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United States scholarships enable students to pursue their dreams

Islamabad, March 11, 2013 (PPI-OT): It is a familiar concern heard from students all over the world: “I’m smart and I know I can do great things, but how will I ever pay for university?” Wali Sultan from Daska in Punjab asked himself that question in 2010. Tragically, his father had passed away, and he worried he would not be able to stay in school.

“I had always dreamed of studying in a renowned university, but I had no clue about how I would be able to complete a Master’s degree and help support my family,” said Wali. Then Wali heard about the Merit and Need Based Scholarships offered by the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in cooperation with the Higher Education Commission (HEC). “I heard about USAID’s scholarship program, so, keeping hope, I applied,” said Wali.

Wali was accepted and received a full scholarship to study business administration at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad. He completed his studies and now works at Mobilink, a leading telecommunications company in Pakistan, as a Procurement Associate. “USAID truly came as a blessing in disguise and − with the grace of beloved Allah, my determination, prayers of my kind mother and financial support of USAID − I am now a Management graduate and lived and completed my dream,” said Wali. “Because of this scholarship, I have security for myself and for my family.”

The Merit and Need-Based Scholarship Program awards scholarships for university study to academically talented, financially needy Pakistani students. The program targets students going to government schools in rural or remote areas, especially in northern Sindh, Balochistan, southern Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Students can pursue study in agriculture (Master’s or Bachelor’s degrees) or Management at a partner Pakistani university.

The 11 partner universities are: Quaid-e-Azam, Islamabad, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur, Institute of Management Science, Peshawar, SZABIST, Karachi, BUITEMS, Quetta, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agriculture University, Peshawar, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, and Pir Mehr Ali Shah University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi.

More than 1,800 smart but economically disadvantaged Pakistani students have received Merit and Needs Based Scholarships under this program. Scholarships fund not only tuition, but also books, transportation, and other expenses associated with full-time study. More than 850 scholarship recipients have earned undergraduate and graduate degrees thus far. Most USAID Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship recipients have found a job within six months of completing their degrees.

The Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program is just one part of the comprehensive U.S. education assistance program for Pakistan, which includes building or rehabilitating more than 850 schools; launching new degree programs in education at 90 teacher colleges and universities; and operating the largest Fulbright academic exchange program in the world. To learn more about U.S. education initiatives in Pakistan, see: http://goo.gl/auHXF.

For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607
E-mail: webmasterisb@state.gov

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