Experts from top international schools in Singapore give the lowdown on everything scholarship-related: from what it takes to qualify to the different types of scholarships their schools offer and more...
Let’s face it: international school fees can cost quite a pretty penny, especially in Singapore. And after forking out the tuition fee, don’t forget about the application, enrolment or registration fees, building maintenance costs, extra-curriculars, exams… eek! Which brings us to the question – is there any way one could get around these fees – and still be able to enjoy all the perks of attending a world-class international school? Do international schools in Singapore actually offer scholarships? The answer: yes. If your child meets all the school’s prerequisites for potential scholars and passes the school’s selection process, they could try their luck at applying for a scholarship. Want to know more? Here, five experts from some of Singapore’s top international schools share what it takes to earn a scholarship.
“Dedication, passion and flair”
Melissa Maria, Principal, GIIS SMART Campus
“GIIS offers a wide range of scholarships for students in and outside of Singapore, including the Global Citizen Scholarship and 9GEMS Holistic Development Scholarship. In fact, it is one of the few schools to recognise talent beyond academics for choosing scholars. While selecting a scholar, the team looks into the dedication, passion and flair among the students who exhibit immense potential. The school believes in the policy of ‘no child left behind’ and selects deserving students whose talent would otherwise remain unnurtured in lack of a good platform.”
“The selected scholars receive concession on the tuition fee. Apart from the financial benefits, the scholarship offers them recognition and appreciation that motivates them to further develop their skills and make a mark for themselves. When our scholars graduate and apply for admission in the top universities, they enjoy an edge over other candidates. Many such scholars receive further scholarship as they have multiple achievements to show in their profile. In short, our scholarships connect the right talent with the right platform and help the deserving candidates.”
A success story from GIIS SMART Campus:
“Among our recent scholars is Kaveri Priya Putti, a Grade 12 student who has received Global Citizen Scholarship. Her education is 100% funded by GIIS. Since she is an international student, the school also covers the expenses for her boarding and lodging in Singapore. For Kaveri, the scholarship is just the right stepping stone to build the bright future she deserves. Because of her strength in STEM subjects, she wants to use her research abilities to delve into the field of Artificial Intelligence. Her latest achievement was her win at the SheHacks Hackathon, conducted by GirlsInTech at Google Asia Pacific HQ, Singapore, where the app designed by her – ‘LABO – Breadwinners of Tomorrow’ – received the best Technical Innovation award at the Hackathon.”
“Strength in one or more areas of the arts, technology, humanities, mathematics, science, languages or sport; and readiness to undertake service learning contributing to the school and local community.”
Zoe Hancock, Director of Admissions and Marketing, Dover Court International School
“Dover Court International School (DCIS) will be welcoming the sixth cohort of IB students in August 2022, and we’re delighted to be offering partial scholarships for this two-year programme. The IBDP is an academically challenging yet well-balanced programme, with final examinations that prepare students for university life and beyond. As part of the Nord Anglia Education, our school and IBDP students benefit from the unparalleled opportunities gained from being part of a larger network of schools, including our unique Global Campus programme, and with curricula enhanced by collaborations with Juilliard, MIT, and UNICEF.
“The IBDP Scholarship programme is open to both existing and prospective students of DCIS. The candidate should possess strong academic ability, excellent academic proficiency in English, and demonstrate strength in one or more areas of the arts, technology, humanities, mathematics, science, languages or sports. They should also show readiness to undertake service learning contributing to the school and the local community. Successful partial scholarship recipients will have their tuition fee discounted by up to 50% for the course duration.
A success story from DCIS:
“We are happy to share that one of our DCIS scholars and 2021 graduate, Shravana, has earned an unconditional offer and a merit-based scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston.”
Shravana says: “Attending Berklee College of Music has been my dream since I was 13 years old. The college offers its students so many opportunities, it is one of the most reputable colleges for contemporary music, and it boasts some really well-known alumni. I will be completing a Music degree there. My teachers at Dover Court have all been incredibly supportive, but I would particularly like to thank Ms Jones. I couldn’t have done it without her; she has guided me through the application process and throughout my IB Music. I also feel that Dover Court has provided me with so many opportunities to make me into the person I am today. I am so grateful to all the staff here.”
“High standards of excellence in their contribution to their award specialism, have a consistently purposeful approach to school life and be a great role model”
Jan Stipek, Secondary Years Principal, XCL World Academy (formerly known as GEMS World Academy Singapore)
“XCL World Academy (formerly known as GEMS World Academy Singapore)offers full and partial tuition scholarships for students who display outstanding ability, motivation and attitude across a range of disciplines. Scholarship award holders are expected to demonstrate high standards of excellence in their contribution to their award specialism, have a consistently purposeful approach to school life and be a great role model. Key characteristics to set a scholarship applicant apart from other candidates are individuality, determination, leadership skills, compassion and commitment to others.”
“All applications go through a rigorous selection process. In order to apply for a scholarship, students must first submit an application for a specific type of scholarship together with a personal statement that describes their accomplishments and goals, accompanied by other evidence of excelling in the chosen scholarship area. The scholarship committee reviews the strength of each application against a set of criteria and shortlisted applicants are invited for a personal interview with the scholarship committee.”
A success story from XCL World Academy (formerly known as GEMS World Academy Singapore):
“We are very proud of our scholarship students and their achievements. One of our scholarship students is leading the Student Council. Another student initiated and hosted a week-long Innovation Challenge at XCL World Academy (formerly known as GEMS World Academy Singapore) and a few students took the initiative to organise TEDx Youth conferences on campus. Finally, our scholarship students have
also been able to capitalise on their scholarship achievements when applying to universities – we now have scholarship graduates who have been accepted to universities such as McGill in Montreal, Canada.”
“Students with outstanding academic results, good leadership skills and demonstrated alignment with OWIS values can apply for OWIS’ scholarship programme.”
Jasween Gill, Admissions and Communications Director at One World International School
“At One World International School, we provide a world class education at an affordable cost. We have a multicultural community of students, with over 70 nationalities represented on campus, with various interests and backgrounds. With this in mind, One World International School (OWIS) offers a tuition scholarship programme for secondary students who demonstrate academic excellence. Students who are eligible for this scholarship will be able to attend OWIS during the 2020-2021 academic year for up to 50% less than the standard tuition fee.”
“Applicants to OWIS’ scholarship programme can be from any nationality, holding a valid Dependent Pass or Student Pass, or a Singapore Permanent Resident. Students with outstanding academic results, good leadership skills and demonstrated alignment with OWIS values can apply for OWIS’ scholarship programme. Scholarship recipients will be chosen after an assessment and interview process.”
“We are happy to share that Jiou-An (Joanne) who is a Grade 10 student at OWIS, received an OWIS scholarship last year and has done extremely well in school and otherwise. She is a house captain at OWIS and won a Start-up Camp Entrepreneurship award along with her team recently. Joanne loves reading Chinese literature novels, plays basketball, swims regularly and draws cartoon characters which she uses in team presentations. As the eldest child at home, she likes to take care of her younger siblings and is a natural leader.”
“Young school leaders who can demonstrate excellent quality of mind, enthusiastic participation in non-academic activities, positive personal qualities and strong communication abilities”
Maria Ciola, Director of Advancement, Communications and Admissions, SJI International
“Through the Scholarship Programme, we seek to provide an opportunity for outstanding students from low-income families to access high-quality education SJI International provides. We are thus looking for young school leaders who can demonstrate excellent quality of mind, enthusiastic participation in non-academic activities, positive personal qualities and strong communication abilities.
“We are looking for students who have completed their sec 3 (Grade 9/Year 10) for the 3-year scholarship. For the two-year scholarship, we are looking for students who are on course to achieve 12 points or less in O-Levels (based on preliminary results) or IGCSE equivalent. All applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be invited for testing. The scholarship test will consist of a Maths, English and an Aptitude Test. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited in for a panel interview.”
A success story from SJI International:
“Class of 2016 student Victoria Lim took part in the award-winning Canadian educational programme called Students On Ice in 2018, joining more than 100 youths from 16 other places, including Ecuador and Micronesia, on a 16-day expedition to the Arctic to witness climate change where it is most apparent. Her trip was sponsored by the SJII NYAA Council in Singapore – her prize for being the HSBC-NYAA Youth Environmental Award winner in 2017.”
Victoria says: “Coming to SJI International has given me the ammunition to find my footing and purpose in life. I am truly grateful to the school and the donors for granting me this opportunity to learn and grow in this school. Even long after I leave, I know I will continue to hold SJI International close to my heart forever.”