W hile the first instinct of many aspiring scholars is to apply for a full-term scholarship straight out of Junior College (JC) or polytechnic (or even before graduating), a fair number are still unsure of the career they wish to pursue at that point and may be forced to choose between scholarships that constrain them to narrow fields of study. For some, the thought of trying for a scholarship may not even have crossed their minds yet. And then there are those who are unwilling to commit to any specific path yet, preferring instead to keep their options open.
Mid-term scholarships thus allow incoming freshmen the extra time to consider their options. This additional time can be extremely valuable, particularly if the scholarship application process after graduating from JC or polytechnic turns into a frenzied rush to meet the application deadline.
A Variety of Options
Many scholarship providers offer mid-term scholarships in addition to full-term scholarships. With selections such as the Mid-Term Healthcare Scholarship, the CPF Board Mid-Term Undergraduate Scholarship and even the PSC Mid-Term Scholarship, undergraduates will find a range of options to satisfy their interests and aspirations.
Mid-term scholarships are essentially equivalent to full-time scholarships – they differ only in terms of the point at which candidates apply and the specific benefits conferred. For instance, the PSC Mid-term Scholarship is awarded in the form of the Overseas Merit Scholarship, Local-Overseas Merit Scholarship or the Singapore Government Scholarship – all scholarships that students can take up on a full-term basis as well.
Big Decisions Take Time
Applying for and accepting a scholarship is not a matter to be taken lightly. Scholars commit themselves to up to four years of undergraduate study in a specific field and are bound to serve the sponsoring organisation after graduating.
This can all take up the better portion of a decade. If a scholar has a change of heart midway and finds that his or her interest lies elsewhere, the consequences are grave – the financial costs of breaking a scholarship bond could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. A mid-term scholarship can minimise the chances of this as students will have had more time and experience to make a more informed final decision.
A Chance for All
Mid-term scholarships also provide a second chance for those who did not make the cut the first time. For instance, a student whose ‘A’ Level results fall short of the requirement will have a second chance at achieving the needed grades at university.
In addition, students who did not consider applying for a scholarship upon graduating from JC or polytechnic will have had time to reconsider their decision. Much can change when a student enters university, and those who previously did not think of applying can always change their minds.
Nevertheless, these facts should in no way discourage you from applying for a full-term scholarship. If you are certain of where your passion lies, a full-term scholarship is definitely the way to go. However, for those of you who are uncertain or are hesitant to think that you could one day be a scholar, it might just pay to wait.
With many mid-term scholarships allowing you to apply after only one semester in university, a little patience could pay off handsomely. The additional experience gained at university will be to your advantage, and you will feel a lot more comfortable when you apply with greater certainty about your chosen path.