Merit Development Program


In Vietnam, the percentage of children who drop out of school increases dramatically with student age.
According to UNFPA’s 2015 Survey Assessment of Vietnamese Youth, one of the top reasons students drop out is to start working to support their family. Others are unable to continue their studies because their family cannot afford school fees and related expenses. These education-related expenses may include textbooks, stationery, clothing, contributions for school infrastructure, and transport.

Our Approach

The goal of Merit Development Program (Merit or MDP) is to help high school students (grade 6 to 12) stay in school and continue their education rather than having to begin working or farming early.

The program provides $150 USD scholarships to students once each school year. This amount is covers expenses such as school fees, books, uniforms and transportation. MDP not only provides financial aid, but also supports skill development and career planning, helping scholars overcome their challenges. VietHope selects recipients based jointly on financial need and academic performance.

Big Painting: GRACE session 2 on 7 April 2014 taken with Ms Thuy’s family, our sponsors from Hawaii

Our Outcomes

VietHope has supported nearly 2,800 Merit students from various rural areas throughout Vietnam including:

  • Southern Vietnam: Saigon outskirts, Ca Mau, Dong Thap, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Tien Giang, Dong Nai
  • Central Vietnam: Khanh Hoa, Hue, Quang Binh, and Ha Tinh.
  • Northern Vietnam: Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Ha Nam, Phu Tho, and Thai Nguyen.

As a result of our support, Merit students have completed schooling through 12th grade at a higher rate, and have been admitted to top universities including:

  • Can Tho University
  • Ha Noi Polytechnic University
  • Dong Thap General Education College
  • Hue College of Medicine
  • Ha Noi Foreign Trade University
  • Foreign Trade University - HCMC campus
  • VNU-HCMC University of Information
  • Technology
  • Posts and Telecommunication Institute of Technology - HCMC Campus

Since 2017, 39 Merit students who went to universities and colleges have been accepted to USP scholarship as an effort of program integration and youth development continuity.

Follow the Process with Us

Experience the Merit cycle with us, from VietHope volunteers visiting the student’s families to observe and interview family members about the student’s academic performance, learning environment and financial hardships, to meeting recipients themselves, to seeing the award ceremonies.

Ready to make an impact?

Join us in finding new approaches to deliver these values to our students.