Scholarships are a form of funding, generally awarded to students based on academic merit. Some scholarships are awarded on a once-off basis, while others are renewed on a yearly basis, granted that the student continues to meet the academic requirements.
While scholarships are good for students in need of funding, they can be very demanding. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind:
- Scholarships are based on academic merit: This means students don't have to come from a household earning below a certain amount in order to qualify for one.
- You don't have to apply for some scholarships: In some instances, scholarships are awarded to students regardless of whether or not they applied for them. This can be based on your university entry results or upon the improvement of your academic results while in tertiary education.
- Can be renewed: some scholarships are renewed on a yearly basis, giving students much needed funding for their studies.
- No need to work for scholarship provider: after the end of the period that the scholarship is awarded for, the beneficiary of the scholarship will not be required to sign a contract agreeing to work for the same period the scholarship was awarded. This offers the beneficiary employment flexibility.
- Academically demanding: Scholarships are academically competitive, making it difficult for more students to qualify and receive the funding. This can also put a lot of pressure on students to produce outstanding academic results.
- Possible repayment: Failure to meet the scholarship's academic requirements (once accepted) will result in the scholarship being taken away and in some instances, beneficiaries will be required to pay back the funding received.
- Scholarship renewal is not guaranteed: This can be influenced by lack of scholarship funding or the student's failure to meet the scholarship's high academic requirements. This can leave students without funding for the duration of their studies
- No guaranteed employment after the end of the period the scholarship was awarded: This means the scholarship beneficiary will have to create and find their own employment prospects, which can be a difficult and stressful process.