Choosing Between Multiple Scholarship Offers
If clinching one scholarship offer is a call for celebration, pulling two in your bag is double the blessing. You ought to be proud of this laudable achievement, so give yourself a pat on the back before we move on to the crux of the matter.
Just like how a monkey in silk is a monkey no less, a good problem is still a problem. Having to choose between multiple scholarship offers can be painstaking, and here are some considerations you should take note of.
Where Your Interests Lie
Your interest in your future job scope is arguably the most important factor. The prospect of being able to plumb the depths of knowledge in your field of interest and the opportunity to apply them in your future career can be strong pull factors that attract you to a particular scholarship. For example, if you like transforming an idea in your head into a tangible 3D object, choose a scholarship that has to do with engineering, design or architecture.
If you pick a scholarship solely because of its prestige or how statistically popular it is is dangerous – your lack of interest will show eventually and affect your studies and your future performance on the job.
Not all scholarships are created equal. Some organisations provide full coverage of all expenses including tuition fees, hostel fees, overseas exchange programme expenditures and the costs of a laptop and books.
There are organisations that also provide partial or mid-term scholarships, where a portion of scholars’ tuition fees are paid for and scholars serve shorter bonds. Different scholarship packages also vary in the provision of their monthly allowance, which can range from S$200 to S$1,000 each month.
Depending on your priorities and financial situation, this might or might not rank highly on your list of factors to consider.
Length of Bond
You may see the bond as simply ‘clearing up your debt’ after your studies or perhaps as a path to the security of having a good job upon graduation.
The length of your bond is proportionate to the costs and duration of your undergraduate studies, and is often a major consideration for aspiring scholars – if you are not ready to be tied to a company for a good four to six years upon graduating, you may want to think twice about taking the next step. Otherwise, you can aim for a scholarship provided by your university which doesn’t require you to serve a bond, or alternatively consider a bond-free scholarship such as the one offered by OCBC.
Choosing between multiple scholarship offers can be tricky – here are some things you should take note of.Career Advancement Opportunities
It is important to do your research on what lies ahead in your career path. Some organisations handsomely invest in training for their staff, or allow their staff to participate in overseas conferences and seminars.
The Public Service is popular for its career development framework which includes job rotations within the organisation, as well as postings and secondment to other agencies in the public sector. On the other hand, jobs in the private sector allow you to grow your skillsets, and gives you ample room to create and innovate!
Benefits on the Side
Some organisations have a heavier emphasis on having a work-life balance than others. While there are some employees who hold sacred flexible work arrangements such as flexi-hours and telecommuting, others look forward to having staff benefits like an annual company vacation.
You can also make use of the scholarship comparison table on the BrightSparks website which allows you to assess up to 20 scholarships side-by-side, effectively giving you a broader and clearer perspective when you are making your decision.
Ultimately, choose the scholarship which offers you a job that is the closest match to your interest. Although it is easy to get caught up in the idea of scoring the most glamorous scholarship, don’t allow the prestige and monetary enticement of the scholarship to cloud your judgment!