HOW TO PROCESS ADMISSION AND SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY ABROAD
Most Nigerian students believe that the admission process to study abroad requires some sorts of expert assistance.
There are of course international education agents who serve as marketing consultants for schools globally. If you are careful enough to find an experience agent, they indeed do solve some complicated issues that needs specialized knowledge.
However, these arrangements are sometimes fraudulent and has affected the perception of Nigerians internationally.
The good news is that with the kind of globalized society that we have today, it has become quite easy for anyone to follow up its admission process. Therefore, even if you employ the service of an agent, it is better you also have some basic knowledge of the process.
So, the following points below serve as bases for learning how to indeed get yourself involved:
1. Universities especially in developed countries most often are clear with their admissions application and scholarships processes.
Most institutions have websites which clearly state how to apply for their different academic programs and scholarships.
Based on this clarity, it is possible for you to be able to understand the given guidelines.
2. Schools in a particular country have a common calendar, so it is relatively easy for any prospective applicant to be able to know when the admissions are usually due.
This of course helps for easy identification of when admissions are available and what to apply for.
The uniformity of the academic calendar has made schooling in other countries quite easy for anyone to able to get involved in the admission processes.
3. Many scholarships usually have a particular time of the year they are available. Therefore, it is easy seize this opportunity that can change your financial condition forever.
4. Many special interest websites, blogs and forums often give information on educational events which may be of interest to their readers and visitors alike.
The information passed on these platforms do provide ample guideline if they are original.
5. Philanthropists and other good nature individuals in the name of social responsibility offer scholarships as a show of good faith and to give back to the society.
The internet also provides a platform for the dissemination of such information
So, with the above in mind, you can now learn the “how to” of the admissions processes to study abroad. Let’s begin!
SEARCHING FOR SCHOOLS
Most times, one would have to even know where to start. This is where our generation has been blessed with the gift of search engines. They provide the much needed access to relevant websites that most likely contain the information that we are looking for.
So let’s start with search engine!
Google for example (my favorite search engine of all time) can be quite accurate when searching for educationally related topics or search terms.
For example, when you enter the term “University of New York Admissions” In the text box on Google’s home page, you’re likely to get the following results:
At the top of the results you can find paid advertisements that are sponsored using the keywords paid for by the advertisers.
Then below that you can now find the “organic” results…
Those results provide reasonably accurate information on the search term. So, the key here would be to ensure that your results are fine-tuned to getting more accurate results!
Let’s say that you are searching for schools on the eastern seaboard of the United States (that is the eastern United States)
I also assume that you have New York as your central focus. Then you would be searching first for universities in New York. Keep in mind that the calendar of Universities in Europe and America usually starts in September (Fall Semester)
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
When it comes to the applications process, it is quite easy to go through. Let us take a look at our example that was given above. If I click on the New York University Admissions page (see how accurate Google has become)
It takes me to the following below:
If I am a future undergraduate student, I would then click undergraduate. This will lead me to this page:
When you get to the admissions page, something like this then comes up:
Notice the three areas that have been successfully covered on the university website. These three areas serve as the pinnacle for the admissions process.
Also note that the June admissions is for the Abu Dhabi campus only which of course is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the middle-east.
It is not that June admissions do not come up in New York or Europe, it is only that the common season for admissions across most institutions is the September window.
This in fact is a good time to seek admissions as a Nigerian students because of the release of the May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examinations.
Under the entry requirements, all the required standardized tests are shown and the further requirements (if any) are clearly stated. This can be a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for example.
An example is given below:
Note the link to the nationally accredited exam. When you click it you will find a list of countries. You may also find the requirements for Nigeria:
If you choose the Abu Dhabi Campus for an instance, the next two things are “the How to apply” and “the Costs and support”
They shall be covered separately.
When you click on “how to apply” you would now get to the following:
Clicking on the application link would now take you to the admission portal where you can signup.
Initiating application is like signing up for a social media account or an e-mail account.
It is that easy!
A lot of time, supported documents can usually be sent via other means to a dedicated admissions counselor or can be uploaded via the dedicated portal for such. By the way, the admissions portal login looks like this:
Payment for the $80 U.S Dollar application fee (more or less in some cases) can be made using any international debit card linked to a US dollar domiciliary account.
Many banks have this offer but GTbank and First Bank is most recommended. The Zenith Bank Websurfer card is also a preferred option. Otherwise, a virtual credit card can be used to make the transaction.
Why this matters is that depending on the CBN policies as regards cards linked to naira accounts, certain transactions do not usually go through due to the notices that the apex bank sends out from time to time.
So, it is quite easy to apply for admissions!
NOW TO SUPPORT AND FUNDING!
When you click on the support and funding link under the Abu Dhabi campus apply link, you would find that the details for financial support in the United Arab Emirates are clearly stated.
It is quite interesting to note that the scholarships for Emirati nationals are fully funded and automatic.
Also if you keep reading through the page, you will also discover that the process for applying for the scholarship is based on financial need. The link to apply for financial support is at the bottom of the page.
Clicking on the link takes you to the College Board website for financial aid.
College Board is very much like the WAEC or JAMB but does not issue examinations on its own. Its main function is to link students with colleges in the United States of America.
When you go through the College Board link you will find what is called “CSS Profile”
All you have to do is to check if the University of New York has wavered CSS Profile for international students.
When you click on the link “View our participating international colleges”, you will find the list below:
So, you can now see that New York University has enabled CSS profile for international students! So, just go back to the College Board CSS Profile page and Apply.
Make sure you state your details!
Keep in mind that most schools have deadlines for Scholarship applications. These deadlines are to enable all the administrative processes go on quickly and efficiently ahead of the incoming semester.
Make sure that all your details are honestly covered and nothing is missing in your application. In some cases, you may be required to write an essay stating reasons why you need financial aid.
Ensure not to come up with hair raising situations like “My grandfather suffers from Tuberculosis” or something else as bogus.
Remember that your choice of words can tell how you feel while writing your essay.
Do not try to push it aggressively!
Remain cautious and express hope that you will get the opportunity to study at a great institution.
Your focus should not be on the money but on the opportunity.
That way, the passion for the institution (which is one indicator of a potentially great student) would be seen and make you stand out from the other applicants.
Other websites you may want to checkout include directories for higher education, with references to admissions and scholarships. Always consider using Google or any other effective search.
Use forums nairaland.com (education or travel section) Nigerianbestforum.com, education blogs, social media pages and much more!!
The processes for the undergraduate and post –graduate (master’s level) applications are very similar and should not be much of a problem.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead! Apply! Study abroad! Excel!