We understand why you might stop a scholarship application in your tracks as a polytechnic student. You might be thinking: scholarship providers only consider applicants who belong to the top five per cent of the cohort, pride themselves on a near-perfect GPA, and have exceptional leadership achievements to boot. Plus, you might have assumed that your peers from Junior College (JC) stand a higher chance of securing a scholarship, and for this reason, you have already lost out by default.
We at BrightMinds encourage you to remove these thoughts immediately! While you may think that it pays to be realistic, you must also know that many scholarship providers consider various aspects of a student’s achievements apart from their grades. How should you, as a polytechnic student, use your tertiary experiences as leverage to help you stand out from the sea of aspiring scholars?
Here are some things you can highlight in your scholarship applications:
Group Project Assignments
Group project assignments might seem less intensive compared to regular exams, but polytechnic students will be quick to vouch otherwise. Ask any polytechnic student you know – they will tell you about how often they have to compromise on their sleep during assignment submission weeks.
These group projects require students to develop time management skills and the ability to communicate and work in a team. As a polytechnic student vying for a scholarship, be sure to highlight your experiences and achievements in these group projects. They may include any leadership role you took up, or how a particular project has forced you and your team to think critically and creatively.
Your Experiences in the Working World
Another unique aspect of the polytechnic curriculum is the compulsory student internship. Internships give polytechnic students a taste of life outside protective campus walls.
While these internships may only expose you to a small fraction of an organisation’s vast operations, you would still get to develop a sense of professionalism when dealing with colleagues and real-world responsibilities. Polytechnic students are often more likely to assimilate into a new environment more quickly and comfortably, as compared to their JC and IB Diploma peers.
With the GPA system, academic achievements are calculated cumulatively over three years. This means that polytechnic students must remain disciplined and consistent with their grades. Polytechnic students are also less spoon-fed in school, given that lecturers are not always there to chase after students’ assignments. A missed submission simply means no credit will be earned, thereby affecting overall results.
For this reason, polytechnic students cannot afford to rest on their laurels at any time, or take a backseat until major end-year examinations.
You are confident about your path of specialisation, which is why you have chosen the polytechnic route. This in itself is worth noting to scholarship providers!
When you submit your relevant documents to scholarship providers, highlight the reasons you chose your course of study and how you hope to contribute to the industry in the future. Your confidence will assure scholarship providers that you are certain about what you want. After all, certainty is one trait that scholarship providers value and seek.