Last updated: 19 Mar, 2024

Reach for the Stars - financing higher education 

Reach For The Stars

'Reach for the Stars’ is a scholarship programme, financing higher education, including an element of social support, for young people from financially deprived backgrounds in the villages immediately surrounding Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India. 

In the villages around Auroville, financial and educational deprivation persists, even though increased cash flow exists among the more affluent. None of our selected students’ parents are able to finance higher education for (all of) their children. Many are single parents or single earners struggling to make ends meet. 

Higher education is highly appreciated among these people, including for girls, but as no collateral is existing, many parents cannot get educational loans and fall back on alternative loan arrangements that often result in further deprivation for their families.

Our project’s short-term purpose is to help able, highly motivated young people who would, due to family circumstances, be unable to enter into higher education, to do so.

RFTS finances college fees, hostel fees as well as transport fees of the students’ chosen courses. While advising students on their career choices, the students themselves find their path and apply to our project with a clear educational direction for their bachelor or master degrees as well as a clear budget. Once a student has joined our program, our support will be given until the student graduates. 

 We observed that financial support itself was not enough for the students to reach their goal. We started a weekly English class on Sundays so that students have access to better English language skills as well as a sympathetic environment in which they can feel free to share some of their problems and talk about their daily struggles. The team is available for students in any kind of trouble. We have helped many individuals through a crisis. 

Through in-depth assessment we select enthusiastic, smart and able applicants with clear and focused career goals for financial and moral support throughout their selected college or university course. Of course those students come from families where such financial support is not available. During their time with us we meet our students week by week, give them access to English classes and to workshops which are conducted from time to time. We monitor our students’ success and support them when needed.

After their graduation we stay in touch and lend support for later stages, if needed. We also invite all our alumni and current students for an annual trip which is fully organised by the students themselves. These steps help to create good self confidence, and a sense of togetherness and support within the group and with the team and this across villages that have in the past not worked well together.

Our project is rooted firmly in the principles underlying Auroville, in particular those of holistic education and simultaneous individual and communal progress. It is our hope and intention that the positive effects of thoughtful support for young people will spread throughout the wider community and bring benefits. We do everything we can to foster an atmosphere conducive to integrated intellectual, social and spiritual growth and development.

The project runs - since its beginning in 2011 - under the auspices of Auroville Village Action Trust (AVAT) / Auroville Foundation, and is run by a team consisting of Aurovilian volunteers.

For more information visit:



Postal address

Mukta Martens, AratiAuroville, 605 101 Tamil Nadu, INDIA

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