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Cayman Parent | Articles | Expert Advice | A Successful Approach to Scholarship Strategy | Part III

A Successful Approach to Scholarship Strategy | Part III

Undergraduate Application Process

The application form for an overseas scholarship is not unduly onerous. Applicants must apply online and a number of documents must be uploaded with your online application. These include:

  • your completed scholarship application form
  • your medical certificate
  • academic/character references
  • official high school or college transcripts
  • a passport photo
  • a personal statement
  • a cover letter
  • a degree plan outlining the courses to be taken throughout your programme of study
  • a letter of acceptance on your chosen course (and any transfer of credits where this is applicable)
  • an Excel spreadsheet with all the costs outlined (tuition, housing, meals, flights, books, etc.)
  • your birth certificate along with your Right to be Caymanian/Status Certificate

 

It is worth noting that the Scholarship Secretariat wants to know that you have looked into your course in great detail. They want to know exactly what modules you will be studying each year and whether there are any specific A Levels (like Maths) that you need to have taken to get into your chosen course.

In the overseas scholarship application process there is a mandatory interview for short-listed undergraduate applicants. That interview includes at least two professionals in the field that the student wants to study at undergraduate level. The interview is to determine if the student is ready to undertake the study and whether they understand how they will apply their degree to a job. The panel of interviewers will then score the candidate and then give their recommendations on whether the student is ready, whether they understand the field that they are going to study and whether their university of choice is applicable. Some students choose a university because of a family attachment or because the university itself has been a popular choice with other students, rather than because of the course they can take or whether it is the best university for the subject they want to study.

Your parent’s ability to assist financially will be taken into account for all scholarships, and a ‘Declaration of Income and Expenses’ for all sureties will be required to be submitted. You will then have to sign a student bond with your surety if you are awarded a scholarship committing you to a) successfully completing your proposed studies and b) then working in the Cayman Islands for a specific period of time after your studies finish. Having a surety is now only required if the student is under the age of 18; as of September 2018, all students over the age of 18 must stand as their own surety. If you fail to meet either of these two requirements you will have to repay all the scholarship funds that you have received. Having said that, you have a 12-month window in which you should return to Cayman after your degree finishes, or you can apply to the Council for an extension to your return date.


Scholarship Recipients

Hear from two Ministry of Tourism scholars:

ALEX WATLER, 2014

“It is an honour to be one of the few recipients to be given the opportunity to pursue a tourism related degree. With the assistance from the Ministry of Tourism, I was able to acquire a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in aircraft maintenance and engineering from the University of South Wales. This journey has allowed me to advance to the position of a Sr. Aircraft Mechanic with our national airline carrier, Cayman Airways. As a former scholar, my gratitude for the support of the Ministry has further driven my interest in aviation.”

 


HANNAH PERALTA, 2015

“Being awarded the scholarship from the Ministry of Tourism allowed me to successfully undertake an undergraduate degree in hospitality at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am beyond grateful for the support of the Minister of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism, and its wonderful staff for the scholarship opportunity. Without it, pursing my higher education studies would not have been possible.”

 


Tracking Undergraduate Scholarship Expenses

Each semester students must go through a detailed submission process for their scholarship funds to be continued, and in the process they must submit a detailed grade and transcript record, along with receipts of how the money they received was spent. All the paperwork will then be reviewed in great detail. The Scholarship Secretariat reviews the student’s expenditures to ensure that they were applied towards agreed fees/expenses, and then they review the student’s performance and grades. Only after this review is it determined whether the next disbursement of funding can be released. In addition to the Ministry of Education’s scholarships, students can also apply for a private sector scholarship as long as both scholarships do not exceed their total costs.

Although the process of getting a scholarship may seem overwhelming, the Secretariat must have a way of measuring that a student’s performance is within the requirements set by the Education Council. They also require the students to go through a costing procedure. Each student must fill in a spreadsheet which automatically tables their expenses and identifies the different costs which they should be thinking about (tuition, room and board, food, dorm supplies, school supplies, books, utilities, transportation at university, flights home, etc.).

Masters & PhD Scholarships

To be considered for a scholarship for a Masters or PhD, students must have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or an Upper Second Class Degree (2:1) in their most recent degree. They must also have had work experience that is relevant to the course they have chosen to study. Those studying for a Master’s Degree can get up to CI$25,000 per year for two years, and those studying for a PhD can get up to CI$75,000 over three to five years.

Private Scholarships

There are numerous private scholarships available in the Cayman Islands and on successful application these can be combined with a government scholarship. The amount available annually varies, but the large law and accounting firms offer from US$20,000–US$30,000 per year.

You will usually be required to work for the firm in your summer holidays and on completion of your degree. A list of the 2020/21 ‘Other Available Scholarships’ can be found on www.education.gov.ky under the scholarship tab.


Don’t miss it!

We have more scholarship information in our Part I and Part II articles.

 
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