Dubai: If you want to apply to study at a UAE university, but are struggling with meeting the tuition fee requirements, there is good news. Most UAE universities offer some form of scholarships to students and if you fulfil the criteria set by the university, you may be able to have a part or all of your tuition fees covered. But what are the requirements that you need to fulfil? And how can you apply for a scholarship? Here is all you need to know.
What are the scholarships I can avail in UAE?
According to student counsellors who spoke with Gulf News, students have the option to choose from a wide variety of scholarships – from UAE government grants and scholarship programmes, academic merit scholarship, sports or athletics scholarship, alumni or family scholarships, corporate scholarship to special needs scholarship, financial hardship scholarship and more.
Natasha Parikh, career coach and founder of My Learning Curve, a Career guidance and counseling organisation, spoke about what students can expect when applying for a university scholarship in the UAE.
“Emirati and International students are awarded scholarship to support their under graduate, post graduate and Ph.D. studies. Government universities offer scholarships covering up to 100 per cent of the tuition fee as compared to private institutes that cover, on an average, up to 50 per cent of the tuition fee, with a small number of universities offering up to 100 per cent scholarships,” she said.
Government universities offer scholarships covering up to 100 per cent of the tuition fee as compared to private institutes that cover, on an average, up to 50 per cent of the tuition fee, with a small number of universities offering up to 100 per cent scholarships
Start your research early
But while there are plenty of scholarship opportunities for students, according to Jennifer Rosier, Senior Leader at Tutor Doctor UAE, many may have highly specific requirements. As the criteria for scholarships vary widely based on the institution and programmes you apply for, she advised students to plan early if they wanted to apply for a scholarship.
“I advise students to start their scholarship research as early as in grade nine, as the benefits and requirements of each scholarship programme varies widely,” Rosier said.
“Work with your career counselor or university admissions consultants … to explore and identify future majors early on, prepare for standardised exams, and explore the best-fit university programmes and scholarships that match your goals, interests and profile. Once you have identified the scholarship programmes of interest, reach out to them directly to better understand how to position yourself for success in earning the scholarship,” she added.
I advise students to start their scholarship research as early as in grade nine, as the benefits and requirements of each scholarship programme varies widely.
How can I apply for a scholarship in a UAE university?
Expatriate residents and international students can apply for scholarships at universities subject to the eligibility criteria.
According to u.ae, the official UAE government website, scholarships are offered by many UAE universities based on mutual agreements between the UAE government and other countries. Apart from these scholarships, universities also offer academic or sports scholarships, based on the university’s criteria and requirements.
If you are an international student, you can also enquire about scholarships at your country’s embassy or consulate in the UAE about application procedures for scholarships or any other benefits that you can avail of.
When can I apply?
According to Parikh, students can apply for scholarship after they have received an offer letter for a bachelors, masters or Ph.D. programme by the university.
“Generally, to be eligible for a scholarship, undergraduate students must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours and graduate students must register for a minimum of six credit hours. Scholarship is provided for the first year of studies, therefore the students must maintain the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) necessary in order to continue receiving scholarship funding,” Parikh said.
Source: learn.org, a US-based online resource for students seeking higher education
She added that students who did not receive a scholarship at the beginning of the year can also apply for a scholarship for the following years.
To do so, applicants must have achieved a minimum cumulative Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 75 [calculated out of 100] of in their studies at the university and have completed a minimum of 36 credit points during their undergraduate studies, in order to apply.
What does a scholarship cover?
According to Rosier, while scholarships mainly cover tuition fees, some scholarship programmes may also include housing stipends or special internships.
What are the documents I require to apply for a scholarship?
The exact documents required for your scholarship application will depend not only on the university you are applying to, but also the type of scholarship you are seeking. However, Parikh provided a list of documents that are generally required for scholarship applications.
Academic merit and other scholarships
- Completed scholarship application
- Copy of the passport
- Copy of Visa (if you are living in UAE)
- Academic transcripts (proof of scores to qualify for scholarships)
- High school Certificate and high school predicted grades
- Copy of certifications/awards received
- Scholarship intent/ request letter
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System)/TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) certificate
Parikh added that the documents do not need attestation unless an equivalency certificate is required by the university.
Financial hardship scholarships
Apart from general documents mentioned above, scholarships based on financial hardships may require:
- Current rental contract
- Bank statements
- Employee certificate and salary statement for each employed member of the family
- Copy of visa and passport for all working family members (or both parents)
- Certificates of educational tuition fees for each sibling
Apart from general documents mentioned above, athletic/sports scholarship applications may require:
- Videos of most recent game
- Brief bio including relevant sports accomplishments
- Scanned copies of references from the applicant’s coach and/or PE teacher on institutional letterhead
- Scanned copies of certificates that are relevant to the sport the applicant is applying for
- The writer is an intern with Gulf News