Scholarship for international students: Ideas from teen who got 19 scholarship offers worth more than $5 million

What will be your reaction when you realized that you have been offered 19 full-ride scholarship offers from top universities across the United States and Canada worth over $5 million. It sounds unreal right? But in reality, that is the story of a nigerian teenager.

According to admission records and estimates of financial aid grants, Victory Yinka-Banjo, a 17-year-old high school graduate, received more than $5 million in scholarships for an undergraduate program of study.

“It still feels pretty unbelievable. I applied to so many schools because I didn’t even think any school would accept me,” Victory told CNN las year, relishing her academic prowess.

Victory was born in Nigeria to Adeyinka Banjo, a private sector supply chain executive and senior professor at the University of Lagos, and Chika Yinka-Banjo. The Ivy League institutions Yale College, Princeton University, Harvard College, and Brown University offered Victory possible full scholarships.

The University of Virginia, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were among the other US universities to extend scholarship offers.

Both the University of Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson Scholarship and the University of British Columbia’s Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow (KMILOT) Scholarship were made available to Victory in Canada.

“Their admissions processes are extremely selective,” Victory added. “They only accept the best of the best. So, you can imagine how, on a daily basis, I have to remind myself that I actually got into these schools. It is surreal!”

Academic strides

A senior prefect during her time in high school, Victory rose to national prominence in late 2020 after she scored straight As in her West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Months earlier, the Nigerian teen had been rated as the “Top in the World” in English as a second language (speaking endorsement) by the University of Cambridge International Examination (CIE). Victory aced the Cambridge IGCSE exam – acquiring A* in all six subjects she sat for.

Victory told CNN her remarkable achievements are borne out of hard work.

“They have made me truly feel proud about the hard work I have put into several areas of my life over the years. I am slowly beginning to realize that I deserve them,” she said.

The teenager remarked that her multiple scholarship offers “have made me stand taller, smile wider, and pat myself on the back more often.”

Victory said she hopes to study Computational Biology. However, she is still weighing up her options on which school to choose, having been wooed by many prestigious institutions.

“I am still doing research on some schools that are at the top of my list, like Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and just trying to compare and contrast all of them thoroughly,” she told CNN.

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Ideas from Victory and her outstanding success

We studied the life of Victory and the factors that contributed to her success, and below we have summarised some important points that may be helpful to you in your quest to win scholarships.

Apply to scholarships based on majors.

For students pursuing a particular college degree, ranging from engineering to biology to teaching, scholarships are available. Students interested in a career in STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, can submit applications for a number of scholarships, including the $10,000 Generation Google Scholarship, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related technical field.

Find your own interests or explore personal passions.

Students may leverage their life experiences to secure a scholarship, particularly during times of personal adversity. Individual passions have probably shifted as a result of COVID. Consider this: “I, who? What do I feel strongly about? What would I want to learn? What do I want to accomplish in life? “. Scholarship sponsors are seeking for highly driven people who have a love for something since such interests will spark experiences and learning possibilities. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd, particularly if it has anything to do with the scholarship you’re looking for! It doesn’t matter whether it’s winning prizes or contests, taking part in volunteer work in the community, serving as an organization’s president, graduating at the top of your class, or anything else that strengthens your application.

Lean on a mentor

A competent mentor can assist students in finding and winning college scholarships. A mentor might be someone employed in a student’s chosen area of study who can respond to inquiries, provide information about the business, and even assist students in their scholarship pursuits. Additionally, a strong letter of reference might help a candidate stand out when applying for scholarships.

Create a scholarship-winning essay.

Because most students dislike applying for these scholarships, essay contests with modest awards have lower levels of competitiveness. Your essay can decide whether you get a scholarship or not. The foundation of your scholarship application is your essay. It is an opportunity for you to show the selection committee that you are a well-rounded person, that you are more than just your GPA, that you are a strong writer, and that you are more than just your resume or transcripts. It also gives you the chance to discuss your experiences and qualifications in more detail than is provided on those documents. It might be challenging to write a scholarship essay, particularly if you want to do it properly. In order to win over the reader, your essay must directly address the aims of the organization as well as those of the prize. It is not a one-size-fits-all; most essays will need to be modified or completely changed to convince the reader that you are deserving of the award above and beyond any other participant who also applied. If done properly, you will very rarely be able to submit the same application to multiple awards.

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Find out more about the process of applying for and receiving college scholarships.

The quest for a scholarship to go toward college expenses shouldn’t stop here. Continue reading for more scholarship advice, and be sure to follow U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter to participate in the discussion and keep up to date on the newest information about how to pay for college. Explore in depth the most recent available scholarship options.

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