Should You Apply for Multiple Scholarships?

Not to put all your eggs in one basket, they say. And generally, by casting your net wide, you have a higher chance of securing something at least. So why not?

But we caution you to be deliberate in choosing your scholarships. 

You may have multiple interests in various fields, but you cannot dedicate yourself to all of them at once. That is why triathlon is particularly challenging since athletes must train for three distinct sports: swim, bike, and run, each with different demands on the body. And experts advocate single sport focus as the most effective way to train because our brains can only allow us to focus on one thing at a time.

So when your attention is split across multiple scholarships, each calling for different application formats and essay requirements, not forgetting the series of interviews that follow if you are shortlisted, you may not be able to give your best and risk losing it all!

What is your motivation behind your scholarship application? If it is for prestige or free education, they are the wrong reasons. Bear in mind most scholarships come with bonds, meaning that you are tied to the provider and must serve several years of your working life with the organisation after graduation. So do consider the long-term consequences of your application and be sure you are doing something you love. 

Think deeply about your calling and be prepared to dedicate time and effort to research. Learn about the scholarship provider’s work, upcoming projects, corporate vision, mission, values, and culture, including what employees and scholars say about them. Then ask yourself if you can see yourself growing with the organisation and how you can contribute to their work and the greater good.

Now, imagine doing this for multiple scholarships! Just because you can, does not mean you should. 

People change, and it is inevitable to lose interest over time. Will your passion endure, and do you have a backup plan? Meanwhile, our world continues to evolve. With technological advancements pushing industries forward, what trends can you expect to impact your study field, and how will they affect your future career? What opportunities can the scholarship provider offer? Will you be shoe-boxed to one fixed role within the organisation or be exposed to myriad other functions? Consider these thoroughly and prepare every scholarship application with every intention to be shortlisted.

It is better to be without a scholarship than to accept one where you would spend a significant portion of your life uninspired, dreading work, and wishing you could be doing something different. Or, worse, resort to breaking the bond—a costly lesson to learn. In this case, you may want to consider bond-free scholarships or stay around to gain insights from the stories of successful scholars!