Mifal Hapayis, the National Lottery announced on Sunday it will grant 1,000 scholarships totaling some NIS 30 million to students intending to pursue undergraduate studies.

This marks the tenth consecutive year the National Lottery has granted scholarships to undergraduate students, having donated some NIS 300 million to around 12,500 students to date.

“We believe that through education we can build a better society. Higher education is a key tool which can be used to provide equal opportunity and reduce gaps in Israeli society,” said National Lottery chairman Uzi Dayan on Sunday.

On Tuesday registration for the undergraduate scholarship will officially open and will continue until July 15. Eligible students will receive a full scholarship totaling NIS 30,000, spread over three years, to finance their degree. The recipients will be able to use the scholarship funds already beginning in the coming academic year (2014/15).

As part of the project, each student must undertake a commitment to contribute 130 hours per year of volunteer activities that can "help different populations in the community." Such activities include assisting children at risk and Holocaust survivors, volunteering with road safety organization Or Yarok, volunteering with immigrant youth, helping patients at hospitals and volunteering with pupils in schools or community centers. Since 2006, the scholarship recipients have contributed some 2.4 million hours of community service, estimated at some NIS 72 million, according to a student rate of NIS 30 per hour of volunteering.

“Each year Mifal Hapayis invests 70% of its profits in education,” said Dayan. “The project is important to Mifal Hapayis and we are very proud. The student contribution to the community is of great value and adds an emotional and moral dimension to the scholarship, which provides satisfaction and development for the student.”

Students for the project are selected based on pre-determined socio-economic considerations. In 2010, the National Lottery decided to expand its eligibility criteria, which until then included discharged soldiers, active combatants, combat support soldiers, and students from minority sectors, to also include recipients serving in national service.

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