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Masters Success Story - Journalism


Sundas Zahra

I applied for Fulbright in 2016, and made it to interview, but not through that. I wanted to start my graduate studies in 2017. Many people advised me to apply again, and assured I will make through it , but I did not want to, its not to say others should not. Well, I applied initially to 4 colleges only for journalism and then later on a friend told me to apply to two more places that are known for journalism and give generous scholarships too given you meet the merit. The universities I initially applied to, were top colleges but they give very minimal or no scholarships. Well, I was pretty scared as my GRE and TOEFL were just average: 305 and 100. I was confident about my statements though. I was anxiously waiting for the results. I was so excited when I got my acceptance at Syracuse with $10,000 scholarship. Then I got another one from CUNY but they don't give scholarships. Well, I was happy but worried as Syracuse costs around $60K just for tuition. Then I got my acceptance from USC with $22,500 scholarship, and I was very happy as it is one of my top priority colleges located in downtown LA , but even with the scholarship, it was not affordable. Its cost for 9 month program is $80K including everything. Well, while I was worried about all my expenses an making calls and emails to check my financial aid options, Ohio Uni emailed me with a pleasant surprise of a Full tuition waiver and a very generous stipend against RA/TA-ship enough to cover my housing. Well, the choice was obvious but I did not want to go to a small town, as its a journalism program and I always wanted to do my graduate studies in a city like NYC, but calculating the living cost and everything else, and after taking advise from my professors and some knowledgeable people, I chose Ohio. Well I also got email from HMKW Hochschule für Medien, Kommunikation und Wirtschaft

University of Applied Sciences(Berlin, Germany), and Emerson college in Boston  with acceptances and Emerson also offered a scholarship offer of $15,000. Well, I can't deny in spite of pretending to be unaffected in front of family, I was very upset about the rejection after interview. Failing one step before destination is sometimes even harder. I now think it was a necessary fall. The whole process made me stronger, and also I will have a year's time legally to gain work experience as well. My mamma and I have been praying intensely. Meditation/Praying and never giving up on your dreams always lands you among the stars, if not the moon. Alhamdolilah

An advise for everyone:

I was always a silent observer on Scholar Den, and I don't like posting on such big groups but I observed it’s a very helpful community. I was always answered by mentors and always got linked to relevant people. I am thankful to them and all who guided and encouraged me, JazakAllah!

Also, keep working on what you want to achieve and surround your self with positive people who encourage you, and discard the words of those who have negative influence on your life and if possible, discard them from your life. If you believe you can do it, keep holding on to that believe, it might take some time and failure but believer and hard workers are never disappointed. Also on a lighter note,  "A's before Bae's.