Project Duration: December 2008 – November 2011. 

The objective of SFAS is to provide financial assistance to meritorious and economically disadvantaged students with special focus on females and disadvantaged caste/ethnicity groups by giving them higher weights in the selection procedure through proxy means testing (PMT).

The scheme also has a secondary purpose: it is hoped that the Scheme, if successful, will act as an exemplar in a range of ways – providing encouragement to financial institutions and policy makers to consider seriously further proposals for student financing packages that include a loan element alongside other forms of assistance. It is hoped that it will be possible to build on the strengths of this small program and possibly extending the availability of this form of student financing to a larger number of students.

This scheme includes financial assistance to students in the form of grants and loans. The maximum amount of scholarships as grant available to bachelor’s students for the entire duration of study is Rs 40,000, whereas for higher secondary students the amount is Rs 16,000. Students also need to make some amount of equity contribution based on their historical spending on education during the last three years of study. Work-study program is also designed as mandatory to assist students in getting part-time jobs during the study period, but it does not guarantee a job. The work-study program is mandatory for higher education students, and higher secondary students living away from their homes.  Students may borrow from commercial banks participating in the program to meet the remaining funding gap but they will have to pay all outstanding loans before graduation. The participating banks will be required to lend up to Rs 10,000 per student without collateral.