This is a guest post from my friend Tuğba who is a merit-based scholarship holder in Politecnico di Milano. So, I asked her to kindly tell her experience from the first hand so to give most accurate information. If you are interested, you can also have a look at How to Study Master in Italy as an International, and another scholarship: Invest Your Talent in Italy. Here she explains her merit-based scholarship from Polimi:
Each university has its merit-based scholarships. Politecnico di Milano has three types called Platinum, Gold, and Silver. For more details and the latest information, you should refer to the PoliMi website.
As a Platinum merit-based scholarship holder, I, Tuğba Sarı, would like to share with you my experience in a couple of lines.
How do you apply to Merit Based Scholarship in Politecnico di Milano?
I got my acceptance letter from PoliMi in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology course in January 2019 to start my two-year master’s degree in the Academic Years of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. The letter stated that if my documents are complete, I will be automatically considered for the scholarships. Later, I got a notification e-mail in March 2019 saying that I was awarded a Platinum scholarship. To accept the scholarship offer, I had two weeks to decide and pay the one-time non-refundable administrative fee of about 170€. I was also waiting for other acceptance letters and some news of scholarships from several other universities in Europe.
Even if I hadn’t made up my mind yet, I paid the fee, thinking that worst-case scenario, I would only lose 170€, but the scholarship offered by Politecnico was too good to be thrown away. So, at this point, I would suggest awarded students pay the fee to guarantee their scholarship in Politecnico.
How much financial aid is given to the scholarship holder students?
Concerning the awarded students admitted to the academic year of 2019-2020, the Platinum scholarship offer included 10,000€ gross per year, tuition fee waiver, and single room accommodation in residence called Camplus Lambrate. On the other hand, for gold scholarship holders, the offer was 5,000€ gross per year, accommodation in a double room at Camplus Lambrate. The amount of yearly rent was paid directly by the Politecnico di Milano to the residence, and students did not have to do anything; the remaining amount after the scholarship was given to students as pocket money after taxation. How much the remaining amount will be was not communicated to us until we received the total payment. The platinum scholarship was paid in 3 installments; one in December, one in April, and the last one in July. The remaining amount was around 4800€. Gold scholarship holders only received about 250€ pocket money in December.
Knowing that I did not have to search for accommodation as an international student coming to Milan for the first time was quite relaxing. Especially after having heard how tricky it is to find suitable accommodation in Milan. However, staying in a student residence might not be for everybody since it brings along many rules, whereas if you have a room in a flat you are more independent. However, the scholarship did not offer the option to refuse the accommodation provided by PoliMi and instead receive all the awarded money in cash. It led to all merit-based students accepting the given accommodation.
Either the school must have received some negative feedback regarding this kind of obligation to stay in the given residence or just decided to change the policy. They are no longer offering the scholarship including the residence, but they provide cash for both platinum and gold scholarship students. The scholarship offer and how many scholarships will be offered every year are changing year by year. So, I strongly suggest prospective students refer to the latest information provided by the Politecnico di Milano website.
How to renew the merit-based scholarship at Politecnico di Milano?
After having successfully achieved the requirements that are communicated to awarded students at the beginning of the academic year, the scholarship is automatically renewed for the second year. The requirements might also change every year. As a platinum scholarship holder, I had to gain a total of 1000 points in the first year. 1000 points resulted from the weighted average obtained in the examinations taken, multiplied by the number of ECTS credits obtained during the Academic Year. For instance, your average grade at the end of the first year is 25/30, and you got this average by successfully passing 60 ECTS credits of courses, you have a total point of 25×60=1500. As you can see, it is not very difficult to obtain. On the other hand, for gold scholarship holders, the required total point was 700, which is even easier to get.
How to get the merit-based scholarship?
During my studies, I have received this question the most. How did you get this scholarship? Did you have a GPA of 4.0 in your bachelor’s? The answer is NO. My GPA was 3.8/4.0; I know it is still a good GPA, but as you can see, GPA is not everything to get this scholarship. I worked so hard on my motivation letter, and it was three pages long. It was clearly mentioning why I choose PoliMi and this program, what are my strengths to overcome the difficulties I might face here in PoliMi, how my background matches with the program offered by Politecnico di Milano, my academic achievements in detail, which research groups I would consider working in. I submitted three reference letters by merging them into one pdf. The reference letters were written of course by professors who know me very well and did projects with both in my university or for an internship. One reference letter was from my supervisor, who supervised me during my internship in an R&D company, so not necessarily a professor. I also heard that the reputation of your graduating university has an influence as well. Altogether I think they made a difference, and my application was considered for this merit-based scholarship for the committee.
Once again, I suggest all prospective scholarship holders to read carefully the information provided by PoliMi on the webpage since the requirements and offer might change every year. If you have any inquiry I would be happy to answer your questions. You can reach me via e-mail: email@example.com