other sources of funding like education loans and scholarships. The problem with loans is the high rate of interest and the long payback period. That’s why scholarships are so popular.
It’s free money! Over the years, we have helped tons of applicants get scholarships. Based on our experience, we’ll share how you can maximize your odds of getting scholarships.
What Scholarships Are?
For that, you’ll first need to understand what scholarships are, how scholarship decisions are taken, and then create a plan for yourself.
What are the scholarships?
Scholarships are generally discounts on the tuition fee. Which means you are not getting any extra money in your pockets. You’re just spending lesser.
The proportion may vary, but it generally applies only to the tuition. You still have to worry about the other costs of studying – like accommodation, food, transportation, books, and study trips.
Why do universities offer scholarships?
There are two primary reasons why universities offer scholarships.
The official (and rather philosophical) reasons to make it is easier for deserving candidates to join the program. While that’s true, the other reason is that universities are also competing with their rivals to attract the best candidates. These are called merit-based scholarships, as opposed to need-based.
There are many external organizations that also offer scholarships, but we won’t cover them in this blog post.
How do schools make scholarship decisions? Check out any school website and they’ll talk about how they evaluate an application ‘holistically’ while deciding admits and scholarships.
Along with your GRE or GMAT scores, they will also consider the following: But despite the holistic approach, the little secret is that a higher GMAT does significantly improve your odds of being considered fora merit-based scholarship if you get an admit.
Need-based scholarships are evaluated slightly differently.
And a higher score improves your chances with this category too.
But getting obsessed with a high score and neglecting the rest of the application is a bad idea. Our suggestion is to not just position yourself as a strong candidate to get into the program, but also significantly stronger than the other candidates who’ve got in.
The question is – how?
You can do this by balancing the list of schools, where you are likely to be viewed as an above-average candidate.
Do the MBA admission rounds influence scholarship decisions? The admission round you applies in will make a difference.
As a general rule, Round 1 is when the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is filled up to the brim. So if you have impressed the Admissions committee with your application – apart from the cake (that’s an admit from a top school), your chances of getting a nice little cherry (in the form of a scholarship) will go up.
But that doesn’t mean that the golden pots empty in Round 2.
We’ve had clients who have got substantial funding in the second round of MBA admissions too. The same criteria will apply in Round 2 for test scores, essays, recommendations, and interviews.
BUT the battle for freebies will get tougher. I have a low GRE / GMAT score. Should I forget about scholarships? What if you have a less GRE or GMAT number? Should you forget about scholarships? Not yet.
If you have something solid to offer (maybe not as impressive as an Olympic medal, but something that gives you extra points for diversity or uniqueness), you can keep some of those hopes alive.
At MBA Crystal Ball, we have worked with some candidates who (at least on paper) would never seem to be prime candidates for scholarships, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised.
Is there a fool-proof way to get scholarships? Candidates who’ve done a little market research tell us interesting stories about admissions consultants who have looked at their profiles and promised them admits and scholarships. Don’t fall for such promises.
Many unranked MBA programs have marketing tie-ups in various countries. Their agencies can offer on-the-spot admits and scholarships. That’s a different ball game.
However, if you are aiming for the best international MBA colleges, forget scholarships, no one can guarantee an admit or even so much as an interview call.
How to improve your odds of getting a scholarship.
Here’s the 2-phase process that we’ve followed at MBA Crystal Ball for most of our scholarship success stories: Phase 1 – Create a solid Application Strategy- Start early.
Give yourself 1-2 years just for the preparation phase. – Analyze your profile objectively and thoroughly. Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Do the basic groundwork in terms of choosing and prioritizing your pre-MBA accomplishments – Make sure you have a clear and credible post-MBA goal. And a convincing answer to the simple-but-tricky. Why the MBA question.
Know how to select MBA colleges from the huge list. Choose the MBA schools based on your appetite for risk. Categorize the programs as Ambitious, Stretch, Practical, Safe, and Backup.
These are categories we use in our MBA MAP process.
If you want scholarships, include more ‘Practical’ schools and a few ‘Safe’ schools in your target list. If financing isn’t an issue, choose more from the ‘Stretch’ and ‘Ambitious’ range.
Phase 2 – Focus on the Execution.
By now, you have a list of the right schools where your profile is likely to be among the top of the class. All the introspection work you did in the previous phase will help you now while working on each application.
But there’s no point in blindly jumping into Essay Writing because you think your English is good. Spend time on structuring and packaging your ideas. It’s a common approach to write one set of essays and then copy-paste them across applications.
That’s a bad idea. Make sure you tackle each application independently. Customize your essays for each school, since similar-sounding essay topics may still have nuances to address. Be careful on that point. We’ve shared many tips on writing MBA application essays on our blog.
Ensure that your recommendations, resume, and interviews are aligned and take the narrative further. There you have it. Not really rocket science.
The 2-phase process is simple, logical, and tested over a long period. And this is what’s got most of the applicants good admits and a decent amount of scholarships.
If you need some professional help, drop us an email. If you aren’t ready for professional support yet, don’t worry. There’s plenty on our website to get you up to speed and put in a strong set of applications.
Good luck. I hope you get into a good school with lots of scholarship money.
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