Full-time Singaporean undergraduates from low-income households to have NUS tuition fees fully covered

Additional financial support for living expenses, on-campus stay and overseas programmes for students who need more help

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Starting from the new academic year commencing in August 2022, full-time Singaporean undergraduates enrolled in the National University of Singapore (NUS) will have their tuition fees fully covered if they are from households with Per Capita Income (PCI) of up to S$1,000. The University will top up the existing Government Bursary to fully fund tuition fees for these students.

In addition, full-time Singaporean undergraduates at NUS who are from households whose PCI does not exceed S$690 will receive additional financial support for living expenses, on-campus stay and overseas exposure.

To do this, the University plans to set aside an additional funding of S$15 million per year to strengthen financial assistance for Singaporean undergraduate students who are from families with PCI not exceeding S$1,000. Both incoming and existing Singaporean full-time undergraduate students who meet the PCI criteria are eligible for the enhanced financial aid.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “Education is a driver for social mobility, and NUS has helped transform the lives of generations of students since our founding. It is a role we take very seriously. We are committed to providing a transformative educational experience for every NUS student, regardless of their financial background.”

He added, “While students from low-income backgrounds may already receive financial assistance from various sources, the funding they receive may not cover all of their university costs. Some students may also shy away from study abroad as well as residential programmes due to financial constraints.

The new Enhanced Financial Aid Scheme will fill the financial gap for students who are most in need of support. It provides additional funding to Singaporean students from low-income backgrounds on two fronts: by fully funding tuition fees and covering part of their living expenses; and enabling access to a more well-rounded and richer university experience that would include an on-campus stay and overseas exposure. We are grateful that some donors have come forward to help the University to realise this important initiative. We hope more will support us.”

About 3,300 Singaporean undergraduate students from low-income backgrounds are expected to benefit from the University’s latest enhancement of its financial assistance for students.

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Empowered by financial aid

Read more about how her bursary enabled NUS Arts and Social Sciences alumna Ms Melanis Tai to chase her dreams - representing Singapore in an international pageant, going on exchange to Sydney and interning in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Find out about the eligibility criteria of the Scheme and other financial aid avenues.

Contribute to the NUS legacy of giving by supporting the Enhanced Financial Aid Scheme.

Ms Melanis Tai, a financial aid beneficiary who had recently graduated from NUS Arts and Social Sciences, said, “Financial aid has really helped me as an NUS student - I had more time to focus and excel in my studies, and the bursary also covered part of my expenses during my Student Exchange Programme to the University of Sydney. With more financial support, current and future batches of NUS students with a similar background as myself will not need to worry about their tuition fees. They could also enjoy studying at partner universities across the world or stay on campus to experience the vibrant NUS student life, without much financial stress.” 

“Education often opens doors to opportunities and success. And college is often seen as such a door of opportunity for those from a humble background. Some find it difficult to pay for tuition, much less for hostel and overseas exchange. With the Enhanced Financial Aid Scheme, more students will have equitable access to such opportunities,” said Mr Lee Yat Bun, President of the NUS Students’ Union.

The University is raising philanthropic support to build an endowment to provide sustainable funding for this new initiative. Several donors have pledged their support, including Quantedge Foundation, the philanthropic arm of a local fund management firm Quantedge Capital, as an anchor donor. 

Quantedge Foundation Board member Mr Suhaimi Zainul-Abidin said, “Social mobility is a key priority for our foundation. It is key to building a dynamic and cohesive society – one where our young have a fair shot at achieving their full potential and a reason to be optimistic about the future.

We share NUS’ belief that education is a powerful social leveller and that every student who qualifies, by merit, to attend university should not pass up on the opportunity to do so due to their financial situation.

We are excited to seed-fund NUS’ game-changing initiative to guarantee full funding of tuition fees and defray the costs of living expenses and overseas programmes for all Singaporean students with demonstrated financial need. This NUS guarantee assures prospective students of a rich, diverse and transformational university experience. This is a major step forward in our continuing push for all deserving Singaporeans to have access to a truly need-blind university education across all autonomous universities in Singapore.” 

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NUS President Prof Tan Eng Chye (left) with Quantedge Foundation Board member Mr Suhaimi Zainul-Abidin (centre) and NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost Prof Ho Teck Hua (right)
 

Full coverage of tuition fees for full-time Singaporean undergraduates from households with PCI ≤ S$1,000

NUS will expand its financial aid for full-time Singaporean undergraduate students from households with PCI not exceeding S$1,000. These students will receive a higher quantum from the NUS Bursary to top up the existing Government Bursary for full coverage of tuition fees.

Additional financial support for full-time Singaporean undergraduates from households with PCI ≤ S$690

Singaporean undergraduate students from households whose PCI does not exceed S$690 will receive S$4,000 from the NUS Bursary to cover living expenses. The newly established Opportunity Enhancement Grant will also provide S$10,000 over four years to top up existing financial aid available for on-campus stay and overseas programmes.

Comprehensive range of financial assistance for eligible full-time NUS undergraduates

NUS will continue to provide a comprehensive range of financial aid for students, in the form of loans, bursaries, grants, work-study scheme, and more.

This story was first published on 8 February 2022 on NUS News. Click here for more NUS News stories.