Village to College Foundation
"Enabling Dreams of Education"
Significance and Background
In India, after completing eleven years of elementary and secondary
schooling, students attend two years of pre-University studies and then
enroll for three years in a college to complete a Bachelor of Arts or
However, in remote villages, most children attend only elementary
school and among those only 50% complete high school. After high
school, only a small number pursue higher studies; because of
financial hardship, they are forced to work in farms or elsewhere to
support their families. Immediate financial assistance, if offered at
this stage to bright students from various villages will encourage
parents to send their students to attend nearby colleges. Indeed,
a college degree provides access to better paying jobs to support
Currently, it costs approximately $75 per year for tuition and
$25/year for College text books, a total of $100/year for each student
to attend a rural government college, however, at present only a partial
support of $25 per year is offered to each student attending college.
In 2005, although over fifty students applied for the scholarship
assistance, only 25 scholarships of $25, $50, and $100 each were given to
1st, 2nd and 3rd year college students. Also, an additional five
scholarships were given to very needy pre-University students in order to
prevent them from dropping out after high school. Although there is a dire
need of full scholarships to students of very poor families, because
of funding limitations, it has been possible to give only a partial
support to more needy students than full $100 per year scholarships.
Thus, there is a need to seek compassionate donors to help through
this website to increase the size of scholarships from $25 to $50 or if
possible to provide a full scholarship of $100 per year to each student to
support them fully for all three years. Each year, we are hoping to select a
minimum of fifteen to twenty new students (or more if more funds are
available) and are hoping to increase the enrollment in nearby rural
At present, the foundation supports only rural village students attending
the newly built Smt Rukmini Shedthi Memorial National First Grade
College, Barkur 56210, Karnataka State, India.
This scholarship program is based on the personal life experience of Dr.
Gabriel Fernandes, founder of the Village to College Foundation, who was
raised in a remote village near Barkur, and who, after completing his high
school at Barkur, was unable to go to college at the nearest location,
which at that time was at the City of Mangalore 60 miles away, due to the
hardships of his family. He then went to the City of Bombay to find a job
to support his family. After several years he went to the U.S.A. and, after
twenty years, completed his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees and currently
works as a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at
San Antonio, Texas. For the past ten years he has been personally
supporting as many needy students as possible by providing them an
opportunity to find better paying jobs armed with a college degree needed
to uplift their needy family members. In addition to creation of the
foundation Dr. Fernandes provided funds for constructing new schools
and a college building.
At present, scholarship application forms are made available at the
principal’s office at 1st Grade Government College at Barkur. Funds will
then be made available to the chosen applicants through the principal’s
office at the beginning of each school year.
In summary, the primary goal of this foundation is to improve the living
standard of rural under privileged families by providing higher education
to their children to support their families in several remote rural villages.
We hope you will kindly consider helping this noble cause as much as
A brief curriculum vitae and publications list of Dr. Fernandes can be
About Us >
Students in class at Barkur College