A scholarship enables you to receive funding for a certain type of study programme or for a particular period of time. In order to receive a scholarship you need to fulfil certain academic and sometimes non-academic criteria. These criteria are determined by the sponsoring institution and are usually based on the their values and expectations. Some good news: a scholarship does not have to be paid back. However, the award amount differs from institution to institution.
When searching for a student scholarship, you might be missing the wood for the trees at some point. There are numerous scholarship opportunities, which are all tied to certain (sometimes complicated) conditions. Besides, they differ significantly in terms of purpose and criteria. The most common organizations awarding scholarships for postgraduate study are universities, charities, communities, private organizations, foundations or the chamber of commerce.
In Europe, CEEPUS, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or the European Union’s Erasmus Programme are popular scholarship sources.
In Europe, approximately €16 billion are paid out each year in the form of scholarships. More than 700 programmes provide students with the possibility of earning a degree on a scholarship. Whether or not you are eligible for a scholarship depends on the criteria established by the sponsor. As mentioned above, scholarships are tied to certain conditions. For instance, many scholarships are merit-based, meaning your academic performance is crucial for winning such an award. Other scholarships—the student-specific ones—are designed to support minorities. Eligibility criteria include gender, religion, origin, financial background, disabilities and many more.
Contrary to the assumption that only overachievers are eligible for a scholarship, everyone has the chance of receiving financial aid in terms of a scholarship. Due to the many programmes and the diversity of scholarship sources, it is not unlikely that you, too, can receive a scholarship for your postgraduate studies.