We cover 12,000 scholarships worth 27 billion Euros: Mira Maier, Founder, European Funding Guide
European Funding Guide is a platform that provides information about the funding opportunities to the students. Dr. Mira Maier, Founder of European Funding Guide, talks about various aspects of study abroad funding. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What makes European Funding Guide different from other scholarship websites?
A: European Funding Guide is different in three ways. First of all, we use a matching-algorithm that automatically compares user profiles with our database of scholarships and other funding programs and thereby shows users only those programs that really match their profile. The service is completely free of charge. Secondly, European Funding Guide covers more than 12,000 scholarship programs and other funding opportunities with a total value of 27 billion Euros. And thirdly, we do cover programs from all EU countries.
Q: How many European scholarships you cover in the website? How many students benefit from European Funding Guide per year?
A: Our database has more than 12,000 scholarship programs and other funding opportunities with a total value of more than 27 billion Euros. Approx. 4,000 programs are specifically targeted at UK students. Every month, European Funding Guide reaches 145,000 unique visitors.
Q: How easy/difficult is for a student to obtain a full/partial scholarship considering the number of applications and increasing competition?
A: It is not as difficult as you might think to find a scholarship. While some larger and well known programs receive a lot more suitable applications than they may support, a large number of scholarships remain unclaimed. At European Funding Guide, we have developed a matching-algorithm that allows users to be matched instantly to those (niche) programs that really fit their profile. Our focus is on making especially the very large number of smaller niche programs transparent because those are often times the institutions that have very specific selection criteria, are less known and therefore have few applications.
Q: What are the most common queries of students who look for funding?
A: Most people looking for funding require money to cover their daily living costs. Given that most people believe their chances of winning a scholarship are small, our users are normally very surprised by the large number of programs that fit their profile.
Q: What are the common mistakes made by students while looking to fund their higher studies?
A: Most of the applicants do only apply for the biggest and most known scholarships. Because of this situation, those institutions receive a lot of applications and chances of actually succeeding are small. On the other side, the majority of scholarship providers are very small and therefore do not have a marketing budget to reach their target audience. Those scholarship providers normally also have very specific selection criteria. Due to these two reasons, many scholarships remain unclaimed. Applying for smaller, less know programs can increase chances significantly.
Q: What are the major misconceptions about obtaining a scholarship?
A: Most students believe that scholarships are only granted based on merit or need. The truth is that there are more than 30 selection criteria. This can be anything from their parents’ jobs to where they live. Other misconceptions are that there are only few institutions to provide scholarships. Many people also believe scholarships are only for students in their first semester. This is also not the case, because there are programs for students of all semesters. Most people also believe, they have no chances of obtaining a scholarship, because too many people would apply. The truth is that every year thousands of scholarships remain unclaimed. Finally, most people believe that the whole process of looking and applying for scholarships takes forever. We have shortened the search process down to a few minutes with European Funding Guide and I can tell you that the application itself does not necessary need to take up a lot of time. Especially niche programs often only require a motivation letter and CV to apply.
Q: Do you think that the increasing tuition fee in countries like the UK has resulted in reduced international enrolment?
A: Certainly an increase in tuition fees will be a factor amongst others. On the other side, we do count a very large number of programs available to cover those costs.
Q: Do you have plans to expand the information base by providing details about the scholarships offered in other countries?
A: We do currently cover 16 countries in the EU and are constantly working on adding more programs and countries to the list we cover.
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