According to the National Union of Israeli Students, more than 40% students in Israel receive various scholarships every school year, with more than NIS 1.2 billion ($318 million) in scholarships being distributed annually. At the same time, the main problem facing a student who wants to apply for financial aid is keeping track of the various scholarships, let alone the tiring bureaucratic process to get them. A new website named Milgapo (milga means scholarship in Hebrew) promises to save students the headache by submitting their candidacy for scholarships easily and quickly.
Can your ethnic background help you get a scholarship?
In recent months, Milgapo has created the largest and most comprehensive database of scholarships in Israel, including over 850 different sources of financial aid. Among other things, its database includes scholarships requiring volunteering and social involvement, financial aid based on socioeconomic status, and funding based on ethnic origin.
On the website, each student can find the scholarships most suitable for them and opportunities they otherwise would have been unaware of. One of the site’s useful features is that it fills out the forms for all applicable funding sources during an entire year at a one-time cost of NIS 190 ($50). All the student has to do is type in their personal information once and answer frequently asked questions. The website will then send the appropriate forms in the student’s name during the year. This way, the student will not have to fill out a new scholarship request form each time, and will not need to keep track of the dates in which the scholarships become available, which are spread throughout the year.
The venture operates in cooperation with the National Union of Israel Students, which represents over 300,000 students in Israel. Milgapo began in 2015 as a social venture after its founders – a group of students who served together in the Shaldag (Kingfisher) unit of the army – decided to do something to make it easier to get scholarships in Israel.
When the venture launched, Milgapo founding partner Tal Chorev commented, “The scholarships sector distributes over a billion shekels every year, and we decided that it was about time to bring some order into it. Up until now, the process was cumbersome and strewn with obstacles, but we managed to get the support of all the large funds. Today, there isn’t a fund in Israel that doesn’t know about us. Thanks to cooperation with all the funds, we have created the most up-to-date and accurate base of information in Israel, which enables us to make successful connections between the funds and the students.”