Pre-University Scholarship Options in Malaysia

How can you get a scholarship in Malaysia?

There are many institutions in Malaysia that provide bursaries and scholarships to high performing students that can help ease the burden of college tuition fees.

The trick is knowing what scholarships are available, how you can apply, and most importantly, application deadlines.

Here are three main ways you can secure a scholarship for your Pre-University studies in Malaysia.

1. Bursary from Public Service Department (PSD) / Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA)

What It Is

Previously under KPM (Ministry of Education) and commonly known as the KPM Bursary, this scholarship is now being managed by JPA (Public Services Department) for SPM 2015 students. In order to qualify, you must have at least 9A+ and above for your SPM results. The scholarship is for pre-university studies only at local institutions.

What You Need To Know

  • All 714 students who achieved 9A+ and above in SPM 2015 will automatically be awarded with this scholarship. These students can be found in this list.
  • This scholarship covers pre-university programmes only. Students can still apply for sponsorship for their Degree studies as long as they meet the academic requirements and has secured admission at selected JPA-approved institutions. However, sponsorships for Degree will be in the form of convertible loans.
  • Applicable for selected courses at JPA-approved institutions only, with options at either public or private institutions in Malaysia.
  • This Bursary Programme will no longer be available from 2017 onwards (i.e. for SPM 2016 students and beyond).

Application Deadline

You can apply online at the JPA website. Application is now open from 21st April 2016 onwards. Make updates in the eProfiling system to apply.

Important Note (13 April 2016): This section has been updated based on the JPA announcement regarding the continuation of the KPM Bursary 2016 for students who achieved 9A+ and above for SPM 2015, and the recent changes associated with it. Learn more about what has changed here.

2. Scholarships from the Government, Government-Linked Companies or Private Institutions

What It Is

Many government and private institutions in Malaysia offer scholarships to high performing students. These are typically full scholarships, where the scholarship may also cover your tertiary education at universities. Some of the best known scholarships offered by GLCs in Malaysia are the Petronas Scholarship & Khazanah Scholarship.

What You Need To Know

  • Eligibility differs between institutions.
  • Some institutions may offer scholarships for certain degree courses only.
  • Most institutions will require you to attend an interview and / or submit a comprehensive application (which may include a personal essay), in addition to having good grades.
  • Some institutions may also impose a scholarship bond, which requires you to work for the institution upon graduation.

Application Deadline

Application typically opens as soon as SPM results are out, and may close as quickly as 7 days after results are released. Make sure you’re on the alert!

List of Institutions & Scholarships

The following is a list of some of the Pre-University scholarships offered by the Government, Government-Linked Companies or Private Institutions.

Name of ScholarshipStudy LevelStudy AreaKey HighlightsDeadline
Top Glove ScholarshipPre-University, UndergraduateEngineering, Medicine, Law, Sciences, Health Sciences, Dentistry- Open to Malaysian citizens below the age of 25
- Up to RM9,000 tuition fee waiver per year
Always Open
Yayasan Sarawak Bestari ScholarshipPre-University, UndergraduateEngineering- Open to Sarawak residents only
Always Open

3. Scholarships from Colleges and Universities

What It Is

Most colleges and universities offer full and partial scholarships to students who achieve good results in their SPM / O-Level.

What You Need To Know

  • You will need to be enrolled with the college / university in order to receive the scholarship.
  • Some scholarships are merit-based, which means that you will automatically receive the scholarship without needing to go through any interviews.
  • Most scholarships are in the form of tuition fee deduction (which means you will not get cash), and only cover tuition fees. You may need to pay for external examination fees, as well as other general college fees.

Application Deadline

As with the other scholarships, application typically opens as soon as SPM results are out.

List of Scholarships from Colleges & Institutions

If you’re still unsure of what to study yet, check out our comprehensive course guides to decide on what to study!