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For International Students: Writing a Killer MBA Scholarship Application Letter

An MBA program can bring you a high return on your investment. You gain knowledge and skills that can help you move forward in your career after graduation, which often comes with a great salary. However, it’s not an easy road to the finish line; it’s actually an expensive one. Top business schools like Wharton and Stanford charge more than a hundred grand a year for their MBA programs. State business schools, on the other hand, can charge a little more than $42,000.

For international students such as yourself, these prices are just the surface. You still have to consider your travel and living expenses – all on top of adjusting to an entirely new environment and culture. But, it’s never too late to eliminate a major financial barrier by starting early with your scholarship application letter.

Keep in mind, though, that you are not the only applicant vying for that precious scholarship. In a video, Hamada Zahawi, founder and CEO of Write Track Admissions, said, “There’s a way to market yourself; to really stand out amongst your competition.” He, then, expanded on the importance of writing a compelling and unforgettable application essay.

Talk Yourself Up

In any application essay – college admission or MBA scholarship – you are selling yourself. However, you don’t want to be ego-centric or oversell yourself. It’s more of a combination of being modest and being confident.

As you market yourself, talk about your unique selling point. For instance, as an international student, you can write about the difficulties of having to move to another country for a chance at higher education. Then, talk about how you were able to overcome and conquer those challenges. Play up the unorthodox path you have taken toward your dream business school.

When making claims about yourself, cite specific situations and real-life examples. You should not write “I am the best candidate for this scholarship.” Instead, explain why you are the best candidate. Again, this goes back to your unique selling point: your greatest strength and asset.

Explain Why You Chose to Study in the US

Admissions officers will naturally be curious why you chose to take up MBA in the US instead of in your home country. Avoid answering with “because your country offers great MBA programs,” as this does not really say much. Many other countries offer great MBA programs, as well. Instead, cite specific reasons for your relocation.

You can state, for example, that, based on your calculations, you will earn more in America than in your home country. Or, you can say that you admire the culture here if that is the case. Be genuine with your answer without putting your home country in a bad light. Specifically, explain why you think there are more learning opportunities for you in the US than anywhere in the world.

Consider Getting Help from Someone

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It’s understandable for you to make mistakes if English is not your first language. If you don’t feel confident enough with your English, sentence structure, or grammar, you can use tools that can check your essay for you.

You can also get another set of eyes to go through your essay. Get someone who is an expert in writing this kind of letter. They might help you eliminate unclear, redundant, or irrelevant information. Note their recommendations, then revise and proofread your essay.

There’s so much you can talk about in your scholarship application letter as an international student. You can start with how you were able to rise above the cultural barriers and differences. From there, you can springboard to why and how you deserve a tuition-free MBA program.