8 Awesome Organizations That Help Low-Income Students Get Into College

8 Awesome Organizations That Help Low-Income Students Get Into College

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Getting into college can be a daunting task, especially for low-income students who often require more resources and support to navigate the complex application process. This challenge is particularly severe in India, where education costs are increasing. However, several organizations are working hard to level the playing field and ensure that every student has an equal chance to pursue their dreams. In this blog post, we will highlight eight remarkable organizations that help low-income students get into college.

Your Guide to College: 8 Resources for Low-Income Students

Struggling to finance your college dream? You’re not alone. This guide highlights eight incredible organisations dedicated to helping low-income students navigate financial aid, scholarships, and more. From tackling applications to finding essential resources, discover the support you need to turn your college aspirations into reality.

1. Asha for Education

Asha for Education is a volunteer-run organization that supports education projects for underprivileged children in India. The organization has several programs that aim to provide access to education for low-income students, including the Asha Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance to help students pursue higher education. Asha for Education has supported over 7,000 students pursuing higher education. In addition to providing scholarships, the organization supports other education projects, such as building schools and libraries, providing vocational training, and promoting education awareness.

2. Pratham Education Foundation

Pratham is an organization that aims to improve the quality of education for underprivileged children in India. The organization has several programs that focus on providing access to education for low-income students, including the Pratham Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance to help students pursue higher education. Pratham has provided scholarships to over 16,000 students so far. In addition to scholarships, Pratham also runs several other programs, such as the Read India program, which focuses on improving literacy levels among children.

3. Teach For India

Teach For India is a non-profit organization that strives to improve the quality of education for underprivileged children in India. The organization recruits and trains young professionals to teach in low-income schools across the nation. Through its fellowship program, Teach For India supports low-income students and helps them prepare for college. The organization has impacted over 48,000 students so far. In addition to the fellowship program, Teach For India runs several other programs, such as the School Leadership Development Program, which focuses on developing school leaders in low-income schools.

4. Shiv Nadar Foundation

VidyaGyan is an initiative that aims to provide quality education to deserving students from rural India. The organization offers a fully-funded education for economically and socially disadvantaged students, including free boarding, lodging, and education. VidyaGyan selects students through a rigorous selection process and provides them with a world-class education. So far, the organization has provided education to over 1,500 students from 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh. The organization’s focus on providing quality education to rural students has helped bridge the urban-rural education gap.

Also Read: Education Loans: How they are bridging the financing gap

5. Avanti Fellows

Avanti Fellows is an organization that aims to provide affordable and accessible coaching to low-income students for competitive exams such as JEE and NEET. The organization offers online and offline coaching to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, focusing on quality and accessibility. Avanti Fellows’ coaching program includes small group sessions, online resources, and mentorship to help students succeed in these competitive exams. So far, the organization has impacted over 10,000 students.

6. Bharti Foundation

Bharti Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Bharti Enterprises, one of India’s leading business groups. The foundation’s Satya Bharti School Program aims to provide quality education to underprivileged children in rural areas of the country. The program focuses on building and operating high-quality schools that provide free education to children from economically and socially marginalized communities. In addition to education, the foundation promotes gender equality, health, and sanitation in the communities where the schools are located. Since its inception in 2006, the Satya Bharti School Program has established over 254 schools and impacted the lives of more than 45,000 children across India.

7. Foundation for Excellence

Foundation for Excellence is an organization that provides scholarships and mentoring to economically disadvantaged students in India who wish to pursue higher education in engineering and technology. The organization provides financial assistance, mentoring, and other support to help students achieve their goals. Foundation for Excellence has provided scholarships to over 6,000 students so far. In addition to scholarships, the organization also offers mentorship, career guidance, and networking opportunities to help students succeed in their careers.

8. Varthana

Varthana is a non-banking finance company that provides loans to low-cost private schools and unprivileged students in India. The company focuses on supporting schools and students from low-income families, aiming to improve access to quality education for these students. Varthana provides loans for infrastructure development, teacher training, and other education-related expenses. The company has provided loans to over 9,000 schools so far, impacting over 4 million students across the country. In addition to providing loans, Varthana provides advisory services and technical support to schools to help them improve the quality of education.

These organizations are critical in promoting access to education for low-income students in India. They are helping to bridge the education gap and provide opportunities for students who may not have had access to education otherwise. By offering scholarships, coaching, mentoring, and other support, these organizations are helping students prepare for college and succeed in their careers.

Access to education is a key driver of economic and social development, and these organizations are making a significant contribution to India’s progress. Through their work, they are helping to create a more equitable society where every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

What Are Some Success Stories of Students Who Have Been Helped by These Organisations?

These organisations are making a tangible difference in the lives of underprivileged students. Take Shaikh Gulafsha, an Asha for Education teacher who uses innovative methods to ignite a passion for science in her students, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds. Her dedication empowers them to not only grasp complex concepts but also develop critical thinking skills, opening doors to higher education. Pratham Education Foundation’s success story with Sunil Kumar exemplifies their life-changing impact. Rescued from child labour, Sunil received education and support through Pratham’s Gyanshala program. He not only thrived academically, graduating from 12th grade with impressive scores but also discovered a talent for kabaddi, a testament to the organisation’s holistic approach to student development. These are just two examples of the countless transformations happening thanks to these incredible organisations.

Can I Apply to All Eight Organisations, or Should I Choose Just One?

We have discussed about eight such organisations, each offering valuable resources. But should you apply to all eight or strategically choose a few? Here’s a breakdown to help you make an informed decision.

The Case for Applying to All Eight

  • Increased Chances of Acceptance: By casting a wider net, you improve your odds of securing a program that aligns with your needs. You might even discover a hidden gem – an organisation with a specific scholarship or mentorship program perfectly suited to your aspirations.
  • Broader Exposure: Exploring all options exposes you to diverse approaches and philosophies within the college support landscape. This can be valuable for self-discovery and understanding your preferred support style.

However, applying to all eight organisations also comes with drawbacks:

  • Time Commitment: Researching each program thoroughly, tailoring applications, and potentially attending multiple interviews can be incredibly time-consuming.
  • Scattered Focus: Unless your interests genuinely align with all eight organisations’ missions, a broad application strategy might appear unfocused. This could potentially dilute the impact of your application.

The Benefits of Focusing on a Few

While casting a wide net has its merits, sometimes a more focused approach reaps greater rewards:

  • Targeted Applications: When you zero in on 2-3 organisations that resonate most with your academic goals and interests, you can tailor your application to highlight experiences directly relevant to their programs. Showcasing a genuine connection to their mission will make your application stand out.
  • Deeper Research: Focusing your efforts allows for a deeper dive into each program’s offerings, eligibility criteria, and selection process. You can then craft compelling applications that address their specific requirements.
  • Direct Communication: If you’re unsure about the best fit, don’t hesitate to reach out directly. Many organisations have dedicated contact information for prospective applicants. Ask clarifying questions about their programs and eligibility criteria. This proactive approach demonstrates your commitment and interest.

The Right Approach for You

The ideal strategy depends on your personal circumstances. Here’s how to make an informed decision:

  1. Prioritise Your Needs: Start by reflecting on your academic goals and the specific support you require. Research each organisation’s mission, the programs they offer, and the type of students they typically support. Shortlist 2-3 that seems like the best fit.
  2. Tailor Your Applications: Once you have your shortlist, delve deeper into each program’s specifics. Highlight relevant experiences and achievements in your application that demonstrate your suitability. Focus on showcasing how their program can help you achieve your goals.
  3. Contact for Clarity: Don’t be afraid to contact the organisations directly. This shows initiative and allows you to clarify any doubts about eligibility or program specifics.

Remember: Applying strategically doesn’t mean limiting yourself. If time allows, you can always consider applying to a broader range after focusing on your top choices. Ultimately, the best approach is one that ensures you receive the support you need to navigate your college application journey with confidence.


The role of these institutions is crucial in facilitating opportunities for students in India. They play a role in narrowing the education disparity and enabling students who might otherwise lack access to education. Through scholarships, guidance, mentorship, and other forms of assistance, these organisations support students in preparing for education and achieving success in their endeavours.

Access to education serves as a catalyst for societal advancement, and these institutions are playing a commendable part in India’s advancement. Their efforts contribute to fostering a society where every child can strive towards realising their potential.


1. What foundation helps poor students?

There are many foundations and organisations in India that support students in financial need. Here are a few well-known ones:

This is not an exhaustive list, and many other organisations offer support. It’s best to research based on your location, course, and specific needs.

2. Who can fund my education?

Funding for your education can come from various sources:

  • Government Scholarships: As mentioned earlier, government scholarships are a great option.
  • Non-profit organisations: Many NGOs and foundations offer financial assistance based on merit and need.
  • Corporate Scholarships: Some companies offer scholarships in specific fields related to their industry.
  • College/University Scholarships: Many colleges and universities offer their own scholarships and financial aid programs.

3. What types of support do these organisations offer?

The type of support can vary depending on the organisation, but it can include:

  • Tuition Fee Waivers: This can cover a partial or full amount of your college fees.
  • Living Expenses Stipends: Some scholarships provide financial aid to help with accommodation, food, and other living costs.
  • Book Grants: Funds to purchase books and course materials.
  • Mentorship Programs: Guidance and support from professionals in your field.

4. Is there a deadline to apply for help from these organisations?

Yes, there are usually deadlines to apply for scholarships and financial aid. These deadlines can vary greatly, so it’s crucial to research each program you’re interested in.

Here are some tips:

  • Start researching scholarships early in your academic year (ideally, the year before you plan to start college).
  • Look for scholarships with rolling deadlines so you can apply throughout the year.
  • Set calendar reminders for application deadlines.
  • College counsellors and scholarship websites can be valuable resources for finding relevant opportunities.



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