Scholarship Guide | From SRK to Sonu Sood, Disney, Top 7 Grants Offered by Celebrities for Higher Studies-Inspire To Hire

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Studying abroad can be financially challenging for many meritorious students who often opt out due to the expensive course fee, visa charges, accommodation and food expenses. Therefore, scholarships help many to pursue their dreams.

News18 ‘Scholarship Guide’ brings the best and most prestigious grants for Indian students to study abroad, with most of them covering flight tickets, accommodation and course fee; and some also providing stipend.

Shah Rukh Khan, late Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam, investor and philanthropist Bill Gates and investor Bruce K Lee among other celebrities have scholarships and financial aids in their name for students who are looking to pursue their dream in the fields of medicine, science and technology and research.

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“When a scholarship is associated with a well-known celebrity who possesses a positive or admirable image, it can attract a massive amount of attention and publicity. Such endorsements not only raise awareness about the scholarship but also imbue it with a sense of credibility and desirability, encouraging more students to apply and pursue their educational dreams,” said Anirudh Motwani, co-founder & CEO, CollegeSearch, — an online portal for students to search for the college.

News18 brings you the top seven scholarships being offered by the celebrities to help you pursue higher studies.

Shah Rukh Khan

Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s charity organisation offers scholarships to women who want to pursue PhD in Australia’s LaTrobe University. As part of the scholarship, the beneficiaries receive a travel allowance of $ AUD 3,000 and a three-and-half-year grant worth $ AUD 32,500.

Who can apply: Indian women interested in pursuing PhD in LaTrobe University can apply for the scholarship. Applicant needs to hold a master’s degree, an Indian citizen and have a high level of academic achievement, which is equivalent of 70 or above score as per LaTrobe’s university degree standards.

Selection Procedure: The candidates will first have to submit an expression of interest. The shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview. Candidates will also be assessed based on their application.

Where to apply:

Abdul Kalam Scholarship

Several scholarships are funded under the name of former president of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, including Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Award, bestowed by the National Innovation Foundation, Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National Fellowship given by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB). Not just national, many international fellowships are offered in Kalam’s name including Presidential Abdul Kalam PG fellowship by the University of South Florida, Dr Abdul Kalam International Undergraduate Scholarship by the University of Sydney amongst others.

Who are eligible: Students interested in science and technology, innovation can apply. The scholarships are offered at different levels of education and a formal preceding degree in the field is also a must.

Selection Procedure: Most of these scholarships are based on marks, however, holistic profiles of students are assessed. Before applying students need to check the respective university website.

Where to apply: While the application process and details of scholarships will be available at respective university or institute websites, students can also refer to for details.

Sonu Sood

Named after actor Sonu Sood’s mother, Prof Saroj Sood, the scholarship is aimed at supporting students to continue their higher education. The scholarship is only valid for partnered universities, namely Buddha University and Desh Bhagat University. Under the scholarship, 100% tuition fee is waived.

Who is eligible: Students who match the course related admission eligibility can apply for the scholarship, however, priority will be given to students who have lost their parents or earning family members during Covid.

Selection Procedure: This is a need-based scholarship, however, a student’s overall portfolio is also taken into consideration. Students also need to be able to secure a seat at the partner university to avail the scholarship.

Where to apply:

David Geffen Medical Scholarship

American businessman and producer David Geffen offers financial aid to students who want to study medicine in the US-based colleges. This support is also extended to foreign students. The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) offers scholarships, grants, and loans to students.

Eligibility: This is a need-based grant. Students need to prove a financial need. Only those who have been enrolled in a medical degree and are not a defaulter of educational loan can apply. After gaining the scholarship too, students need to meet ‘cumulative Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards’ to continue aid.

Selection procedure: Students will have to provide financial details including family/spouse support, and tax returns. Candidates will also be adjudged based on their academic records.

Where to apply:

Indira Gandhi Scholarship

The scholarship is offered by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to support single girl child to pursue postgraduate courses while promoting smaller families to shatter the notion of having a male child. The Post Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child compensates direct costs of girl education to all levels especially for such girls who happen to be the only child in their family. Candidates will get a monthly stipend of Rs 3,100 per month.

Who can apply: Girls who do not have any brother or sister or those who are twin daughters or fraternal daughters can apply for the scholarship. The girl should not be over 30 years at the time of admission in the PG courses.

Selection procedure: Candidates who have a full-time PG admission in a recognised college or university and meet the required conditions can apply.

Where to apply:

GATES Scholarships

The Gates Scholarship (TGS) aims at helping students from minority, low-income households to pursue higher education. This is a competitive scholarship and students with high academic performance are shortlisted. Scholarship covers funding for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and transportation, and may include other personal costs.

Who can apply: Students having a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale can apply, however, an ideal student needs to have ‘outstanding academic record’ implying they need to be in the top 10% of their class.

Selection Procedure: Students will be shortlisted based on academics and overall personality. Students need to demonstrate the leadership ability including participation in the community service, extracurricular. Students need to have personal success skills including emotional maturity, motivation and perseverance. Shortlisted students are called for interviews.

Where to apply:

Bruce Lee

Founder and CEO of Keebeck Wealth Management, Bruce K Lee offers Bruce K. Lee College Scholarship. The scholarship offers $1,000 each to 10 winners every year. A total of $10,000 is devoted towards higher education.

Eligibility: Students who have cleared high school and have been accepted in a college or university or a trade school or a design school, or those who have just enrolled can apply for the same

Selection: Candidates will be shortlisted based on their profiles and an essay. They have to write about a personal hardship or catastrophic life event that they experienced and how did they manage to overcome the obstacle? What did they learn and how did you grow from it?

Where to apply:

Corporation Grants

Apart from celebrities, many corporations and brands are offering financial support to students including Tata Educational Grants, Microsoft computer science scholarship, Disney Super Fan Scholarship, Reliance UG, PG scholarships, L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowship amongst many others.

In the recent times, there has been a notable surge in the availability of scholarships and grants for Indian students, reflecting a growing commitment towards education and skill development.

Renowned organisations such as the Sitaram Jindal Foundation and the Smile Foundation among others are actively contributing to this trend by offering financial aid to the deserving candidates.

“These scholarships open doors for higher education alongside empowering disadvantaged groups, fostering meritocracy and encouraging excellence. Furthermore, there is a growing focus on skill enhancement programmes, preparing students for the demands of various industries. Overall, the upward trajectory of educational funding holds the promise for increasing equal access for Indian students and promotes inclusive growth and socio-economic development,” said Motwani.

Word of Caution

Motwani warned that students should “engage in extensive research about the scholarship from multiple reliable sources. Look for feedback and experiences from past recipients to gauge the legitimacy and effectiveness of the programme. Rely on the official websites and well-known organisations when seeking a grant. Established institutions are more likely to offer trustworthy opportunities, reducing the risk of falling victim to scholarship frauds.”

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