Winning financial support for a child to attend one of Hong Kong’s prestigious international schools is a dream scenario for countless Hong Kong families. Likewise, schools view scholarships as a means to attract the best and brightest talent to their campuses, and to create opportunities for those who might otherwise be unable to enjoy the fruits of a world-class private education. Scholarships can also promote a more culturally diverse student cohort.
The American School Hong Kong (ASHK) launched their well-reputed scholarship program in 2016 and views it as a type of service. “As a non-profit school, we would like to give something back to the community,” says Mr John Jalsevac, School Director at ASHK. “We are excited to receive applications for the scholarships available and are looking to meet and interview prospective candidates.”
It is vitally important for any school offering scholarships to align its core values with those of the scholarship program to avoid perceptions of tokenism. “The mission of ASHK is to provide a challenging American and international education program that empowers students to be independent critical thinkers and responsible global citizens who excel in their future studies and careers,” Mr Jalsevac explained to Top Schools. “Therefore, ASHK is committed to providing highly motivated and talented students with an exceptional educational experience in a culturally diverse environment. The program reinforces our commitment in promoting and recognizing excellence, while providing equal-opportunity access for admission to the school community.”
Scholarships at ASHK are individual to the applicant and range from partial to full tuition benefit, and from single to multiple year offerings. The Scholarship Program is open to all Elementary School and Middle/High School student applicants who fall under one of the following categories:
For students who demonstrate excellence or have consistently performed at a standard significantly above their peers in academics, arts, athletics, service, leadership or other areas.
For students who qualify for ASHK but could not otherwise afford the tuition fees at the school. Please note that this is a means-tested award. Assistance is also available for siblings of current ASHK students.
For students who are under-represented in the ASHK population in terms of their nationality, background, or life experiences, and whose presence will enrich the community.
Scholarships can serve as flagships for a school to celebrate and share stories of excellence and innovation with the broader community. “In 2016, we had the first scholarship recipient, Brian Kan, who was one of the youngest artists and illustrators in Hong Kong,” says Mr Jalsevac. “Talented in arts, Brian also cares about the environment so he wrote a book about how we can protect our planet. His book was very well received and inspired ASHK students, as well as other children in Hong Kong. ”
Mr Jalsevac says the school community is very responsive to the potential of enrolling gifted students to help develop a strong school. “This year, ASHK enrolled Wushu World Cup champion, Jada He. Despite other scholarship offers, Jada and her parents chose ASHK, as they believed that the personalized learning approach adopted at ASHK will equip her with the academic, social, and entrepreneurial skills required for success in the 21st century.”