We all know how expensive it has become to pursue our academic dreams, which is why securing a scholarship is vital to alleviate the financial burden.
However, getting one is also a mammoth task altogether as there’s no telling whether you are eligible or not.
No luck securing JPA scholarship
In a now-viral tweet by a netizen named Choong, she expressed her dismay over his inability to secure a JPA scholarship despite her exemplary STPM results and getting offers from universities in the UK and Scotland.
“I’m just stunned right now. I’m B40, gov school the whole way, STPM 4.0, and I’m happy to announce I’ve been offered a place at Cambridge, UCL and Edinburgh.
I’ve applied for scholarships already and asked for JPA but so far no luck. Please help this anak Malaysia make M’sia proud!” she wrote.
I’m just stunned rn. I’m B40, gov sch the whole way, STPM 4.0, and I’m happy to announce I’ve been offered a place at Cambridge, UCL and Edinburgh. I’ve applied for scholarships already and asked for jpa but so far no luck. Please help this anak Malaysia make Msia proud! 😭 pic.twitter.com/oHwZdehU3b— Choong (@lxnchng) February 14, 2023
Tough student life
Speaking to WeirdKaya, Choong said that he had faced great difficulties throughout their student life, no thanks in part to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On top of that, she was battling a sickness known as Topical Steroid Withdrawal, whereby one experiences hair loss, insomnia, and peeling skin after using topical creams meant to treat eczema.
“Unfortunately, I relapsed during my first and last semesters, causing me to miss a large amount of school. I also live in a violent household and had to weather increasing instability as my family faced financial difficulties during the pandemic,” she said.
Despite the difficulties, Choong never gave up and became one of the only three candidates in her school to obtain a 4.0 CGPA in the 2021 STPM exam.
‘No luck with JPA’
When asked why she was so adamant on applying for a JPA scholarship despite getting offers from universities overseas, Choong said that the scholarship was her ticket to getting a spot in the civil service.
Unfortunately, she was crushed to hear that she didn’t qualify for the Program Penajaan Nasional (PPN) due to her poor SPM results.
Under this program, only SPM leavers will be provided with a scholarship at the pre-U and undergraduate level as a package.
Choong also lamented over the severely limited spaces offered under JPA.
JPA used to be the main government scholarship route to study overseas. Unfortunately, they have limited the scope so greatly now.
Choong, who is currently studying International and Strategic Studies at University Malaya (UM), says she’s currently exploring other avenues in hopes of securing a scholarship.
“Now that I do not qualify for their scholarship, I am looking elsewhere, and will alter my career trajectory to go wherever I need to be.
“I’m also applying for private scholarships and approaching private institutions and companies for sponsorships,” she said.
Netizens offer practical help
In the comment section, netizens were disheartened by Choong’s story and shared with her several scholarship programs as alternatives.
Some also offered words of encouragement and told her not to give up.
We wish Choong all the best in her future undertakings and that she’ll find a scholarship soon!