Getting into a public university in Singapore is a dream for many students as only a third of all who take the entry examination exams make it to the local public universities. However, before enrolling into university, students must go through junior college.
Junior Colleges are designed for students who wish to pursue a local university degree after two to three years of pre-university education. Junior colleges in Singapore were initially intended to offer an alternative to the traditional three-year programme, but the two-year programme has since become the norm for students pursuing a university education.
JCs accept students based on their GCE “O” Level results; an L1R5 score of 20 points or less must be attained for a student to gain admission. JCs provide a 2-year course leading up to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level. There are two ways in which students can choose their college: by Joint Admission Exercise where GCE Ordinary Level holders gain admission and through Direct School Admission where students apply to colleges for placement based on talent and grades.
There are 19 junior colleges offering different specializations. The most common routes are the math science route and the humanities route. Both are equally rigorous and junior college tuition for math, economic, general paper, history and geography are common occurrences.
The fee is paid by the month and varies according to the course the student is taking. Junior college for Singapore citizens is very affordable costing $6 a month. For Singapore permanent residents (PR) the fee is $400 while for international students the fee starts from $1600.
Private colleges are too expensive and for them to admit Singapore citizens, they need a special letter from the education ministry. Generally, private colleges are a reserve for the wealthy and international students.
There are different ways parents can finance their kid’s junior college. College fee is paid by semester or per month providing a lot of relieve for families unable to provide cash up front. Top performing students can receive a scholarship from government organizations or charity organizations. The scholarships come with a bond that requires the receiver to work at a particular place for a stipulated amount of time.
The government offers financial aid to families that meet the criteria. Lower and middle-class families get a school waiver and a bursary of $900, transport credit and meal subsidies.
Singapore has a large number of private colleges that are a reserve for the wealthy. Fees at these institutions can run into thousands of dollars but generally serve the large expatriate community. Many foreign universities have established campuses in Singapore such as the Chicago Business School
The University of Adelaide, The City University of New York, and more to provide local and foreign students with the opportunity to obtain a Western university education at a fraction of the cost it would take to study in Canada, the UK, the USA or Australia.
Singapore believes that every person, regardless of their financial background, should have the opportunity to pursue their education to the fullest extent of their abilities.
Students can take advantage of the various forms of financial support, like grants, subsidies and other financial aid to gain meaningful education in their field of study.