Scholarship Fund

ProSur Foundation


Student Scholarship Fund

    The Southwestern part of Costa Rica is one of the poorest regions in the country.   Yet, there are 18 secondary schools
graduating about 2000 talented and motivated students every year.  Unfortunately, only 20 percent of those high school
graduates are able to attend a university.  The main reason for such a low university enrrolment is due to financial limitations,
thus hampering the possibilities of this talented youth to overcome the poverty.

    The ProSur Foundation believes that university education serves as the best instrument to break the cycle of poverty, so prevalent in this region.   For this reason, the Foundation has set up the Scholarships Fund to support talented females as well as to males youth in Southwestern Costa Rica.  These scholarships provide an unrival opportunity for young people to get educated, and with thta a fair chance of getting ahead in life.

    The ProSur Foundation attempts to address this lack of access to quality university education by providing full scholarships to the best 200 high-school graduates in the region, per academic year, for a total enrollment of about 800 undergraduates.   Thus,  the University´s goal is to reach this target in three steps.  The first step is to provide scholarships to  100 students.  And for this, the University requires $52,000 dollars in endowment, per student.    You can donate any amount.

        You can make a difference,  DONATE NOW AND SUPPORT THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Social Background of Potential Students:

    According to the National Bureau of Statistics and Census of Costa Rica (2006), the Southwestern region of Costa Rica, especifically the cantons of Golfito, Corredores, Coto Brus, Buenos Aires, and Osa, are the poorest in the country.   It has one
of the lowest levels of literacy and university graduates.  This region, also shows the highest rate of un-employment, which is particularly acute for women,  with 11.1% percent unemployment rate.  Underemployment rates are three times that figure.  Considering that 59% percent of heads of households are women, this datum indicates a serious social problem.  As an economically depressed region of the country, the opportunities for employment are limited and scarce.  Currently, most
high-school graduates in this region are limited to work in un-skilled low-paying jobs such as store clerks, farm labor,
boat deck hands, house maids, etc.  In other words, they are competing for the same positions school drop-outs apply for.  Employment opportunities for high school graduates are more limited, because today's economy requires of the labor force
increased literacy, more education, enhanced technological skills, and lifelong learning.

    High-school drop-out rates are increasing in this rural region.  Many students decide to drop out of school and apply for
positions before others would apply when they finish their high-school.  Thus, it seems that there is no stimulus to finish
high-school but instead some money making possiblitiies if they drop out of school.  Unfortunately, this is very prevalent as
data indicates that  high schools in the region are only graduating 58% percent of all students that are enrolled in 7th
(Seventh) grade.  According to National data, the large majority of students droping out of high-school or those not admitted
to a public university are daughters and sons of parents without a high-school diploma.  Thus, it indicates both that these
children grow up in poor homes and with a lack of motivation to pursuit a professional career.  Increasingly, it is being
recognized that the issues of dropping out and dropout prevention cannot be separated from issues affecting our total
economic and social structure. "These issues include poverty, unemployment, discrimination, the role of the family, social
values, the welfare cycle, child abuse, and drug abuse. (Peck, Law, and Mills 1987, p. 3 )

    The high-school drop out rates could be reduced if students see that there is a possibility of being admitted to a university,
or better yet, to an institution with a full scholarship.  In addition, those students making the effort to finish their high-school
are better positioned to suceed in college, simply because they have developed the skill of perserverance against all odds.

    Investment in higher education provides the most long lasting positive effects in the rural poor and in this developing
country as a whole.  As it has been suggested in many studies, that there is no simpler, more direct, or more important
determinant of human welfare today than educational attainment.  In almost every way, people with more education enjoy
a higher standard of living.  They live longer, have better health, and are happier and more productive than those with less

    A useful measure of people's living standards is their income, or the resources they have to sustain and enrich themselves. 
For instance, the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources document the relationship between education and income for
individuals, families, households, cities, states, and the entire U.S.  On average, more education leads consistently to more
income and the higher living standards to which most people aspire.  This tie between education and income has been getting stronger since the early 1970s, the dawn of the human-capital economy.  The same situation holds true for everywhere in
the world, and this is particularly acurate in Southwestern Costa Rica. 

    Not surprisingly, less education has led to less income and lower living standards since the early 1970s.  Again, this
relationship holds true for individuals, families, households, cities, provinces and countries accross the globe. Because of
the growing link between education and income, the least educated are living increasingly desperate and hopeless lives.
Their futures and those of their children are immediate casualties, but so, too, are their neighborhoods, cities, regions, and
countries.  Eventually, those ignored by the economic and political systems return to challenge us in other ways.  We cannot
escape social responsibility for their welfare; we will ultimately have to face it in a future reckoning.  This relationship between education and living standards is very evident in Southwestern Costa Rica where 7 percent of people with higher education
degrees receive about 55 percent of all income. (CR Census 2000).

    Paradoxically, as we have come to depend on education in general and higher education in particular for our private and
social welfare, the Costa Rican government has sharply reduced social investment in higher education, in the last twenty years. 
The Foundation and the University of the South Pacific is seeking private funds to help compensate this disbalance and provide higher education to talented youth and help them out of the poverty cycle in the cantons of Golfito, Corredores, Coto Brus,
Buenos Aires, and Osa.  Providing quality higher education for underprivileged youth is from all perspectives the best
investment in the Southwestern region of Costa Rica.

You can make a BIG difference to many young students,  DONATE NOW AND SUPPORT THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Copyright © 1999-2012 — Fundacion UdG (ProSur).  Derechos Reservados, All rights reserved.
Publicado por Oficina de Divulgacion, Fundacion UdG (ProSur), Golfito 60701, COSTA RICA

Last updated: 1 February, 2012