Upakar Foundation is accepting applications for college scholarships

Deadline is April 30.

By The American Bazaar Staff

WASHINGTON, DC: The Upakar Foundation has announced that applications for its 2014 scholarships are now available online, and must be submitted by the end of April.

The Upakar Foundation is an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged Indian American youth pay for college. Starting last year, the foundation has been offering two distinct scholarships: the Upakar General Scholarship, intended for students going to any type of college or university in the US, and the Upakar Community College Scholarship, which awards money to those going specifically to smaller-scale community schools.

The criteria for eligibility are as follows: applicants must have at least one parent born in India (or have been born there themselves), be either a US citizen or a Permanent Resident (a.k.a. a “green card” holder), have a total family income of less than $75,000 in 2013, and must be planning to enroll as a full-time college student beginning in the fall of 2014.

Both scholarships require that applicants have a cumulative, unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.3 out of 4.0. The General Scholarship awards $2,000 per year for four years, while the Community College Scholarship awards $500 per year for the first two years, and then $2,000 per year for the remaining two years.

The Upakar Foundation awards one scholarship per 15 applications that they received, according to their own statistics, meaning that the acceptance rate is roughly 6.7%. Since its inception in 1997, the Upakar Foundation has awarded 123 scholarships to Indian American youth struggling financially – 95% of those awarded the scholarship eventually graduate from their respective colleges, making them Upakar Scholars.

The Upakar Foundation was founded in the Washington, DC-metro area in an effort to debunk the stereotype that Indian-American students do not need financial aid because all their parents make enough money – roughly one in 12 Indian-American families makes less than $23,000, which is the current poverty line in the US for a family of four.

Interested parties are asked to apply at www.upakarfoundation.org; applications are due by April 30.

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