USAID Funded Merit and Needs-Based Scholarships Program for Pakistani Students

HEC Pakistan aims to provide the Pakistani students Needy based and Merit based scholarships. This is all to provide quality education to the needy and the intelligent deserving students who cannot achieve the quality education due to their minimal resources. The scholarships are granted by the USAID Funds. Given below is the total details of the USAID Funded Merit and Needs based Scholarships Programs.Students should read all the terms and condition given below.



Higher Education Commission (HEC) aims to elevate the socio-economic position of the needy & deserving students by providing access to quality education through needs-based scholarships. Government of Pakistan has also duly acknowledged the financial constraints barring students from acquiring higher education and has thus earmarked substantial funds for the improvement of education sector.

According to the national income statistics (by GOP) 80 percent of the families in Pakistan cannot afford the expenses of sending even one boarder to a local public university. Pakistan finished last among a group of 40 countries ranked by the Percentage Share of Enrollment in Private Higher Education (A study by World Bank, 1994) , Higher Education: The Lessons of Experience, 1994). On September 11, 2002 the GOP formed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) through a Cabinet Ordinance with a “mandate to transform institutions of higher education into world class seats of learning.”

In pursuance of the Government’s initiative of providing financial relief to meritorious but deprived students, an agreement of US$ 7.33 million in July 2004 is signed with United State Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide grant for scholarships in the field of Agriculture and Business Administration at undergraduate & graduate level.


This  program  provides  an  opportunity  for  talented  students  who  are  financially  disadvantaged  and  are  incapable  of  meeting higher education costs at 11 partner institutions /universities in the fields of business and agriculture. Objectives of the program are:

To enhance the institutional capacity of the Higher Education Commission of the Government of Pakistan and local public and private sector universities in designing and implementing need and merit based scholarship Projects.

Scholarship is not restricted to tuition only, but extends to accommodation and living expenses.

The program defines the term “merit” by the admission percentage level/marks set by a particular university or HEC for all students.  “Financial need” is defined as per mutually agreed and approved evaluation criteria set by USAID and HEC.

This program provides an opportunity for talented students who are financially disadvantaged and are incapable of meeting higher education costs at 11 partner institutions/universities in the fields of business and agriculture.

The initial scope of the project includes 1000 scholarship. However, 407 additional slots were approved with the mutual consent of Planning Commission and USAID .The ECNEC has approved additional 400 scholarships under this scheme on December 2010. The 1407 Scholarships were awarded so far and the rest will be awarded in 2011-12.

Scholarship Program:

Scholarship Details

The scope of the project includes 1807 number of scholarships for the students who meet the eligibility criteria. The scholarships are bifurcated as follows:

Program Offered Under-graduate Graduate
Agriculture (980) 425 555
Business Administration (827) 332 495
Total 757 1050
Grand Total 1807

The Merit and Needs based Scholarship Project has been in operation since 2004. Eleven (11) public & private institutions are participating in the program while more than 1407 scholarships have been successfully awarded at the participating institutions.

Scholarship Composition

Comprehensive scholarship is offered under the program. The scholarship provides funds for the following expenses:

1. Tuition Fee

2. Lodging

3. Transportation

4. Books

5. Other Academics Costs

Students at both private & public sector institutes have found the scholarship extremely helpful in sustaining their educational expenses.

Eligibility Criteria:


  • Scholarships are available at undergraduate & graduate level in the prescribed disciplines (Agriculture Sciences & Business Administration) at the Partner Pakistani universities and degree awarding institutions.
  • Students need to secure admission in the approved discipline at the participating institution as per their admission policy and be enrolled in Undergraduate / Graduate programs.
  • Only those students who will enroll in first professional year in the respective courses offered by the participating institutions are eligible to apply.
  • Applicant must be from the rural areas of Pakistan
  • The eligibility of a candidate is linked to neediness of the candidate as determined & assessed by the financial background of his/her family.
  • Focused Area:

    Focused area in the financial assistance & scholarships are as follows

    The focus will be remote areas at the national level with emphasis given to needy females and students from FATA, Khyber Pukhtunkhawa, Southern Punjab, Balochistan, and North Sindh.

    25% Female Seat:

    Women’s participation in the education sector is very low. This activity will ensure that at least 25% of the awarded scholarships go to women, especially those coming from remote and vulnerable areas of Pakistan, who are financially needy, and meet admission criteria of the selected 11 partner universities.


    Only those students who are applying for spring/fall 2011 admission in the respective courses offered by the participating institutions are eligible to apply.

    The filled application should be returned to relevant Financial Aid Offices where the applicant intends to secure admission.

    How to Apply:

    HEC & USAID looks forward to support needy students in sharing educational expenses. However please note that under this scholarships scheme the funds are not transferred directly to students by HEC or USAID. The payment is made to needy students through participating institutions.


    1.     The deserving students can obtain complete scholarship application forms from the Financial Aid Office (FAO) at the participating institution or can be downloaded.

    2.      The scholarship Forms will be submitted along with supporting documents to the same FAO office after completion.

    3.      Students need to get admission in the approved discipline (i.e. Agriculture Science & Business Administration) at the participating institution as per their admission criteria.

    Please note that partial scholarship for already enrolled students is currently not covered under this project.

    Scholarship Award Process:

    1. Data and supporting documents of the potential candidate are reviewed by Institutional Scholarship Award Committee (ISAC).
    2. Institutional Scholarship Award Committee (ISAC) which includes members from the institution as well as external community members, and is headed by the Vice Chancellor of the participating institution who would ensure the impartiality and transparency of the process.
    3. The ISAC recommends potential candidates to HEC Scholarship Management Committee (SMC).
    4. The cases are presented to Scholarship Management Committee (SMC) that approves the cases after through review. The committee includes top Executives of HEC, representatives from the participating institutions, eminent scholars and a senior member from USAID, Pakistan. After finalization of awardees’ list, the scholarship fund for the selected students are transferred to participating institutions for onward disbursement to students.

    Partner Universities/Institutions:

    All candidates who are applying for admissions at the participating institutions and intend to apply for said scholarship program may contact the below mentioned focal persons of the participating institutions regarding further information:

    List of Focal Persons – USAID Funded Merit & Needs Based Scholarship Program
    University Name Focal Person Designation Contact Info Email address Program Offered Admission Dates/Deadline Admissions Closed
    Khyber Pakhtun Khawa Agriculture University, Peshawar Habib Ullah Tariq Assistant Director 091- 9218500 [email protected] BS /MS (Agriculture) 20-Sep-2011 (BS-Agri) MS (Admission Date Closed)
    University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Muhammad Zaheer Manager Financial Aid 041-9201750, 9200351 [email protected] BS /MS (Agriculture) 20-Aug-2011 15-Aug-2011
    Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad Muhammad Zulfiqar Manager Financial Aid 051-90644091 [email protected] MBA 15-Aug-2011
    Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore Ms. Shafaq Asad Soherwardy Head of Dept. Office of  Financial Aid 042-111–11–5867, 35608000 [email protected] BBA/MBA Admission Date Closed Admission Date Closed
    Institute of Business Administration, Karachi Mr. Tanveer Ahmad Manager Financial Aid 021-111-422-422, 99261510-18(Ext-230) [email protected] BBA/MBA Admission Date Closed Admission Date Closed
    Sukkur Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur Mr. Ashfaq Lashari Manager Financial Aid 071-5630272 Ext# 157 [email protected] BBA/MBA 13-July-2011
    Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam Mr. Ali Muhammad Mallano Incharge Scholarships 0222-766356, 765870 [email protected] BS/MS (Agriculture) Admission Date Closed Admission Date Closed
    Pir Mehr Ali Shah University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi Mr. Muhammad Mustafa Asistant Registrar 051-9062251, 9290406-08 [email protected] BS/MS (Agriculture) 30-July-2011
    Institute of Management Science, Peshawar Mr. Shaheryar Khan Grants Manager 091-9219546 [email protected] BBA/MBA 01-Aug-2011 (BBA) 

    01-Sep-2011 (MBA)

    SZABIST, Karachi Mr. Khalil Ur Rehman Financial Assistance Officer 021-111922478 Ext# 104 [email protected] MBA Admission Date Closed Admission Date Closed
    BUITEMS, Quetta Mr. Muhammad Shah Khan Deputy Director Financial Aid & UA 081-2880432, 9201051 Ext# 239, 465 [email protected] BBA 05-Aug-2011 MBA (Admission Date Closed)


    Will USAID funded Merit &Need Based Scholarship assist the students to study in USA?

    US Need Based Scholarship will be offered to the students who are going to be enrolled in selected participating Pakistani Universities. This scholarship will not assist the students to study in US Universities.

    Does this scholarship provide any partial assistance to the students who are studying in other Pakistani Universities?

    This scholarship will not provide any partial assistance to the students who are studying in other Pakistani Universities/Institutions.

    What types of degrees/disciplines are offered under this scholarship scheme?

    Following degrees/disciplines have been selected under this program:

    SN Discipline Sector Program
    1 Business Administration – (BS(Eco)/BBA/MBA) Public Undergraduate/Graduate
    Private Undergraduate/Graduate
    2 Agriculture and Natural Sciences – (BS/MS) Public Undergraduate/Graduate






    How and when do I apply for financial assistance? Do I need to re-apply every year?

    You will apply directly to the relevant university for the admission and after seeking admission you will apply for the financial aid. The financial aid form will be made available with the administration office of the relevant university and after filling up this form will be returned to the same office. Once you are selected under this program, you don’t need to apply again every year.

    What is the eligibility for these scholarships?

    Those Students, who are expected to get admission in the offered discipline of participating university for academic session spring/fall 2011 and can’t pursue their education because of financial constraints, are eligible to apply.

    What kind of expenses will cover under this scholarship program?

    Scholarships cover full tuition fee for entire course (i.e. 2 years graduate & 4 undergraduate years courses). Scholarship also provides living expenses, costs of transportation, books and any other ancillary requirements of the student.

    Can I apply for admission in any of the participating university for admission?

    Yes you can apply in any of the participating university when the offer the admission.

    How can apply for the university admission?

    Please see the participating university schedule for the admission in the relevant programs.

    How can I receive an application form?

    The application form is available on HEC website and participating University web site/Financial Aid Office.

    I did my matriculation, can I apply for this scholarship?

    No, these scholarships are only for Undergraduate and Graduate level.

    I am studying in Third semester of the relevant course, am I eligible for this scholarship?

    These scholarships are for those students who are planning to get admission in the relevant course of the participating universities and will be enrolled in spring/fall session 2011 are eligible to apply.

    I am already availing financial assistance/scholarship from university / institute. Am I eligible for this scholarship?

    No, the students already availing financial assistance/scholarship from universities/institutes are not eligible to apply.

    Which are the Selected Participating Universities?

    You can see the details of selected participating universities on the official Website of Higher Education Commission Islamabad.


    If Spring Intake is not available in any of the participating Institute/university then students of Fall Intake are eligible for USAID funded Merit & Need Based Scholarship?

    Yes, If Spring Intake is not available then students of fall intake will be considered eligible to apply for scholarships.


    Is it possible to transfer the win scholarship from selected University / Institute to other University/Institute?

    As per provision it’s not possible to transfer the scholarship from selected University/Institute to any other University/Institute.


    I have won the USAID funded Merit & Need Based Scholarship, Could I change my subjects/field of study?

    As per rules & regulations, the subject/discipline change is not allowed after award of scholarship.



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    Mohammed Shahid
    Mohammed Shahid
    11 years ago

    When will the scholarship be announce for coming season in 2013 admission in M.Phil/M.Sc(Hons.) in Agriculture ??????