Texas University decision spikes Nepali students’ dreamsThe University of Texas at Tyler’s decision to revoke 50 out of 84 bachelor’s degree full scholarships has spiked dreams, time, deposit money, and, arguably a full academic year of Nepali students, preparing to travel to the United States to start their semester in August.
The University of Texas at Tyler’s decision to revoke 50 out of 84 bachelor’s degree full scholarships has spiked dreams, time, deposit money, and, arguably a full academic year of Nepali students, preparing to travel to the United States to start their semester in August.
The students, many had taken a gap year after graduating from school to apply to colleges in the United States, feel ‘cheated’ by Tyler’s strange decision of granting full scholarships to 84 Nepalis and then revoking.
Chitwan-based Roman Shrestha, one of the many dejected students, said, “Many of us rejected offers from other American universities as the one from UT-Tyler was lucrative. Now we have neither a place in Tyler nor can we apply to other universities as it is too late for the semester starting this August.”
He said he “feels cheated” since Tyler had collected $100 confirmation fee to secure the scholarship and $125 for housing deposits.The University of Texas at Tyler, a part of University of Texas network that includes 14 colleges in the state of Texas, had offered full scholarships to 84 Nepalis. It covered tuition, meals, housing and books. Scores of grade 12 graduates from Nepal applied last November for under-graduate degrees offered by Tyler. Students with SAT scores of 1,350 and good academic records got Presidential Fellow Scholarship from Tyler in January and February this year.
Two months later, they got a shock of their lives. They received letters revoking the scholarship from Tyler on April 13. The university said the grant was not available as requests for the scholarship exceeded the amount budgeted for the year.
“We initially thought we could include you as a fellow this year, but the popularity of the program was far greater than expected,” reads the letter obtained by the Post. This bizarre decision has frustrated many students from Kathmandu, Chitwan, Gulmi and Nawalparasi who dreamed of getting good education. Some denounced it, and some found it perplexing.
Some said they were eagerly planning to travel to the US since they had already received the I-20 certificate of eligibility, with the confirmation of scholarship worth $ 20,968 annually.They said Tyler had taken the decision to award scholarships two months ago. They could have worked out an alternative solution. Now we have no options.
One of the students affected by this decision, Shreeya Adhikari, told the Post, “I was scheduled to attend the interview at the embassy for the student visa on Tuesday. The university’s irresponsibility has stranded us.”
Tyler relented after frequent queries by students denied scholarship. The university offered them Patriot Scholarship, a $5,000 award renewable for three years. They could qualify for in-state tuition rather than the out-of-state rate. However, the amount is $16,000 less than they committed earlier. Many students said they want the university to continue the original offer since they are not in a position to pay the additional $16,000 per annum.
“A reputable university, an epitome of morality cannot be so ‘immoral’ to ruin their academic year that would be wasted if they do not get admission this August,” said Shrestha.Washington DC-based university newspaper The Chronicle published a report, quoting Tyler’s spokesperson expressing sympathy for the students and saying, “an oversight caused the university to promise more scholarships than it could deliver”.
Admissions officers and college counsellors have expressed shock at the unprecedented decision. “Tyler appears to have violated ethical standards meant to protect college applicants,” The Chronicle commented and praised Nepali student’s “deep well of determination”.
The stranded students have started an online campaign and asked for help. College counsellors and admissions officers in Singapore, South Korea, Rhode Island and Ohio have offered the students guidance. One American college has said it would finance one student’s education.