how do students get accepted to kuza?
KUZA is a highly competitive education and leadership program.
Just like the Gates Millennium Scholars Program or the National Merit Scholarship Program, we seek out remarkable and talented students who are already demonstrating outstanding leadership in their communities. We target students who come from impoverished backgrounds and would not be able to finish school without scholarship assistance. We're looking for bright students who will succeed in top schools, and who have innovative ideas and drive to make a difference in their nation.
Step One: Recommendation. We work with partners from all over Uganda who are on the look out for exceptional student leaders. They refer the student to the organization and invite the student to a regional "interview day".
Step Two: Informal Interview. KUZA holds several regional interview days, and recommended students attend. This is a very casual, group interview where students introduce themselves and are asked some general questions.
Step Three: Application. After the informal interview, students who really shine are asked to complete an application. Applications include hand-written stories, reference letters, past report cards, and questions about the students family and financial situation.
Step Four: Review. Applications are prayerfully reviewed by a team of Ugandans and around 20 students are short-listed. Reviewers are looking for the following characteristics:
- Commitment to excellence & high standards
- Self-discipline & hard work
- Teachable spirit
- Commitment/involvement in the community
- Purposefulness & focus
- Academic excellence
- Level of financial need
Step Five: Preview Retreat. The short-listed students attend the January Leadership Retreat. This is intended to be a low-stress, fun experience where students are observed with current KUZA students. Staff from the USA participates in the observation process as well.
Step Six: Results. The final decision is made when the results (grades) from Form 4 (10th grade) are released. Because KUZA students attend the best schools in the country, it's important that students have a track record of high performance.
Step Seven: Ranking. Students are ranked according to review of application, retreat observation, KUZA Brand qualities, and results. At least 2 staff members participate in this process.
Step Eight: Final Selection. Once results are released and students are ranked, the KUZA staff once again prayerfully consider which candidates will best fit with the vision of KUZA. They are then notified of their acceptance and welcomed into KUZA family!
Sounds intense, doesn't it? But we take our responsibility seriously. We are obligated to both the sponsors and the students to carefully and thoughtfully complete this process. We are mindful that we're changing the trajectory for students, and thoughtfully consider how this will impact their lives. For donors, we realize that we need to invest wisely in students who will have the potential to impact their communities and the nation as a whole.