Why do you deserve a scholarship

financing: Do I get a scholarship?

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The large German gifted support organizations, which include, for example, the CDU-affiliated Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the SPD-affiliated Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung or the ideologically independent Study Foundation of the German People, want the overall package in their announcement: good grades and Engagement. Nevertheless, applicants who list as many voluntary activities as possible in their résumé are not necessarily preferred. "I look at what was possible under the respective living conditions and which freedoms were used for social commitment," explains Youlia Spivak, member of the selection committee at the German National Academic Foundation.

Prejudice 3: If the parents earn well, there is no point in applying

For some scholarships, the parents' salary plays a role. Logical: Students with higher-income parents do not need to apply to foundations that want to support the economically disadvantaged. The amount of the scholarship can also depend on the income of the parents. In the case of the large institutions for the promotion of talented students, the amount is based on the student loan rate to which one is legally entitled. However, every scholarship holder there receives an additional EUR 300 book allowance per month - regardless of what the parents earn. And most foundations not only support their scholarship holders financially, but also with lecture evenings, seminars and excursions as well as regular meetings and networking meetings with other scholarship holders. An application is worthwhile for this alone.

Some foundations are interested in their job instead of their parents' salaries: The Rosa Schneider Foundation, for example, awards grants to children of doctors. Only children of Deutsche Bahn employees can apply to the Government Council Paul Meyer Foundation. And the Emilie Porzersche Foundation supports needy daughters of Bavarian civil servants. For many grants, however, the parent's job is unimportant, especially for travel and research grants. An application is therefore worthwhile for everyone. However, if you have rich parents, you should perhaps consider applying for purely financial support. Or leave it to someone who needs it more.

Prejudice 4: Applying takes a lot of energy and even more time

TIME CAMPUS: Mr. Grob, many students do not even apply for a scholarship. They fear the effort is not worth it. Is this concern justified?

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Stefan Grob: No, absolutely not! There is nothing to be afraid of. Those who do not apply are just too lazy.

ZEIT Campus: What do you have to do for an application?

Stefan Grob

48, deals primarily with the topic of student finance at the German Student Union.

Rough: Most foundations require an informal cover letter, a motivational text and a résumé. Then there is usually a selection process, often with a general knowledge test and an interview.

TIME CAMPUS: CV, letter of motivation, studying for the selection test - but it takes a while ...

Rough: That is a workload of a few days. And if you think about what you will get as a scholarship holder, the application is definitely worthwhile: money, a professional network, workshops. It is also an absolute myth that applications are very complicated. You just have to know how to do it.

TIME CAMPUS: Sounds like there's a special trick there. Will you reveal that?

Rough: The actual work happens before the application. One should consider: Who do I want to be funded by? Which program do I fit into? Where do I have a chance to be taken? If you choose the scholarship well, the application is a breeze.

TIME CAMPUS: Most foundations require individual cover letters that exactly match their job advertisement. Can you also recycle application documents and use them for several foundations in order to save yourself work?

Rough: In principle, I advise against applying to too many foundations at once. Of course, it's always good to keep a few options open. But when you have found the perfect scholarship provider, you should concentrate on this one application. It is better to submit a good application that is tailored to the foundation than to send out ten standard letters.

TIME CAMPUS: And what if you are not accepted by the perfect foundation?

Rough: Well, students are used to applications. First you apply for a place at university, later for part-time jobs or internships. So you need to be interested in constantly practicing writing good applications. In general, as budding scientists, you should question the prejudices against scholarships anyway. Then you will see that the myth of the highly complex application process is not true. And if you still hesitate, you may not have earned a scholarship.

Prejudice 5: There are few places and a lot of competition

90% of students apply for less than one percent of all scholarships, according to surveys from the Allensbach study. So for most scholarships, the competition is very small.

Prejudice 6: After a few semesters it is already too late

That's not true. Many foundations even prefer scholarship holders who are already further in their studies. There is a greater chance that they will actually complete their studies. Some, such as the Veith Berghoff Foundation, only accept scholarship holders from the fifth semester.

There is also money for theses. The Helmut Claas scholarship supports graduates in the agricultural science sector, while the Viamedica Foundation supports students in their work on environmental medicine. In any case, the following applies: To get a scholarship, you don't have to be a freshman, high-flyer and committed soup cook - you just have to search a little. And apply!