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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

    Bahamas Scholarship

    The+new+%245%2C000+Drake+scholarship+aims+to+draw+more+Bahamian+students+to+Drake.+Photo+courtesy+of+the+government+of+the+Bahamas
    The new $5,000 Drake scholarship aims to draw more Bahamian students to Drake. Photo courtesy of the government of the Bahamas

    Beginning this fall college application season, residents of the Bahamas who attend Drake and qualify for the $7,500 Bahamas’ Government Scholarship will also receive the $5,000 Drake Bahamas Scholarship. The scholarship is renewable each undergraduate year and can go towards the costs of studying full-time. It does not require an application or renewal process. 

    The decision came after the Global Engagement Office noticed increased attention from Bahamian students about attending Drake.  

    “We thought that we could do more there than what we were doing,” said Patrick Bourgeacq, director of International Student Recruitment. “Some of the problems we were having was that students would apply, they’d love it, they love what they’re hearing about Drake, but they just couldn’t afford it.”

    Former Drake educational consultant Erica Hepburn communicated with the Bahamas’ Ministry of Education to organize the partnership between the Bahamas and Drake. Although there hadn’t been a prior relationship between the two, after seeing an increased interest from Bahamian students, members of the ministry visited in late November of 2023 to learn more.

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    “We decided to partner with them and then actually seeing the University first hand and meeting with some of the deans in the area to tell us more information about their programs, we decided to actually partner with Drake,” said Chilean Burrows, head of the Scholarship and Educational Loan Division of the Bahamas’ Ministry of Education.  

    During the visit, members of the Bahamas’ Ministry of Education met with four current Drake students from the Bahamas to talk about their experiences. Burrows said she was impressed with the support that Drake provided to international students, especially first-years. 

    One Bahamian student shared a story about how, when she needed a ride to school, a professor in the area drove her. Burrows called this “the type of support that we know that Drake has.”

    Students need to be accepted to Drake and earn the $7,500 Private, Independent & Transfer-In Government of the Bahamas Scholarship to receive the Drake Bahamas Scholarship. Bahamian students can apply for the Bahamas Government Scholarship on the scholarship program’s website

    To qualify for the Bahamas’ Government Scholarship, a student needs at least a 3.0 grade point average and five Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education passes at C or above. The Bahamas’ National Scholarship Advisory Committee then approves the scholarship. 

    “We’re seeing our volume of applicants increase significantly,” Bourgeacq said. “Just yesterday we admitted 26 students in one day, which is an all-time high from the Bahamas.” 

    Bourgeacq hopes that this partnership brings more Bahamian students to Drake. 

    “We’re really excited. We’re seeing our efforts really come to fruition now,” Bourgeacq said.

    One of the goals of Bahamas’ Ministry of Education scholarship program is to train students in national priority areas such as education or various trades, so when they come back, they can take up positions in these areas that are understaffed or foreigner-staffed.  

    “I expect that it will be a win-win for both Drake and the government of the Bahamas where Bahamian students can go to Drake [and] actually get the skills [and] the education that they need,” Burrows said. “Of course, the ultimate goal is for them to return to the Bahamas and contribute to this great nation in the areas where we definitely lack.”

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