Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty-one outstanding high school students from Lebanon and Syria, and 16 from Afghanistan, have decided to join the ranks of the best and the brightest at the American University of Beirut (AUB), and to receive their tuition-free undergraduate university education.
“It is a privilege and a pleasure for the American University of Beirut to welcome this cadre of extraordinarily accomplished students," commented Dr. Fadlo Khuri, AUB president. “We are fully committed to these meritorious students, as we will always be to all of our students." He added, “Our AUB students are not only the best and brightest students of the region, but just as importantly, they represent the best hope for a better tomorrow for the peoples of Lebanon, the region and the world."
Although students benefiting from this grant are selected strictly based on their exceptionally superb academic performance, and not because of any financial need, the majority do come from public schools and disadvantaged communities. “I feel privileged to witness AUB, through its leadership, supporting a lot of talented and gifted students from less privileged societies from Lebanon and beyond and view the transformative change in their lives, immediate families and their surroundings," commented Dr. Salim Kanaan, director of Admissions and of the Financial Aid Office at AUB.
Sixteen of these students granted full scholarships at AUB are joining the university under the Lebanese Baccalaureate Merit Scholarships Program. They are among the top 30 across Lebanon who obtained the highest five scores in each of the Lebanese Baccalaureate (grade 12) divisions - economics and sociology, life sciences, general sciences, and humanities.
The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Lebanon had awarded each of these students a grant of LL10 million per year and the option to enroll in any university, private or public, in Lebanon to complete their undergraduate studies in any field of their choice. Following a cooperation agreement signed between AUB and CNRS in 2006, AUB will award any remaining amount of the tuition to the top Lebanese Baccalaureate students choosing to study at the university, in addition to offering AUB lodging or a stipend to cover transportation.
Another two top-notch students receiving AUB full grants this academic year have obtained a score above 20/20 in the French Baccalaureate exams in Lebanon. The remaining three outstanding students receiving AUB full-ride scholarships are Syrian nationals who received acceptance and full scholarships to some of the world's top universities, and eventually chose to pursue their education at AUB.
“We are proud of these high-achieving students, and at the same time these students should be proud of joining one of the most prestigious universities in Lebanon and the MENA region," commented Dr. Mohamed Harajli, AUB provost. “AUB has always been striving to attract the best students from the country, the region, and beyond. The core of AUB's mission and one of the major goals of the current administration is to make education affordable to bright students, regardless of their socio-economic or geographic background."
In addition to the Lebanese and Syrian scholars, 16 Afghan female students will be joining AUB as freshman students for the newly established scholarship program “Education for Leadership in Crisis," funded by the US Department of State - Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Kabul. The students were selected following a rigorous process of outreach and recruitment that took place across 23 provinces in Afghanistan. They have excellent academic records and display huge potential to take a leading role in the future of Afghanistan.
Student financial assistance programs at AUB
AUB offers a variety of scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs to assist able and qualified students who meet the university's academic criteria, so that they can pursue quality education regardless of any financial barriers. These programs support undergraduate and graduate students from different nationalities, including Lebanese, based on both academic merit and financial need. They are made possible through donations as well as institutional funding.
These programs include the University Scholarship Program (USP) supported by USAID which offers over 50 scholarships per year, US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) which offers over 30 comprehensive scholarships per year, Mastercard Foundation offering 180 scholarships over six years, and the Abdulla Al-Ghurair STEM Scholars Program which have awarded 87 comprehensive scholarships to date. The total financial support awarded in academic year 2017–18 by these scholarship programs amounted to $13.3 million, which includes about 22.5 percent cost-share by AUB.
In the same academic year, AUB's Office of Financial Aid awarded $32 million to 3,495 students representing 80% of financial aid applicants and close to 44% of the overall undergraduate student population. These awards ranged between 15 to 100 percent of tuition with an average of 33 percent. In addition, around $3.75 million in student loans was paid in the same year to 459 students, by banks which have signed an agreement with AUB, and 70 students received US Direct Loans amounting to $800,000 through US federal financial aid. Moreover, up to 44 percent of AUB's graduate student population is on graduate assistantships. Graduate master's students are also eligible to benefit from financial aid support up to a maximum of a 20 percent tuition fee waiver. All PhD students receive full support in the form of fellowships which cover all tuition fees in addition to a monthly stipend.
More information on AUB financial aid and scholarship programs is available on this link http://bit.ly/AUBOfficeofFinancialAid