USAID-funded Merit and Needs-Based Graduate Scholarship Program

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The Higher Education Commission in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) offers scholarships for financially disadvantaged students to study agriculture and business administration programs since 2004. The program is consistent with the HEC’s goals to support financially deserving students, widen access to quality education, and encourage academic interest in fields that are vital to Pakistan’s economic development.


The Pak-USAID Merit and Need-Based Scholarship Program Phase-II is focused on providing opportunities for access to higher education, especially to under-privileged candidates who, despite possessing academic merit, are unable to finance their education. The scholarship covers tuition, accommodation and living expenses.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the program at a total cost of Rs. 2,954.808 million in its meeting held on 6th September 2013. The Project is funded by Government of United States of America as Grant in Aid.

Phase-I of the program was initiated in 2004 at eleven (11) universities with 1807 scholarships. Of all recipients, 94% graduated on time.


To enable the academically qualified and financially needy Pakistani students to pursue higher education at select private and public universities of Pakistan in the fields of agriculture, medicine, business, social science, and engineering.

To enhance the institutional capacity of the Higher Education Commission of the Government of Pakistan and local public and private sector universities in designing and implementing MNBSP Phase II.

  1. The applicant must be a Pakistani/AJK National
  2. Financial assistance & scholarships are available for study at undergraduate & graduate level in the prescribed disciplines at the selected 31 Pakistani universities and degree awarding institutions
    • Agricultural & Veterinary Sciences
    • Business Administration
    • Social Sciences
    • Engineering & Technology
    • Medical

    I. Agricultural (incl. Veterinary Sciences and Bio Technology)
    II. Social Sciences includes (Peace &Conflict Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, Linguistics, Law, Communication and Media studies, International Relations, and Psychology)
    III. 50% Female Seats: Women’s participation in the education sector is very low. This is to ensure that at least 50% of the awarded scholarships go to women. This allocation is especially for those coming from remote and vulnerable areas of Pakistan, who are financially needy and meet admission criteria of the selected 31 partner universities

  3. Students need to compete for securing admission in the approved discipline at the participating institution as per admission policy of the institution and be enrolled in Undergraduate (4 and 5) and Graduate (2 Years and 3.5 years) programs
  4. Only those students who are enrolled in first semester/professional year in the respective courses offered by the participating institutions are eligible to apply
  5. The eligibility of a candidate is linked to neediness of the candidate as determined by the financial background of his/her family.

Interested applicants can receive the Scholarship Application Form from the Financial Aid Office (FAO) at the participating University/Institution. The form can also be downloaded Here​. The Scholarship Form will be submitted along with supporting documents to the same Financial Aid office (at university only) after completion. (HEC will not accept any application form directly) Students need to secure admission to any one of the approved disciplines at the participating Universities/Institutions as per their admission criteria. Please note that this scholarship program also considers partial scholarship for students already enrolled at the selected university/DAI. Please note that under this scholarships scheme, the funds are not transferred directly to students by HEC. The payment is made to the students through participating universities/institutions.