Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM – 2018
CHAIR: Dr. Aftab A. Ansari, 7129 Chilton Court, Clarksville, MD 21029
DIRECTORS OF SUBCOMMITTEES
Administration – Dr. S. Rafat Husain
Mentorship – Dr. A. Abdullah
Feeder Program – Dr. R. Raziuddin
Fund Raising – Mrs. Shakeela Raza
Investment – Dr. Aftab A. Ansari
Student Selection – Dr. Aamir Ahmad
Oversight & Planning – Dr. Hashima Hasan
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SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS & SUMMARY
We continued to support students through our two major and revered programs: the AMU Scholarship program at AMU, and the Feeder/Coaching program for schools all over India; in addition, we supported students through a third program: encouraging students to apply for available Indian Government scholarships.
272 AMU scholarships in 2017 (an increase of 8 scholarships from previous year)
Over 2,800 AMU scholarships since year 1976
Helped educate: doctors, tibs (Unani Medicine Doctors), dentists, nurses, scientists, engineers, computer scientists, lawyers, economists, teachers, IT professional, etc.
25 units of schools and coaching centers in various cities
700 students in 2017
Over 5,000 students since 2008
Through our India Scholarship program, we disseminated information and encouraged and helped thousands of students to apply for available Indian scholarships.
In 2017, the total amount spent on these programs was $49,000 ($27k for AMU Scholarship, $22k for Feeder, and $200 for India Scholarships.
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM DETAILS
The Association runs three scholarship programs: (1) AMU Scholarships awarded to students at AMU to partially defray educational expenses; (2) Feeder Program / Coaching Guidance Centers supporting students in grades 5 to 12 throughout India; and (3) Assistance to secure available Indian scholarships.
While all three programs are supported by donations, the AMU scholarships are endowed and are awarded from investment income of the endowment, whereas the other two programs are not endowed and are run from the donation collected each year. The AMU scholarship program selects students based on merit-cum-means (60:40 weight) and other special criteria specified by donors; the Feeder/Coaching programs target schools that will benefit mostly economically challenged students who exhibit educational promise. The AMU scholarship program is focused at AMU only; the Feeder/Coaching programs are ever expanding to various cities throughout India.
DECISIONS: All decisions about establishing policies and procedures, as well as changing them, are made through a collective decision-making process involving the Scholarship Committee and AAA’s Board of Trustees (BOT). This process ensures uniformity throughout the Association and involvement of senior, experienced people in the running of the program, as well as in maintaining the trust of the community, the owner of the scholarship program.
TRANSPARTENCY: Besides reporting to the US IRS every year, we maintain transparency by reporting: donations collected, investments made, incomes generated, amounts spent, a full list of scholarship applicants received, awardees selected, award process, award criteria, etc. To our donors we also send information about the students selected to receive their endowed scholarships. We also send an annual report like this one to our benefactors and members.
1. AMU SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
This is the oldest of the three scholarship programs having begun in the nineteen seventies, although the program picked up more speed in the late nineteen eighties.
OBJECTIVE: To make higher education affordable to talented students from economically disadvantaged families.
SCOPE: The Association awards two types of AMU scholarships:
- Designated Scholarship: A donation of $3,000 or more ensures establishment of a lifetime, individual scholarship of Rs 6,000 per year (increased from Rs 5,000 per year in 2013). The donor specifies terms and conditions of the scholarship.
- Al Beiruni Scholarships are awarded out of a fund that is a pool of small donations. These are also individual, lifetime scholarships of Rs 6,000 per year (increased from Rs 5,000 per year in 2013).
Both types of scholarships are awarded from investment income of scholarship funds.
The principal sums endowed remain intact: in fact, they have grown over time.
The entire sum donated (minus overhead expense of less than 5%) is invested and used for scholarship purposes.
Selection of candidates is based on both merit and means.
Recipients are guaranteed the scholarship if they continue their studies at the AMU and perform well academically.
All donations are tax-exempt in the USA.
HOW THE AWARDEES ARE SELECTED: The Muslim Social Uplift Society, MSUS, in Aligarh manages our AMU Scholarship program locally: advertises the scholarships at AMU, invites and receives applications from candidates, collects and compiles appropriate information for each applicant and electronically transmits it to the Scholarship Committee in Washington. The committee generates a composite index score (CI) based on merit (60%) and means (40%) for each applicant. Based on CI and taking into consideration donor’s specifications, it recommends a preliminary award list to the Board of Trustees (BOT) that makes the final selection of awardees.
SUCCESS RATE: We receive over two thousand applications, but can award only about 10% of them. More funds are needed.
FUNDING: The program is fully funded by donations from alumni and well-wishers.
A one-time donation of at least US $3,000 establishes a lifetime endowed scholarship.
Smaller donations are pooled together, and for every sum of $3,000 a new Al Beiruni lifetime scholarship is instituted.
While donations are accepted throughout the year, the Association also organizes a major once-a-year fund-raising event.
All donations are tax-exempt in the USA.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Application deadlines are usually in August-September and are announced by MSUS in the solicitation for applications. Awards are typically announced in November through MSUS, SultanJahan Manzil, Shamshad Market, AMU, Aligarh.
2. FEEDER / COACHING CENTERS
This program started in 2008. Since then over 5,000 students have benefited all over India.
OBJECTIVE: To provide free education to very poor, talented Muslim children at a minimal expense.
SCOPE: The Association manages two programs: Feeder Schools, and Coaching Centers.
- A. Feeder: Rs.250/ student/month — 20 students/ school/ district – Grades 5th -12th. Total: Rs. 50,000/ school/year.
- B. Coaching Center– coaching of 50-75 students from Grades 8th- 12th, after school hours. Total: Rs. 100,000/ Center/ year.
OPERATION: Stipend on 6-monthly progress evaluation basis –a six-monthly Progress Report.
A local Alig, or a teacher/manager of a school, or a social activist in a particular district is the In-charge of a district institution (or Unit). In addition, a member (or a close associate) of Aligarh Alumni Association Washington DC is the Lead Contact of each of those Units.
Under this “Feeder/ Coaching Center” Project – currently, we are providing free education to about 1000 students in schools spread across many districts/states of India: UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kashmir, Assam, W. Bengal, and Karnataka. Presently we manage 16 Feeder institutions (Units) and 9 Coaching Centers, spending approximately Rs. 12 Lakhs ($20,000) annually.
FUNDING: Funds are raised at an annual fundraising event of the Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC, which is typically held at a Ramadan iftaar, and through a yearlong campaign. Your Zakat money, your regular / any other form of donations, charity, etc. – all are critical in financing these Educational Projects for these most needy Muslim children.
Checks should be written to: “Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC”— for “Feeder/Coaching Centers”, and mailed to the Association’s address; for those who are in India, Middle East, elsewhere and want to contribute through their Indian Bank account in Indian Rupees, donations in Rupees can be made and deposited in our State Bank of India (SBI) account in Aligarh, India — please ask us for the SBI Account number.
CURRENT UPDATE: The Aligarh Alumni Association Washington DC is proud to support the following schools / coaching centers: (see the attached Table at the end).
3. INDIAN GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIPS
This program started in 2013 for AAA. Our role is to: compile list, disseminate information, and provide assistance. Millions of rupees are announced in scholarships for minority students, but their information and access remains a problem for the Muslim minority. Our goals are to: (a) compile scholarship lists; (b) dissipate scholarship information among Muslim populations; and (c) provide assistance in the application process for the scholarships. We encourage our partners (MSUS and all Feeder institutions) to disseminate information as well as help students. This program is expected to have the maximum benefit with minimum investment. We hope our partners in India will help disseminate information and help students in applying and securing the available scholarships. The following is a list of scholarships.
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION
The Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA), Washington DC, founded in 1975, is a non-political, non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable, educational, social, and cultural organization for non-alumni and alumni of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, India. The Association takes interest in affairs of the University, runs a scholarship program to help meritorious students from low income families, and organizes social, literary, and cultural programs. The aims and objectives of the Association are to: (i) help AMU and its student body through scholarship and other programs; (ii) develop and strengthen a sense of community by organizing social projects and events in the Washington DC area; and (iii) promote cultural awareness through cultural and literary activities.