Being one of the most prestigious scholarships in the entire country, SAF Scholarship stands for a noble purpose to achieve a greater end. As a small country, Singapore has established a mandatory military service similar to the establishment made in South Korea. In order to award military service members for their hard work and sacrifice, the Government of Singapore has issued this scholarship to encourage potential members of the SAF. For those of you who didn’t know, SAF stands for Singapore Armed Forces, and yes, you have to take part in military service if you are a Singapore Citizen or a second-generation Permanent Resident.
Eligibility Requirements of SAF Scholarship
There can be a lot of misconceptions regarding the eligibility requirements since they have several meanings inside them. I will try to cover them one by one, so please bear with me as I try to cover each phase of individual requirements. Also, if you want the best and accurate method, you can contact the SAF Scholarship Office, but I think we are smart enough to figure this out together.
1. Be a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident Applying for Citizenship
If you consider the first case, Singapore Citizens already have to serve in the military due to mandatory service, so why not serve in the military while gaining full support for your educational service? It might not be a bad idea, but the years of service for SAF Scholarship Recipient is doubled than the standard years of service for a Singapore Citizen. However, you receive full-scholarship support if you do apply and get the SAF Scholarship. There are pros and cons for each situation, but make sure that you are considering all your limits and options before applying for this scholarship.
In the second case, only second-generation permanent residents have to serve in the military, and if you apply to that category, then it might not be too bad applying for this scholarship since SAF Scholarship also covers full support for overseas study as well. Since the cost of attendance for most universities overseas is relatively expensive, applying for SAF Scholarship might be the free way out. Also, you can have a chance to be a Singapore Citizen, and I would definitely consider the opportunity since there are many benefits that come with Singapore Citizenship.
2. Have Good GCE ‘A’ Level, IB Results, or Polytechnic Diploma (With Merit)
Let’s go over one by one what each individual requirements mean. You can either get one of the following scores, and one thing that I didn’t include in the requirements above is that you can also get by with their equivalent. If the country that you live in have a different curriculum than what is listed here, then feel free to use that score for this academic requirement. Getting back to what is listed above, GCE ‘A’ Level stands for General Certificate of Education Advanced Level, and the IB Results stand for International Baccalaureate.
What does each of these certificates mean? Both GCE Advanced Level and International Baccalaureate Results are awarded as a high school diploma for students in most countries. If you have graduated from high school, you would probably fall into one of these two categories. If you went higher to a polytechnic institute, you would need to graduate with merit, which means you need to be in the top 10% of your graduating class. If you basically have your high school diploma, you are good to go, or you can just get a diploma just short of a bachelor’s degree if you really want to.
3. Have a Good Co-Curricular Activities Record
Short for CCA, Co-Curricular Activities stand for extracurricular activities in the States. CCA is pretty straightforward since they are stuff that you do outside of class. Playing sports, playing an instrument, or just being involved in groups can count toward extracurricular activities. One big thing that you might forget is community service since this activity also counts toward your extracurricular activities. If you can think of any other extracurricular activities that you have participated in, then go ahead and include them in your list.
4. Have Strong Leadership Qualities
Now, this eligibility requirement can be interpreted in several different ways. Leadership qualities can be shown through your participation in student government positions such as being your class president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer; but it can go deeper than that. It can be sacrifice through community service or just working hard in the background to make everything smoother. I’m just saying that it doesn’t have to be all public and showy since leaders are made when nobody notices them, so be sure to add your uniqueness to your application when you are applying for SAF Scholarship.
5. Qualify for and Excel in Officer Cadet School
Okay, this requirement was confusing for me, and it should confuse you too since you have to qualify and excel in Officer Cadet School. Let’s just start with the first part, the qualification process. Since you are applying for the SAF Scholarship, you have to take part in Basic Military Training offered by Singapore Armed Forces. Since this is prior to application, you need to be in Singapore in order to undergo the training at Singapore Basic Military Training Center. In order to qualify for Officer Cadet School, you have to score really high in Basic Military Training, which would mean you need to be in shape and your mental conditions should be stable.
After scoring high in the Basic Military Training, you are qualified for the Officer Cadet School; however, you don’t have to attend right away according to my knowledge. However, after receiving the SAF Scholarship, you will be required to attend the Officer Cadet School, and you need to excel in performance than the majority of the cadets since you are a SAF Scholarship Recipient. So, if you didn’t receive the SAF Scholarship yet, the excel in Officer Cadet School does not apply to you right now.
6. Have a Strong Interest in Military Career
There are several reasons why the Singapore Government wants people like this since Singapore is investing heavily in your education, and on top of that, it is willing to pay you bonuses even before you start your military career. Since they are investing heavily in you in the first place, why not pick a person who might serve his entire life-time at Singapore Armed Forces? Similarly, you too are spending a lot of time with SAF if you do receive this scholarship. After receiving SAF Scholarship, the scholarship recipients are required to serve in the SAF for a minimum of 4 years after their college graduation.
After serving in the military that long, you are probably going to get tired of it, but you might be interested in staying there for the long run since it is a stable job. You probably would be ranked in a high position, and your salary would increase year by year. Even though you are not forced to serve in the military after that designated period of time, you still have the option to keep on serving since SAF is not going to stop you. If you are not willing to stay there for the long run, you might not be able to fulfill your part of the deal, which is serving in the SAF for at least 4 years and at max 6 years.
7. SAF Scholarships Are Open to Both Genders
Compared to other stuff that we have talked about, this seventh one is not an eligibility requirement since it is not limiting people at all. It is basically saying that both genders can apply, which means not this scholarship is not exclusively for males. Both genders may apply, but you need to consider that every SAF Scholarship Recipient has to participate in Basic Military Training and Mandatory Military Service. I’m not saying that it will exclude female applicants, but you need to consider for yourself since they are the underlying requirements of the SAF Scholarship.
To View the Eligibility Requirements, Click Here.
Great Values of SAF Scholarship Awards
After looking through all the eligibility requirements, you might think, “Wow, that’s intense!” It was done due to a good reason since the scholarship value of SAF is better than a full-ride scholarship. You might ask, “What is better than a full-ride scholarship?” And the answer is, “A scholarship that covers ALL aspects of financial expenses and more!” That’s right, you will receive funding that will exceed your expectations.
- Full Coverage of Tuition, Room & Board, and Mandatory Fees
- Stipend for Return Airfare Only
- Stipend for Personal Expenses (Books, Clothing, Computer …)
- One-Time Coverage for Summer Exchange Programs
- Full Salary for the Duration of Overseas Studies (Including Bonuses)
The scholarship covers up to four years of study, and you can also use this scholarship to earn your Master’s degree. One thing to consider is that you need to complete your studies in 4 years regardless of your major or program since that is the requirement. It is really interesting that the Singapore Government pays you even though you are not technically working, but oh well, take advantage of your salary and spend your money wisely!
Service Requirements of SAF Scholarship
You just have realized the great extent that the Singapore Government has gone to invest in your education, and now, it is the time that you need to pay them back through your service. After completing your four years of college education, you need to serve in the SAF for a designated period of time. For SAF Scholarship Recipients who went to a local university (located in Singapore), your service requirement is four years. For SAF Scholarship Recipients who went to an overseas university (not located in Singapore), your service requirement is six years.
It kinda makes sense, right? You serve more when you study abroad since the Singapore Government pays more for your education than an applicant who chooses to study at a local university. Also, you receive a salary when you go to study overseas while you receive none when studying at a local university. Basically, you are exchanging your time for money, so you need to determine whether your time is worth all that money sponsored by the Singapore Government. When you do go study abroad overseas, you will probably get a higher chance to study in a top-tier university since you have the support of the Singapore Government, so you can use this information to your advantage.
To Apply for SAF Scholarship, Click Here.
Even though it is a great scholarship, keep in mind that nothing comes for free! I hope that you have enjoyed this post, and visit our homepage for more updated information.