SAIIER 2016:Scholarship and Educational Fund

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Learning to Learn Independently
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Classroom Micro Projects
Scholarship and Educational Fund


Introduction

The Scholarship and Educational Fund (SEF) was established in 2008 to provide financial assistance to Aurovilians seeking educational opportunities outside of Auroville, including O and A level exam fees. Financial assistance is provided in the form of interest-free loans, repayable once the recipient begins to earn an income.

Activities of the year

During the 2015-2016 financial year (April 2015-March 2016), 61 loans were disbursed to 39 Aurovilians (some received more than 1 installment).

Outcomes

39 Aurovilians received financial assistance to pursue educational opportunities. Of these 39, 26 pursued college or university level studies, with 2 travelling abroad to study and 24 pursuing opportunities in India. 13 students received assistance to complete O and A level exams at Future School.

Reflections

  1. SEF grants loans primarily on a financial need basis. Academic merit is also considered, but as a secondary measure. The group is learning that it is often difficult to gauge financial need – particularly in the Auroville context. This is something that has to be looked at.
  2. A large proportion of applicants this last year were granted some amount of what they requested. Very few applicants were rejected entirely, and no applicant received the full amount requested. The SEF team is considering how this furthers its goals, and whether another approach wouldn’t work better - for example, by granting funds to fewer applicants, each to a more complete extent.
  3. With the PCG funding channel now exhausted, SEF will have to explore new fundraising channels if it is to maintain the current level of funding.

Conclusion

The SEF helped many Auroville youth pursue educational opportunities this last year, and since it was established. The team will look at some of its policies and processes in the coming months in order to improve their functioning and the way that they provide this assistance, with the goal of helping in as significant a manner as possible.