We understand why you’d stop a scholarship application in your tracks as a polytechnic student. You’d probably think to yourself: scholarship providers only consider applicants who belong to the top 5 per cent of the cohort, pride themselves on a near-perfect GPA, and have exceptional leadership achievements to boot. And then you’d probably also think about how desirable a scholarship is to your Junior College (JC) and IB Diploma counterparts, and that for this reason, you have already lost out by default.
But remove these thoughts from your mind immediately. While you may think that it pays to be realistic, you must also know that many scholarship providers consider various aspects of a student’s achievements apart from their grades. How should you, as a polytechnic student, use your experiences in polytechnic as leverage to help you stand out from the sea of aspiring scholars?
Highlight Group Project Assignments
Group project assignments might seem less intensive compared to regular exams, but polytechnic students will be quick to vouch otherwise. Ask any polytechnic student you know – they will tell you about how often they have to compromise on their sleep during assignment submission weeks.
These group projects require students to develop time management skills and the ability to work in a team. As a polytechnic student vying for a scholarship, be sure to highlight your experiences during these group projects. They may include any leadership role you took up, or how a particular project has forced you and your team to think critically and creatively.
Highlight Your Experiences in the Working World
Another unique aspect of the polytechnic curriculum is the compulsory student internship. Internships give polytechnic students a taste of life outside protective campus walls.
While these internships may only expose you to a small fraction of an organisation’s vast operations, you’d still get the chance to develop a sense of professionalism when dealing with colleagues. Polytechnic students are often more likely to assimilate into a new environment more quickly and comfortably, as compared to their JC and IB Diploma peers.
Highlight Your Tenacity
With the GPA system, academic achievements are calculated cumulatively over three years. This means that polytechnic students must remain disciplined and consistent with their grades. Polytechnic students are also less spoon-fed in school, given that lecturers are not always there to chase after students’ assignments. A missed submission simply means no credit will be earned, thereby affecting overall results.
For this reason, polytechnic students cannot afford to rest on their laurels at any time, or take a backseat until major end-year examinations.
Highlight Your Assertiveness
You are confident about your path of specialisation, which is why you have chosen the polytechnic route. This in itself is worth noting to scholarship providers!
When you submit your relevant documents to scholarship providers, highlight the reasons you chose your course of study and how you hope to contribute to the industry in future. Your confidence will assure scholarship providers that you are certain about what you want. After all, certainty is one trait scholarship providers value and look out for.