Bridge Scholarship Program was initiated in 2002 by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation in response to a serious social problem concerning huge disproportion in higher education accessibility for young people from the rural areas and cities.
Young people from rural areas, notably state-owned farms, comprise a scant percent of university students. A lot of young people do not even take into consideration going to university because of the poor financial situation of a household. Higher education is not available for them. It is impossible for them to cross higher education threshold.
The goal of the Bridge Scholarship Program is to support young people in overcoming this exceptionally troublesome barrier and enable them to pursue higher education by awarding grants to first-year students enrolled in full-time master’s courses. At the same time we assume that the prospect of receiving a grant upon enrollment in a college or university will provide an incentive for high school leavers meeting the criteria of our Program.
The Bridge Scholarship Program is targeted at first-year students enrolled in full-time master’s studies, two cycle master’s studies at any state university in Poland coming from rural areas or small towns (up to 20 thousand citizens), with low family income per capita meeting the eligibility criteria specified in the Regulations.
Candidates can apply for a scholarship of the Bridge Scholarship Program organized by the Educational Enterprise Foundation in four segments:
- Secondary school graduates from families of former state farm workers submit their applications in the segment IA.
- Secondary school graduates who, while at school, participated in the third stage of subject olympiads – segment IB.
- Current or former wards of foster families or care and education centers especially of socializing type (state children’s home) – segment IC.
- Secondary school graduates with a recommendation of one of the local non-governmental organizations cooperating with the Program – Segment II.
The scholarship amounts to PLN 5000 and is payable in 10 monthly instalments of PLN 500.
During the years the Bridge Scholarship Program has developed into one of the biggest scholarship programs in Poland offering not only scholarships for the first year of studies, but a continous support throughout the university education: