Blog General Singapore Education News Scholarships in Singapore: A Step-by-Step Guide (Survey Results Inside)

Scholarships in Singapore: A Step-by-Step Guide (Survey Results Inside)

Scholarships in Singapore: A Step-by-Step Guide (Survey Results Inside)

scholarships in Singapore

Studying in a prestigious university is a dream of many. But few get to make it a living reality.

With the right preparation, the dream can be yours. Once you know which scholarships to target and how to stand out among the competition, you can secure a seat in your dream university. 

Want more? Job security is the icing on the cake, since scholars are given the best job opportunities after graduation.

What You Will Learn About Scholarships in Singapore:

1. Know Your Competition
2. Self-Awareness is the Key
3. Questions Can Reveal A Lot
4. Impact on University Life
5. Type of Scholarships in Singapore
6. Things to Consider Before Applying for a Scholarship
7. How to Prepare for the Application Process
8. Top Rated Scholarships in Singapore According to Survey

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1. Know Your Competition

When you set out to prepare for a Singapore scholarship, you must respect the goal you are trying to achieve. You need to know the level of competition. 

According to a 2018 survey conducted on a group of 3,345 students, 99 percent of students intend to pursue higher education with 72% interested in studying within Singapore. 79% of students choose to apply for scholarships in Singapore to finance their education. 

By a fair estimate, you will be competing against hundreds of thousands of students. So it is essential to have a strategy.


2. Self-Awareness is the Key

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Higher education is not for everyone, nor it is the only path to success. Know whether you are doing it for yourself, to impress others or under the pressure of your parents. 

Preparing for a scholarship isn’t easy. That is why you must know in your gut that you want this goal. If you don’t really like studying from thick books, you don’t have to pursue medicine, law or an overseas scholarship. 

If you would rather do something hands-on, like selling products online or making creative videos, aim for a shorter course that focuses on practical training.


3. Questions Can Reveal A Lot

Furthermore, asking yourself the right questions will help you make the right decision. Here are some crucial questions to ask:

  • If I see the trail of my efforts, which skills have I spent most of my time building?

  • What do people thank me for?

  • Which organizations do I want to work for?

  • Do I want to study overseas? Why?

  • How do I spend leisure? What are my hobbies?

  • If I pursue higher education, will I do it to impress others?


4. Impact on University Life

scholarships in Singapore

Enrolling in a university under a scholarship will come with its caveats. You will need to maintain a certain standard of performance. It means you may have to take ‘easy’ classes and sacrifice your desire to take classes that seem fun.

For those who want to study overseas, you will be selecting your major early on. It means taking extra classes, going to summer school and skipping extra curriculars. The schedule may become monotonous and demand a higher degree of discipline than you would like. 

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As a consequence of taking a scholarship, your internship opportunities will be limited. This is because companies want to hire interns who can later become their full-time employees. But for scholars, their future jobs are already decided through bonds.


5. Types of Scholarships in Singapore

Scholarships in Singapore come in various categories. First, scholarships can be given on different basis:

  • Merit based – Scholarships given on the basis of extraordinary academic, athletic or creative achievement.
  • Need based – Scholarships given to students who are differently-abled or in need of financial assistance.
  • Ethnicity based – Scholarships given on the basis of race, such as when the student belongs to a minority.
  • Institution based – Scholarships awarded to outstanding students of certain educational institutions.
  • Sector based – Scholarships awarded to students who want to work in a particular sector, such as aerospace.

Next, scholarships can be awarded by different kinds of organizations:

  • Government Agencies 

Example – The Singapore Government Scholarship (SGS) offers undergraduate studies in reputable universities both in Singapore and overseas. A*STAR is another popular Gvernment of Singapore scholarship.

  • Private Organizations

Example –  GIC Private Ltd. offers students the opportunity to study in the world’s best universities and later have a career in the investment sector.

  • Non-Profit Organizations 

Example – Singapore Institute of Materials Management (SIMM) is a non-profit that offers scholarships to students who want to do part-time studies at SIMM.

  • Universities

Example – There are many universities that offer scholarships in Singapore. Some of them include National University of Singapore, Nanyang University.

Finally, scholarship can be of two types based on time period:

  • Mid-term

Mid-term scholarships are given after the student completes a certain number of semesters. It gives you more time to explore before you select a major. On the other hand, it also requires excellent academic performance up until the time you apply for the scholarship.

  • Full-term

Full-term scholarships are given at the beginning of university studies. To become eligible for full-term scholarships, you need to have a history of excellent academic performance. 

Want to know the qualifications that make students score full-term scholarships? 

You will find a complete scholarship application checklist later in this guide!

Scholarships in Singapore for Future Entrepreneurs

If you dream of building your own business one day, institutions such as National University of Singapore not only cover your tuition fees for undergraduate studies, but also allow you to apply for a seed funding of $50,000.

scholarships in Singapore


6. Things to Consider Before Applying for a Scholarship in Singapore

  1. Financial Amount

How much of the university expenses will the scholarship cover? Does it cover both tuition fees and hostel expenses? The monthly allowance in scholarships ranges from $200 to $1000 per month. 

  1. Exclusive vs Inclusive

Can the scholarship be combined with any other kind of financial aid?

  1. Terms and Conditions

We usually ignore the long and boring T&C document. But you can’t do this when applying for a scholarship. Read everything carefully.

  1. Bond

The bond is a crucial element of any scholarship program. The bond means that you will be required to work for the organization providing the scholarship for X number of years upon graduation. If you like the organization you will be working for, the scholarship can be a sponsored ticket to your dream destination. 

In all fairness, even when the company you end up working for isn’t that great, it can be seen as a short-term compromise for long-term career satisfaction.

Impact of a Bond on Career Choices

The Positive: A Secure Job

Getting a job after graduation is a challenge in itself. Your friends will be struggling to secure an internship or job at the end of four years. But if you qualify for the scholarship, you will have a job secured right when you enter college.

The Negative: Can’t Take Risks

By the time you finish serving the bond period, you will be in your late 20s or early 30s. During this stage in your life, you will be cautious about personal finances. The reason is that this is the period when people usually get married and start a family. 

With such responsibilities on your plate, it will be hard to start your own business or switch to a different industry. 

This isn’t to say that nobody takes risks at this stage in their lives. Some people do. They become playwrights or video creators after serving their bond in a non-related field. It is just that you have to realize the consequences of your decisions.

5. Maintaining the Scholarship

Although there are many benefits of getting a scholarship, its continued support is based on your academic performance throughout your time in university. Most scholars understand this well because they have already worked hard to get the scholarship. 


7. How to Prepare for the Application Process

Know the Deadline

Once you have a few scholarships selected, it is time to start with the application process. Most scholarships in Singapore start taking applications the day ‘A’ level results are declared and stop taking applications two weeks later.

Where to Apply

To apply for most scholarships in Singapore, you can fill the form provided on However, some scholarships are available on the organization’s website itself.

Filling the Application

While filling the form, you have to introduce yourself, talk about your interests and goals through scholarship essays and personal statements. Dedicate a sizeable chunk of your time writing these, as their effectiveness will determine the result of your application.

Acing the Scholarship Interview

Once you qualify for the scholarship with your application, the next step is the scholarship interview. In most cases, there are two rounds of scholarship interviews – one with human resources and the other with senior management of the company providing the scholarship.

Research as much as you can about the company and use this opportunity to show them that you love the work they are doing and want to be a part of it. Be fully prepared for the scholarship questions.

The scholarship interview can be intimidating. So rehearse with friends and family to be naturally good when the time comes.

Learn to Sell Yourself

Before anyone else believes in you, you have to believe in yourself. Know your strengths and take stock of everything you have achieved so far. Know how you can be an asset to the scholarship provider.

Do your research. Then make a compelling case for your competence in the scholarship essay as well as during the interview.

Prepare more than your competitors. Learn the art of effective writing. Make a special note of achievements that may put you ahead of your competitors.

Contact former scholars who secured multiple scholarships and ask them for advice. Know that preparation will give you confidence.

Letter of Recommendation

scholarships in Singapore

While selling yourself does wonders, having an authority vouch for your competence is what really makes the difference. Letter of recommendation helps you build social proof, known as a key marketing tool to influence people. 

Even in the business world, most employees are hired on the basis of referrals. So ask your school professors to give you a compelling letter of recommendation. 


8. Top Rated Scholarships in Singapore According to Survey

Now that you know the Singapore scholarship process inside out, here is a curated list of best scholarships in Singapore.

According to BrightSparks, here are the top scholarships you should target:

I. National University of Singapore, NUS Scholarship

For the academic year 2020-21, NUS Scholarship applications will be open from 1 February, 2020 onwards. Here is the complete scholarship calendar. You can check the complete list of NUS scholarships on the NUS Scholarships’ official page.

II. Nanyang Technological University Scholarship (NTU Scholarship)

Nanyang Technological University, NTU Scholarship is one of the most sought-after scholarships out there because of the various benefits it provides. See full details of NTU Scholarship on its official page.

III. Changi Airport Group CAG Scholarship

CAG Scholarship can unlock a large number of career opportunities for you. Its main application cycle will open on 1 January 2020 and close two weeks after. See full details on the CAG Scholarship’s official page.

IV. Agency for Science, Technology & Research, A*Star Scholarship

A*STAR scholarship is for the scientific minds — students who want to study science and have a rewarding career in research and development.

To see full details of the A Star scholarship, visit their official page.

V. Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)

If you are passionate about science and technology, the DSTA scholarship is worth considering. It offers a lot of benefits apart from tuition fees cover, such as sponsorship for overseas exchange program.

Check full details on official page.

VI. MOH Holdings Pte ltd (MOHH)

MOHH offers various scholarship options for aspiring undergraduate and masters students. The offer both full-term and mid-term scholarships. If you want to work in the healthcare industry, MOHH scholarship is the best way to finance your studies. However, they also cover other disciplines like business and economics.

Check full details on Official Page.

VII. Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)

If you want to work in the aviation industry, CAAS has many lucrative scholarship options for you. Check full details on their official page.

VIII. Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS)

SgIS is a multi-industry scholarship in partnership with the Singapore government. It is targeted to nurture young talent so that they can work in the strategic sectors of Singapore’s economic system.

IX. Public Service Commission (PSC)

Do you want to earn a respectable position in Public Service one day? The PSC Scholarship is a government scholarship created for the public servants of tomorrow.

Check full details on official page.

X. Singapore Management University Scholarship (SMU)

SMU offers a wide range of scholarships usually based on merit. Some are available for full-term of undergraduate studies, others for a shorter time period. Check full details on official page.

XI. Ministry of Education (MOE)

If you want a career in the academic industry, the MOE-AU scholarship can fund your undergraduate as well as doctorate studies.

Check full details on official page.

XII. Overseas – Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC)

If you don’t want to serve any bond, OCBC offers a no-bond scholarship to students who have secured admission in National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Technology & Design. 

Check full details on official page.

XIII. Health Promotion Board (HPB)

The Health Promotion Board offers mid-term and full-term scholarships in a variety of disciplines.

Check full details on official page.

XIV. Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)

SIT scholarship is for those pursuing their first degree with SIT or its overseas university scholarship partners. 

Check full details on official page.

XV. Building and Construction Authority (BCA)

BCA scholarships are for those who want to have a rewarding career in the built environment sector. 

Check full details on official page.

XVI. JTC Corporation

If you want to pursue a career in any of the following fields, JTC scholarship is for you:

  • Engineering
  • Real Estate
  • Projects and Facilities Management
  • Architecture
  • Urban Planning
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Land Surveying
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Mass Communications
  • Accountancy
  • Human Resources Management

Check full details on official page.

XVII. Singapore Airlines ltd (SIA)

To have a fulfilling career in the engineering or management functions of Singapore Airlines, you should apply for the SIA scholarship. They consider all courses except Architecture, Biomedical, Biotechnology, Dentistry, Law, Medicine and Pharmacy.

Check full details on official page.

XVIII. Keppel Group

If you want to pursue engineering and have a fulfilling career in the offshore and marine industry, Keppel Group scholarship is for you.

Check full details on official page.


A Singapore scholarship is not just a path to higher education, it can unlock an opportunity of a lifetime. If you choose wisely, you get to become a high-valued professional, with some of the best organizations in the world.

However, know the limiting consequences of a scholarship too, such as inability to take risks in your late twenties or early thirties.

Either way, you are now fully equipped to make an informed decision.

PS: Securing a scholarship requires extraordinary grades in school. Get in touch with one of our expert tutors to ensure you make the cut.

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.