When I came to the US to study bachelors degree, as an International student, I did not bring a ton of money with me.
I had enough funds to cover for my bachelor’s degree tuition which was not more than $90,000.
Only 20% of my expenses, including tuition and living costs, was paid from my pocket.
Note: This is part 2 of a series of articles written by Abdul.
I told my parents that I would ask for more funds from them if and when I needed it. However, I never really needed any extra money from my parents. I was able to take care of my tuition fees by myself.
It is recommended to bring all the funds with you but for me, I thought it would get me spoilt.
So I decided against it.
I made the decision that I would get the funds as and when I required them.
Som how did I pay for 80% of my tuition and living expenses?
I had to be persuasive and get creative in finding the scholarships.
I really have no idea why other F1 Visa students don’t think outside the box.
If you have filled up the application and never followed up on it you will never get a scholarship.
I had applied for my scholarship at the time before I received admission or I-20.
I know it sounds crazy. Right?
I started applying for scholarships even before I had gotten accepted.
The department of scholarship of my University never responded to my request.
I would go to their Facebook page and send a message or direct message to the admins.
Did I get a response? Nope!
I started the process to apply to the US at the age of 17 while I was pursuing my intermediate 1st year in India.
I have always been a fast communicator and I do not like it when somebody takes a lot of time in order to respond to me.
At this particular junction of my life, I am running a real estate business and there have been many occasions when I have let employees go because they have not properly communicated with me.
Communication is a must in every aspect of your life.
The head of the scholarship department finally got in touch with me after sending multiple messages.
Did she offer a scholarship? Nope.
But, my persistence in trying to get hold of them will eventually help me get a scholarship.
I wouldn’t like to disclose any names but for the sake of this article let us assume that her name is Jan.
I was very thrilled and happy when Jan had reached out to me and told me that she had received my application, but over the course of time, I lost contact with her again.
I kept emailing her but she never responded.
However, after getting my admission.
F1 Visa was Rejected a few times, I landed in the USA.
Guess where I went first?
To meet Jan from the Scholarship office.
I stood in front of her and greeted her politely and told her that it was me who had been emailing her for the last couple of months.
This was before I registered for classes!
So she took my intermediate certificate from India and gave me a scholarship of $500.
Getting a scholarship of $500 because of you following up and emailing is worth getting nothing or having to work in an illegal cash job and getting paid in pennies.
Remember to be stubborn and never give up.
I was the only student who used to visit her several times and kept on following up.
So when it was time to make a decision about giving a scholarship just guess whose image came to mind at the very first instance?
Because of the stubborn attitude of mine, I used to get several scholarships as they became available during my bachelor’s degree.
There was this one time when I was applying for scholarships and I didn’t qualify.
I was supposed to write an article and for some reason, my application got rejected. Most of the students who got rejected used to quit the application or tried to apply again.
However, in my case, I met Jan and asked her the reason for getting rejected and what it is that I can do to improve myself the next time. She told me that my letter was not convincing enough.
I came from India and English is not my native language.
My writing skills were also not good enough. I was also a bit overconfident and did not spend enough time behind writing the article thinking that I would be getting the scholarship.
At that particular time, I was taking over 18 credits per semester and losing a scholarship was not something I could afford.
I went to the English department and got down with the teacher who taught me and helped me write an amazing article.
I explained to him why I was writing the article and how important this scholarship was to me. I applied for the scholarship again and this time I did qualify.
What I did was think outside the box and this is what you need to do as well in order to succeed. Never give up and start thinking outside the box.
The tutor I used to go to for my writing session was free of cost but was one of the best and many students used to book him all the time.
I decided to get creative and book one session with him every 2 weeks for the entire semester. By doing this I was able to track all of my assignments and scholarship applications.
I would like you to pay attention to the next segment of my article where I would be explaining how getting a job on campus helped me get $1600- $3200 scholarship every month.
- Scholarship for F1 Visa students is available.
- Know where to look for scholarship
- Do what it takes to get the scholarship
- Be persistent and make your presence felt
- Be Nice. Ask for way you can boost your schances of getting scholarships
Myth Busted Series
- Myth 1 – H1B Visa is Required to File Green Card
- Myth 2 – Scholarship is Not Available for International Students
- Myth 3 – It’s Impossible to get Part-time Jobs for F1 Students
- Myth 4 – Don’t Study Bachelors Degree in the USA
- Myth 5 – Masters takes 2 years & Bachelors takes 4 years to complete
- Myth 6 – Employer Will Not Apply for Green Card in the first year
- Myth 7 – OPT is issued only after Graduation
- Myth 8 – You can study at one university at a time