As part of its emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FAR has provided additional scholarships to students who are struggling with financial hardship due to the circumstances caused by the pandemic.
Universities in Armenia suspended in-person classes when the coronavirus began sweeping the country late in March. In the weeks since, higher education in Armenia has been going through some rapid changes, such as moving all of their courses online. In addition, many students were left anxious about how to pay for school after their parents were furloughed from their jobs or found themselves out of work.
After the start of the lockdown, FAR received many requests from individual students and the Ministry of Science and Education asking if it could help to provide some financial aid. FAR was able to award scholarships to 81 students currently enrolled at nine different universities in Armenia, which will cover their tuition fees for the spring term. All of these students are first-time scholarship recipients from FAR, which supports an additional 500 students each year.
This need-based financial aid has helped students like 21-year-old Shushan Margaryan who is in her final year at the Armenian State University of Economics. She had applied for a loan before receiving the news of FAR’s support. According to Shushan, her only choice had been to take out a loan as no one in her family has a permanent job. The exception was her father who had been doing seasonal work in Kazakhstan until recently losing his job. “It’s a huge support to me and my family and I strongly appreciate that FAR has evaluated my efforts and my academic performance. Thanks to your support students like me can move ahead to become educated and committed change makers in their communities,” she said.