February 9, 2015, Cairo – For the third year, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is offering five top students from Assiut, Beni Suef, Menya, Sohag and Fayoum governorates in Upper Egypt, next fall, the opportunity to pursue an AUC undergraduate education in the major of their choice through the Empower Scholarship. Empower is open to students from both public and private high schools who have demonstrated involvement in civil society or community service, as well as a history of academic excellence. "The scholarship represents a major investment by AUC in Egyptian youth from Upper Egypt who have high academic potential and are eager to serve their communities but need financial assistance to pursue their studies at AUC,” said Sohair Saad executive director of the Office of Student Financial Affairs and Scholarships. According to Saad, the scholarship is very selective, since only five students are selected out of more than 100 applicants. “In addition to academic excellence, selection is based on students' extracurricular activities, communication skills and cultural awareness. Short-listed candidates sit for an interview by a selection panel. Eight female students and seven male students have already received the scholarship in the past few years.”
Mohamed Ashraf, political science and anthropology student, recipient of Empower Scholarship, explains that the reason he applied for this scholarship is “to gain life experience from the civic engagement activities available. I want to play a role in ending illiteracy and improving education in Egypt.”
For Marina Wahba from Beni Suef governorate, an undeclared sophomore and recipient of Empower Scholarship, her work study experience, which is part of the scholarship, has been beneficial for planning her career. “The experience I got from working at the AUC Registrar cannot be described because I dealt with a career that is extremely different from my major and it helps me understand what human resources is about and how to organize the information I had about each student and revise them. I worked there to get an early kind of experience in different offices of administration not only for money. Indeed, money can be compensated, but building my career is like a stair with steps that I have to rise step by step.”
Empower Scholarship seeks to reach out to and select the best students who have traditionally lacked systematic access to an American higher education system to pursue their academic career at AUC. The program provides partial and full scholarships based on financial need assessment of selected candidates. Through high quality academic support, leadership development activities, and civic engagement opportunities, the program fosters professionalism, respect for human rights, and tolerance to enable the students to become globally competitive leaders and change agents.
AUC allocates 15 percent of its tuition income to provide AUC undergraduate students with a wide range of scholarships and financial aid to assist them in meeting the expenses of their education. The scholarships include the Public School Scholarship Fund (PSSF); Empower Scholarship; the Academic Achievement Scholarship; the Honors Scholarship; Innovation, Cultural and Leadership Scholarship; and Sports Achievement Scholarship.