A few more months, students are going to enter public universities in Malaysia. A lot of us definitely have heard about PTPTN loan especially after the havoc about the loan through students’ demonstrations. How about JPA Scholarship? It is one of the advantages for public universities students. The JPA scholarship which is called Biasiswa Program Ijazah Dalam Negara (PIDN) is offered to only public universities plus Multimedia University (MMU), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN). The applicants should apply for it as soon as they get the official letter for university’s placement.
How and when to apply for the PIDN scholarship? Immediately after receiving the university admission letter, be alert on the JPA website. They will publish the details there. Due to the short period of time between the day candidates receive university admission letter and university registration day, future undergraduates should surf their website more often. This is quite tedious. So, what we usually do is gather a group of friends who are interested in the scholarship, then share it out whenever any of you get to know anything about that. Basically, networking and information-efficiency is crucial here. I bet you can open a group in social networking to make it more systematic. Another way is through main stream newspapers, namely Malay medium newspaper such as Berita Harian and Utusan. The most important thing is; DON’T DO IT LAST MINUTE. You will have lots of things to fill-in in the official website, print it out and mail it (unless they change the format of submission this year).
I was the scholarship holder when I was doing my Bachelor degree. I would say I was a bit lucky. At my first attempt, I failed to secure the scholarship. Immediately, I did an appeal on that. They prepared a website for us to do so. Few weeks later, I managed to get an offer from JPA. To say that the lucky angel is with me is because my batch is the first batch to get increment for the scholarship value. Previously, the amount that a JPA scholar received is not the huge different compared to PTPTN borrowers. PTPTN loan worth about RM21, 000 while JPA scholarship holders receive about RM30, 000 (exact amount for PTPTN and JPA depend on the course as well. The amount here is for my course; Political Science. Exact amount can get it from JPA website or wait for the offer letter for the latest rate.). It is definitely more than enough for you to spend. If you are the kind of money-saving or stingy kind of person, you will be rich at the end of your study. If you are the kind of heavy spending person, don’t worry, your university life can also be luxury and enjoyable with that scholarship.
One big question that is commonly asked by new students; do I need to work for the government? The answer is definitely yes. The number of years of bonds is depends on your course and the value of scholarship you received. The bond that I need to serve is four years. It is not a long period though compared to the thirty thousand you are going to receive from the government. Anyhow, I am released from the bond now because SPA (Public Service Commission) failed to provide me with a job. That is why I am released from the bond after one year from my completion of study.
Even if you are offered a job by SPA, it is not a bad idea as well. The starting pay for a fresh graduate for public service is pretty high, the worst for a Bachelor degree holder is about RM2, 500 considering that your degree is without the “Honours” title and you are living in Category C area (you will receive RM150 as Cost of Living Allowance compare to those who are living in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru etc, they will receive RM 300). Considering your degree is with “Honours” title; you are living in Category A area, you can earn about RM 2,900 or even more for a higher-ranked position.
So, what are you waiting for? JPA scholarship is definitely a good choice for those who are going to study in public university. Act fast and apply for it. Previously, you need to get 4 Bs for your STPM in order to eligible to apply, but heard that they have slightly risen up the eligibility. Anyhow, give it a try and you will never regret for that.
Even though this writing focuses mainly on JPA scholarship, I would like to share out some general ideas of other scholarships as well. One of the most prestigious government scholarships will be Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman (YTAR) scholarship. Besides, MARA and certain states governments do also offer scholarships and loans. Not limited to governmental scholarships, students can also try out private or corporation scholarships as well. Try to search out for institution that is related to your course of studies. For example, if you are doing finance, economic, actuarial science etc, you can look for Bank Negara or any other banks scholarship. If you are pursuing computer science, perhaps you can try out Intel, Dell etc.
Still the same advice for all future undergraduates; it is impossible for a single person to know everything. Gather a group of friends and share out that information. By doing so, only then you can get more and more information.
I have graduated with Bachelor of Social Science (Hons) Political Science (Distinction) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Last year, I have completed my master studies in the same field, same university as well. I wish to further my studies in ethnicity in an oversea university, preferably in UK, but must be accompanied by a scholarship. I don’t think I can afford it on my own. Pray for me...
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