The American University in Cairo (AUC) re-allocated up to $5 million Emergency Tuition Grant Program from the current budget to alleviate the impact of the Egyptian pound floatation on tuition. Following the decision to float the Egyptian pound in early November, AUC President Francis J. Ricciardone emphasized the University’s commitment to ensuring that no current student will be forced to drop out of AUC as a result of an inability to pay the tuition fees. The Board of Trustees also authorized, in November, an emergency budget re-allocation of about $1 million to cover all those who had been unable to make their final tuition payments for the fall semester, fixing the payment of the deferred fall semester installment at the pre-float exchange rate of LE 8.88 to the dollar. Tuition at AUC is expressed 50 percent in Egyptian pounds and 50 percent in U.S. dollars. For Egyptian students, the total amount of the tuition may be paid in either currency or in both.“This re-allocation in USD will protect the families of the students, regardless of fluctuations in value of the EGP vs. USD,” said Ricciardone. He explained that while the University sympathizes with and fully understands what the floatation means for everyone budgeting in pounds, the basis for all support by AUC must be an assessment of need. “We at AUC understand and address this situation as a true emergency for Egypt, not only for AUC," he said. "AUC has stood with Egypt through past emergencies, from wars to revolutions, as well as economic crises. Just as Egypt has proven its resilience, so has AUC.”
In the first week since the opening of applications for the new emergency scholarships, more than 850 students have applied. The University also held community briefing and hands-on sessions informing students and parents of the detailed process and timeline of the new grant program and how to apply. Sohair Saad, executive director of the Office of Financial Affairs and Scholarships, noted that the new program is for full-time students with a GPA of 2.0 who demonstrate financial need, and is a separate — and additional — budget from the financial aid many students are currently receiving. While applications for the emergency scholarships are voluntary, the approximately 1,700 AUC families who are already enrolled in financial assistance programs will be automatically considered for the emergency funds, unless any of them do not want that.
AUC offers more than 80 named scholarships supported by individuals and corporations.
In the 2016- 2017 academic year, AUC has offered 55 types of undergraduate scholarships covered by the University and/or external individuals and corporations in order to assist students in meeting the expenses of their education. AUC offers full-tuition scholarships to more than 240 undergraduate students, and more than 50 percent of students receive financial assistance from the University. In addition, AUC awards approximately $24 million annually in scholarships, fellowships and financial aid.
The Public School Scholarship Fund (PSSF) has been one of AUC’s most successful scholarship programs. It offers full-tuition scholarships each year for 20 public school students to study at AUC. Since its inception in 1990, the PSSF has graduated more than 230 students –– more than 75 percent with honors –– who have demonstrated exceptional academic potential and who come from different corners of Egypt, including Cairo, Fayoum, Zagazig, Bani Suef and Shebin El Kom.
The University has also offered seven new scholarships this academic year to students who excel in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) including Al Ghurair STEM Scholars Program, supporting talented Egyptian and Arab students to pursue their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in any STEM majors offered at AUC and El Sewedy Electric Scholarship Fund that supports for two undergraduate students in Electronic Engineering.
This year, The Egyptian Refining Company Public School Scholarship supports one undergraduate student from a public school in Matareya, Khosos or Shark Shubra El Kheima (Mostorod) who demonstrates financial need. Also this year, the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship Fund supports ten students from the far corners of Egypt who demonstrate financial need, while in the field of business administration the Egyptian Gulf Bank Public School Scholarship supports one student in business administration.
AUC offers scholarships targeting students who excel not only academically, but also in other areas such as artistic talent, cultural activities and athletic achievement. These scholarships include Mohamed Ragheb Scholarship in the Arts at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Wadi Degla Endowed Scholarship for student athletes.
In addition to scholarships, AUC assists students through financial aid and the work-study program, as well as more than 40 fellowships for outstanding master’s and PhD students covering a diverse range of fields, from biotechnology and business to Egyptology and education.