The College Board, a US based educational non-profit, announced the launch of the College Board India Scholars Program at its India Global Higher Education Alliance Forum hosted at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mumbai on October 9. The Forum was a gathering of universities and secondary schools from across India and the world that focused on Indian university admissions and enrolment. Students who take the SAT and score highly will be recognised for their achievement, while low-income, high achieving students can earn full-tuition scholarships to Indian member universities of the Alliance.
On the occasion, Linda Liu, vice president, International at the College Board said, “We are pleased to partner with India Global Higher Education Alliance member universities in India to expand access for underprivileged students in the country. By accepting the SAT as an entrance exam, Alliance members will simplify the application process for students across India, and the associated fee reductions for testing and scholarships will make a high-quality undergraduate education a possibility for highachieving, low-income students throughout India.”
The three simple steps for students in India to qualify as a College Board India Scholar are:
Step 1: Take the SAT
To be considered as a College Board India Scholar, students simply need to take the SAT in grade 12. For the inaugural year, the October, December, and March exam scores will be used as qualifying exams for the Merit cum Means based scholarships. All SAT administrations will count as qualifying exams for subsequent years.
To ensure low-income students are able to sit for the SAT, the College Board has engaged Buddy4Study, India’s largest scholarship platform to distribute SAT fee reductions to low-income students across India. The reductions for year one of the programme will bring the test fees to ₹0 for students from families with annual household income less than ₹6,00,000. To apply for a fee reduction, students should visit www.buddy4study.com/collegeboard.
Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Meena Chintamaneni, registrar, NMIMS said, “A cornerstone of the Alliance is ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality education. Further, using the SAT as a common measure, with the possibility of fee reductions, inclusive education can now be a reality especially at premier institutions.”
Step 2: Earn “Top Performer” Status
All students in India who achieve above a score of 1350 (out of 1600) on the SAT will be designated as College Board India Top Performers every April. Top Performers will receive a communication via the email address provided during registration with further instructions on how to apply for the scholarship.
Step 3: Low-income “Top Performers” Apply to a participating member university of the India Global Higher Education Alliance.
Top performers from households that earn less than ₹4,00,000 per year may apply to be College Board India Scholars and earn full tuition scholarships to participating Alliance member universities in India.
Comments Sachin Jain, vice chancellor, Bennett University, “Bennett University firmly believes in using well-established national and international tests for admissions instead of conducting independent tests. Hence, partnering with College Board as a Founding Member of the India Global Higher Education Alliance to accept globally accepted SAT scores fits in nicely with our belief in helping Bennett University diversify the student intake. The recently launched College Board Scholars Program is a great initiative which will certainly help drive inclusiveness by providing merit-based scholarships to students from low-income groups.”
Selection of final recipients will be made by Alliance members by July of each year. Student must be offered admissions to the university, have demonstrated financial need, and ultimately enrol in an Alliance member university. The scholarships are only open to residents of India.
Dr. Sanjay Sancheti, vice chancellor, SRM Institute of Science and Technology said, “As a founding member of the Alliance, the College Board India Scholars Program is deeply important to our university. In addition to attracting students from across India and the world, we want to open our doors to students for whom a private university education may not otherwise be possible.”
The College Board India Scholars Program was announced at the one-day “India Global Higher Education Alliance Forum”. The convening brought together more than 100 leaders representing secondary schools, higher education institutions, and NGOs. The thought-provoking discussions focused on making the transition from secondary to higher education in India seamless for students, learning about practices used across the world to expand access and success in university, and examining the role of Indian universities in the internationalisation of higher education.
This signature event is part of the College Board India Global Higher Education Alliance which is a platform for achieving three primary goals:
- Building a community of innovative secondary and higher education leaders who will work to improve the transition for students to higher education in India
- Establishing a forum for sharing of global best practices to learn from what’s working in admissions around the world
- Taking concrete actions to help ensure that all students, regardless of income, geography or class, can access excellent higher education