M.Assume very good grades in an elite university, social commitment and interest in microeconomics, Michelangelo and mathematics in equal measure and then put it all in one person. In fact, there are people who are “outstanding” from every angle. It is not uncommon for such all-round talents to receive lucrative scholarships from large institutions to promote talented students who support about 26,000 students in 2013. But only highly talented people who are volunteers have the opportunity to get a scholarship?
At least many students are convinced of this: According to an Allensbach study commissioned by Reemtsma Begabtenförderungswerk, only one in five students applied for a scholarship in 2014. According to this, 80 percent did not even get any information. Even among high school graduates with “very good” and “good” final grades, only 14 percent asked about the possibility of such assistance.
Main reason: Students believe that their grades are very bad. According to the survey, 44 percent think their social commitment is not enough, and 38 percent of those surveyed say they do not know who to contact to get a scholarship. So most of them give up before trying.
Scholarships are not just for the educated elite
But with all the haste and suspicion, it is quickly overlooked that in addition to the 13 big, state-funded talent organizations like the German National Academic Foundation or the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, there are options that give students a chance to “one with the stars.” Do not fit in. There are hundreds of foundations of online platforms like Mystipendium.de or e-fellows.net that offer scholarships and often offer several scholarship programs at the same time.
The Scholarship Pilot, the Scholarship Database of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, also lists more than 1250 offers that can be filtered by training stage, subject or target region.
Mystipendium Hall, on the other hand, is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 by Mira Mayer to dispel the myth surrounding scholarship. The database lists about 2100 funding entries. “Especially small foundations often don’t have a website,” Meyer explained. He wants to show that not all programs are aimed at the educational elite, but that there is something suitable for everyone – if you look around.
Stuck, college dropout, start-up failure
We want to address people who are different, who deserve a second chance, who have experienced beyond success and who have reflected them.
The private Zeppelin University (ZU) in Friedrichshafen, for example, promotes people with disabilities: those who are stuck, dropouts, those over 30, those who have failed to establish them, or people with dyslexia. Since 2013, twelve so-called anti-nord scholarships have been proposed for university bachelor’s degrees, subject to a fee per winter semester.
“We want to address people who stand out, those who deserve a second chance, those who have experience beyond success and those who reflect on it,” said Rainer Bohme, a spokeswoman for ZU. In the past, they were mainly students who showed impressive and at the same time sculptural development and promoted the diversity of the university.
One of them is Jan Hendrik’s sister. Giessen Native has been studying sociology, politics and economics at ZU since February. Through the university he received the Anti-Zick Scholarship. He will never be able to afford a bachelor’s degree, which costs 30,000 euros at a private university, without funding.
But with an Abitur average of 2.7, the 31-year-old could have a tough time with many scholarship providers. “So I didn’t want to ask my parents if they would pay for my education after I left medical school and started my career in business,” Bohn said.
Academic work can also be financed
Although perceived failures or curriculum breakdowns play a decisive role in anti-NARD scholarships, in others a special need is the focus of rewards. This means, for example, chronic illness, poverty or loss of parents. For example, the Rosa Snyder Foundation helps children in need of Bavarian doctors, especially orphans. The Emily Porgers Foundation pays 300 euros per semester for three years to needy daughters of Bavarian government employees.
“But it is often individuals who identify with the fate or source of the applicant concerned,” said Mayer, founder of Mystepandium. Menzies, for example, support students who sing Jewish songs.
In some cases, the selection criteria are so tightly knit that only a handful of applicants qualify for funding – which can greatly increase your chances. Those who deal with artists in their scientific work who have done little research before receive funding from the Letter Foundation, for example. Kiel’s Yak Camel Foundation exclusively supports biologists who study domesticated yaks, wild yaks, double-humped mountain camels, and wild camels living in the highlands of Asia. And the August von Platen Foundation of Season University pays for scientific work on homosexuality.
The country’s physicians wanted through grants
Also, many commercial companies offer their own scholarships. The Ikea Foundation supports work on living culture. It is not uncommon in rural areas to try to attract young doctors through medical grant. Large companies such as car maker BMW or ThyssenKrupp also have funding programs and provide a full-time personal advisor to assist their scholarship holders.
“Of course, many of them do this to attract potential newcomers to their team as soon as possible or to make their lesser-known company more popular,” said Mayer, founder of Mystepandium. At this point, applicants should therefore keep in mind that commitment to the company is mandatory during or after their studies. It is estimated that 6,000 students receive funding from the industry alone.
However, scholarship holders make up only a small proportion of all students: according to a study by Allensbach, four percent of students between the ages of 18 and 29 are currently receiving scholarships. According to Meyer, founder of Mystipendium, it also involves the public applying for less than one percent of all foundations that exist – and no more foreign options are considered.
The ZU student sister is glad she learned about the Anti-Nord Scholarship at the time – and there are offers that not only look at an individual’s grade point average, but overall. He hopes that the path he has taken now is finally the right one for him. However, he is still satisfied, with his fellow students: “We, the scholarship holders, are very diverse and that is why we are a beautiful team of choice.”