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QS Undergraduate Scholarship Winner 2021: Navya Mittal

By Niamh O

Updated September 20, 2021 Updated September 20, 2021

"One golden tip that always works with essay-writing and winning scholarships is definitely being one's own self. As cliche as it sounds, being yourself while writing essays makes the reader get to know and understand the real you," says Navya Mittal, the winner of the QS Undergraduate Scholarship 2021.

Attending university is a huge expense for students, with international students paying even more in tuition fees than domestic students to undertake their studies.

Scholarships, financial aid, and funding offer students’ additional monetary assistance should they need it to help with the expenses associated with higher education.

Navya Mittal, a student from India, will begin her studies by majoring in physics at Texas A&M University this year.

Navya won this year’s QS Undergraduate Scholarship (worth US$10,000). Topuniversities spoke with Navya to find out what the scholarship meant to her and her future studies.

How difficult was the scholarship process?

The essay topic for the scholarship was a little tricky and innovative as it talked about the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals laid down by the UN. It also required a lot of research about the life of the person and critical thinking to connect it to the SDGs.

How important are scholarships for education today? Especially as an international student? 

Most of the universities in the US are need-aware towards international students which makes it extremely tough for us to afford a decent education. Not only is the tuition much higher for us but also the funding opportunities are really less. Coming from a first-generation middle-class family, the scholarship really helped me pay my tuition as I was freed from taking an education loan this semester.

Would you have been able to go to school without the scholarship?

I would have to take an education loan for the semester to afford tuition.

Do you think there should be more scholarships available for students across universities? 

Yes, I definitely think that there should be more scholarships available for students as education is getting more expensive day by day. Universities should be need-blind towards everyone regarding where they come from and funding opportunities should be available for all.

Which other scholarships did you look at? And why did this appeal to you?

I looked at a lot of scholarships online through different websites and this one appealed the most to me because it had an intriguing essay topic. Unlike most other scholarships, it did not have eligibility restrictions for international students enabling me to apply for it. The scholarship also covers a decent portion of my Fall semester fees.

Did this scholarship help you earn a place at your chosen university?

Although I had already chosen my university by the time I got this scholarship, it made me more sure of my decision to enroll at Texas A&M.

How did you make the decision on this university?

Being someone who values traditions, ice creams in the hot weather, and groundbreaking research facilities, I knew A&M was a place I could call home. 

Have you thought ahead to what you’d like to do after graduation? And why this scholarship will help?

If this question was asked to the ten-year-old me I would definitely say go into space. If given a chance, I would still love to go to space and explore the universe. If not, I would be happy with research and data science. 

What advice would you give to fellow prospective students hoping to earn a scholarship?

One golden tip that always works with essay-writing and winning scholarships is definitely being one's own self. As cliche as it sounds, being yourself while writing essays makes the reader get to know and understand the real you. 

This article was originally published in September 2021 .

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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