What is Scholarship? How Does Scholarship Work?

What is a Scholarship? How does it work? What are the tyes? These are questions Schoolgistsa hope to answer in this article.

Well, the word scholarship is not new to the ears, in fact as a college or University student, you would have heard it a couple of times. The only issue is that a large number of people know less about scholarships.

What is a Scholarship? How does it work? How do I apply for it? How often is it given in South Africa? These are what will be exhaustively discussed in this article. So let’s get into it.

What is a scholarship

A scholarship is a financial aid provided by an institution or foundation to a student based on academic merit. Scholarships are offered to students for a couple of reasons. Amongst them is to help the less privileged achieve their dreams as the main goal of scholarships is to help students pay for their education. 

Scholarships are majorly divided into two types; merit scholarships and private scholarships.

It is important to understand these types of scholarships as we attempt to answer “what is a scholarship?” extensively.

Merit Scholarships

These are scholarships that are awarded to you by an institution based on your abilities, not based on your financial need. 

We have three types of merit scholarships:

Academic Scholarships

These types are based on factors like high school GPA, test scores, and class rank. When people ask “what is a scholarship?” they immediately think of Academic scholarships.

Athletic Scholarships

Athletic scholarships are awarded to students who play sports and have represented South Africa (or/her home country) at a national school or age-group level.

Scholarships for Other Special Talents

This type of scholarship varies greatly, so you need to check college websites to see what opportunities are available. 

Apart from academic scholarships, there are numerous types of scholarships, and you don’t have to confine your definition of “what is the scholarship?” to just academic scholarships.

Private Scholarships 

Private scholarships are awarded to you by businesses, agencies, organizations, and clubs to use during college. 

Private scholarships are further divided into:

Local Scholarships

These types are usually only available to students in your school, so you have a better chance of getting one of these scholarships compared to a scholarship that every student in the country can apply for.

Regional Scholarships

Regional scholarships are available to students within a specific county, city, or state. These are extra competitive than the local scholarships, but you still have a better chance at success for regional scholarships than for national scholarships.

National Scholarships

National scholarships are available to every student in the country and are announced widely online, so these are very difficult to get since so many people apply. But just because they’re difficult to get, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply. You should try to apply for any scholarships that you’re eligible for.

Workplace Scholarships

Workplace scholarships are available through some companies to the children of employees. Make sure to check with your parents’ work to see if any scholarships are available.

The main goal of scholarships is to help students pay for their education. At times, it is a one-time payment. However, some scholarships are renewable, i.e, they provide students with funds each academic year or semester for certain years or the whole year of study.

Scholarships may be fully funded or partially funded. A fully funded scholarship covers all the cost while the partially funded one covers a fraction of it. 

As regards what is Scholarship? We’ve discussed that and its types. Now, how does one apply for it?

How To Apply For Scholarship In South Africa

There are several scholarships you can apply for in South Africa. They include university scholarships, high school seniors, college students scholarships, school, postgraduate scholarships, and more.

Now, how do you apply for any of these?

It’s easy, first of all, you have to check the eligibility and the application requirements. If you meet the requirements, then you are good to go!

  1. Register for the scholarship, usually by completing an online application form.
  2. Check your inbox to be sure you receive the confirmation email.
  3. Write a personal statement or essay. 
  4. Get official proof of your academic, athletic, or artistic achievements/official proof of your low income or nationality (for region-based scholarships).
  5. Proofread all documents for errors and send them to the scholarship provider.
  6. Submit the acceptance letter from your school(or an official document from the university proving you’ve been accepted). It’s necessary, you won’t receive the scholarship without confirming that you will begin your studies.
  7. Be expectant of results. If chosen, congratulations! 

How Often Are Scholarships Given?

Undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral scholarship opportunities in South Africa are funded by the government, local universities, and numerous international organizations. Most of these scholarships are awarded to students annually.

How To Write Scholarship Application Letter

After knowing that a scholarship application letter is usually among the requisite documents needed when applying for a scholarship as it serves as an indication of your interest in the scholarship.

Now, how do you write it?

Below is the best pattern to write a scholarship letter

  • Your Contact Information
  • Self Introduction and a Milestone achievement
  • Key details of you and the reason why the committee should choose you
  • Expression of passion and reason why you want the scholarship.
  • Call to action paragraph.
  • Best Regards

How To Write A Scholarship Application Email

A scholarship application should be written formally and professionally.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Start with a nice subject line
  • Give greetings.
  • Write the core email body (your interest in the scholarship).
  • Include a closing line.
  • End it with your signature.
  • Proofread your email to see if there’s an error

It is important to use proper grammar and avoid shortening words.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to What is Scholarship?

Below are the frequently asked questions related to what is scholarship, how it works, and their answers.

What is Scholarship?

Scholarship can simply be defined as a grant-in-aid to students by an institution or organization. This is just a simple and summarized definition of “what is scholarship?”.

Why is a scholarship given? 

Scholarships are given to students to provide financial support for them and also encourage them.


By going through this article, answering the question “what is scholarship?” should be easy as we have explained everything you should know.


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