Introduction to USAID-Funded Merit and Need-Based Scholarships Program
USAID has shown its commitment to support the program of scholarship for academically qualified Pakistani students, who aspire to continue higher studies, but due to lack of financial resources are unable to continue. It has supported scholarships for meritorious but financially disadvantaged students since 2004 through USAID-funded Merit and Need-Based Scholarships Program (MNBSP) Phase-I to assist the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to raise enrolment in Pakistani universities and meet international standards. Phase-I of the program at a cost of US$ $10.63 million was implemented in 11 top public and private universities of Pakistan and 1,807 scholarships were given in fields of Agriculture and Business only. Many of the graduates of this initial phase of MNBSP (Phase-I) were the first in their families to complete a higher education degree and nearly half now support their families through respectable jobs.
In 2013, USAID launched second phase of the program at a total estimated cost of US$23.1 million. Under Phase-II, 3000 scholarships are added whereas 50 percent of the scholarships are reserved for the female students. In addition to eleven existing partner universities, 19 additional public sector institutions are also included, bringing the total to 30 partner universities across Pakistan. To emphasize on girls’ education, four female universities i.e. Lahore College for Women University, Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women Quetta, and Shaheed Benzair Bhutto Women University Peshawar have also been included under the program. Overall, ten universities from Punjab, five from Khyber Pakthukhwa, three from Balochistan, four from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), six from Sindh, one from Gilgit- Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir are implementing MNBSP Phase-II making it a nationwide program.
New disciplines such as Engineering and Technology, Medicine, Nursing and Social Sciences have also been included under the gamut of the program. New component of Phase-II is the Capacity Building Trainings and Workshops, which has been incorporated to enhance and build capacity of the officials of the participating institutions and HEC for the operational and financial management of MNBSP. Selected students under the program are also trained through career path workshops to prepare them for future job challenges and make them aware of market trends. The program also works on strengthening its alumni network.
- Be eligible to secure admission as per university requirements in a respective degree program covered under this scholarship scheme
- Secure a new admission in an offered degree program at a participating University / Institution
- The candidate must demonstrate financial need as per criteria
What does the scholarship cover?
The USAID-Funded Merit and Need-Based Scholarship program covers funds for the following expenses:
- Tuition Fee
- Boarding & Lodging
- Other Academic Costs
HOW TO APPLY
- Deserving students can apply for scholarship on http://eportal.hec.gov.pk
- Application forms are also available at the respective University’s Financial Aid Office.
Completed forms along with the necessary documents will be submitted to the same Financial aid Office, HEC will NOT accept any application form directly.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD PROCESS
- The applications of all potential candidates are reviewed by the Institutional Scholarship Award Committee (ISAC). The committee is headed by the Vice Chancellor of the participating institution, along with members from the institution as well as external members. This is done to ensure impartiality and transparency.
- The ISAC recommends potential candidates to the HEC Scholarship Management Committee (SMC). The committee includes top Executives of HEC, representatives from the participating institutions, and eminent scholars. The SMC undertakes a thorough review before approving eligible cases.
- After finalization of awardees’ list, the participating institutions will forward the funds to the selected students.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING UNIVERSITIES
To download USAID-funded Merit and Need-based Scholarships program User Manual (Step by Step Guide for Students), Click Here