The Value of Holistic Scholarship Support: From Financial Assistance to Career Guidance and Mentorship.

Going to university is a significant investment for students, not just in terms of tuition fees, but also in terms of additional costs. Accommodation, textbooks, travel, and other expenses can add up and become overwhelming for students, especially those from low-income backgrounds. A study of institutions in London found that “travel or commuting” remained a significant predictor of student progression or continuation for England-domiciled full-time undergraduates, after accounting for the expected influence of subject and other factors such as entry qualifications. This highlights the importance of considering the multiple costs that students face and how they can impact academic outcomes.

Network Effect

Financial assistance is undoubtedly important for students, but it is not the only thing they need to succeed. Scholarships that provide holistic support can make a significant difference in a student’s academic journey. One of the most significant benefits of holistic scholarships is the power of social capital and networks. Having access to networks and mentors can help students navigate their studies and also help them find employment after graduation.


Students from low-income households, especially those who do not mix out of their class and communities, are more likely to question the importance of their university degree. Even when they are academically gifted, there is so much they need to be exposed to on the workings of a corporate environment that they will not get from family members who do not work in such environments. Without access to professional networks and mentorship, students may struggle to understand how their studies can translate into real-world opportunities.

Scholarships that provide support beyond financial assistance can bridge this gap. Mentorship programs can provide students with guidance and advice on their career paths, and exposure to corporate environments through internships or networking events can help students build valuable connections. Additionally, scholarships that offer career guidance and employability support can help students develop the skills they need to succeed in the job market.


All in all, students need funding, networks, and mentorships to succeed. Scholarships that offer holistic support can make a significant difference in a student’s academic journey and provide opportunities that they may not have had access to otherwise. It’s important for scholarship providers to consider the multiple costs that students face and how they can impact academic outcomes.


The Future is Here

Akama Fund recognizes that financial assistance is just one component of what students need to succeed. That’s why we leverage technology to provide donors with the opportunity to support students in a variety of ways. Donors can choose to partially contribute to a student’s commute, help them purchase textbooks, or even volunteer as a mentor to guide students through their academic and career journeys. By using technology to facilitate these connections and transactions, Akama Fund can provide a scalable and sustainable model for holistic scholarship support. With the help of technology, more students can access the support they need to achieve their academic and career goals.