KUALA LUMPUR: SPM and STPM students can apply for the Star Education Fund 2003 scholarships based on their forecast results.
Fund secretary Ng Kok Wah said that a provisional offer would be made to successful applicants of the fund. “However, we will match the forecast results with their actual results and if they are similar, then the offer stands.”
This year, the fund is giving out 300 scholarships worth RM7mil from 35 educational institutions.
Staff from the fund held two talks during the Star Education Fair 2003 to inform students about the courses offered under the fund, eligibility, and the selection criteria.
Ng said that since its inception in 1994, the fund had given out scholarships worth RM25mil to 1,200 students.
“Although we look at a combination of factors including good academic results, socio-economic status, co-curricular activities and personal attributes, our primary aim is to help needy and deserving students.”
Ng said the scholarships only covered tuition fees; food and lodging were not included.
“As a scholarship recipient, you are expected to help out in college activities and to perform reasonably well academically,” he added.
“We will consider the reasons for non-performance but if they are not valid, the scholarship will be forfeited. The guarantor will be held liable for the scholarship amount.”
Ng reminded students not to take the scholarships for granted. “We want the awards to be fully taken up but if you are not serious and quit halfway you are depriving someone else who would have benefited.”
Fund executive Katherine Poh in her presentation told students not to follow the herd mentality when choosing a course.
“Don’t take up a course just because you have obtained a scholarship or because your best friend is doing it.
“Know your own strengths and interests and choose accordingly. Don’t follow your peers blindly.''
When choosing an institution, students should ensure that they visit it at least twice before making up their minds. “Make it a family affair and bring your parents along so that they are comfortable with your choice,'' she said.
She also highlighted the various courses available through the fund and asked students to consider the hospitality and tourism industry –the third biggest in Malaysia.
“However, be prepared to start from the bottom, even if you have a degree. What matters in the hospitality industry is experience.”
Poh advised students to look carefully at the course content and final year specialisations offered for degree programmes before making a choice.
All short-listed candidates are required to attend an interview. Poh told students not to be overly anxious about the interview as it was 'friendly’ in nature.
“There are several courtesies that should be observed when attending the interview.
“Dress smartly, get some background information about the college, listen carefully and be willing to discuss issues raised during the interview. Most importantly be yourself,” she said.