YES Program – United States of America Scholarship for High School is The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was established in October 2002. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. exchange community, recognized the importance of youth exchange as a key component to building bridges betw
een citizens of the United States and countries around the world, particularly those with significant Muslim populations.
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (
ECA) to provide scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to study for one academic year in the United States. YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities. Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture.
In keeping with the U.S. Government-sponsored initiatives, dedicated to democratic reform, the competition for the Youth Exchange and Study scholarship is merit-based and open at no cost to all applicants who meet the following requirements. Students who meet the following criteria can apply using the online Preliminary Applications or get a print out from the website and send filled applications to iEARN Center, Karachi:
- Secondary school students in their home country (Pakistan) who are currently enrolled in 9th or 10th grade or ‘0’ Levels.
- Be between the ages of 15 – 17 by the start of the program. (August 1, 2017)
- At least a score of 60% marks (‘B’ Grade) for all subjects during the past three school years.
- Minimum 60% in all subjects in the last examination before departure to the U.S. Students will be required to send the mark sheets of the last examination when they receive the mark sheets.
- Can communicate in English. Minimum “B” grade, (60%) in English during the past three years.
- Must not have previously traveled to the United States for more than two weeks.
Students who meet the following in addition to the above criteria are likely to be short listed for the final selection:
- Be a citizen of Pakistan.
- Should pass English Language Proficiency test.
- Know and practice Pakistani culture and values, and be able to represent the same in U.S. schools and communities.
- Demonstrate maturity, flexibility, adaptability, good character, and scholastic aptitude.
- Willingness to participate in host family’s daily life.
- Record all necessary immunizations, as outlined in the student application, before arriving to the United States.
- Should demonstrate flexibility and a commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding.
- Agreement to attend classes as a full-time student and maintain at least a ‘B’ Grade average in an American high school.
- Willingness and agreement to abide by the YES Student Rules as outlined in the YES Student Application and all other rules and policies during the program.
- Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa).
Note: Providing any false/forged documents or information at any stage of the selection process will result in disqualification of the applicant.
Students with Disabilities
The program can support students with disabilities and encourages their participation. The Department of State and the YES program work with Mobility International (MIUSA) to provide students with disabilities leadership-building workshops, appropriate information and support as needed to enhance their year in America. Students with disabilities must also meet the above eligibility requirements.
There are multiple rounds to the YES application and selection process. All applicants are required to take an English proficiency exam, write a proctored essay, complete a YES program application, and participate in group and individual in-person interviews. All finalists are selected on the basis of merit.
Students who meet the above mentioned eligibility requirements can submit a Pre-Application which can be found on the iEARN-Pakistan YES website.
Application and Selection Process for YES 2017 – 2018 (Pakistan)
STEP-1 Preliminary Application
Students who fulfill the Selection Criteria and agree to the Parent Student Agreement and General Program Rules, can apply for the scholarship. Female students, students with physical disabilities and students from non-elite and government schools who meet the criteria are strongly encouraged to apply.
Students who are eligible according to the Selection Criteria but their schools are not interested in participating in the YES program can apply independently. They can download the Preliminary Applications from the website and submit it with all the required documents via courier or mail. Please do not send any original documents, as they will not be returned. Only send the photocopies of the documents mentioned in the Preliminary Application.
Participating schools and organizations must collect fully completed Preliminary Applications with all the required documents from students and submit the applications and required documents to the iEARN Center, Karachi.
STEP-2 Entry Test
After the initial Preliminary Application screening, short listed applicants will be notified to take the YES Entry Test (proctored essays) through letters sent to the address they wrote in their Preliminary Applications.
Students who pass the Entry Test will be sent interview letters with YES Final Applications. Students will be required to fill out the YES Final Application and bring it to their interview. (Students must come to their interview with their completed YES Final Application along with required documents.)
Students who score well on the interview will be notified to take an English Language Proficiency Test.
STEP-5 Final Evaluation
Final selection of students will be based on the Entry Test, Interview, YES Final Application, and their ELTiS test score. The finalists will be notified by a letter and will receive a scholarship acceptance form from the YES Program Director.
Keep checking the announcement section of YES website for updates and information.
Important Note: Providing any false/forged documents or information or any discrepancy found at any stage of selection process will result in disqualification of the applicant.