Government scholarships only available on-line

| 17/12/2013

(CNS): As government makes a push towards the long promised e-services for the public sector, it is starting in earnest with scholarship applications. Starting tomorrow, students applying for local or overseas scholarships from the government will now have to make their application online. Officials from the education ministry have said that they will not accept applications via any other means for the next academic year. The Scholarship Secretariat said changes to the application system take effect Wednesday, 18 December and they have directed applicants to the Education Council Scholarships Online Programme launched in February last year.

In a release to the mediaon Tuesday morning, the secretariat said the online programme streamlines the process for both applicants and administrators and allowed students to track the progress of their application.

Following the recent controversy of students receiving Nation Building Fund grants, some of which were more than three times the amount of normal government scholarships, officials re-confirmed that the Education Council is the only body to which students can apply for public money to study, since it has taken over the NBF grants and reduced them in line with the $20,000 given to all other qualified students.

The scholarship site also lists the range of various local and overseas tertiary scholarships that are available from the Education Council and include the RBC Harry Chisholm Scholarship, the Gwen Bush Memorial Scholarship, the MACI (Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands) Scholarship as well as the standard overseas and local scholarships. Students were also asked to pay special attention to the academic requirements for each type of scholarship as well as the supporting documentation required as these may all differ.

Changes to application dates are effective immediately, the officials said.

“All qualified applicants for overseas scholarships will be required to apply online at the Education Council Scholarships Online Programme, December 18, 2013 to February 15, 2014. All qualified applicants for local scholarships will also be required to apply online, however these applications will only be received March 1 to April 30, 2014. No applications will be accepted other than through the online application programme and only during the periods noted,” the release stated.

Deirdre Seymour, Manager of the Scholarship Secretariat, explained the reasoning for the changes to the system.

“The changes have been introduced to improve the efficiency and tracking of the application process for the benefit of the applicant and separating the dates for overseas and local scholarships enables more efficient processing as well,” she said.

Applicants can access the online programme here or by visiting the Education Ministry website, selecting the “Education” tab, then clicking on "Scholarships".

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  1. Anon says:

    Baby Steps….

    Considering how many major blunders have been highlighted with CIG funding for education one would think that the method of application would be the least of their worries.

    Lets prioritise and fix the biggies then we can sweat the small stuff like streamlining the application process.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear CIG,

    Spending our money on foreign high schools so someone can play basketball is not good use of funds.



  3. Anonymous says:

    Consider guaranteed ( by CIG) student loans instead.  This could be merit based.  CIG could carry the option to waive the loan depending on circumstances.  Why should not those who find lucrative employment (post college) not have to pay a penny back?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe we can rack up a trillion dollar debt, forever indenture the future of the poor, increase the wealth gap, and laugh all the way to the bank. Brilliant.



    • Anonymous says:

      Somebody needs to teach the poor the best they can expect is handouts from charities or taking out loans. Either way, the additional stress will always make sure the rich always have a advantage.  Pick up your broom and bow down to the elite. 

  4. Hear, hear - says:

    Step ijn the right direction.  Now make residency a requirement too.  Too much money has gone to overseas children who have not even resided here for the past five years (but have status through their parents)

    Another KEY application note must be financial statements and parental salary history. – again, go back 5 years… Scholarships based on grades need to be based on grades and test scores, period.  For aid to other studients we need to be sure that this is not a gravy train while parents buy a new BMW and we pay for their children's college.  Need base needs to be confirmed.

    Scholarships in other countries are an honor and earned.  We seem to treat them as a right which is wrong,  Raise the bar, not lower the expectations.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought these were all already requirements, are you telling me thet student that don't live in Cayman or one that had failing grade actually got money ?

      • Anonymous says:

        If your Daddy is politically connected and naybe knows too much then you are also eligible.  There are secret pages for this on the online form.  Apparently.

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand the principle of a means based system but legally at 18 the parent's aren't responsible for paying for further education.  Imagine a scenario where a student is estranged from their parents and wants to go to college, do you deny them funding just because the parents they no longer have contact with, earned over X dollars?

      The only way to do this is to attach that debt to the student for repayment, the costs associated would likely be quite high in recovering the funds. Not impossible, just high.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are correct that parents aren't legally obligated to pay for further education after a child turns 18, but if they still maintain parental responsibility for that child (e.g. the child still lives with his/her parents and they pay for food and clothing, etc) then their "means" should be included in the means that are tested to provide need-based financial aid.

        If the student is actually estranged or emancipated from his/her parents then only his/her income and assets willbe considered in a means testing. I applied for need-based financial aid when I was in University and you list your parents'/guardians' income and assets only if you have parent(s)/guardian(s) who are legally/financially responsible for you.

        Proof needs to be provided (e.g. emancipation declaration, statements to the effect that the person no longer holds parental responsibility) in order to prevent this sytem from being abused (i.e. everyone saying their parents aren't responsible for them to get more money, but then their parents still do support them financially in other ways), but to be honest this is also quite rare.

        In general, a means test only considers the "means" of the person(s) who are directly responsible for financiallt maintaining the individual, which can sometimes be only the student himself/herself but is most often the student and his/her parents. To make a comparison, if the student's grandparents or aunt and uncle are very rich, their "means" would not be included because they do not have parents responsibility for the individual.

        A need-based financial aid system can be made very fair and reasonable.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well I hope they fix all their errors on that system by the time them poor students have to go online and apply! Because this isn't the first year they had the online registration. Last time they tried to use it and it had so many problems you had to just take in the hard copy…