Appoved Guideline

GUIDELINE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF 

THE NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 
 
 
This Guideline for the administration of the National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program, hereinafter refers to as the “Guideline”, is established to guide the administration, disbursement and reporting of the National Scholarship & Financial Assistance Program (NSFA) funds that are annually appropriated by the National Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (CFSM) and the on-going “Sin Tax” Scholarship, as established pursuant to PL 13 - 60, as amended.  The Guideline shall be used to guide the processes in selecting and awarding of eligible and highly qualified applicants for “certificate”, “undergraduate”, “graduate” and “post-graduate” levels scholarships and general students’ financial assistance and to maintain and report on the progresses of the NSFA Program.  
 
This Guideline shall be further executed in accordance with applicable laws of the Federated States of Micronesia.
 
This Guideline is hereby approved and adopted pursuant to the authority vested in the scholarship fund allottee, pursuant to Title 55 of the FSM Code, Section §217.
 
 
__________________       ______________
Kalwin L. Kephas                         Date
Secretary
FSM Department of Education
 

The Guidlne

Guidelines for the Administration of National Scholarship & Financial Assistance Program 
 
I.   General 
 
The National Congress annually appropriates out of the national revenue a sum thereof to provide funds for scholarship and financial assistance for qualified students in the Federated States of Micronesia.  The National Government further receives foreign assistances for scholarships and students’ financial assistances and/or related short-term and long-term trainings in foreign countries.  Upon adoption, this Guideline shall provide the guiding principles and frameworks in the disbursements and reporting of these scholarships and financial assistances as shall be required by the funding sources and/or grantors and applicable laws of the Federated States of Micronesia.
 
II.  Purpose 
 
The purpose of the Guideline is to establish administrative and management requirements on the procedures, disbursements and reporting of the scholarship and financial assistance funds as shall be appropriated by the National Congress and further provided by foreign countries, private, corporate and philanthropic organizations.  These financial assistance sources will be used to provide scholarships and financial aids for qualified students who shall be attending and/or currently attending accredited Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) at the certificate, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels, including approved special training or summer programs.
 
III. Definitions
 
1) “Board” means the National Scholarship Board.
 
2) “Full-time student” means a student who is carrying a full-time academic work load in terms of course work or other required activities as determined by the institution.
 
3) “Good standing” means the eligibility of a student to continue in attendance at the institution where he or she is enrolled as a student in accordance with the institution’s standards and practices.
 
4) “Institution of higher education” means an educational institution which:
 
(a) admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education;
 
(b) is legally authorized to provide a program of education beyond secondary education;
 
(c) provides an educational program for which it awards a bachelor’s degree or provides not less than a two-year program which is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree;
 
(d) is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
 
(e) is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency approved by the chief or is an institution whose credits are accepted on transfer by not less than three institutions which are so accredited for credit on the same basis as if transferred from an institution so accredited.
 
IV.  Administration 
 
The Administrator of the Post-Secondary Education under the Office of the Secretary, FSM Department of Education, shall by virtues of his/her basic roles and responsibilities, be the officer of the National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program, as herein established by this Guideline and shall further be responsible for the administration of the said program pursuant to all statutory requirements as herein provided. The Officer shall execute this National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program, hereinafter refers to as “NSFAP”, in accordance with the decisions and deliberations of the National Scholarship Board, and hereinafter refers to as “Board”, as established by Executive No. 1, as amended, in 2008.
 
V.  Types of Assistance by Definition
 
1) Scholarship Awards – Any applicant within a 3.0 to 4.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) for undergraduate and 3.5 to 4.0 for graduate shall be considered and labeled as scholarship applicant.
 
2) Financial Assistance Awards – Any applicant within a 2.00 to 2.99 GPA for certificate and undergraduate and 3.00 to 3.49 GPA for graduates shall be considered and labeled as financial assistance applicant. 
  
VI.  The National Scholarship Board
 
The President shall appoint a five-member National Scholarship Board to transact and disburse scholarships and financial assistance activities as herein provided.  Each member of the Board shall be a resident of each of the four (4) FSM States, Chuuk, Yap, Pohnpei and Kosrae, and the fifth member shall be an employee of the National Government. Three (3) members of the Board shall constitute as a quorum to conduct its official activities. 
 
1. Officers – The Board shall duly elect its officers: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary. (Refer to Appendix A as herein attached for the roles and responsibilities of the Board’s officers.)
 
2. Terms – The terms for the Board members shall be three (3) years.
 
3. Function – The function of the Board shall include, but not limited to, the following activities:
 
(a) Recommends priority areas for certificate, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies for the President’s review and approval on Sin-Tax awardees and President’s sub-allottee (Secretary of the Department of Education) for review and approval on the National Scholarship awardees.  Such priority areas may be amended every three (3) years;
 
(b) Based on the established priority areas and the availability of funds under all sources, reviews scholarship and financial assistance applications, makes selections and recommends to the President and/or his sub-allottee the top qualified applicants for scholarship and financial assistance awards for approval. 
 
(c) Recommends national policies and procedures for the disbursements and accountability of the National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program.
 
 
VII.  Custodian of Scholarship Funds
 
The Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration shall be the custodian of all scholarship and financial assistance funds.
 
 
VIII. Eligibility Criteria
 
To be eligible for a national scholarship and financial assistance award as shall be appropriated by the National Congress under the national revenue and further provided by the “Sin-Tax” provisions, an applicant must:
 
(a) Be a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia; 
 
(b) Have been accepted or currently enrolled as a certificate, undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate level studies in an accredited institute of higher education;
 
(c) Be in good standing at such institution of attendance if currently enrolled and has a cumulative GPA of a minimum of 2.0 for certificate and undergraduates and a cumulative GPA of a minimum of 3.0 for graduates and postgraduates;
 
(d) Show proof of admission or attendance at such institution and as full-time student:
 
 
CREDITS LEVEL OF STUDY
twelve (12) credits or more certificate
twelve (12) credits or more undergraduates
six (6) to nine (9) credits graduates
six (6) credits per quarter on-line graduates
six (6) credits per semester post-graduates

 

IX.  Fields of Study 

The National Scholarship Board establishes the fields of study for the National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program and the following fields shall constitute the priority areas as herein provided in Table A: Priority Areas:
 
 
Tier 1:
 
Major Level of study Number of awards & years of study
1. Health Undergraduate/Graduate 5 awards for five years/6 awards for six years
2. Legal and Justice Studies Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
3. Business Administration: accounting Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
4. Education: curriculum and instruction, assessment, evaluation and research, special education and teaching, teacher education, administration and leadership and professional development and teaching assistant aides Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
5. Economics: development economics, agricultural economics, development planning, international trade, banking, finance Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
6. Engineering: architectural, civil, computer , construction, electrical, electronics and communications engineering Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
7. Agriculture: agriculture sciences, food safety and security, applied sciences/technology related to rural development Undergraduate/Graduate
5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
9. Tourism Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years

10. Environmental Studies: marine biology, oceanography, disaster risk management, renewable energy, meteorology, climate change adaptation, sustainable agriculture and integrated water management
Undergraduate/Graduate
5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years

11. Computer and Information Science
Undergraduate/Graduate
 
5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
12. Marine Studies Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
 
 
 
Tier 2:
 
Major Level of study Number of awards & years of study
1.  Sociology Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
2.  Political Science    Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
3.  Telecommunications Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
4.  Public Administration Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
5.  Social Science Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
6.  English Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
7.  Kinesiology (Physical Exercise) Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
8.  Communication    Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
9.  All other Business Administration fields   Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
 
 
Tier 3:
 
Major Level of study Number of awards & years of study
All other majors Undergraduate/Graduate 5 for 5 years/3 for 3 years
 
*Number of awards and years of study will be based on the type of degree student will achieve. 
 
 
 
Eleven percent (11%) of the total amount of scholarship and financial assistance appropriated for within a fiscal year shall be set aside to be awarded to eight (8) highly qualified undergraduate applicants (specifically two from each state who are enrolled in their third and fourth year level), and two highly qualified graduate and post-graduate applicants majoring in the fields above (as specified in Tier 1).  Five percent (5%) of the total amount of scholarship and financial assistance appropriated for within a fiscal year shall be set aside to be awarded to highly qualified applicants majoring in or pursuing vocational related fields below.  In the case that there are no vocational applicants, the money will be used for academic applicants.
 
 
Table B:  Specialized & Career Related Areas
 
Major Level of study Number of awards & years of study
1.  Cosmetology Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
2.  Office Administration Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
3.  Customer Service Training Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
4.  Construction/Electricity Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
5.  Culinary Arts Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
6.  Technician Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
7.  Security Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
8.  Mechanics/Heavy Equipments/Small Engine Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
9.  All other Business Administration fields   Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
10. Land Surveys Certificate 2-4 awards for 6mos-2yrs.
 
Other fields of study may be considered for awards if all priority applications have been considered and awarded and funds are still available within the awarding fiscal year.
 
 
X.  Terms of Scholarship and Financial Assistance Awards 
 
All awardees of the National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program funds shall adhere to and comply with these terms and conditions as herein provided:
 
1. Awardees shall maintain their selected fields of studies at the approved institutions throughout the awarded period. Any awardees who shall decide to change his/her field of studies and/or the institution or both, due to justifiable reasons, shall be required to secure the prior approval of the Board through an official communication to the Chairperson of the Board, through the Department of Education.  If any awarded recipient shall change his/her major to a non-priority field without the prior notices, his/her eligibility for scholarship and financial assistance will be terminated.
     
2. Awarded recipient shall complete the course of study within the prescribed period of study for which he/she shall be awarded a scholarship or a financial assistance.
 
3. At the end of each semester, awarded recipients must provide original and certified copies of their transcripts of records to the Office of Post-secondary Education and Scholarship under the Office of the Secretary, FSM Department of Education.  For fall awardees, awarded recipient must provide their original and certified copies of transcripts no later than February 15th of every year for the spring awards.  The GPA shown on transcripts and the number of credits taken will determine if the recipients are eligible to continue on the scholarship or financial assistance award.
 
4. Awarded recipients at all levels shall endorse an agreement and agreeing to return to the FSM after the completion of their award periods and provide services in their respective fields of specialty for at least one (1) year for every year that they were awarded scholarships or financial assistance, provided however that the States or the National Government shall provide employments in their respective fields within three (3) months after arrival in the FSM.
 
5. If any awarded recipients shall refuse to return to the FSM and provide services in his/her area of specialty or shall opt to work elsewhere beside in the FSM, the awarded recipient shall pay to the National Government at least fifty (50%) of the amounts invested in his/her education. (Refer to Appendix B: Scholarship and Financial Assistance Agreement.) 
 
6. If any certificate, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate scholarship and financial assistance recipients shall fail his/her field of study, he/she shall be granted the followings:
 
a) Opportunity to change his/her field of study or the institute in attendance or both and continue to receive his or her awards. Such opportunity may be granted only once.
b) Opportunity to continue in his/her field of study under a probationary period which shall not be longer than one semester and continue to receive his or her award.  Such opportunity may be granted only once.
 
 
XI.  Amount of Awards
 
The total amount of scholarship and financial assistance funds awarded per fiscal year shall not exceed the amount available in the national scholarship and financial assistance funds account as shall be appropriated for the fiscal year period, provided, each fiscal year awards shall include the continuation of scholarships and financial assistance for already selected award recipients.  The National Board of Scholarship shall award eligible applicants based on the tiers and amounts available.   Tier 1 applicants shall receive fifty percent (50%) of the amounts available; tier 2 applicants shall receive thirty percent (30%) of the amounts available; and tier 3 applicants shall receive twenty percent (20%) of the amounts available.
 
XII.  The Application Process
 
1. The scholarship and financial assistance applicants shall secure application form (Appendix C: National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Application Form-Form NSB11-03) and return a completed form to the Office of the Postsecondary Education and Scholarship, FSM Department of Education, on or before July 31st of every year for fall and spring awards, December 31st for spring awards and May 31st for summer awards.
 
2. With the completed application forms, the applicants shall provide proofs of citizenship, proofs of school admissions or attendance, official high school or college transcripts, and three (3) reference letters.
 
3. The Administrator of Postsecondary Education, FSM Department of Education, shall secure all application and validate the accuracies of information provided in the application forms.
 
 
XIII.  Scholarship Award Process
 
1. The Administrator of Post-Secondary and Scholarship shall review all applications, sort them accordingly and submit completed applications for consideration for scholarship and financial assistance award to the Board at least two (2) weeks after the end of each deadline.
 
2. The Board shall review completed scholarship and financial assistance applications based on the selection criteria, priority areas for studies and availability of funds, and submit their recommendations for awards to the President or Secretary for approval.  If the President or Secretary shall return any or more of the selections and requiring further work of the Board, the Board shall complete the review and re-submit such applications as soon as possible or remove any application that may be declared as incomplete or ineligible.
 
3. Upon review and approval of the President and/or Secretary, the Administrator of the Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship or the Student Services Coordinator shall process the payment request for the first fifty-percent (50%) of all the approved awards to be processed by the Department of Finance & Administration, payable to the awarded recipients and the institutions they would attend or are attending. 
 
4. The Division of Treasury shall process two-party checks, payable to the awarded students and the institutions in attendance.  In the case where awarded recipients have shown proof that they have been taxed by the institution of attendance, a one party-check shall be made payable to the student.  The remaining fifty-percent of the awards shall be issued based on the recipients’ continued eligibility as herein provided under Section IX of this Guideline.
 
XIV.  Notification of Awards
 
1. The Administrator of the Office of Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship shall notify the selected and approved recipients and the Director of Financial Aid of the institutions in effect through an official letter or email that shall congratulate the recipients and provide the information on the amount of scholarships and/or financial assistance awards to be provided.
 
2. The official letters to the selected graduate and post-graduate levels recipients shall include the Scholarship & Financial Assistance Agreement Form (Appendix B: SAF-Form NSB-11-01) and the Scholarship Award cover letters for their reviews and signatures on the award agreement (Form NSB11-01) and to return the signed SAF to the Office of Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship, under the Office of the Secretary, FSM Department of Education through priority mail or e-mail. 
 
3. The official letters to the selected certificate and undergraduate level recipients shall include the Scholarship Award Acceptance (SAA) letters for their reviews and signatures and to return the signed SAA to the Office of Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship under the Office of the Secretary, FSM Department of Education through priority mail or e-mail.
 
4. Any delay and/or failure to return the signed SAF and/or SAA could cause the delay in receiving the award checks or constitutes grounds for the termination of the awards.
 
XV.  Disbursement of Award Checks
 
Upon receipt of the signed SAF and the SAA letter from the awarded applicants, the Administrator of the Post-Secondary Education shall conduct the following:
 
1. Transmit the award check to the student’s stated institution –via- Registered/Certified mails.
 
2. Issue the remaining 50% award at the beginning of the following semester based on  the following conditions:
a. Receipt of original transcript for the previous semester;
b. Recipient fulfills credits requirements stated under Section VIII; and
c. Recipient maintains good academic performance.
 
3. Continue issuing of award checks and notices of warning to certificate, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate scholarship and financial assistance based on terms outlined under section X.  Any financial assistant recipient who shall be granted the second opportunity to upgrade his/her GPA but fails to do so within the granted period shall be suspended.
 
4. Any scholarship recipient who shall be granted the second opportunity to upgrade his/her GPA but shall fails to do so within the granted period shall then be labeled and treated as a financial assistance recipient and given the appropriate amount of awards for financial assistance.
 
5. Ensure that each award shall be expended for education purposes only to defray the cost of tuition, room and board and school supplies and resource material. 
 
 
XVI.  Data Collection & Dissemination
 
The Office of Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship shall establish its database system and incorporate it into the FSM EMIS Computer Network System (CNS).  The Office shall further establish the procedures and processes as shall be applicable to receive and disseminate data on scholarship and financial assistance recipients from the National and States Governments on a regular basis.  Such data that will be collected & disseminated shall follow these dates:
 
1. Awardees Data
a) December for Fall Semester and April for Spring Semester
2. Graduated Scholarship Recipients
a) June of every year
3. All other FSM Student attending IHE outside the FSM
a) July 30th
4. Certificate program verification
5. List of scholarship and training opportunities
 
XVII.  Monitoring and Evaluation
 
The Administrator of the Office of Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship shall monitor and evaluate students’ progresses by mail, email and/ or on-site visits to ensure that students are adhering to the NSFAP requirements.  The Administrator shall further collect and evaluate postsecondary school enrollment data, students’ needs and challenges to improve the National Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program at the National Government and provide recommendations to the State Governments to improve their scholarship programs.
 
XVIII.  Reporting
 
The Administrator of the Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship shall be responsible to prepare and submit progress data report to the Board for submission to the President and to the Congress of the FSM on a regular basis.  
 
XIX.  Foreign Scholarships
 
Any official notices of foreign scholarship from any foreign country as shall be communicated through the Department of Foreign Affairs which shall in turn relay the information to the Department of Education shall be disseminated to the State Scholarship Coordinators by the Administrator for the states’ timely and appropriate responses.  
 
XX.  Statutory Requirements
 
The National Scholarship Board and the Office of Post-Secondary Education and Scholarship shall ensure that the scholarship and financial assistance funds are expended in accordance with mandated requirements of applicable FSM laws.  
 
XXI.  Effective Date
 
This Guideline shall take effect upon the approval of the Secretary of the FSM Department of Education.
 
 
 
 
Kalwin L. Kephas    _____________________
Secretary                                Date
FSM Department of Education

 

 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 

 
 
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