Our main scholarship centers also have secondary programs of welfare grants. The grants are awarded to students who didn’t quite qualify for a full scholarship but still have some ‘one-off’ financial need.
In 2016 we gave 1,314 grants and in 2017 hope to give a similar number. Our standard welfare grants have values of 2,000 Baht for school children, 3,000 Baht for vocational college students and 5,000 Baht for those at universities. See the Currency Converter for exchange rates.
SET’s welfare grants are always education-related – for school shoes, bus fares, canteen lunch, books and tools, dormitory accommodation, spectacles etc – but we sometimes give a grant with a higher than usual value, if it can be justified. But even a small grant can make an immediate and positive difference to a needy youngster. A grant of 800 Baht will buy a pair of shoes. 1,000 Baht will pay for uniform or buy the books and tools necessary for the student’s course. A grant of 2,500 Baht will usually pay dormitory rent for a semester.
To receive a grant, students apply directly to their own Welfare Department at the beginning of each semester. They first complete a questionnaire detailing their needs and are then interviewed. Applications are always thoroughly investigated. If satisfied that the need is genuine, welfare officers recommend to SET that a grant should be paid.
Besides the grants at our main scholarship centers, we also give grants of 2,000 Baht to children at rural schools where we do not have a scholarship program. Children at inner-city schools in Nakhon Sawan and in a tiny rural school in a northeastern province receive grants every year, but the number of these extra grants we can give depends on our income from year-to-year.