Scholarships Bring Exceptional Student Talent to Campus
Ali Mohamed Ghazal, a computer engineering freshman and an Al Ghurair STEM Scholar, wants to “re-imagine the Arab community” using artificial intelligence and electronics. His mentors in the field of entrepreneurship include Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, people who fundamentally changed modes of communication and transportation, respectively.
“I have a rough sketch of my career path,” Ghazal said. “I believe that the Arab world needs a lot of business leaders who can solve and satisfy the urgent needs with solutions using available technology and knowledge we have acquired through our study.”
Ghazal joins more than 90 new students on campus with full-tuition scholarships after being selected among more than 14,000 other graduating high school students for the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education’s STEM Scholars program.
Ghazal is grateful to have joined AUC, where he could continue the STEM education he received at his high school in 6th of October. He described his high school experience as “three lively years full of fulfillment, failures and experiences.” At the boarding school, Ghazal reflected, students came up with their own innovative solutions to some of Egypt’s greatest challenges, including access to clean water and overpopulation, and Ghazal discovered his love for robotics and artificial intelligence. When it came time to apply for university, the Egyptian pound had just been floated, and the Alexandria native realized he wouldn’t be able to afford his dream of attending a top university.
“When I was in my senior year, I was stressing out about applying to colleges outside and inside Egypt but after the inflation of the economy, I had to reconsider my options,” he said. Then Ghazal found out -- with the help of his parents -- that he could get a scholarship to receive a high-quality, American-accredited education at AUC.
"I believe in the philosophy that we should only focus on the things we can control, Ghazal said. "I made every possible effort to win this chance and to stand out through the application of the Al Ghurair scholarship."
This academic year, AUC has allocated more than $23 million to student scholarships and financial assistance through more than 90 named scholarships supported by individuals and corporations. Such organizations include the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education and the A. Allehedan Endowed Scholarship and Scientific Research Fund. In addition, AUC is providing need-based financial aid to approximately 2,000 undergraduate students this fall. In fact, more than 45 percent of AUC students receive some form of financial assistance, according to Sohair Saad, executive director of the Office of Student Financial Affairs and Scholarships.
“AUC is committed to offering a wide range of scholarships to students to provide them with an education that empowers them to create positive change in Egypt and the world,” said Saad.
Ghazal's interest in electronics and artificial intelligence demonstrates the wide range of talents that AUC’s financial assistance brings in. The University’s 65 types of undergraduate scholarships range from need-based to athletic to artistic. AUC also offers five top students from Assiut, Beni Suef, Menya, Sohag and Fayoum governorates in Upper Egypt the opportunity to pursue an AUC undergraduate education in the major of their choice through the Empower Scholarship.
Additionally, the University's Public School Scholarship Fund (PSSF), which is partially supported through the contributions of corporations and individuals, has long been one of AUC’s most successful scholarship programs. PSSF scholarships provide annual funding to 20 new undergraduate students who have succeeded academically and have graduated from Egyptian public schools, but do not have the financial resources to attend AUC. Since its inception, PSSF has granted more than 380 students the opportunity to study at AUC, and more than 55 percent of those students graduated with distinction.
Since joining AUC, Ghazal has signed up for a community development club, started taking classes that challenge his thinking and joined the American football team, where he discovered skills that he never knew he had.
“Any other university may not have provided me with the same experience. The very best option was joining AUC,” Ghazal said.