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Our Scholar Recruitment process is broad in reach and rigorous in searching for learners who will ultimately be placed on the programme. Our recruitment period is from 1 June to 31 August annually. We collect thousands of applications in urban areas, peri-urban areas, townships and outlying areas of Johannesburg, Pretoria, East London and Grahamstown. We achieve this through a network we have developed over the years, that consists of feeder schools, community centres, township-based education programmes, not-for-profit organisations, and libraries. We also have focused outreach activities each year, including activations in high-density areas. Finally, we have partnerships with various print and broadcast media organisations, where we put out a call for applications.

We then take each application through a screening process to ensure that all requested documents and academic reports are attached. We pay particular attention to the scholars’ academic results – ensuring that the criteria is met as follows: 70% + in English, Maths and Natural Science and an overall report average of 70% and above. We look at the disclosed income statements of parents and guardians, to shortlist learners who come from low-income households. Once the applicant has been screened, they go through the first phase of selection.

Selection Process:

  • Entrance Exams
  • Interviews
  • Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)
  • Adolescent Self-Perception Inventory (ASPI)
  • Finalist Day
  • Selection & Placement


Entrance Exams:

Applicants who meet our basic application criteria are invited to write a benchmarking test for English and Mathematics. We test their comprehension and critical thinking skills, rather than content.


We conduct two-part interviews, for social and financial assessment of each applicant and their family. Interviews are conducted by a panel of volunteers consisting of SSP staff, SSP alumni and carefully selected volunteers.


The Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) is administered by an external specialist service provider, and serves to map each learner’s potential across five indicators, namely: Verbal, Non-Verbal, Computation, Memory and Reading skills.


The Adolescent Self-Perception Inventory (ASPI) is an EQ test, which is written to understand where each applicant sits on the emotional intelligence spectrum.

Finalist Day:

An outdoor camp takes place, to ensure maximum participation and to let the applicants have fun! Applicants are observed by the SSP Recruitment and Academic Team, who look at how well applicants participate in group activities, their communication skills, team orientation, leadership potential and communication with peers. A leadership and teen motivation workshop is also done here to empower applicants.

Selection & Placement:

After careful observation of all applicants, a panel sits to review each application. Applicants are matched to our Partner Schools. Ultimately, the SSP Scholarship is awarded to between 30 – 50 scholars each year.

The application phases take place over a period of 10 months.