The shift in economy adds an additional stressor on parents and their children alike – how do I financially afford to support my child throughout the expensive semesters and education in university?
Many of you would turn to scholarship opportunities, loans, or a general favourite of PTPTN. As scholarships are limited with the given budget and only for selected number of students, the competition can be tough and challenging especially for the young students. It is most likely their first time applying for scholarships; hence, the whole application journey is filled with unknown and uncertainties.
What can you, as parents, do to support your child throughout the scholarship application process?
Beginning of application
- Research about scholarships on websites that compile and compare the scholarship details and criteria. Place close attention to details such as the amount of scholarship and sponsored field of studies. List and rank the scholarships based on best fit with interest and future career progression.
- Speaking of best fit, help your child to align his/her interest based on their strengths and personality. Use our free personality test by clicking on the picture above or on this link – Personality Test.
- Focus on transferable skills to highlight in the scholarship application. Look for areas to highlight leadership skills, self-initiated projects, and volunteer work. These will help you stand out for taking initiative for change and demonstrating responsibility.
Preparing for the next step after applying
Preparation for assessments and interview are key aspects to focus.
- Most of Generation Z (born between 1996 – 2010)* have yet to experience a formal interview session; therefore, they may struggle to answer common questions such as listed below:
Keep in mind that interviewers are most likely experienced with these questions so do work with your child to customize the answers with their own experience compared to memorizing a common answer. Build their confidence in answering questions particularly on how to answer unexpected questions. You can use these tips when preparing for scholarship essays.
- Coach your child to shift expectations from high school to university. Walk him/her through your experience in university. Go the extra step by bringing him/her along to your preferred universities to experience the daily routine of a university student.
- As there are many applicants vying for the same scholarship, the waiting period can be difficult and uncertain. At times, it may be long periods of waiting which leads to frustration. Apply for more than one scholarship to increase your chance of obtaining one. In addition, take this time to look for alternative channels to manage the university fees such as loans, grants, or university payment plan.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Nearing towards the end of the application process, there are two possible outcomes. What do you do then?
- Congratulations on being awarded a scholarship!
This is the news that you and your child have been waiting for! Celebrate the accomplishment together and continue to coach your child throughout his/her university experience. Prepare them that despite landing a scholarship, they will have to continue working hard to secure a good job upon graduation.
2. We regret to inform you that you have not been featured in the finalized list of scholars.
This is where Plan B of searching for other scholarships or alternate financial management as discussed earlier come in handy. Reassure your child that it is not their fault in any way and celebrate on getting this far together. They need your reassurance and support despite the outcome.
In summary, this journey of scholarship application is their first step towards university journey and will be shaped to become a young graduate soon. Trust your child to make their own decisions as their pain and mistake will be their lessons to learn.
For next week, we will continue to explore in-depth of the scholarship application process. Stay tune for next week’s article on –
How do I better prepare myself for the assessments and interview questions?
Thank you for reading!
Written by Melanie Mok
IG & FB : iScholar.my
*Generation Z – https://www.careerplanner.com/Career-Articles/Generations.cfm