Each Isha Vidhya school has a Scholarship Committee which oversees the scholarship distribution process. The committee comprises the school principal, an Isha Vidhya board member, a school parent whose child is not applying for a scholarship, and an independent community member interested in the well-being of the school.
Scholarship applications in the local language are provided to all students. Families seeking financial assistance submit the application with detailed information regarding household members, monthly household income, employment history and assets (e.g. television, refrigerator, motor bike etc.). Primary focus is given to the economic situation of the family – only families with a total household income below the parameters set by the Isha Vidhya management are considered for scholarships. The income parameters, which for the 2007-2008 academic year were set at 5000 - 7000 Rs. (approximately $125 - $175), are reevaluated every year. Exceptions to this income limit are made in rare cases.
In addition, home visits are made to each of the applicant families to gather further insight into their economic and social resources. Factors not easily revealed through a formal application are ascertained through the home visits, such as the condition of the house, prominence of the neighborhood, support given to or received by joint family members, and side sources of income (e.g. selling cow’s milk).
Based on the applications, home visits and the committee’s recommendations, Isha Vidhya management determines which of the families are most in need of assistance and distributes scholarships accordingly. Scholarships are initially made available to only one child per family. In extreme cases of need, consideration is given to awarding additional scholarships to children within the same family. Families are notified that their child has received a scholarship, but scholarship funds are given directly to the school on the behalf of the child.