Our study finds that scholarships for higher education are highly impactful, at the individual, community, and country levels.
For an individual, receiving a scholarship makes attending university possible. It means greater earning power, greater confidence and motivation, and a greater desire to influence other lives through leadership.
At the community level, we observe that most scholarship recipients want to give back and do so by volunteering. They want to change society for the better by pursuing careers in education, the government, and the social sector.
The aggregate effect for the country is human capital development, which drives economic growth. Scholarships also help offset increasing tuition costs across Asia and mitigate income inequality by making it possible for low-income students to attend university.
A single scholarship enhances 26 lives on average, including the scholar, her family, the students she mentors and leads, and the community members she volunteers for.
We also present a toolkit for enhancing the effectiveness of scholarship programs. The toolkit showcases both the "why" and "how" of setting clear goals, improving communication and engagement with scholars, and enhancing their employability and career success. These strategies can magnify the impact of scholarships for students, donors, and governments.