Frequently Asked Questions

Students

I’m a university student in South Africa. How can I apply to be a Dell Young Leader?

Each year, qualifying first year financial aid students from the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria, and Stellenbosch University are invited to apply to the Dell Young Leaders programme. Invites will be sent during the second term from the university’s financial aid office and directly from the programme via email. Applications from students at other universities, or outside of those individuals invited to apply, are not accepted at this time.

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What are the requirements to become a Dell Young Leader?

To be invited to apply for the Dell Young Leaders programme you need to be a South African citizen (or permanent resident), and in your first year of study in a professional or in-demand degree focused on STEM subjects. You also need to be eligible for financial aid based on the NSFAS means test; we invite students in the lowest family income bracket to ensure we are supporting the most financially needy students. Candidates who receive an invitation will then be asked to complete an online application and interview process that allows us to learn more about their university and career goals to determine if they are a fit for the programme.  

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Isn’t university fee-free for low-income students? Why would they need a scholarship?

The scholarship funds are used as a top-up model to NSFAS funding to cover any gaps in a student‚Äôs full cost of attendance.¬†However, we‚Äôve learnt that getting through university and¬†into meaningful employment is a challenge for low-income students in South Africa today¬†‚Äď and money alone does not solve this problem. That‚Äôs why we‚Äôve designed the Dell Young Leaders¬†programme¬†to move beyond the traditional¬†scholarship. The¬†programme¬†is relationship-based, supporting the whole student in four areas including academic, financial, wellness and career. We provide 1:1¬†programme¬†staff available for students on each campus, who guide them through everyday university challenges, as well as coach them on their own unique challenges as they move into their careers.¬†¬†

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If I am selected to become a Dell Young Leader, how does that impact on my NSFAS funding?

Dell Young Leaders works on a top-up model to NSFAS. As such, your funding through NSFAS will not be impacted in any way and the programme will also work with you to manage your cost of attendance at university.  

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Would I have a work-back commitment or have to repay funds if I’m selected as a Dell Young Leader?

Not at all, there are no repayments or work-back terms or conditions involved in the programme. Our mission is to increase the number of low-income students in South Africa who make it to graduation and into meaningful employment. Our programme is funded through a philanthropic model by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.  

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Are there requirements to maintain your position as a Dell Young Leader?

We expect students to maintain the minimum academic requirements to be eligible to continue studies at their university and to maintain NSFAS funding. However, there are no specific academic sub-minimum requirements that the programme imposes above this.  

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The programme supports students in four areas. How were those areas determined?

Throughout 11 years of supporting students through the Dell Young Leaders programme, we’ve learnt through our 1:1 interactions that the four areas we can support our students most are academic, financial, wellness and career. As the programme continues to evolve, we add additional elements that provide value for the students. For example, we noted that the students found value in a peer to peer perspective and added the alumni mentor programme in 2018 as another element to help our Dell Young Leaders continue to succeed.  

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Employers

Are there costs associated to partnering with the programme or hiring Dell Young Leaders?

No, none at all. Our mission is to support more financial aid students from low-income backgrounds to get to graduation and into meaningful employment. Our programme costs are fully funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, meaning we do not need to charge for our partnership services.

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How can I gain access to the Dell Young Leaders talent pool?

The best way to find Dell Young Leaders students and graduates who are looking for employment opportunities is to visit candidates.dellyoungleaders.org. There you can browse all of the Dell Young Leaders who could join your team, add them to a list, and submit a request for more information about the candidates.

Each request goes directly to our dedicated Program & Partnerships Officer who supports employers‚Äô recruitment needs and helps students to secure placement. You can also click on the ‚Äú?‚ÄĚ icon on candidates.dellyoungleaders.org¬†to send us your general requests and our team will reach out¬†to discuss how the¬†programme¬†can support your talent search.

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How do you select students?

Each year, qualifying students from our partner universities are invited to apply to the Dell Young Leaders programme. We currently partner with the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria, and Stellenbosch University. Students are required to be in their first year of study in a professional or in-demand degree and be a South African citizen (or permanent resident). Students are also required to meet the criteria for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding and fall into the lowest income bracket in means testing. Applications from students at other universities, or outside of those individuals invited to apply, are not accepted at this time.

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How do you select partner universities?

We undergo a full due diligence process before partnering with a university to ensure alignment to our mission and to ensure institutional capacity to support our programme operations.   

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