The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) aims to provide financial assistance in paying tuition, exam fees, and/or purchasing school stationary in the form of a scholarship. It is awarded to a maximum of five (5) recipients who are attending secondary or high school. At the high school, the TAP scholarship is both merit-based and need-based; all recipients possess a record of outstanding marks and demonstrate financial hardship. In addition, each recipient is highly encouraged to lead and develop a project that: advances their career goals and objectives and, serves their community. Recipients also have access to opportunities in professional development during their course as a TAP scholar via the Peace Corps Volunteer. The objectives of TAP are: to sustain and develop the study habits of the recipient, to reaffirm the pursuit for higher education and success within the recipient, and to produce viable activities that contribute to the wellbeing of the community on the part of the recipient. While tuition (and exam fees for recipients in Form C or E) would be paid in full by TAP, the educators at the host organization and parents/guardians are to contribute at least twenty-five (25) percent to the total cost of the project by providing housing, meals, school uniforms, textbook fees, transportation, and other school-related essentials for the recipients to ensure that they are able to attend school. The community’s contribution indicates their stake in the project and their investment in the recipients’ education. The potential impact of TAP is cast far and wide. Recipients are to become more committed to their professional future and set a precedent for others to follow; the surrounding schools are to be better suited to support their learners in their schooling and thereafter; the community may also benefit from the fruits of their voluntary labor (e.g. job creation, skills development, and resources produced), if the recipients’ projects thrive.
In recent years, the Government of Lesotho has strengthened its stance in support of education by offering free and compulsory primary school education to its Basotho people. Although this is a step in the right direction, those who complete primary school and wish to continue their education by attending secondary or high school must allocate the funds for it on their own accord. Many families struggle to gather such funds and decide that education is secondary to the other needs of the family. With TAP, parents/guardians and the high school contribute to the recipient’s success by other means possible. Parents/guardians will be responsible for paying other school-related expenses, such as housing, meals, school uniforms, textbook fees, and transportation, for their recipient. They will also maintain a savings fund, with what they would have spent on school fees, for future use or to use in the case that the scholarship is discontinued. Parents/guardians will provide a conducive study environment for the recipients at home, too. The high school will support the recipients with tutoring and guidance in addition to fair treatment in class. They are expected to attend school, complete assignments and participate in class, study after school hours, perform well on exams, and request supplemental assistance if needed. They have also been encouraged and supported to initiate community projects to implement. For their projects, the community may assist in giving advice or guidance, labor, and/or contributing material resources.