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SMU partners local charity to help needy students

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Singapore Management University (SMU) will offer new grants and scholarships to ensure the tuition fees of financially needy Singporean undergraduates are fully covered throughout their studies.

The new initiative, SMU Access, is supported by a $8-million seed fund from local charity Quantedge Foundation, the university said yesterday.

Eligibility for the grant component of SMU Access is based solely on the student's household economic circumstances, such as per capita income and housing type.

The scholarship component, called the Quantedge Foundation Scholarship, will be given to 20 to 25 needy students with strong academic potential, conditional on them maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3 out of 4 each year.

There is no cap on the total number of beneficiaries of the grant component.

Both the scholarship and grant components are bond-free and are open to all eligible Singaporean students joining the university from August.

Though SMU has several bursaries for financially needy undergraduates, none offers full coverage of tuition fees.

SMU Access will be sustained with the help of government grants, SMU's funds, as well as gifts from external donors.

Recipients will receive up to $11,500 depending on their course and whether they have other bursaries. SMU Access will cover the shortfall of those who receive other bursaries.

Quantedge Foundation board member Suhaimi Zainul-Abidin said it is "happy to partner and support SMU... to guarantee financial aid to economically disadvantaged Singaporeans".

SMU president Professor Arnoud De Meyer said the initiative essentially guarantees that no eligible SMU student will have to eschew a university education for financial reasons.

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