Opportunity Hub with Bola Lawal: Don’t Let Lack of Funds Limit Your Dreams of Higher Education
Source: Bola Lawal, Co-founder & CEO, ScholarX @bwlofhouston www.scholarx.co
22 Sep 2017
The great Nelson Mandela once said; “Education is
the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and this
has never been truer for Africa.
We live in a time where we need to build for the future of Africa – a
future where we create solutions to solve issues like poverty,
illiteracy, poor sanitation, malnutrition, and so on. We need a
well-educated youth population – particularly with regards to Science
Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We need more young
Africans to aspire and pursue careers paths in these fields. And to
achieve this, they will have to pursue university degrees in reputable
schools either at home or abroad. However, there’s a major issue
concerning cost, across the globe.
How do we build the future with rising cost of Higher Education?
While this is a global phenomenon that students and their parents must deal with, a simple answer is: SCHOLARSHIPS!
Scholarships offer needing students the opportunity to realize their dreams of attaining a quality education. Whether they wish to study in their home (Africa) or Abroad, there are thousands of scholarships they can apply for.
From my experience at ScholarX.co, where we list scholarship opportunities to study locally or abroad on a mobile and web platform, it is obvious that there aren’t as much funding opportunities in Africa, unlike in more advanced countries like USA, Canada, UK, Australia and so on.
The governments of some of these more advanced countries invest heavily in international student scholarships and in some cases, would go as far as paying for the flight and accommodation of awardees from lesser developed nations. The key reason for this is the imbalance in capacity. For example, in Africa, 50 million students graduate from secondary (high) school each year, and there are less than 2 million university seats, and compare that to schools abroad where there are lots of seats but not enough students.
It is also key to note that schools are not the only ones who give scholarships; NGO, Corporations, Groups, and Individuals do so as well.
So how do you go about tapping into these opportunities?
Procrastinating limits your options. Aim to begin your college scholarship search as early as possible. Doing this will allow you to find the most scholarships and spend time preparing great applications. Start by looking at your scholarship matches on ScholarX.
Strategize & organize
Scholarship applications can be overwhelming, so map out a game plan. Create tangible goals and set a certain number of scholarships you would like to apply for. Manage your list of scholarships by organising each by deadline and give priority to ones that require more work such as essays and special projects.
Make the most of your resources
Make more of an effort to reach out to resources such as your guidance office, career centre. Alternatively, you can contact the expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org to assist you.
Keep your grades up
Even though many scholarships do not have CGPA requirements, doing well academically will only increase your chances of winning. You never know what scholarship opportunities there might be in the future. A higher CGPA may mean that you qualify for even more scholarships next year.
Take on a new activity
Grades won’t do it alone. A great way to stand out on your scholarship application is to become involved activities at school and in the community. Look for organizations and clubs that align with your interests or career goals. If you were actively involved in an organization last year, show your growth by taking on a leadership role.