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India has an excellent pool of academically talented minds. Every year, thousands of students travel abroad to pursue higher studies in prestigious universities. Out of the thousands who travel abroad, you may find close to twenty to fifty students who win scholarships for Indian students to study abroad. This is mainly because a lot of students have no idea where to look for when it comes to study abroad scholarships for Indian students.

It is for this very reason that the WeMakeScholars team has come up with a very special episode of Loanflix which exclusively aims to provide relevant information about the process of applying and getting scholarships for Indian students. You can watch this episode below.

One of the major reasons which motivated the core team of WeMakeScholars to come up with this episode is that the co-founders of this organization, Ms Damini Mahajan and Mr Arjun Krishna had the opportunity to study in the UK with the help of prestigious scholarships. The concept of WeMakeScholars was born out of their need to give back to society by helping other meritorious students to find a scholarship to study abroad.

The process of finding the right scholarship can be frustrating if there is not a lot of information available about the whole process, online or otherwise. When Damini and Arjun started their scholarship journey, they had to really look into individual university websites and list out the different scholarships according to certain categories, and finally, they got the fruits of their labor – fully funded scholarships to study in the Sheffield University of UK. When they won their respective scholarships, they received many queries from friends and family members. This motivated both of them to begin a Facebook group by the name of Scholarships which was aimed to provide scholarships-related information to students from all over the world, while they were still in college.

By the time they had graduated, the group had over 50,000 members. The turnout was overwhelming and Arjun and Damini knew that this mini project of theirs had to be taken to the next level and the idea for a dedicated website which helped students find the appropriate scholarships was born. Thus, WeMakeScholars was launched as an online platform which consolidated scholarship-related information from universities across the world and presented it to students who were in search of the same.This article is your guide on how to search, apply and manage to get accepted for a scholarship to study abroad. We first begin with the different categories into which scholarships for Indian students are divided. Post that, we explain the different important aspects of the process of applying for scholarships to study abroad.

Read about Abroad Education: Scholarship Vs. Self-funding Vs. Education loans 

Scholarships For Indian Students: Categories

A Scholarship to study abroad can be broadly divided into three major categories which are:

  1. Need-based scholarships
  2. Merit-based scholarships
  3. Special scholarships for Indian students

Need-Based Scholarships: This category of study abroad scholarships are mainly aimed at students whose family income is very low and those who do not have the means to fund their higher education in any way. While considering candidates for such scholarships, the providers mainly look at their academic performance. Only students whose family income does not exceed a certain limit are considered for need-based scholarships.

Merit-Based Scholarships: Academics are not the only deciding factor for scholarships which are provided to students on the basis of their merit. Other aspects such as the projects done by them during their course period, their involvement in creating social awareness about the various important factors affecting today’s society, quality of professional internships attended by them, etc. are given the due consideration before deciding the recipients of such scholarships to study abroad.

Another factor which a lot of students are concerned about is the cut-off percentage or marks set by providers for any particular category of scholarships. Please understand that providers decide on the benchmark scores based on the number of applications received by them. For example, let us assume that a hundred students apply for a particular scholarship. Out of these hundred students, if the scores of close to 50 students cross 95% then the average percentage of marks considered by scholarship-providers comes to 95%. Let us take another example in which a maximum percentage of students who have applied for any particular scholarships have scored 75% in their academics. In this case, the average cut-off marks will be considered as 75%. 

Scholarships For Indian Students: Special scholarships are aimed at providing students looking to pursue their further studies only in certain important fields. For example, a lot of universities abroad offer sports scholarships to students who have proved their skills in certain sports events such as football, basketball, etc. Similarly, there are Ph.D. scholarships provided by certain prestigious societies to students who have excelled in certain fields of medicine, writing, etc.

Sources of Scholarships For Indian Students

One of the major concerns of students who look forward to studying abroad in prestigious universities with the help of study abroad scholarships is finding them. A lot of students are unaware of the major providers of scholarships for Indian students. The following sources provide a majority of scholarships for Indian students.

  1. The government: The governments of a lot of countries provide scholarships to international students. For example, the Indian government provides a lot of scholarships to meritorious students to pursue their higher education in India. Similarly, the governments of countries like the UK, US, Canada, etc. also provide scholarships for Indian students to study abroad. The Jubilee Scholarship offered by the UK government and the British Council is one such example.
  2. Universities: A major percentage of scholarships for Indian students to study abroad are provided by all major universities abroad. So, all international universities are another source of scholarships for Indian students.
  3. Corporate Companies: Well-to-do companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. offer various different scholarships to study abroad to aspirants from various different fields.
  4. Trusts and Foundations: A lot of entrepreneurs have come together to form trusts and foundations which offer scholarships for students to study in prestigious universities abroad. The various philanthropic initiatives select the nominees of these scholarships on the basis of any of the factors mentioned in the previous paragraphs. The Inlaks-Shivdasani Foundation scholarships and the Tata Trust’s scholarships for students who have been accepted into Cornell university are some of the examples.

Where to Look For A Study Abroad Scholarship?

One of the biggest problems faced by students who are eligible for scholarships is finding the right source which provides them with a consolidated list of scholarships. If you were a meritorious college graduate in search of scholarships to fund your higher studies abroad 10 years ago, you would have had a hard time searching for and applying to scholarships offered by all the various sources.

This is because, back in those days, there were very few websites which dedicatedly provided information about scholarships for Indian students. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, the founders of WeMakeScholars also faced a similar situation back in 2012, when they were looking for sources to apply for scholarships. This is what motivated them to start a website which is entirely dedicated to helping other meritorious students search, find and apply for different types of scholarships in prestigious universities abroad.

Head on to the WeMakeScholars website page to find how the entire process of applying for scholarships works. The website lists close to 26000 scholarships from various sources all over the world. The general navigation on this page is pretty easy. Students can choose from over 2000+ scholarships for different fields, according to the area of their speciality and the country of their choice. Here is an example of how you can successfully navigate on the WeMakeScholars web page.

Browse for WeMakeScholars on your search engine, as soon as you land on the home page, you may find drop-down boxes where you may enter your nationality, desired level of study, desired country of study and the different fields which are of interest to you. Once all of these fields are filled, the website will automatically go to the page where all the scholarships to study abroad are listed. Students may have to register with the website before viewing complete details about study abroad scholarships on the WeMakeScholars page.

How To Apply For Scholarships For Indian Students on the WeMakeScholars Website?

This procedure is pretty much straightforward, once students land on the page where the different Indian student scholarships are listed. Once you see a scholarship which you feel you may be eligible for, the following steps may be taken:

  1. Click on the desired scholarship. Once you do so, you will be taken to another page which lists the scholarship details. 
  2. Once you have read all the details and decided to apply, click on the ‘Apply’ tab on the bottom-right side of the scholarship description.
  3. If you are unsure about applying for the same but need to save the scholarship details for future reference, you also have the option of shortlisting the particular study abroad scholarship by clicking on the ‘Shortlist’ tab.

When to Apply For A Scholarship to Study Abroad?

A lot of students are under the impression that they are required to apply for scholarships only post receiving their offer letters from the respective universities abroad. However, this is not the case. More often than not, scholarship providers open their respective admission portals for aspirants at least a year before the course intake begins. For example, if you plan on applying to universities abroad in August 2024, you will have to look for, apply, and get accepted into a scholarship program latest by November 2023, i.e. at least 8 to 9 months prior to your intake period or even longer.

This condition is especially applicable to scholarships provided by the governments of different countries abroad, those provided by philanthropic trusts and organizations, etc. Their scholarship application portals close at least 8 to 9 months prior to the intake period. Such organizations do not require students to submit proof of acceptance into universities abroad. 

The application portals of universities that offer scholarships for Indian students to study abroad close at least five months prior to the intake period. This is the maximum duration offered by any education loan provider to apply for scholarships to study abroad. So, if you are still waiting for your offer letter to apply for scholarships to study abroad, stop waiting and apply soon, as scholarship providers do not require offer letters from universities as proof.

Read more about Indian government scholarships for higher studies

What Happens When Your Scholarship Application is Rejected?

There is no doubt that scholarships are one of the best sources of funding your higher education abroad. However, have you ever wondered what happens to students whose scholarship applications are rejected? What do they do for funding? It is always better to play it safe when it comes to arranging for funds for your higher studies abroad. When it comes to the higher education process, having a contingency plan for your finances will help in the long run. Students who are solely reliant on scholarships for their funding are often left with no choice but to drop their plans for the year in case of a rejection. 

Soon after launching the website, we got a lot of queries regarding the education loan process from a lot of students who had applied for a scholarship to study abroad but were rejected by their respective provider. This is when WeMakeScholars started providing assistance to students in their education loan process to study abroad.

Why Approach WeMakeScholars For Your Education Loan Process?

When students directly approach banks for enquiries regarding abroad education loan process, most of them are given only partial information regarding the same. The financial team of WeMakeScholars has sufficient knowledge about the abroad education loan process due to their experience of tackling even the most complicated cases. As a result, close to 3000+ students have benefitted from their services. In the abroad education loan process, most students who have planned their higher studies in countries like Germany and Canada are mostly concerned about their pre-visa disbursements from government banks as many of these banks are often not aware of the education loan provisions for these countries and as a result, delay the pre-visa disbursement. When you apply through WeMakeScholars, our financial officers ensure that this does not happen and often try their level best to get such loans sanctioned well in time. So, if you are confused about how to go about the abroad education loan process, do get in touch with our team now.

Note: WeMakeScholars is an organization funded and supported by the Government of India that focuses on International Education finance. We are associated with 10+ public/Pvt banks/ NBFCs in India and help you get the best abroad education loan matching your profile. As this initiative is under the Digital India campaign, it’s at free of cost. The organization has vast experience dealing with students going to various abroad education destinations like the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, China, France among others