If you want to pursue higher education abroad, you will most likely require financial support. For many students, securing a scholarship may make all the difference in their future. For others, scholarships may help with meeting living costs and other expenses.

Several scholarships are available, however, securing these is very competitive and ensuring you get one is tough. Here are ten tips to remember when you apply for scholarships.

1. Scholarships are not available until you secure admission

When you want to study abroad, it is important to ensure you will be able to pay the fees and other expenses without relying on a scholarship. If you are granted one later, you may use the money to repay some portion of the education loan or have some extra money to meet expenses.

2. Scholarships do not cover all expenses

Remember that you will not be able to study for free. If you are lucky and secure a full scholarship, you still need to pay for books, travel, health insurance, and food. It is recommended you avail of a personal loan to meet such expenses.

3. Look for scholarships from other sources

Several websites offer useful information on scholarships offered by private foundations, domestic government bodies, and international government organizations. It is recommended you check these to fund your education.

4. Consider all available avenues

It is important you apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible for. Every small bit will be beneficial in reducing the financial burden of repaying education loans and reduce your worries.

5. Do not fall for scams

There are no guaranteed scholarships and you must never pay any fees to apply for these. It is important you do not fall prey to fraudulent companies that may take your money and disappear.

6. Be confident

Some scholarships require writing an essay or letter explaining why you must receive it. You must list down your academic as well as extracurricular achievements, such as awards, work experience, and community outreach programs.

7. Maintain records

When you apply for your visa, you are going to require proof of funds. Maintaining all the records and documents pertaining to scholarships is crucial.

8. Allow time

It is recommended you commence arranging for funds at least 18 months before you begin the course. This is important because universities do not provide you a long time to arrange for the funds once the admission is confirmed.

9. Create a backup plan

It is important that you do not get upset if the scholarship applications do not materialize. You must have a backup plan to ensure you have the money to pursue your desired course from your preferred college. Scholarships are not the only way to pursue your dream. You may consider seeking financial help from relatives and friends, apply for personal loans, or check other options for student funding to meet your education expenses.