(Posted December 21, 2017)

Huntingdon, Pa.—For a second year, Juniata College will partner with Next-Genius, a Mumbai, India-based educational initiative that identifies talented students in India and matches them with colleges in the United States that offer curricula focused on critical thinking.

As a Next-Genius partner, Juniata will award a full-tuition scholarship to one of the top candidates who emerges from a nationwide competition in India sponsored by Next Genius. According to the Next Genius website, Next-Genius.com, thousands of students from across India enter the educational competition each year.

As a result of the contest held in the 2016-2017 academic year, Juniata welcomed Tanvi Pande, from the Bombay International School in Mumbai, and Chaitali Tongaonkar, from the Mercedes Benz International School in Pune. The students are studying at Juniata in pursuit of their bachelor’s degrees and have completed their first semester. Pande is studying engineering physics and Tongaonkar is pursuing a course of study in pre-medicine and psychology.  

“With our first year being so successful in helping Tanvi and Chaitali attend Juniata through our partnership, we are looking forward to what is next,” says Rob Yelnosky, vice president for enrollment at Juniata. “I will be in Mumbai soon and look forward to introducing myself to the next candidates. Meeting these students and the staff of Next-Genius in Mumbai has strongly reaffirmed the importance of international education.”

Yelnosky, with Ran Tu, associate director of international recruitment at Juniata College, will travel to India in January 2018 to participate in the competition for students to attend U.S. colleges and universities starting in fall 2018. The competition is one of several initiatives in which Juniata participates with the goal of internationalizing its student body and providing opportunity for students around the globe to pursue their undergraduate education at a college committed to student success through significant and personalized learning partnerships with faculty. 

“Juniata has a long history of introducing our students to different cultures via our study away program and by recruiting students from around the world,” says Juniata President James A. Troha. “Students come to our campus from 37 countries, and Next-Genius is helping expose international students to Juniata’s exceptional education model while enriching the cultural exchanges and learning our students experience on our campus.”

Juniata’s partnership with Next-Genius began in 2017 when Troha visited India to introduce himself to the Next-Genius founders and to interview students. Juniata’s admissions team began participation in the recruitment program designed to introduce Juniata College in India and build relationships with schools in the country. Over time, Juniata will work to attract more students from the country’s significant number of college-age students interested in pursuing their education in the United States.

Founded in 2014, The Next-Genius Foundation is a registered charitable trust in India that offers full and partial tuition scholarships to outstanding Indian high school students to pursue their undergraduate education in North America and Europe. Next-Genius is the largest undergraduate study abroad scholarship fund in India. In the organization’s first two years, it awarded scholarships worth $3.5 million to 39 students from 34 schools across India. In 2017, Next-Genius aimed to award more than $6 million worth of scholarships to more than 70 students. 

According to the program’s website, their vision is “to identify world changers, and connect them with outstanding educational and career opportunities. In working with these students—beginning in high school, through college and onto their careers—we hope to establish a community of future leaders who will leave a strong impact on society.”

The Next-Genius Scholarship Program was founded in 2014 by Naveen Mandhana and Neeraj Mandhana. Naveen Manhana is director of Videocon Group. Neeraj Mandhana is a career counselor based in Mumbai.

In addition to Juniata, Next-Genius works with 10 other higher education institutions: Beloit College, in Beloit, Wisconsin; Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey; Foothill College, in Los Altos Hills, California; Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Florida; Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi; Saint Michael’s College, in Colchester, Vermont; Texas Christian University, in Fort Worth, Texas; Union College, in Schenectady, New York; University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York; and Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts. 

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.