How do you choose your scholars?
We work with the University of the Philippines Diliman Office of Scholarships and Grants (previously known as UP OSSS). Given our criteria and number of available slots, they communicate directly to the relevant departments within the university to find applicants. Through a standard process followed with other grants, they take care of processing and assessing applications from enrolled students out of which eligible scholars are recommended to us.
Student applicants provide proof of their financial need, as well as other documents proving their enrollment with the university. Due to privacy reasons, the university do not allow external associations such as PeSSA to have a copy of such documents. Instead, we are provided a summary of the applicants’ financial situations and academic qualifications. We also recognize that UP OSG has the knowledge and experience in assessing the validity of the documents provided by the applicants.
How do you transfer donations to the scholars?
The funds raised by PeSSA from its activities are provided to the chosen students via UP OSG once every year, starting 2nd semester of AY 2018-2019. We transfer donations from PeSSA’s Swiss bank account to the university’s local bank account. UP OSG arranges the administrative tasks of transferring the allowance to the scholar’s bank account every semester. We do not donate money directly to individuals.
What is the criteria to become a PeSSA scholar?
At the moment we are focusing our efforts in supporting girls studying Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Their household income must not exceed PhP 300,000 per year (around CHF 5,800). We started our search with freshmen so that we can support them for their entire degree until graduation. The students must have a good academic standing, without any failed or incomplete grades, and must remain to be in order to continue enjoying the scholarships. They are also allowed to transfer once to other STEM-related courses.
To ensure the grantees’ continuous academic performance, PeSSA receives a report at the end of every semester about their eligibility for renewal for the next semester.
Do you have a target number of students to support every year?
We would like to support as many students as possible, but we are, as other non-profit associations, dependent on the funds we raise. At the moment, we have enough funds and commitment from sponsors to support our two grantees until their graduation. Our approach is to raise at least half of the funds a student needs for an entire degree before opening another application.
How much do PeSSA members take from the donations?
PeSSA members work for free and do not get any form of compensation. As a matter of fact, we are all sponsors and donate not only our time, but also our money to achieve our goals. Our expenses as an association are mainly cost of donation tokens, event expenses, bank account and money transfer fees.
Is it necessary to give tokens to donors instead of simply accepting their donations and giving everything to the students?
The tokens help us talk about our cause, and some people would like to have a small reminder of their act of giving. One can definitely donate without accepting any token and there’s always a few people who do exactly that every year.
If you have any questions which is not answered by this page, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in Basel and would like to know more how you can help, ping us and we can discuss over coffee 🙂