LAU gets ready to welcome its seventh cohort of USP students
The university secures millions more in USAID funding to continue its University Scholarship Program.
LAU’s University Scholarship Program (USP), a USAID-funded initiative that covers scholars’ full tuition and related expenses, has recently received substantial funding toward its seventh cohort of students for what will be known as USP VII.
“The American government is contributing another $37.5 million to continue this successful program over the next three years. This will allow at least 320 additional students nationwide the opportunity to access a high quality education at either the Lebanese American University or the American University of Beirut,” explained interim American Ambassador Richard H. Jones at an LAU ceremony in January to celebrate the new funding.
The program, which launched in September 2010 in Lebanon, has benefited hundreds of top-performing students with severe financial needs from public schools across the nation.
Majd El Fakih, from Aley, is one of 237 current USP scholars at LAU who never imagined he would have the chance to experience a university education.
“USP has changed my life. I am a business student at the best business school in the Middle East. Now, my hope for a successful future and career has blossomed thanks to this scholarship,” said El Fakih in a speech he gave at the ceremony.
With many of the first cohort’s students having completed their studies, the success of the USP initiative has become clear.
“Graduates of LAU’s USP program hit the job running. They do so well once they leave us because of the series of supervision, coaching, monitoring, evaluation, and care that we give them,” commented LAU’s Assistant Vice President for Outreach and Civic Engagement, Elie Samia, who is involved with running the USP initiative.
USP scholars are selected based on merit, academic performance, and financial need. They benefit from full scholarship support including tuition fees, housing expenses, medical insurance, textbooks, a laptop, and a monthly stipend. All scholars are required to maintain academic excellence, actively engage in community service and leadership training, and take part in career preparation workshops.