In previous posts, we have discussed the topic of grants extensively, how important they are and how to prepare yourself to be ready for applying instantly. When you are expecting to continue your studies to the next level (we are talking about master degrees, internships, or PhD) it is almost essential to search for funding, a difficult task in which you never know how to give your first steps. Today, we will be talking about three of the most useful databases you should use when searching for grants.
You have to start with an open mind, there are thousands of grants and hundreds of institutions offering financial aid. Also, there is a widely extended misconception that grants are only awarded to high-level students, that is also wrong, many grants are awarded following another kind of merits like where you live or what you study, rather than your academic records. So, regardless of what you are searching for, be optimistic, be prepared, and begin your search right here:
Believe it or not, there is a centralized database of grants and financial aid indexed by the Spanish government. Every single aid offered by any institution related to the central or autonomic government is recorded here, the major problem with this database is the extension of the document (.pdf) they produce every fortnight and the fact that this index is just a document with abstracts of the BOE (Official Bulletin of the State).
So, this page has its pros: it has everything you can apply for in Spain, there is no way an official government grant or financial aid is not recorded here, and there is a subscription option that sends you the newsletter every two weeks; however, it also has its cons: the document is very long, there are hundreds of grants and aids you won’t be able to apply for, and the format is not user-friendly at all. You will have to read over the whole document very fast and develop some kind of sixth sense for the grants you are interested in and the ones you are not. This is a difficult task but believe me, there is no better way to be aware of every single grant in this country.
This is maybe the most difficult way of searching for funding, also the most complete. Do not be scared, after a few hours you will get used to reading only official texts and you will learn how to skip the unimportant parts and focus on the real information you need. As you could realise, I am speaking only to Spanish students or people interested in finding financial aid in Spain, if that is not your case, sure there are similar tools for other countries. Just leave a comment and we will try to help you with this inconvenience.
This page is very useful, it is also in Spanish and focused on Spanish and European students. It appears as a new webpage every year and is pretty complete, especially with the famous grants like the MEC, Erasmus… It is not as complete as the previous one but, at the same time, it is more user-friendly and focused on the average student, with forums, FAQ’s and other tools that will make your life easier.
I have said that this webpage is focused in Spanish students, and it is true, but that does not mean they only record Spanish grants. There is a section for North America, Asia, Latin America, Europe… They also have their grants ordered by field of study or subject.
Another aspect that makes this webpage very useful is that they follow on a daily basis the news and changes on famous and important grants or foundations like the Botin Foundation, SEPI, AFIM… and they also elaborate a yearly calendar with the most important application deadlines. However, this page is still not very user-friendly and you will have to spend a lot of time to find what you are looking for (if you are looking for something concrete). On the other hand, if you are just looking for ideas and you are not very sure about what to apply for, this page will be perfect for you to have a general view of the different grants available.
By the moment we have only mentioned web pages that index grants, leaving you the work of searching for hours, check that you can apply for them, and then do it. When you are desperate for funding you can’t complain about that, nothing is for free and you have to make your effort… But there is always an exception. The European Union is always thinking about us, apparently, and they have created this awesome tool which I honestly recommend regardless of what you are searching for.
First and last step: create your account. The real difference between this webpage and others is that here you create your own profile, then this tool makes a generalized search looking for the grants that suit you more. The most important thing you have to keep in mind now is that the more you complete your profile, the better the suggestions will be. Help yourself and fill everything: what you have studied, what you want to do, which countries you prefer for an internship…
Once you complete your profile, different grant options will appear listed in different categories: funding for studying in your home country, to study abroad for a semester, to do a Master degree, a PhD… There are hundreds of options and they will be classified in descendent order, according to how much they suit your profile. Additionally, they have other sections in which they help you with the application process, give financial advice, or recommend your student loans in case you need them. In summary, one of the best tools you can find to continue with your studies.
This is all for now, hope these web pages help you find the funding you need for your studies, we will keep searching for more tools for you so do not forget to come back here again soon. If you are a newbie in the EDUopinions blog, you can go back and read past articles like general information about grants and grant applications or the toolbox every student needs. Also, if you like our posts, like & share on our Facebook page, comment, and give your opinion on our web page, that will help us keep growing and helping other students. Thank you for reading and see you again soon.