Prospective Undergraduates

FAQ

General Questions
What is a scholarship?

A scholarship is an award offered to students who have excelled in their academic and/or non-academic performances. Scholarships are different from grants, loans and bursaries. The former are awarded on merits, whereas the latter are provided to students on a need basis as financial assistance.

What are the sources of scholarships at HKUST?

Scholarships at HKUST are established through either (a) designated University scholarship funds or (b) private contributions from corporations, professional bodies, foundations, alumni, and individual donors. A scholarship may carry the name of the donor or simply be called “University Scholarship” or “school/departmental scholarship”.

What scholarships are available?
  1. Admission Scholarships – for local and non-local students admitted to HKUST with outstanding academic performance.

  2. Scholarships for Continuing Undergraduate Students – for continuing undergraduates with outstanding academic performance at HKUST.

  3. Scholarships for Postgraduate Students – for postgraduates who have demonstrated potential to carry out academic research or ancillary teaching duties.

  4. Exchange Scholarships – for students participating in overseas exchange programs.

  5. Scholarships for Visiting Students - for outstanding students to pursue overseas studies as visiting students.

  6. Non-academic Achievement and Reaching Out Scholarships - for students who have demonstrated achievements or talent in non-academic areas, and for students to broaden their exposure in multicultural learning environment.

Who are eligible for award of scholarships?

In general, all active students of HKUST, including exchange-out students, are eligible for consideration of scholarships. Exceptions may be granted for specific scholarships. However, students who are NOT of active status (e.g. on leave, withdrawn, terminated, graduated, etc.) will NOT be eligible for scholarship awards. Scholarship applicants / nominees / awardees are responsible to keep SFAO informed of the change of their student status.

How long is a scholarship for?

Most of the scholarships are for one year (i.e., one-off). There are also some renewable scholarships which are tenable for 3 to 5 years, depending on the normative length of study of the specified programs.

What are the differences between one-off and renewable scholarships?

For one-off scholarships, students can receive the awards only once in the award year, and the scholarship will not be continued in subsequent years of study under any circumstances.

 

For renewable scholarships, students can receive the awards annually during the normal study period of respective study programs, or during the specified years of study as offered by the University / donor. In order to renew the scholarships, students have to fulfill certain conditions (such as academic performance, community services and third language requirements) as required by the University and donors.

How many scholarships are there at HKUST?

There are over 2,200 undergraduate scholarships and postgraduate scholarships for HKUST students in each academic year. The number of scholarships may not match the number of eligible students, and therefore competition for award is keen.

Questions Asked by Prospective Students
How can I be eligible for the admission scholarships?

For students admitted through the Joint University Programs Admissions System (JUPAS), performance in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examination (HKDSE) is the most important criterion for award. For International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma holders, students will be awarded based on the number of IB Total Points. For International/Asian Olympiad Gold Medalists, their outstanding performances in specific Olympiad Competitions are recognized by the scholarship scheme. For students with other academic or non-academic merits, please refer to more scholarship information from the section of Prospective Undergraduate Students.

Do I need to apply for the admission scholarship?

In general, students do not have to apply for the admission scholarship. For students with excellent academic or non-academic achievements, scholarship offers are normally issued together with admission offers.

For local students under the JUPAS scheme who meet the JUPAS scholarship award requirements, they will be informed of the final scholarship entitlements after the commencement of the new academic year.

Besides, there are some non-academic achievement scholarships which may require applications. Details will be announced by our office or the Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions Office.

If I am awarded an admission scholarship, when will I receive the scholarship money?

The admission scholarship amount will be split into 2 equal installments and paid in Fall and Spring terms respectively. You are strongly advised to prepare some pocket money for daily expenses for 2 to 3 months in advance, since scholarship payments are usually settled by the end of each term.

 

For further details of the arrangement on scholarship disbursement, please refer to "Scholarship Disbursement-related Questions" of this FAQ page.

How can I be eligible for scholarships for continuing students?

A wide range of scholarships are offered to continuing undergraduate students. Students who are eligible for the "Scholarship Scheme for Continuing Undergraduate Students" can apply at the beginning of each academic year. There are also a number of scholarships funded by the generous donations from our supportive donors. Your School/ Department and our office will work together to identify qualified students and submit nominations to the donors. Selected candidates will be notified of the scholarship awards result in due course.

 

The key selection criterion of most of these awards is academic performance, however, some donors may look for attributes such as leadership potential, involvement in extra-curricular activities and non-academic achievements. A few other donors also take financial needs of the students into consideration. For more details, please refer to the scholarship information for Continuing Undergraduate Students and Non-academic achievement Scholarships.

How can I be eligible for an exchange scholarship?

Exchange scholarships are merit-based awards offered to outstanding students who plan to do overseas exchange studies in any one of our global exchange partner institutions. Most of these exchange scholarships are awarded through Schools' nominations while few are open for applications

Other than exchange scholarships, is there any other financial support I can get for my exchange / learning activities outside Hong Kong?

In addition to exchange scholarships, students who are going out for exchange or learning programs can also apply for HKUST Study Abroad SponsorshipPilot Mainland Experience Scheme for Post-Secondary Students (PME), Non-academic Achievement Scholarships or Reaching Out Scholarships which support students to broaden their horizons.

Are there any other scholarship opportunities outside HKUST? Where could I find such information?

Yes, there are scholarships for which HKUST students will have to openly compete with students from other tertiary institutions.  Students who wish to apply for these "open" scholarships should keep an eye on call for applications announced via our website, "myPortal" of the University's website, HKUST email account, or notice boards around campus. 

Questions Asked by Scholarship Awardees
I hear about the “cap” of scholarship entitlement. What is it?

To make good use of valuable financial resources, the University has set a maximum scholarship amount (the “cap”) that a student can receive each year. The cap has been determined by the University Scholarship Committee, and it is equivalent to “Full Tuition Fee + Living Allowance” per academic year. The “Tuition Fee” charged to each student may vary according to the student’s status and admission year, but the “Living Allowance” is the same for all students, and the maximum amount is set at HKD55,000 for academic year 2019/20.

Are there any scholarships which are counted outside the cap amount?

Yes, scholarships which are awarded to support exchange or reaching-out learning experience are not counted towards the cap.

If I am awarded a scholarship by an external organization (such as companies and government of my home country) to support my studies at HKUST, should I report to the university?

Yes. Although your external scholarship is not offered nor administrated by HKUST, the external donors may attach certain conditions to your scholarship award that the university should be made aware of. Sometimes, the award status verification and payment processes may involve the university as well. We can provide appropriate assistance to you if you report your external scholarship entitlement to our Office.

Furthermore, due to the fact that the HKUST has set a maximum scholarship amount that a student can receive in total in each academic year, in order to make sure that your total awarded amount does not exceed “the cap”, you are obligated to report your external scholarship entitlement to our Office.

Are there any restrictions on how the scholarship money should be used?

Donors want to be assured that their contributions are put to good use. For this reason, it is the best to spend the money for academic-related purposes and for activities of self-enhancement.

Are there any obligations for a scholarship awardee?

Yes. First and foremost, you should keep up with your good work. Then, there are a few other things we feel you should do:

 

  1. Donors usually like to know more about their awardees. Write your donor a nice letter to (i) say "thank you"; (ii) tell him/her how you will spend the scholarship money; and (iii) inform him/her about your study plans and aspirations.

  2. On the occasion that a scholarship presentation ceremony or reception event is organized, awardees are expected to attend these functions to thank and meet the donor in person. You will also have a chance to meet new faces and develop your social and networking skills as well as leadership potential.

  3. For some scholarships, awardees may have the obligations to participate in internship, community services and/or enroll in foreign language courses.

I am awarded an admission scholarship. Will change of my program of study affect the entitlement or award level of my scholarship?

Yes, your admission scholarship offer letter has stated clearly that change in program of study may affect the scholarship entitlement or award level to you. If you intend to make such a change, you should consult the transfer-in School/Program Office about their support of your scholarship offer before applying for transfer. Otherwise, your admission scholarship may be terminated in part or in full despite your fulfillment of the original requirement of your scholarship offer.

I am awarded a renewable scholarship. What will happen if I unfortunately fail to fulfill the scholarship renewal requirement(s)?

Renewable scholarships can be renewed in a designated period subject to satisfactory academic performance. For some scholarships, awardees may also have to fulfill other obligations as stipulated in the scholarship terms and conditions in order to get the scholarship renewed. Students who fail to meet the scholarship renewal requirement(s) will lose the scholarship and cannot regain it thereafter. Therefore, you are strongly advised to ensure you understand and continue to fulfill the scholarship terms and conditions. If you have any questions or foresee any difficulties, always talk to staff of our office.

Scholarship Disbursement
When and how will I receive the scholarship money?

The scholarship will be paid automatically to your designated personal bank account registered under the Student Information System (SIS). If you do not have a Hong Kong personal bank account, you should open one so that auto-pay arrangement could be facilitated. Missing or invalid bank account information may delay the scholarship disbursement process. A system-generated email notification will be sent to you on the scholarship payment day. If you do not find the payment credited to your account 2 weeks after the payment entry was posted in your SIS, you could approach SFAO for assistance. If you encounter any problem with the SIS, you could refer to the FAQs for SIS.

What is the payment arrangement of admission scholarship? How does it pay?

First of all, you should be aware of your scholarship duration. If your scholarship is renewable for the subsequent year(s), please take note of the renewal requirements as stated in your offer letter. If your admission scholarship is one-off, you will receive the scholarship payment in the 1st year of study ONLY. Upon the confirmation of your scholarship, you are strongly advised to refer to your scholarship confirmation letter once again for the exact amount and duration of your scholarship entitlement.

One-off admission scholarship will NOT be renewed or continued in the remaining years of study under any circumstances. Therefore, please make sure you plan for your financial resources in prior and secure sufficient funds to support your studies at HKUST, especially for non-local students who are not eligible for financial assistance from both the HKSAR Government Grant/Loan and the University’s financial assistance scheme.


We shall arrange necessary off-setting of fees for you if applicable (see below “Table ANL_15/16” ).

 

Table ANL_15/16:Payment arrangement summary table applicable to ALL 2015/16 intakes and thereafter :

 

Award Amount Per Annum (HK$) Fall Term Spring Term Remaining Balance Disbursed to Students
Payment Amount Date of Scholarship Payment Showing at SIS Use of Payment Deferral of Due Dates for Any University Charges Payment Amount Date of Scholarship Payment Showing at SIS Use of Payment Deferral of Due Dates for Any University Charges
Any scholarship amount Half of the scholarship amount

New Intake:
Before program registration date for new intakeNote2

For JUPAS intake, it will be shown before tuition fee due date.

 

 

Continuing Students:
After add-drop period for continuing students

Settle any outstanding fees Note1 shown in the SIS New Intake:
NO

 


Continuing Students:
Yes but only for tuition fee
Half of the scholarship amount After add-drop period Settle any university fees Note1 shown in the SIS Yes but only for tuition fee If there is a positive balance shown in student’s SIS account, such amount will be credited to the student’s bank account before the end of the Term

 

Note 1 Including tuition fee, hall fee, caution money, medical insurance fee and other miscellaneous fees.
Note 2 Different program registration dates have been assigned to different students. Students should refer to the registration notification email from the Academic Registry for details.

Whom I should approach if I have any questions about scholarship payment arrangement?

Contact SFAO staff at Tel.: (852) 2358-5796 or Email: sfao.sc@ust.hk.