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12 prestigious scholarship programs for school students

Reputed scholarships and awards won during school time offer excellent monetary support and social recognition. More importantly, they can do wonders for a student’s confidence levels and greatly improve his/her CV when they apply for colleges or even for first jobs. Some of these scholarships are recognized globally and can open doors to international colleges too. 

Despite knowing the importance of these scholarship programs, we miss out on them for our kids simply due to lack of awareness. SchoolCountry brings to you an exhaustive list of scholarships and awards for school students in India. 


10 prestigious scholarships and award programs for school students in India


1. Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS):

  • About the scholarship: SEATS is conducted by Depart of Science and Technology every year under the umbrella program of INSPIRE (Innovation in Science & Pursuit for Inspired Research). The program encourages students to make a science project and demonstrate it. Each student gets an amount of Rs 5,000 for making a Project and transportation cost for displaying the exhibits/ project in the exhibition. The certificate is highly recognized and prized.
  • Conducting body: Department of Science and Technology, Government of India
  • Eligibility: Open to students of class 6 to 10.
  • How to apply: The school will have to nominate name of the participating student. Usually Principal or Head master at the school have to propose the name.
  • How to prepare: The student will have to make an independent project to present at the science exhibitions. 
  • Other features: Winter and summer camps organised for top 1% performers in Class X Board exams
  • Website: SEATS Scholarship for school students

Latest update in 2014

2. BrainX National Maths Contest

  • About the contest: BrainX National Maths Contest is open to students of class 1 to class 5 only. The contest has gained reputation over the past 3 years as specialized and creative testing ground for Maths. Every year, they have come up with some very interesting and creative Math problems for kids to solve that gets them to color, draw and cut while they are doing Maths. This is done at school, region and national level using 3 different media i.e. paper, games and computers. 
  • Conducting body: Logic Roots
  • How to prepare: The contest is designed to encourage students about Math. The type of problems they have designed test Critical Thinking, Judgement and Application in Math instead of rote learning. It is probably the only one in India that involves 3 dimensional testing medium starting with pen-paper based activities at School level moving to creative Math games at Regional level and finally using computers at National level. 3 aspects of Math that are promoted are
    1. Knowledge of basic skills as per age and class e.g. addition, multiplication, number system etc. The kids should be able to solve direct problems correctly. No need for parents to spend hours working on the advanced concepts. 
    2. Application in real life situations - So the child knows addition but does he/she know when to add and when to subtract in real life or does he have to look for cue words like add, total, minus, remaining etc.
    3. Reasoning and judgement - Can the child use the Math skills to reason and take a decision in real life. This is done in game context through board games and computers. 
  • How to apply: The contest is conducted annually. Schools can register here
  • Eligibility: Open to all school students from Class 1 to 5
  • Important dates: 28th November 2014

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Latest update in 2014

3. NSO, NCO, NSS, UCO, USS and other olympiads in maths and science for students of class 1 to 5

  • About the maths and science olympiads: Since the past 5-6 years, many private organizations have started conducting national level scholorships and certificate examinations for students of class 1 to 5. Over the years, they have gained in reputation and spread and reach to hundreds of schools across country.  The first round of test is held at the school level and then depending upon the conducting organization (USO, NCO etc), the next rounds are done at city, state and country level. Seperate test papers are designed for each class
  • Conducting body: NCO, USO etc. 
  • How to prepare: We are asked hundreds of questions every year about the course and how to prepare for these tests etc. The exams are designed to specifically bring out two things
    1. Does the child have knowledge of base skills as per his age and class e.g. addition, multiplication, number system, environmental science etc. No need for parents to spend hours working on the advanced concepts. Just make sure that the child gets adequate practice of addition, multiplication, division , geometry etc
    2. Can the child apply some of these concepts in real life - So the child knows addition but does he/she know when to add and when to subtract in real life or does he have to look for cue words like add, total, minus, remaining etc. So a big weightage is around real life application of maths for kids
  • How to apply: The exams are conducted annually and most of these organizations have a tie up with schools. They put up posters in the school and you then need to check with the class teacher for the dates and fees
  • Eligibility: Open to all school students from Class 1 to 5
  • Important dates: Happens all year round


4. Scholarship for Higher Education  (SHE)

  • About the scholarship: SHE provides a scholarship of Rs. 80,000/ year per candidatefor a maximum period of five years starting 1st year course in B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons) or integrated course. It is the most sought after scholarship of students undertaking Natural and Basic Sciences. 
  • Conducting body: Department of Science and Technology, Government of India
  • Eligibility: The candidate applying for the scholarship could be any of the following
    • Students who happen to be among the top 1% in 12th standard at their respective Board Examinations and are pursuing courses in Natural and Basic sciences at the B.Sc. or Integrated M.Sc. levels.
    • Students who have secured in the Joint Entrance Examination of IIT top 10,000 ranks, AIEEE (top 10,000 ranks) plus those clearing AIPMT (top 10,000 ranks), and who also opt to study Natural and Basic sciences in any academic institute
    • Students admitted to Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Basic Sciences (DAE-CBS) at the University of Mumbai or happen to be Kishore VaigyanikProtsahanYojana (KVPY), National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), Jagadish Bose National Science Talent Search (JBNSTS) scholars and Science Olympiad Medalists, opting to undertake courses in the Natural & Basic sciences leading to B.Sc. and M.Sc.
  • How to prepare: There is no separate exam. The Scholarship is given on the bases of the Board marks or the AIEEE/IITJEE exam
  • How to apply: Application Formalities can be completed on the website
  • Websites: Scholarship for higher education (SHE) 

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5. The Velammal Science Talent Search Exam:

  • About the scholarship: The objective of the scholarship test is to identify students with potential to study and support them with cash rewards. The total scholarship prize on offer is Rs 4 lakhs across 6 different levels. Its an exam where you can put your aptitude and problem solving skills to test and stand a good chance of winning a prize from one among the 30 prizes in each level. 
  • Conducting body: The Velammal Educational Trust of Tamil Nadu
  • Eligibility: Students of Class I to XII in Tamil Nadu or Pondicherry
  • How to prepare: Questions asked are based on the Maths and Science syllabus followed in schools. Detailed syllabus for each class is available on the Exam site 
  • How to apply: The registrations start each year by September and close early October. Student can apply through school or register online. 
  • Website: Velammal Science Scholarship

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6. Foundation For Academic Excellence and Access (FAEA):

  • About the scholarship: FAEA provides scholarships for students belonging to socially and economically disadvantaged sections of the society. It enables students to study in the institutions, which provide academic excellence and economic opportunity. Students are selected on the basis of their academic excellence and social and economic background. Scholarship Program will provide support to the students selected for up to three years in the first instance. This can be extended for another two years for postgraduate study 
  • Conducting body: Foundation for Academic Excellence and Access
  • Eligibility: Applicants should be an Indian and a permanent resident of India and should have passed Class XII examination from a recognized Indian Board.  The final selection will, however, be subject to the student securing certain minimum scores in Class XII examinations and interview results
  • How to apply: Application can be made online at
  • Important dates: Application generally closes by mid August
  • Website: FAEA India Scholarship

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7. Aviva Young Scholar Nat Geo Junior Hunt

  • About the scholarship: Aviva Young Scholar Hunt Contest awards its winners a fully paid scholarship for a degree/diploma in Clinical Research, Management or Aviation and the chance to host Nat Geo Junior shows. The competition is stiff with about 4 lakh participants all over India. The hunts looks for a A child who is Curious, Adventurous, Articulate, Energetic and Smart (All round Development is required). The participants are subject to various events ranging from thinking tests to adventure camps
  • Conducting body: CNN-IBN in association with ICRI, ILAM & Maples
  • Eligibility: Students of class 3 - 8 from selected schools can apply 
  • How to apply: Registrations can be made at the web site 
  • Important dates: Registrations usually close by the end of June
  • Website: AVIVA young scholar award

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8. Amul  Vidya Shree and Vidya Bhushan Awards

  • About the scholarship: Amul Vidya Shree Award is India's first award of recognition to  the meritorious rankers of Class 10 in the State Board/ Central Board/ ICSE Examinations, while Amul Vidya Bhushan Award is for meritorious students of class XII. The winner would be featured in India’s leading newspaper and would get national recognition in addition to receiving a memento, a certificate of excellence and a gift hamper of books
  • Conducting body: Amul
  • How to apply: The application form is to be submitted by the school Principal
  • Eligibility: Students who have just passed their 10th boards or 12th board exams
  • Important dates: Registrations close early July
  • Website: Amul scholarship for meritorious students



9. CSIR Innovation Award for School Children

  • About the scholarship: CSIR Award is an award initiated to create awareness, interest and motivation for intellectual property amongst children. The award consists of 30 prizes, the first prize being 1 lakh rupees. 
  • Conducting body: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)
  • How to apply: Applicant must provide the details of the innovation along with the abstract and sent through the Principal / Head of the School along with personal details
  • Eligibility: Any Indian student enrolled in an Indian school below the age of 18 years as on 31st July is eligible
  • Important dates: Deadline for submission of applications is October end every year
  • Website: CSIR Innovation scholarship for school students

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10. Tata Building India School English Essay Competition

  • About the competition: The Tata Building India School English Essay Competition, one of India’s largest essay competitions is an initiative to motivate the youth of India in nation building. The competition opens with the first step to contribute on a host of subjects related to nation building. The winners are awarded exciting prizes from handycams and digital cameras to laptops and trophies.
  • Conducting body: The Tata group
  • How to prepare: Knowledge of current affairs and writing skills is a must. The essay topics are carefully chosen to allow students to be creative, insightful and genuine.
  • Eligibility: Class 6 to 12
  • How to apply: All students of registered schoolscan take up the screening test. The competition is held in the participating schools
  • Website: Tata building India Scholarships

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11. Debating Matters India

  • About the scholarship: Debating Matters, organized by the British Council in India, is a prestigious debating competition held at national level every year. It is different from traditional schools’ debating competition having, emphasis entirely on the content of the argument rather than style and diction. The format encourages students to debate the complexities of real world issues. It is the ideal platform to hone your debating skills and communicate ideas. The winners get a recognition certificate, some books and cash rewards
  • Conducting Body: British Council India
  • How to prepare: The topic guides, commissioned by the Institute of Ideas are extremely helpful in the preparation. The guides can be downloaded from the competition website and are also an excellent education resource
  • Eligibility: Open to students of Class XI and XII of Indian Schools.
  • How to apply: The School debating team has to register online for the OET and download the topic guide for preparation. The test is followed by the shortlisting for subsequent rounds
  • Registration Dates: Registrations close by the end of August every year. Please check the website for the latest dates
  • Website: British council scholarship for school students

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12. MaRRS International Spelling Bee contest:

  • About the scholarship: MaRRS Spelling Bee is one of the largest and most reputed spelling programmes for school students in Asia. The spelling bee contest starts with a preliminary round at the inter-school level. Qualified students move to the next rounds to finally compete at international spelling bee competition held annually. 
  • Conducting body: MaARS intellectual services private limited
  • How to prepare: Each participant receives a  preparatory booklet of about 1000 words and exercises needed for the competition. 
  • How to apply: The registration can be done through the school or directly on the MaARS website
  • Eligibility: Open to all school students from Class 1 to 12
  • Important dates: Competition usually begins in June
  • Website: MaRRS International Spelling Bee contest and scholarship

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How to win - Most scholorship exams are designed to test the aptitude and basic skills rather than subject matter expertise. For example, if a scholorship test is for students of primary schools, the child has to have good application level knowledge of addition, multiplication, division and basic science. To prepare for these, help the child master the base skill and gain speed and accuracy rather than study some advanced maths and science. 

These scholarships can surely be a wonderful contributor to your child's overall development. In addition to these scholarships, there are 20+ talent search exams conducted every year for school students in India including NTSE, SSTSE, KVPY and more. Have your child participate in these for the scholarships, prize money or just for the thrill of competing in a non-exam, non-curriculum environment. 


If we have missed out on some scholarships that you know about, please let us know. It will be a very helpful addition for other parents. 


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