Scholarships while studying – #StayInBudget

At the end of the month money is always a little tight and you pray not to slip into the red too much? What if we had a way for you to have a little more money each month? Sounds too good to be true? Not necessarily, due to the fact that in Germany we have a lot of scholarship funds that nobody has ever heard of. Consequently, we did some very thorough research about the pros and cons and little nicks, you should know about.
At first it should be noted, that applying for a scholarship does require a lot of work and time, but should be worth it, if you have the opportunity to live a little more comfortably, right?

When typing in the word “scholarship” on platforms such as Google, you easily get scared of due to the overflow of information, since you get 8,600,000 search results. However, if you add more information like “History major” or whichever subject you study, you can easily narrow down the data pool and won’t feel as overwhelmed. In order to make your search easier, we have assembled a few of the most informational websites for you and are going to answer a few of the most important questions in the following article. On that note, have fun reading the following article!

What if my grades aren`t top notch?

First of all, one of the most important questions should be answered, which is whether it is also possible for you to receive a scholarship, with bad or average grades. Don’t worry it is not necessary for you to have a 4.0 GPA in order to receive funding. Specifically, for that reason you need to take your time whilst looking for a scholarship, that is perfect for you, because the importance of grades varies depending on who and what they are looking to support. In some cases, they are of course looking to support the academically superior, but there are also organizations that are looking to support students from a specific region or someone with a certain family background (orphans for example).

How do I find the right scholarship?

Listing all existing scholarship funds, organizations and so on, would go beyond the scope and since we do not also want to overload you with information, we have looked up a page for you, which is able to give you on overview of more than 800 existing scholarships throughout Germany. You are able to find this page at: https://www.e-fellows.net/wiki/index.php/Kategorie:Stipendien

The Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen also offers a platform for you to make yourself familiar with various options. By typing in a keyword or selecting a specific state you are able to narrow down your search. The index can be found at: https://stiftungssuche.de/

What are the pros and cons I need to be aware of?

One of the most important pros is of course the financial security of a scholarship. Oftentimes this means that students do not need to rely on a job and are able to solely focus on their studies. Additionally, many scholars are offered a tutor, who has vast knowledge in the field of your studies and more experience and can therefore help you with any questions or obstacles regarding university.

When getting a scholarship, however, you do not just gain financial support but also additional chances for further education. The Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft, for example, regularly hosts seminars, simulations and workshops concerning pressing issues such as globalization or climate protection and also organizes trainee programs with important jobs regarding work life such as time management, rhetoric or applications. Those are additional chances for further education since they exceed what you usually learn at university and give you the opportunity to look beyond what you are currently doing and are mostly practical skills, that are also going to set you apart when applying for a job. Furthermore, scholarship organizations usually have a very strong Alumni network, which of course cannot erase the necessity of a proper application, but it can give you some support, when applying for an internship or your first job.

Additionally, scholarships convey that the recipients must be better than the average on some field and have earned the support they are getting. Consequently, having something like that on your CV is never a bad idea.

However, there are also a few downsides to a scholarship, that we want to inform you about. For example, if you receive financial support from a company, most times they will expect something in return. Usually you have to commit to working for them for a specific amount of years after having finished university. The commitment can also be about grades though, meaning that you are expected to get certain grades.

All in All, though it is pretty obvious that the positive aspects of a scholarship outweigh the cons. You should mostly make sure to read the fine print and make sure that you don’t have to meet completely unrealistic expectations-

What do I need to take into account on my application?

As already mentioned before, there are hundreds different organizations, associations, private people and so on, that give out scholarships and depending on what they are looking for vary in their expectations. Most of them require a motivational letter, a CV, a teacher/professor evaluation, certificates showcasing your diploma and university grades and application forms, which can usually be found online.

In order to finish all these parts of the application properly and in time, you should make sure that you have a few months before the application is due. Teacher reports can take their time and it would be incredibly annoying if you didn’t get to hand in your application because your teacher did not manage to send you the evaluation on time. Therefore, organize yourself as well as possible beforehand and you’ll be on the safe side.

We wish you best of luck in your search for the right scholarship and hope that this short article was able to help you a little!

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