SL2College, the Sri Lankan volunteer-driven nonprofit organization held its first higher education conference on the 9th of August at Royal College Skills Center, Colombo 07. The conference was hosted by the SL2College volunteers who are also the students from top Universities like Harvard, Yale, MIT, Cornell and University of Toronto. It was open free to students which was attended by nearly 100 participants.
SL2College incorporated as S L 2 College (Guarantee) Limited, was established to become the information hub for Sri Lankan students seeking to pursue higher education. SL2College affirms that many opportunities in higher education exist both within and outside of Sri Lanka of which those legitimate access is, unfortunately, being limited to a few. Their almost virtual operation makes it possible for a Sri Lankan hopeful, by connecting with other Sri Lankan academic or professional talents in a desired field from any part of the world, to navigate and seek advice about opportunities in higher education.
The global community of SL2College is comprised of more than 400 volunteers from more than 25 countries including Sri Lanka. All services of SL2College are free of charge since they strongly believe that information about higher education should not come with a price tag.
In particular to the event, the correct access to academic opportunities in the top universities in the USA and Canada were disseminated by the Sri Lankans who are currently studying at those universities.
“The USA Undergraduate application season officially begins on August 1st and ends when applications are due in, on January 1st, with lots of essays to complete and tests to take. What drove me to organize this conference at this time, however, was because Sri Lankans need to know now, and not any later, that the USA offers the highest number of scholarships and allocates millions of dollars of financial aid to international undergraduates. For example, at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Dartmouth will provide an accepted student with full financial aid/no parental contribution at all if his/her family’s income is less than $60’000,” the chair of the conference, Sabrina Ghouse, a second year student of Harvard University majoring in Economics and Social Studies highlighted.
“My colleagues who hosted the conference with me- Raeed Deen, Tamara Fernando, Nihara Gunasekara, Rajinda Gunasekara, Jayaruwan Gunathilake, Casimira Karunaratne, Gabrielle Mohamed, Nikita Samaratunga, Oshadhi Karunasekara and Lukshmee Saravanapavan, want to help Sri Lankan students to perfect their applications and to improve their chances of getting into a competitive school with financial aid or a scholarship,” she further added.
The information session were conducted under specific topics. Undergraduate application process, application requirements, funding opportunities, working while studying, entrance to professional programs, study abroad programs, life outside of university were among the topics discussed. The presentations were supported by leaflets, PowerPoint slides and Q/A sessions. The event was sponsored by John Keells Holdings PLC.