Bridge Scholarship Program has been going on ten years, during which time it turned into an extensive scholarship system, under which 6 different scholarships are allocated. With such vast possibilities, you can apply for assistance at various stages of your career -starting college, or going abroad in the course of your studies on a scholarship. This help is very much real, and opportunities huge – so far on the implementation of the Program a total of almost PLN 78 million was earmarked, which allowed for the payment of more than 17,000 different scholarships.
Within the confines of the Bridge Scholarship System you can apply for the following scholarships:
Scholarships for first year of study (bridge scholarships) are awarded for the longest time, namely since 2002. Over the years, the number of segments in which you can apply for scholarships has changed. Since the seventh edition the Program has been implemented in two segments:
• Segment I is aimed at young people from families of former state-owned farm workers, high school graduates who, while studying in secondary schools participated in the final stage of subject olympiads , and current and former wards of state foster families and orphanages.
(Segment I, is a joint venture of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, the National Bank of Poland , PZU Foundation , BRE Bank Foundation, Jan Kanty Steczkowski Foundation, The Academy of Training and Competence).
• Segment II is targeted at graduates who have received the recommendation of local NGOs.
(This segment is a joint venture of the National Bank of Poland, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, the Rural Development Foundation and a coalition of local NGOs. NGOs with the support of the Rural Development Foundation finance 25% of the scholarship costs, the remaining 75% is financed by NBP and PAFF.)
In the course of twelve years over 12,500 bridge scholarships were granted, each of which, at the beginning was, PLN 3.800 and since 2009 it has amounted to PLN 5.000 and is payable in 10 monthly installments. So far the Founders have allocated a total of over PLN 58 million for this purpose.
Scholarships for the second year (Competition PRYMUS) are awarded for the second year of studies. Bridge scholarship holders (those who were included in the program during the I year of studies) with outstanding academic results can apply for this scholarship.
To apply it is necessary to participate in the contest PRYMUS.
Scholarship holders with the best academic outcome after the first year of college will be awarded scholarships for the second year amounting to PLN 5.000 (paid out in 10 monthly installments). In the eleven editions of the competition 3.167 scholarship holders were awarded scholarships within the confines of the Bridge Scholarship Program. The founder of the contest is the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, which has earmarked for this purpose PLN 13.1 million.
Scholarships for the III and IV year of studies (corporate) are awarded to the best students of III, IV years of I or II cycle studies at particular majors. One can apply for a scholarship participating in the contest for the highest GPA, in which the prize is an annual scholarship of PLN 5,000. Geremek scholarship is PLN 10, 000. In the eight editions of the competition 804 scholarships were awarded with a total value of PLN 3.6 million.
Corporate Scholarships are funded by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, BRE Bank Foundation, BGŻ Foundation the Orange Foundation (formerly TP Group Foundation) and PZU Foundation in cooperation with Professor Bronisław Geremek Foundation.
Doctoral Scholarships are targeted at classic bridge scholarship holders who began their doctoral studies. In 2008 PAFF scholarships were awarded for the first time (each amounts to PLN 18,000 per year). 10 scholarship holders were awarded these scholarships. The founder of PhD scholarships is the Polish-American Freedom Foundation. So far 70 scholarships were awarded and a total of PLN 1,8 million was allocated.national Bank Foundation awarded 8 scholarships in 2 editions of the Program and allocated PLN 200 thousand.
Language Scholarships are aimed at bridge scholarship holders willing to improve their command of the English language. So far 206 scholarships were awarded and they were funded by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation.
Scholarships in „Study Abroad” program are targeted at the best bridge scholarship holders, especially those particularly curious about the world. “Study Abroad” Program is designed for scholarship holders who were admitted to colleges abroad under the Erasmus program. So far, scholarships were awarded to 144 students who throughout a semester or the whole year studied at universities in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Holland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, Italy and Great Britain. The program is financed by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation.
International Internship Initiative is a paid summer internship offer aimed at the most ambitious students. Very good command of English and outstanding academic results are required to qualify for this program. The program offers from one to three-month internship in foreign companies.
An internship is financed by a company hosting an intern and the Polish-American Freedom Foundation. 59 students participated in three editions of the Program.
The beginning of studies is a big change, the first steps to independence and autonomy, which is why the Bridge Scholarship Program is an initiative needed and valued by young people. Eight years of the program have shown very clearly that the bridge scholarships are primarily an effective action for the advancement of education of young people from the areas and environments that require special support. This is confirmed by surveys conducted by the EEF among scholarship holders, which showed that the program found its way to ambitious, young people in difficult circumstances:
• For 40% of the scholarship holders the possibility of obtaining a scholarship seriously influenced their decision to continue studies at university;
• 36% of Bridge Scholarship holders achieves at least 4.0 GPA after the first year of studies,
• 90% of them achieved the same or better results during the second year,
• 80% graduated on time,
• 55% with good and very good academic results.
Bridge Scholarship Program has created an opportunity for scholarship holders to improve their living conditions and the quality of life in the future. The results of the research conducted among scholarship holders of the I edition of the program (graduates)show that financial resources earmarked for scholarships are not wasted, on the contrary, scholarship holders used the chance. It is worth investing in them, which justifies the sense of the whole Program.
Founders of scholarships:
Bridge Scholarship Program is a joint venture of the partners. It is a unique initiative for young people using the experience of many institutions and organizations. Cooperation between the Educational Enterprise Foundation and the Founders is based on carrying out a joint scholarship program and it is based on bilateral agreements.
The program is open to all who care about the educational advancement of young people from small towns and rural areas and who wish to join the initiative undertaken by us.
The program is financed by:
• Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF)
• National Bank of Poland (NBP),
• PZU Foundation,
• BRE Bank Foundation,
• Jan Kanty Steczkowski Foundation,
• Academy of Training and Competence
• Orange Foundation (formerly TP Group Foundation)
• Rural Development Foundation,
• Coalition of local non-governmental organizations gathered around the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy, Stefan Batory Foundation and organizations selected to participate in the Program through of the Diploma of Dreams.
The program is implemented in cooperation with the Agricultural Property Agency (APA).
The administrator of the Program is The Educational Enterprise Foundation (EEF) in Lodz, which on behalf of the founders and co-operating organizations manages the Program.
The media patrons are: Academic Forum, Perspective