Prestigious scholarships and comprehensive financial aid await new students at SMU

  • SMU’s innovative scholarships develop more impactful leaders

  • Bold financial initiatives help deserving students not miss out an SMU education 

SMU's Lee Kong Chian Scholars on a study trip to Japan Photo: SMU
SMU's first full sports scholarship Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship honours excellent qualities exemplified by the Paralympics gold medallist and SMU student. Photo: SMU

Singapore Management University (SMU) has numerous merit- and needs-based schemes helping students from all financial backgrounds get a headstart on their finances and university education.

One in three SMU freshmen will have a chance to obtain one of the 1,000 scholarships, grants, and other financial aid available for the upcoming academic year. Of these, 170 are bond-free scholarships, meaning students are free to work for any employer they choose after graduation.

New initiatives such as SMU's flagship Global Impact Scholarship Award incorporating exceptional features that leverage SMU's signature pedogogy, and the SMU Access guaranteeing a financial aid package for qualifying needy students, take SMU's transformative education approach to a new level.

In line with SMU's holistic view to education, students are encouraged to not just perform academically, but also sharpen leadership skills, and be active in co-curricular activities and the community.

Here we highlight some of the latest, innovative SMU scholarships and financial schemes.

  • The Global Impact Scholarship Award: 4 Exceptional Features

  • 1. Multiple Forms of Global Exposure

    YEAR 1: Overseas Community Involvement Project
    YEAR 2: Scholars' Study Mission
    YEAR 3: One-term overseas exchange at top universities, or a summer programme at the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge

  • 2. Exceptional Infusion of Experiential Learning

    3 bespoke SMU-X courses, taught in collaboration with industry partners:
    - Transformative Leadership
    - Managing in a VUCA Context
    - Scholars' Capstone Research Project

  • 3. Robust Core Curriculum for Scholars

    4 Scholars' Core Modules (3 SMU-X courses + Scholars' Study Mission), in addition to degree-specific requirements
    Leadership development opportunities via events featuring close interaction with industry leaders

  • 4. Dual Degree Options

    - Single or double undergraduate degree
    - Integrated Bachelor-Master programme (concurrently)
    - Sequential Bachelor-Master programme (with the option to enrol in a Master's course within 5 years of graduation)

Global Impact Scholarship Award

This new and prestigious flagship scholarship offers outstanding students a transformative learning experience, through four outstanding features anchoring on SMU's signature pedagogy.

The scholarship includes strong global exposure at top universities such as University of Cambridge or University of Oxford, bespoke experiential and industry-partnered learning, a specially-designed core curriculum, and multiple dual degree and bachelor-master programme options.

Global Impact Scholars can choose to do either an integrated bachelor-master programme in four years (except law students needing five years), or a sequential master programme after completing undergraduate studies, with the option to pursue postgraduate studies after gaining work experience.

The specially designed Scholars' core curriculum has an exceptional infusion of experiential learning through bespoke SMU-X modules, one step up the mainstreamed innovative and award-winning curriculum where students work with peers on solving real-world multi-disciplinary problems for industry partners. Multiple forms of global exposure are possible.

This award aims to develop leaders with a global perspective for the public, private and people sectors, and who are committed to making strong societal impact. The premier programme fully funded by SMU recognises outstanding students with all-rounded excellence and prepares them for leadership roles on the global stage. Scholars gain an excellent capacity for critical, creative and innovative thinking, and soft skills such as collaboration, leadership and empathy.

The bond-free scholarship worth over $120,000 has places for 40 Singaporean undergraduates in the upcoming academic year. Applications close in March for the August 2017 cohort.

SMU Access

The first-of-its kind new initiative guarantees that every financially needy incoming Singaporean student will receive a bond-free financial aid package equal to the student's full tuition fees. SMU Access grant and scholarship recipients will each receive up to $12,500 per year, ensuring full coverage of tuition fees.

For the SMU Access grant, eligibility is based only on the student's household economic circumstances such as per capita income and housing type, with no academic qualification requirements. There is no cap on the number of grant recipients.

For the scholarship, called the Quantedge Foundation Scholarship, eligibility is also based only on the student's household economic circumstances such as per capita income and housing type, with no academic qualification requirements. However, recipients will need to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3 out of 4 each year. About 20 to 25 recipients will be supported annually.

SMU Access is supported by an $8 million seed fund from local charity Quantedge Foundation, and will be sustained with the help of government grants, SMU funds, and donor gifts.

  • Benefits of prestigious SMU scholarships at a glance

  • SMU Global Impact Scholarship Award

    - Tuition fee waiver (after MOE tuition grant subsidy)
    - $5,000 annual living allowance
    - $1,800 one-time computer allowance upon enrolment
    - $14,000 Global Learning Opportunities Worldwide (GLOW) grant for:
    o An Overseas Student Exchange/Summer Programme
    o An Overseas Scholars' Study Mission
    o An Overseas Community Service Project
    - An optional concurrent or sequential SMU Master's programme up to $40,000
    - Total scholarship value: $121,800 ($125,800 for law students)
    - Scholarship is bond-free
  • Lee Kong Chian Scholars' Programme

    - Tuition fee waiver (after MOE tuition grant subsidy)
    - $12,000 Overseas Student Exchange/Summer Programme Grant
    - $3,000 one-time Study Trip Grant
    - $1,000 one-time funding for an Overseas Community Service Project
    - $1,800 one-time computer allowance upon enrolment
    - Scholarship is bond-free
  • SMU Merit Scholarship / Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship

    - Tuition fee waiver (after MOE tuition grant subsidy)
    - Growth opportunities allowance of $12,000 to fund a part or combination of the following:
    o Overseas Community Service Projects (compulsory)
    o Global Exposure opportunities that include Overseas Student Exchange / Summer Programmes and School Study Missions
    o Case Competitions
    o Presentations at Conferences
    - Scholarship is bond-free

In the long run, more than 80 students in every new cohort who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds could benefit. This will help provide full financial assistance and make significant differences in students' lives.

SMU Merit Scholarship

Flexibility is the hallmark of this new scholarship, which allows students to opt between a single or double degree. Students must also participate in overseas community service projects.

There are myriad growth opportunities from overseas student exchange programmes, school study missions, case competitions and conference presentations.

The bond-free scholarship opens doors to various ways to broaden horizons in order to become an impactful leader in future. Up to 35 SMU Merit Scholarships will be awarded in the upcoming academic year.

Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship

SMU's first full sports scholarship recognises sporting excellence, hard work, resilience and leadership - the same qualities exemplified by Paralympics gold medallist and SMU student Yip Pin Xiu. It is open to undergraduates who are outstanding athletes with the potential and intention to represent Singapore in international competitions and push the boundaries of sporting excellence.

Scholarship holders must take part in overseas community projects, and will be supported with a $12,000 allowance to fund these and other global exposure opportunities. These include exchange programmes and school study missions.
Up to two scholarships will be offered each year.

Lee Kong Chian Scholar's Programme

Funded by the Lee Foundation, the programme supports outstanding students with a bent for entrepreneurship. It also encourages scholars to lead overseas community service projects for the less fortunate, in line with the prograramme's philanthropic spirit. Up to 50 bond-free scholarships are awarded annually.

This scholarship for high achievers requires them to complete two degrees in four years, with one from the Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) and the other from any of the five schools in SMU.

The award is named after Chinese philanthropist Lee Kong Chian - the founder of the Lee Foundation.

Law scholarships and bursaries

Financially-needy SMU law undergraduates can apply for the prestigious Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) Undergraduate Scholarship. Valued at approximately $50,000 and running annually for five years beginning form the upcoming financial year, the new award benefits one needy Singapore law freshman with high potential to succeed in legal education.

Beyond financial assistance, the scholarship also offers valuable exposure in SAL programmes and committee work for interactions and learnings from senior members of the legal profession.

Another new award for law students is the Patrick Ong Law LLC Bursary. The bursary is sponsored by Mr Patrick Ong, Director of Patrick Ong Law LLC. One needy Singaporean or Permanent Resident law student will benefit from a $5,000 bursary award each year for four years.

These schemes will enable deserving students to focus on their education and pursue all-round excellence, free from financial burden.

For more information on scholarships and awards in SMU, visit

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