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Scholarship Tips, Advice, & Webinars

Looking for money to help you study abroad, but not sure where to start? USAC offers webinars to help you apply for study abroad scholarships and financial aid, including USAC scholarships, the Gilman Scholarship, and the Freeman Scholarship.

Scholarship Application Tips

Before starting your application, check out these tips and videos for creating a winning scholarship essay.

Don’t Write Too Much

It’s important to make an emotional connection with your reader and get them invested in your story and yourself to the point that they want to help you continue on your journey by awarding you a scholarship.

With that said, there is a point where an application can be too long. People who read applications are tasked with reading dozens of them. When telling your story be precise and only include the details that help demonstrate your strengths and support why you deserve a scholarship. A general rule of thumb for the USAC scholarship application is about three paragraphs per essay response, but keep in mind that some external scholarships might have longer essay prompts. Your answers can also be too short! Provide answers long enough to get your point across but short enough so that you don’t lose your reader.

Say Why You Want to Study Abroad (Hint: Travel isn’t the answer)

We understand that a huge part of studying abroad is the opportunities it opens for travel. However, study abroad organizations believe in education and that always comes first.

Talk about how the classes you will take abroad will help you fulfill your major or open the door to discover what you want to do in life. If you’re studying abroad because of family history or to learn a new culture or language, include that. Start and end with academics, seeing the world is a known benefit of studying abroad.

Don’t Just List Your Accomplishments

While the reader wants to know all of the great organizations, volunteering, jobs, and honor societies you’ve been a member of, they’re more interested in hearing how you’ve taken all of those accomplishments and applied them to your future.

Show how all of that ties to your future plans. If you’re a very active member of the community, having one strong story about a time that you took something you learned and applied it to the greater good of something else in life can be more powerful than a list of 15 organizations you’re a member of.

Get a Second Pair of Eyes on Your Application

It’s easy to look over errors when you’ve read something multiple times. Have a friend or family member read through your application before submitting it. Proofreading is crucial and could be the decision maker between you and another application.


Benjamin A. Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship Application Process

    Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship

    Additional Resources