Watanabe Scholarship Frequently Asked Question

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Eligibility

Question: If I am currently studying in the United States as a degree-seeking student am I eligible to apply for the scholarship for the remaining years of my degree?

Answer: Yes, you are eligible to apply. However, if you are a degree-seeking student we can only award support for a single academic year (September-May). You may in the future apply for a renewal, but at this time, we are only awarding scholarships for a maximum of one academic year of study.

 

Question: If I am already receiving a scholarship, am I eligible to apply for and receive the Watanabe Scholarship? 

Answer: Yes, are eligible to apply for this scholarship if and only if your other scholarship(s) does not meet your full financial need. You cannot apply for this scholarship to exceed your cost of attendance.

 

Question: Is the Watanabe Scholarship limited only to students participating in an exchange program? 

Answer: No. This scholarship is NOT limited only to exchange programs. The following types of international study program types are eligible for the scholarship. 

 

Program Type

Definition

Direct Enrollment

Student directly enrolls in a foreign university as a temporary, non-degree seeking, international student. Student may select from the full range of courses for which they have the appropriate prerequisites and language abilities. Students must navigate administrative and academic procedures independently, utilizing on-campus offices at host institution. This is a situation where the student selects a school that is not an exchange partner of his home institution in Japan. 

Exchange Program

An exchange of students between two institutions through an inter-institutional exchange agreement. Students pay home institution tuition and are admitted as temporary, non-degree seekers at the foreign institution. This is like Direct enrollment, in that the student may select from the full catalog of courses at their host institution. 

Degree-seeking program

A student is attending a U.S. college/university for multiple years in order to earn an undergraduate or advanced degree as a fully matriculated international student. 

 

Question: Are only Japanese citizens eligible for this scholarship or can permanent residents also apply? 

Answer: This scholarship is open to both Japanese citizens and permanent residents.

 

Question: If I am going to the U.S. for graduate school, am I eligible to apply for the scholarship? 

Answer: Yes, you are eligible to apply. However, please note the scholarship is only for a maximum of one year of support. If you receive it for graduate school study, then you can reapply for a second or third year, however there is no guarantee that you will be awarded it again. 

 

 

Application Process

Question: When is the application period for this scholarship? 


Answer: We accept applications for the scholarship during the open period from January 3 to February 15, 2017.  

Question: How do I apply for the scholarship? 


Answer: You must apply for the scholarship using the online application portal, which is available here

 

Question: Do I apply for the scholarship directly or does my university in Japan have to nominate me?


Answer: The student must apply directly for the scholarship, submitting all their documentation via the online application portal by the February 15 deadline. University offices are NOT permitted to submit documents/applications on behalf of their students for this scholarship. 

 

Question: When and how will scholarship decisions be announced?

Answer: Applicants will be notified of scholarship decisions via email on April 1st, 2017.

 

Question: If I am reapplying for the scholarship, do I have to submit new application materials? 

Answer: Yes, you must submit a new application form, along with the most current documents and materials to complete an application for the current cycle. You CANNOT use materials previously submitted for the scholarship application. 

 

Supplementary Questions

 

Question: What information is included in the calculations as financial aid?


Answer: Financial aid refers to any funds you receive from an external entity that will be applied to the costs of your study abroad. These typically include loans, scholarships, gift money, etc.  

 

Question: What is the financial aid certification letter? Is there a required format? What information needs to be included?

Answer: The financial aid certification letter is a document that provides proof/certifies the costs of attendance and actual financial needs of the student for the study abroad term. You may find a template form of the letter here.

The letter must be signed and completed by the appropriate school official such as staff from the Financial Aid, Bursar or the International Study Office. 

 

Question: What is the study abroad certification letter? Is there a required format? What information needs to be included?

Answer:  The study abroad certification letter is document that gives proof/certifies that the applicant’s study abroad is a credit-eligible program and to confirm the information entered by the applicant in their application form (pg. 2). You may find a template form of the letter here. The letter must be signed and completed by the appropriate school official with knowledge of the applicant’s study abroad plans, such as staff from the International/Global Study Office.

 

Question: Is there a particular format for the recommendation letter?


Answer: There is no required format for the recommendation letter. The length and format is up to the applicant and their recommender. However, the recommendation should speak to this applicant’s strengths for pursuing studying abroad and why they are uniquely qualified to receive this scholarship. It must be completed in English.

 

Question: What is the format required for the resume? 

Answer: The resume must be written in English. While there is no specific format per se, the content of the resume should focus on your education, extracurricular activities, achievements, and leadership experience. Do NOT submit a Japanese-styled resume (rirekishou). You can perform a Google search for ‘resume’ to see examples of western-style resumes.   

 

Question: How do I calculate my financial need for this scholarship? 

Answer: Your financial need is calculated using the following formula. 

 

Total Estimated Cost of Attendance  ー  Amount of Financial Aid  =  Amount of Watanabe Request
$.00   $.00   $.00

 

SAMPLE CALCULATION EXAMPLES:

Student A **(CORRECT)**

Cost of Attendance (as reported by host university) $28,000

Sources and amount of financial aid: Tobitatte scholarship $11,000, JASSO loan

$10,000, and personal contributions from parents $3,000 Total aid: $14,000

Total Estimated Cost of Attendance  ー  Amount of Financial Aid  =  Amount of Watanabe Request
$28,000   $14,000   $14,000

 

Student A **(INCORRECT)**

Cost of Attendance (as reported by host university) $28,000

Sources and amount of financial aid: Tobitatte scholarship $11,000, JASSO loan

$10,000, and personal contributions from parents $3,000 Total aid: $24,000

Total Estimated Cost of Attendance  ー  Amount of Financial Aid  =  Amount of Watanabe Request
$28,000   $24,000   $4,000

 

**IMPORTANT NOTE** Because the Watanabe scholarship is meant to remove any financial burden a student faces for study abroad, if you are currently receiving a loan, we recommend that you include that amount in your Watanabe scholarship calculation and request. This is a scholarship, meaning it does NOT have to be repaid.

 

Question: Does applying for less money increase my chances of receiving this scholarship? 

Answer: No it does not. This is a full-need scholarship, the goal is to offer full financial support to students to study abroad. You should apply for the amount you need.

 

General Questions

 

Question: Can my organization or university post information about the Watanabe Scholarship on our website?

 

Answer: Yes, please share the information about this scholarship opportunity with your networks. However, please contact the Scholarship Team (watanabescholarship@usjapancouncil.org) and let them know where you are posting the information so that we can track the recruitment. 

 

Question: What is the average amount of the scholarship award and how many people will receive it this year? 

 

Answer: There is not a set amount for this scholarship award. As this scholarship seeks to meet the financial need of successful applicants, there is no set number of scholarships to be awarded. Do not let this discourage you!

 

Question: If selected, how will I receive the scholarship? 

 

Answer: The scholarship will be paid to an institution, not to an individual. 

 

Question: Will I have to repay the scholarship? 

 

Answer: This scholarship is NOT a loan. It is not something that must be repaid. 

 

Question: If I am receiving loans or other scholarships, can I include their amount in my calculation of my financial need for the Watanabe Scholarship.  

 

Answer: Yes, you may combine other scholarships with the Watanabe scholarship up to the full cost of attendance for your study abroad. 

 

Question: Is it possible to adjust the amount of my financial need at a later date if selected for this scholarship?

 

Answer: We understand that the amount submitted with the application is an estimate. Yes, it is possible to adjust the scholarship amount up until the scholarship is awarded. After a student has accepted the scholarship, and it has been disbursed, no adjustments can be made. It is the responsibility of the student to accurately estimate their financial needs for study abroad.  

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