Students warned to study or lose scholarship

| 09/08/2016 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands scholarships

(CNS): Young Caymanians heading overseas to study this year on government scholarships have been warned that they must make the grade and follow the rules in order to receive their money from government. This year around $1.6 million has been awarded to students, who will be studying a range of subjects, such as accounting, criminal justice, sports management and veterinary studies. Officials believe that at least 170 students will be going off to school abroad in the autumn.

During a recent series of mandatory meetings the undergraduate students learned the conditions of their scholarships and what is expected of them from the government while at college and university.

Hosted by the Ministry of Education’s Scholarship Secretariat as part of its efforts to assist students and  parents with the transition to overseas studies, Secretariat Manager Deirdre Carmola explained how they should submit receipts and grades, timelines for receiving scholarship funds and the required GPA in order to retain their scholarships. She also explained what happens if they change subjects or universities. Post-graduate studies, funding available for summer study and how to budget were also discussed.

“The members of the Scholarship Secretariat felt it was necessary to hold these meetings for our new scholars and their parents because the transition to living and studying overseas can be quite overwhelming for the entire family, and we wanted to make the financial aspect of this process as easy as possible,” said Carmola. “In the past, students have struggled to meet the requirements of their scholarship bond because of not fully understanding the rules that govern their receiving money from the Secretariat or just poor planning and have ended up being in danger of, or losing their funding.”

She said that government wanted to make sure that does not happen and the Secretariat is there to support them through their tertiary education. Carmola urged the students to contact the Secretariat if they had any questions, concerns, changes or issues while away at school, and stressed the importance of using the office as an important resource and developing a relationship with the Scholarship team.

“We need to be aware of any challenges or difficulties you are facing so we can assist you in making the best decisions to ensure that you meet the expected requirements to maintain your government scholarship. We are only able to help if we are fully aware of the situation,” Carmola told the students.

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dah! It should go without saying.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Most countries now do guaranteed student loans…rather than scholarships with no strings attached with respect to repayment. Scholarships should be reserved for scholars..not as a means for funding mediocre students. No political will to make the touch decision to move to the student loan model.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Studying overseas can be quite overwhelming etc etc”. Not if the students are going to universities in Tampa, Miami and other parts of Florida…one hour plane ride away from their parents and “home”. I am SO disappointed to see a bright young Caymanian man I know who could have gone to excellent universities in the UK, Canada or even the better ones in the US, going to Tampa because his mother wants him to be close. A very very senior member of the civil service’ child is also at Tampa. This is NOT good training for our youngsters. Florida Universities are just the UCCI/Cayman Islands on steroids. Our youngsters should be exposed to a much much wider world than Florida can provide.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s make a point…No matter the school, a SMART child attends the child will ALWAYS be SMART.
      Secondly, your response to the subject matter is besides the points that have been raised by the Ministry of Education.
      Government would be more keen at welcoming your advice and assistance on how best students who are on scholarships can maintain or make better grades, and not lose their opportunity at experiencing the much wider world as you have referred to.
      The key to success is being the BEST at what ever you pursue and from a practical standpoint, education doesn’t have boundaries and is continuous and limitless.
      Here are a few points from 101 Campus Life:
      University students have the option to partake in study abroad programs;
      University students have the opportunity to interact with persons from many countries during their studies;
      University students can experience the much wider world at any stage of their education goals.
      Are you able to see better through a different pair of lens?
      To get a better understanding be more proactive and utilize your energy in funding a student who wishes to attend a college or University of their choice.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is all good, however, different majors and different universities should have appropriate expectations. For example: a teaching degree from Palm Beach is much easier to acquire than an engineering degree from MIT so maybe the GPA required for each should be adjusted?

    • Anonymous says:

      How large is the government scholarship? Will it come close to covering MIT or Ivy League schools? If not the point is moot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Believe me. It won’t. My son had to get an additional scholarship and a loan. The Government scholarship can’t pay for an Engineering degree school.

        • Anonymous says:

          And it shouldn’t. Its not the Government’s job to pay for your kid’s education entirely. Why didn’t you provide more so that he wouldn’t need additional scholarship and a loan. Government can’t fix all your problems. I chose to have kids so I have to provide for them and teach them how to provide for themselves.

          • Anonymous says:

            Amen! Some don’t realize the cost of having children. The more you have the less one gets. Then again, they are those that think the more you have the more Government should pay.

          • Anonymous says:

            Education should be free this is what great leader do they invest in their people countries thru free education from the cradle to the Grave. Silver and Gold will vanish away (hint, hint the financial industry) but a good education will never decay. When we were the 4th Financial Center in the world and the population was 24k it was easy to educate all at no cost and provide homes for those that did not have at a minimal. No we were too busy taking care of things that would tarnish and vanish.

        • Anonymous says:

          Penny wise, pound foolish. You should have saved for your child from and early age instead of buying hair, putting on fake nails, and going out on weekends. It all adds up in the end.
          Should Government be responsible for paying all of your child’s tuition then what would other children get? Nothing! Stop being selfish and go pay your bank loan. That’s your child, not Governments.

          • Anonymous says:

            All my money go on my children. I’ve never bought fake hair or put on nails in my life. I’m just saying that the scholarship is not much in regards to the cost of colleges today. Even in the US you can get grants and scholarships if you make good grades and my son graduated at the top of his class so why shouldn’t he be rewarded for working hard.

            • Anonymous says:

              That is your child. He has made you a proud parent therefore invest in him and don’t rely on Goverment for a subsidy or for paying all his debt.

              In return, if he understands the conscious effort you have made to assist him with accomplishing his dream then he will reward you at the end.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What is going on with the postgraduate scholarships this year?

  6. Anonymous says:


  7. Anonymous says:

    I think there should be some clarity here. The UDP may get back in before the end of the school year. if that’s the case will it go back to financial handouts to family, friends and neighbors without any checks & controls at all?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wait… That wasn’t a stipulation in the first place? Wow.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Students should certainly study English, like, for example, the spelling of the verb “to lose”.

  10. Just Sayin' says:

    More importantly, proper vetting of the approved institutions must take place by the Secretariat. I won’t be hiring anyone who brings me their “degree” from Mickey Mouse University in Tampa.

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t that the real problem? Too many ‘educational’ institutions who take our money and hand out the expected paperwork even though the students can barely read and write.

      • Anonymous says:

        We don’t have to go overseas concerning hand out of Certificates our very own High Schools are known to do just that…..give to those who can’t even read and write!

        Imagine, if they didn’t how many would be without jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      True. The cost is “trough the roof” and the degree is worthless.
      That institution is full of fun and games.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I most certainly agree with all that has been said in this article. Students must study first and foremost the bottom line. That’s why they have been given a ‘scholarship’ in the first place. However, I would add to this discussion, the need for the Ministry of Education’s Scholarship Secretariat and other responsible employees in this area to also speed up their response(s) to matters that may arise and to also deal with ALL matters fairly and without prejudice regardless who the student may be ‘fa’.

    • Anonymous says:

      RE: “…regardless who the student may be ‘fa'”

      Yes! Too much preferential treatment. Disbursements are released late for some students because they are too busy appeasing the children of elite families or special interest scholars. HINT: It’s funny how parents can gauge these events between scholars who have friendly and family relationships.

      As for emails/correspondence, it would helpful if they provided timely responses to both the student & institutions, in order to curtail issues, concerns, or potential set-backs.

      Government Scholarships are the “peoples” money, that is be properly and fairly managed, it is not a personal or political scheme to disenfranchise current scholars or eligible scholars.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What a novelty, expecting students to study! How dare they!

  13. Foreign Devil says:

    Study, what’s that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman[ian] Scholars CAN, WILL, and DO study!

      Sometimes, adjusting abroad can be difficult due to:

      1. Climate & Culture supported within the Institution
      2. Relocating and Settling (without family or Friends) longer than normal
      3. Establishing a (new) dependable network of friends
      4. Learning about your surroundings/locale

      • Anonymous says:

        They are older teens/young adults. Many other cultures send their children off to boarding school and are able to adjust quickly.

        If you want your child to go away for school then you prepare your child from a young age to be independent therefore the transition is easier. Stop making excuses because you’ve molly coddled the Caymanian child for far too long.

      • Anonymous says:

        These are the same social and environmental adjustment variables that apply to every young person that goes away to college. The same “sink or swim” lesson applies: by the end of rush week you are either hitting the books or following a road to failure.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not really. We come from a small islands and it’s quite a change. It is a whole different culture. I went to school in the States as a young child and it was very difficult. I was homesick like crazy. I never got to the point where I didn’t miss home. My children went to college in the US and I never coddled them but they miss the home stuff like natural food not powdered eggs.

          • Anonymous says:

            Then you didn’t prepare your child(ren) for the real world.

            If your child(ren) are not able to locate natural food rather than powdered eggs, then they may have difficulty adjusting to a new job which has other things they are not accustomed.

            Sounds to me the ambition to go to a supermarket/whole foods, drive to want to actually do something other than complain, research skills to look for options, initiative to try and general common sense is severely lacking.

            • Anonymous says:

              It’s the food at the school. It’s not the end of the world. I’m just saying it’s a different culture. Why is everyone coming down on these children instead of lifting them up and being glad that Caymanians are furthering themselves? Sheesh. I’m so sick and tiered of you people. Crabs in a barrel mentality. Can’t stand to see people getting ahead in life. That’s why the foreigners taking your jobs. I guarantee you that both of my children are more educated and have better jobs than you all trying to put them down. They’ve both been all over the world and fit in fine in their colleges overseas. We’ve all lived in United States before so it was no big deal to us but I empathise with the other children who have never lived anywhere else before because I was so young when I lived overseas. It’s called empathy. Maybe a few of you should get some and stop putting people down.

      • Beaumont says:

        More than 50 years ago, I made the grades to get a scholarship in California. I worked my tail off, because it was known then (as it should be known now) that to not make at least a 3.0 was to lose my scholarship. So, I worked. Graduated. What is so hard about that?

        I moved more than 1000 miles to attend university in a city, which was far and away from where I grew up. The things you list, they are almost always the norm of variables for which students are expected to adapt.

        Sure, it’s tough. It’s hard on a person leaving home for the first time, especially to go to school in another country. I expect them to WORK. It’s my money. The government doesn’t have money; they have funds collected from us all.

        I am in favor of more funding being granted to students; we need to invest in our future, and that’s the finest way of doing so. Also, I would like to see scholarships to trade schools, because that is an important factor of our local environment. I want MORE students to get grants, but I want them to be vetted — those students who have performed, and are likely to continue doing so. I want them to understand that if they don’t perform, if they don’t adapt to their environment, that they are on their own.

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