Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”)

May I contact you directly if I have questions about the scholarship?

Of course you may contact us.  As it is said, “The only bad question is the one left unasked.”  Our expectation, though, is that applicants desirous of selection as a Dharam Pal Gupta Foundation Scholar will be inquisitive by nature and would first research all the materials available on the Foundation website prior to sending an inquiry to us.

What is the meaning of “merit-based” scholarship?

The word “merit” derives from the word “meritorious.”  In the English language, the word “meritorious” means “deserving reward or praise.”  Synonyms are commendable, laudable, exemplary, and exceptional, amongst others.  These words are adjectives used to describe a person’s level of achievement in an endeavor.  These adjectives provide a relative measure and not an absolute measure, and therefore, the term “merit-based,” as used by the Foundation begs clarification.


The baseline for “merit-based qualification” for the scholarship is:  

(a)  CBSE scores 97%+; SAT scores above 1575; and GRE/GMAT scores in the 95th percentile and higher.  In addition, academic records from the 9th-12th standard will be examined to determine consistency of exceptional academic achievement by the applicant.

(b)  An equal consideration will be given to the applicant’s record of exceptional achievements in extra-curricular activities such as organized team sports, athletics, and debate, amongst others.

The challenge for a Dharam Pal Gupta Foundation Scholar is gaining admission into a top-tier university such as Stanford, MIT, Rice, amongst others, which will not be possible with a record of exceptionalism less than the proposed baseline.  Applicants may be surprised to learn what the Deans of Admissions at Stanford, MIT, and University of Texas in Austin have each confirmed: “… that every year they receive ‘perfect SAT score applications’ and 99%+ high school marks from hundreds of students from India and China … many of which are not accepted because otherwise all freshmen students will be from India and China and others will not get the opportunity to get education from these top-tier universities.”  This fact underscores the competitive level for getting admissions into these universities.  Consequently, we are looking for “exceptionally” gifted students with particular excellence in mathematics and science to award them scholarships AFTER they are able to obtain admission in these selected universities.


What is the importance of “honesty”?

The application process helps introduce each applicant to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  It is important that this introduction “honestly and truthfully” represents the applicant.  For example, if the applicant submits a personal essay in English that was not written by themselves, the Board will have a false impression of the applicant that will eventually be discovered during personal interviews with the applicant, which will result in immediate disqualification.  We consider “honesty” a basic building block of good character, which is a mandatory requirement.

“We are all flawed human beings and we all have weaknesses.  With focused attention and discipline, weakness can be transformed into strength.  On the other hand, ‘deception’ and ‘dishonesty’ are character flaws, which are merely attempts to hide one’s weaknesses … proving fatal in the end.  Always be true and honest … to yourself and others.” – Shri Dharam Pal Gupta


What proficiency level in the English language is required, as a minimum?

The selected top-tier universities in the USA require a “working” understanding of the English language because the coursework is taught in English.  A student visa for studying in the USA is granted after successfully taking a basic English as a foreign language test.  Each university requires an entrance examination, which is given in English, typically the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  Therefore, proficiency in the English language is certainly of benefit to the applicant. 

However, the Foundation will consider applications from non-English medium school students without prejudice.  If applicants meet the merit criteria, described herein, the Foundation will provide financial aid to help the applicant learn and improve their proficiency in the English language before applying for entrance examinations to the selected universities.