Sunday, February 19, 2006

Of Scholarships (from Singapore to the US)

Pardon me for flogging this dead horse topic again. I always find it a pity that not many A level school leavers and poly graduands have any idea of getting funding for overseas studies other than from familial sources or the Sg-govt/govt linked 'scholarships'.

While Kevin's entry does provide a good overview of alternatives, the best site for those of you (Singapore-based applicants) interested in a US undergraduate education and concerned with money issues comes from the alma mater. Which ironically produces a sizable share of scholars for the Sg civil service (and related TLCs) annually.

When I see such comments: The scholarship is the only “tool” that one can take up to study overseas , I think this person has done his/her fellow peers a great disservice.

So I will say it again:

Want to study in a US college for your Bachelors degree without a Sg govt "scholarship" but worried about the exorbitant costs? Click here and here.

Study locally for one or two years then transfer overseas is also a possible route.

At the graduate level, your choices increase. So if you aren't sure about signing on the dotted line for several prime years of your life, ASK AROUND first.

Charmaine, ex-ACJCian, wrote about her getting financial aid (May 11 entry) from Vassar.

1 comment:

ejl said...

coming from the same alma mater as you, i think students there benefit from the high volume of applications to overseas universities handled by the staff. While i was there, we had teachers that specialise in US university or UK/Oxbridge university applications - which i don't think i can say for many other JCs - and there was a lot of information about how to apply, how to get financial aid etc. And we were always made aware of when and where representatives from the Universities would be making presentations, and also had representatives give talks to the students in the school itself.

It probably won't be possible, but if every JC had the same information/knowledge/experience base, i'm sure more students will approach the scholarship issue with greater awareness of the demerits that come with.

on the other hand, i personally think that most students don't do enough research when applying for their university education. many of my schoolmates did no research into getting funding at all, and it was a matter of 'can my parents afford it?' failing which it was 'can i get a scholarship from the government?' and nothing else. i have had brilliant friends give up on an overseas education (and that means not even bothering to apply) purely on the basis of those two questions, which is such a shame because it was quite clear that if they did apply they would have been accepted by the schools based on their application alone.

from my UK experience, almost every UK university has a webpage that details ways of getting funded and/or scholarships that prospective students can apply for. some schools also have financial hardship funds where you can apply for a 'scholarship' given by the school because your financial situation has suddenly worsened while you are on the course. even the british council can help with getting someone financial aid with various organisations.

moreover, on a student visa, you can work up to 20hours a week during the school term, and unlimited hours during holidays. many international students work in the student unions, or in pubs and cafes to supplement their income. there are also various one-off jobs that pay pretty well. so, even if you don't have much money to begin with, you can earn quite a lot to live rather comfortably.

someone should really tell JC students about google.