RG Scholarships

Scholarships still in play for virtual studies

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… but expect some adjustment for travel

BY ERIN SILVER 

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic some students may have found that scholarships have been adjusted to meet need. 

Although every award is different, change has often come where students are working remotely and unable to travel to school. 

Typically, some scholarships are paid in full in September, others in two instalments. Certain award providers pay direct to the university while sometimes monies go directly to students. 

Due to the pandemic, many students are unable to travel to school overseas or have chosen to learn virtually from Bermuda. 

In some countries, schools are operating on a hybrid model, where students can attend classes on campus and online. By contrast, there are colleges that have become entirely virtual and shut their campuses as a result of the crisis. In yet other cases, some students may have been able to travel to their destination only to have in-person school switched to virtual; other students may have chosen to remain in Bermuda to attend school virtually. 

This means costs may fluctuate or remain lower than what students might have needed in ordinary pre-pandemic circumstances. 

“Every country seems to be saying you need a negative Covid test to enter [and once there] you can’t get in and out,” said a local adviser. Students attending university in Canada, for instance, must study virtually if they were not already in Canada before regulations changed prohibiting entry to most people who are not Canadian citizens. Similarly, students who are health-compromised in any way will likely be studying from Bermuda where it is safer. 

Scholarship committees are in constant contact with students to make sure they have the necessary funding. They know who is on campus and who is not. They also understand the importance of being aware of any challenges students are facing. 

In cases where students don’t need as much as they were due to receive because of travel restrictions, those funds will be held in escrow to be used as needed. 

For example, if a student only requires $7,500 this year instead of $10,000, the remaining funds may be held for the next academic year. Funding could also be held until the next academic year and given to the next crop of awardees. 

It is impossible to predict when campuses will return to normal with many countries in lockdown. Even if the numbers stabilise, the rules are inconsistent from country to country and in flux. Most students will need to assess the circumstances on a day-to-day basis. 

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