A scholarship, that much-exalted award that many students hope to clinch, is the subject of considerable misrepresentation and stereotyping. Here, we debunk the five most common misconceptions about scholarships.
1) Only straight 'A' students become scholars
While grades are indeed an important factor in your scholarship application and many scholars often have stellar results, you do not need to have a perfect academic record in order to clinch a scholarship.
For instance, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) undergraduate scholar (Mid-Term), Eugene Lau, is quick to emphasise that he is not your typical straight 'A's scholar. Grades are not everything when it comes to a URA scholarship, and the organisation looks for holistic, well-rounded individuals with a desire to contribute.
2) Scholarships confine me to a rigid path
Scholarships open doors to countless opportunities for you. Furthermore, many scholarship providers allow you to choose your own course of study at university, giving you the resources you need to unlock your full potential and explore a myriad of possibilities.
In spite of the scholarship bond, you can look forward to a diverse range of opportunities in the form of job rotations and training programmes. Many scholars also have mentors with whom they can discuss their own career progression, and scholars are key partners in their own learning process.
3) I need to be smart and capable to apply for a scholarship
You require more than just intellectual prowess to become a good scholar. Do not underestimate the dedication and passion that is required to serve your bond with your sponsoring organisation.
As a scholar, you will often be expected to develop a multi-faceted understanding of your industry through job rotations. Without the passion to keep you going, you may easily find your energy levels flagging.
4) Competition for scholarships is too stiff for me to apply
Everyone stands a chance at securing a scholarship. In the case of President's and Overseas Merit Scholarship (Open) recipient Liu Chen, she never thought that she would be awarded the PSC scholarship as she was not one of the top performers at her school. You miss 100 per cent of the shots you fail to take, and Liu Chen is testament to the fact that sometimes the greatest rewards go to those who dare to try.
5) The time to apply for scholarships is upon graduation from polytechnic or junior college
There are plenty of mid-term scholarships that cater to students who wish to hold off their applications. From the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) to the PSC Scholarship, mid-term scholarships allow students like yourself the benefit of a year or two in university before committing to an organisation.
In fact, waiting to apply for a mid-term scholarship could help you make a more informed and better scholarship decision at the end of the day.