The BITSAA Graduate Application Scholarship provides financial assistance to BITSians for their applications to MS/PhD programs.
We believe BITSians are among the very best in engineering our country has to offer and hence deserve the very best grad schools the world has to offer. This initiative is a small step towards ensuring that the financial burden of applications does not get in the way of an ambitious and successful app.
The cost of applying to graduate programs has risen considerably in the last few years. Taking the GRE costs $170, and the Subject Test and TOEFL cost $150 each; additional score reports come to at least $15 per university for each of these tests. Application fees for each program have also risen; at Stanford, for instance, the fee is $105. UC Berkeley and UIUC (both public schools) have fees of $80 and $75 respectively. Even for people applying to just 6 universities, the cost of tests and application fees alone can easily be over $1000. Then there are costs for transcripts, visa applications and processing, and much more.
Since applying has become so expensive, it's become harder for many BITSians to afford. The idea is for BITS alumni to pay for a significant part of the costs, making the application process more affordable. This should also encourage more BITSians to apply to top schools. We hope that the program will eventually become self-sustaining, with people who receive the scholarship in one year paying for the next generation of BITSians to apply. All students who are currently pursuing their undergraduate/graduate degree in any of the BITS campuses are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
If you would like more information about this scholarship, or have any questions / comments / suggestions, please fill out the form by clicking here and BITSAA scholarship team will contact you.
Over the next few years, until the program becomes self-sustaining, its success will largely depend on the enthusiastic support of alumni for their juniors. The current plan is to support 3 students during their application process.
Please note that BITSAA does not support funding for graduate studies at this point.
If you would like to contribute to the scholarship program, you can Donate Online. All contributions are tax-deductible, and donors will receive a receipt at year end from BITSAA.
If you would prefer to mail a check, please make it out to "BITSAA International", mention "BITSAA Graduate Application Scholarship" in the memo section and mail it to:
BITSAA International Attn: CFO, BITSAA International, 1560 Sunnyvale Saratoga Road, Suite 200, Sunnyvale, CA 94087-4597
If you mail us a check, please don't forget to include your return address, the words "BITSAA Graduate Application Scholarship" on the check and an email address so we can mail your receipt and contact you if necessary.
Recipients of Graduate Application Scholarships 2012-2013.
Ajitesh Srivastava (2009A7PS044P) is a 4th year student in Computer Science at Pilani Campus. His research interests include Real Life Networks, Data Mining, Text mining and Machine Learning, and is applying for PhD to pursue his research interests. He has done internships at IIT Kharagpur, CEERI Pilani and Dalhousie University, Canada. He is a co-author of 3 journal papers, 3 conference papers and a poster. He is a former KVPY scholar and an Indian National Mathematical Olympiad Awardee. At BITS, he was an active member of Mime Club and the Co-ordinator for Mithali 2012.
Soham Jayesh Desai (2009A3PS266P) is a final year student
pursuing an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronics at Pilani. He
has interned at BARC, Mumbai and is a recipient of the University Merit Scholarship. His Research Interest lies in the fields of Wireless Communication,
Networking and Security and plans to do a PhD in the same. He is a research
assistant and has also been an event coordinator for the Instrumentation Forum.
He is also a Rajya Puraskar awardee for Bharat Scouts & Guides. He is an all sports-lover and wishes to be able to compete
Devdatta Akhawe : "The scholarship encouraged Devdatta to apply to top programs in Computer Science and also boosted his confidence, which helped during the talks with the faculty members interested in his application."
Pritwiraj Moulik: "The BITSAA Graduate Scholarship gave the much-needed boost to my confidence as I was planning a complete change of fields from Civil Engineering at BITS to Earth Science with no alumnus to look up to. The application process also made me introspect and better define my research interests which helped during all the interviews I gave for the top seismology departments later on. The scholarship support also helped me concentrate on the top programs and drastically reduce the number of "safe-schools” that I was planning to apply to."
Rajesh Bhasin: "I would like to thank BITSAA for considering me worthy of this prestigious scholarship. The graduate scholarship has helped me in applying to more number of schools including some like University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University which are pretty expensive. It is indeed a great initiative by BITSAA and I shall strive to maintain the excellence associated with this scholarship. "
Sohem Jayesh Desai: "I am thankful for BITSAA Graduate Application Scholarship. As a result of the scholarship, I am now able to increase upon my different university choices for my Masters and this definitely improves my chances of getting selected in a prominent University of the United States. To be selected amongst many by such prominent panelists who have all achieved success through BITS gave me a lot of encouragement to my resolve of making a mark in the future. BITS alumni and the BITS2MSPHD initiative have indeed helped in clearing many of the doubts that surfaced during the application procedure.I will definitely be there in the future to those BITSians who will be in my position. Thank You all for blessing me with such a wonderful goodwill."
Ajitesh Srivastava: "The BITSAA Graduate Scholarship is a great initiative to encourage students to pursue there ambitions and get through the expensive application process. I thank BITSAA for considering me for the scholarship, and I hope this initiative continues to help BITSians who are genuinely interested in research, realize their dreams."
Can I apply for the scholarships even though I do not qualify for the BITS merit-cum-need program?
Yes, and we strongly encourage you to apply! We would like to award scholarships to encourage top students to apply to more highly-ranked universities. We hear every year of very good students who could get into MIT, Berkeley, CMU, Stanford, Cornell, etc., but don't apply to many of these schools. Admissions at these schools are very competitive, and involve some luck, so even the best students might not get admitted if they only apply to 1 or 2. If you would like to apply to the best graduate programs, but are only applying to 8-10 schools in total (including lower-ranked/"safety" schools) because it's too expensive to app to more, do apply for this scholarship; it may pay for 5-6 more applications to top schools.
Can I apply for the scholarships even though I have been working for the last n years?
No. You have to be a final year student to apply for Graduate Application Scholarship
What documents do I need to send along with my application?
Details provided in the application form. If we need anything more, we will contact you by email.
How can I contribute? Are contributions tax-deductible? Will I get a receipt? Can I contribute online or with a check?
Please see Contributing for answers to these, and related questions.
How are scholarship recipients selected?
From 2008 onwards, recipients will be selected by a committee that will include contributors to the scholarship fund, and members nominated by BITSAA, but will primarily consist of BITSians in senior academic/research positions. We believe they will be best qualified to determine the best candidates for top graduate programs. The committee will set precise criteria every year, but students will typically be asked to provide resumes, links to any publications or reports, and to write short essays or letters answering any questions the committee may have.
The scholarships are open to all BITSians from Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad & Dubai campuses, whatever your discipline.
Final year students are eligible to apply
The scholarships will be awarded based primarily on academic merit.
Financial need will also be a factor in determining to whom scholarships are awarded, and the amount of each scholarship. Note that you do NOT have to be a recipient of the BITS merit-cum-need scholarships in order to apply.
The scholarships are given out in the faith that students, who benefit from it, will support future applicants.
The evaluation panel looks at a broad set of parameters while evaluating your application for the Graduate Application Scholarship. The following are some pointers to help you frame your application and essay well while applying.
In addition to academic performance, technical capability/ expertise (which are reflected in your projects, research, papers, etc) and leadership abilities, you must ensure you highlight your zeal to pursue the chosen field of interest.
The panel also carefully looks at the clarity you have of the area you have chosen for higher studies, and your aspirations post graduate studies.
Your essay must be built around both the points mentioned above. The panel wishes to learn about what you want to do in addition to what you have done till now.