Various school-sponsored scholarships are mostly provided for two purposes: to mitigate students’ financial burden or to award students’ academic achievement. Therefore, most scholarship recipients have been limited to those who face economic difficulties or those who show excellent academic performances. Nowadays, universities are now exploring unique ways to raise scholarship funds and motivate students to participate in various activities, thus increasing the diversity of recipients. They raise these funds in ways that can encourage the entire school community to join, including students, faculty and alumni. In this issue, Ewha Voice has shed light on several unique campus scholarship programs that have caught students’ attention.
Ewha’s “Seonbae Ramen” and “Future Plan scholarship,” evoking sense of belonging
Ewha has been making efforts to diversify the types of scholarships to ensure that a large number of students can benefit from them. Among them, “Seonbae Ramen” and “Future Plan scholarship” are unique in their fundraising method and selection standards, respectively.
The “Seonbae Ramen” program, launched in 2010, is a small-amount fundraising program that brings Ewha’s alumni together by encouraging them to donate 10,000 won every month to help relieve Ewha students’ financial burdens. Its name, “Seonbae Ramen,” originated from the Korean phrase, “If you are a senior.” As the word “Ramen” is identical to the word for “instant noodles” in Korean, the Office of University Relations and Development, which manages the program, came up with an advertising design of instant ramen.
“I found the idea and the name very interesting,” said professor Kim Seok-hyang from the Department of North Korean Studies and the very first donor of the program. “The amount of donation to the school usually begins at several millions to even hundred millions, which is quite burdensome for an individual donor. But in the case of the Seonbae Ramen program, donating 10,000 won once every month is relatively easy and affordable for everyone.”
One of the most noticeable features of this program is that the school does not accumulate the donations, but allocates the fund to different departments and majors for their own scholarship programs.
“Another strength lies in the fact that many people can take part in the program, which shows that many Ewha alumni are supportive and caring about Ewha students,” professor Kim said. “That’s what makes the Seonbae Ramen program so significant in the Ewha community.”
The Seonbae Ramen program also has its significance from the recipients’ points of view as well.
“I was in my master’s course when I received the scholarship, and I was struggling at that time from lacking a sense of belonging in the Ewha community,” said Ko Elisabeth, a beneficiary of the scholarship in 2014. “However, after I received the scholarship, I realized that many Ewha alumni are supporting me, making me feel infused with new hope to move forward.”
So far, the accumulated amount has reached 2.5 billion won, awarding scholarships to more than 6,300 students as of May 2015.
Recently, Ewha has announced its plan to launch a new form of scholarship, quite different from previous scholarships that based their evaluation either on students’ financial abilities or GPA.
The new scholarship, “Future Plan scholarship,” will only evaluate students’ future plans. The selected students will be granted 4 million won from the fall semester of 2015 to carry out their plans for a year. Each student will be assigned an advisory professor who will support and guide her throughout the year.
In the information session held on June 2, officials from Scholarship and Welfare emphasized being “SMART” when writing applications for the program.
“Try to write an application in a SMART way, which is being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely,” stressed an official from Scholarship and Welfare in the information session.
The school hoped that the brand-new scholarship could serve as a means to achieve students’ dreams.
“The Future Plan scholarship will be serving as a stepping stone for Ewha students to achieve their dreams,” said an official in the information session. “We hope that recipients of the scholarship can advise future recipients after their graduation on how they could achieve their goals with mentor professors’ support.”