September 5, 2007
Many students are in desperate need of financial aid, and setting up a scholarship
is a wonderful way to help them. According to the National Center for Education
Statistics, the average cost of a college education in 2006-2007 was $10,454 at
public colleges and $26,889 at private ones. With Pell Grants capping at $4,310 this year, government money hardly cuts it.
Here are a few things providers should think about when creating a scholarship.
An easy way to create a one-time or annual scholarship is to submit award information
to a local scholarship foundation. It should be noted that annual scholarships (endowments)
may require the provider to come up with more than $20,000. Ongoing scholarships
are similar to bank accounts in that interest accrues on the initial deposit. The
earned money then becomes an award. If winners are to receive a significant amount
of money, a large initial donation may be required.
As long as scholarships are used for college expenses, they are usually tax-exempt.
However, there are some IRS regulations, and they are particularly strict when it
corporate scholarship providers.
Scholarships are a great source of support to students who face difficult circumstances
or enter underrepresented fields. Regardless of targeted recipients, providers should
be clear on who they are looking for. There is no point in reading applications
from students who won’t be considered. Criteria such as GPA, field of study, year
in school etc. should be specific, but lax enough to give students a shot.
With the help of Scholarships.com,
advertising can be a cinch. Once a provider submits scholarship information, it will be made available to students who visit our site. To prevent providers from being inundated with applications from
ineligible students, Scholarships.com will only show the scholarship to students
who meet its eligibility criteria.
September 7, 2007
Wooing a girl with poetry may be a bit seventeenth century, but today’s students can still take advantage of their creative talents. Scholarship poetry contests are common, and writing a poem sure sounds more fun than writing an essay on, let’s say, how Lincoln’s study of law prepared him for the challenges of presidency (those who disagree may visit Scholarships.com to see if they are eligible.) If you can do better than the trite “Roses are red” love tribute, you may have a shot at winning money for college. Take those poems out of your diary, and share them with the world: it can pay off.
Below are four scholarships for the poets at heart. For other options, you can conduct a scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
Poetry Out Loud Scholarship: Competitive students will like this one. A Poetry Out Loud Contest winner must compete at the classroom level before advancing to the school level. After that, winners move on to the state and then finally get to compete at the National Finals. State winners will receive $200 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington to compete in the national competition (the runners-up will win $100). At the National Finals, a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school grants will be awarded.
Live Poets Society of New Jersey: This is an annual poetry contest for students with a poetic flair and a passion for expression. If you miss this year’s deadline, just give it another shot next year: all high school students are eligible. There are many prizes so everyone should try. The best poet will receive the “Poet of the Year” $1,000 scholarship. There will also be a first place winner, 4 second place winners, and 6 third place winners. Numerous honorable mention winners and hundreds of regional winners will be recognized.
Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship: The Amy Lowell Scholarship will award students of any age the chance to pursue their education while traveling abroad. Although winners are not required to be enrolled while living abroad, they will not be able to come home either—not even for family visits. Bringing plenty of pictures and singing up for long-distance phone plan is a good idea. The prize is hefty, so those who are willing to cut their strings can make a bundle. For the 2008-2009 year, the award is $49,000. One member of the English Department at Harvard University, two recognized poets and a group of trustees will be judging the entries so proofread twice.
October 8, 2007
Check out the Courageous Persuaders video scholarship for a chance to win college money and, in the process, to make a difference in the lives of kids across the nation. Applicants will create commercials warning middle-school students about the dangers of underage drinking. In addition to wining scholarships, selected students will get to work with the McCann Erickson advertising agency. With a bit of professional polish, the winning commercial will be broadcast on TV.
1. $2,000 New York Festival scholarship 2. $1,000 USA Today scholarship 3. Michigan applicants will have the chance to win additional scholarships ranging between $1,500-$3,000
1. Applicants must be high school students 2. Applicants must be U.S. citizens
February 15, 2008 by 5:00 PM
1. A video commercial lasting no more than 30 seconds 2. Online entry form
For additional scholarship and grant opportunities, visit Scholarships.com and conduct a free scholarship search.
November 19, 2007
You may not know who Sam Walton is, but you have probably heard of his stores, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. There are 4,000 Wal-Mart stores in the US and more than 2,900 abroad. The store has encountered plenty of controversy about employee treatment, but it has decided to give something back. Through the Sam Walton Community Scholarship, students across the nation will be assisted in their search for financial aid. Interested students can not be employees or relatives of store employees, but those who are may be eligible for larger Wal-Mart scholarships. Applicants will be judged on their ACT/SAT scores, community service, leadership, cumulative GPA and financial need. For additional information about this scholarship (including contact information) please conduct a free scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
1. Each Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club store may award up to two $1,000 scholarships.
1. Applicant must be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S 2. Neither the student nor the parent may be employed by Wal-Mart 3. Applicant must be a high school or home school graduate (or must receive their GED) between August 1, 2007 and July 31, 2008 4. Applicant must meet the minimum 2.5 GPA criteria
January 14, 2008
Requirements outlined in Wal-Mart application
Further details, including information about applying, can be found by conducting a free scholarship search. Once a student has completed the search, this scholarship will appear in their scholarship list, provided the student is eligible.
November 7, 2007
Whether you’re serious about sports or just having a good time (or both), your interest may help you find scholarships. Inhuman ability is not even required—most of the time. A bit of talent and a lot of fun may be all it takes. So flex your fingers, and dust off that keyboard; you may be a scholarship essay away from landing a lucrative college scholarship. For more information on the scholarships below, including contact details, conduct a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com
Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY)
Now in its 10th year, the scholarship program responsible for producing Santa’s drink of choice is affording students an education. And the SAMMY award will probably give student athletes more than Santa ever did. Each year, the National Milk Mustache’s “Got Milk?” campaign gives away $7,500 scholarships to 25 high school seniors. Winning athletes will also be commemorated with a spot in the SAMMY Hall of Fame at the Disney World Milk House and will have the chance to appear in a Milk Mustache USA Today ad. Scholarship applications for the 2008 award will be accepted between November 5, 2007 and March 7, 2008. Interested students will be required to write an essay of no more than 250 words about “How Milk Has Helped In My Academics and/or Athletics”.
Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship
Evans Scholars won't be the only ones receiving golf scholarships this year. So far, the Women’s Western Golf Foundation has awarded more than $3.1 million in college golf scholarships, and they’re ready to award more. This scholarship is available to, of course, women who play golf. Thankfully, applicants don’t need to be pros to win; excellence in the sport is not even a criterion. Winners will be awarded $2,000 grants renewable for four years under the condition that they continue to demonstrate financial need and maintain a 3.0 GPA. If you are a female, a high school senior and you play golf, you can get this application thing down to a tee.
Are you looking for baseball scholarships? Basketball scholarships? College sport scholarships in general? The NCAA is the place to search. Of course, to receive a lucrative scholarship from the National Collegiate Athletic Association you have to be good. The NCAA and its cosponsors award over 126,000 scholarships worth more than $1 billion each year to exceptional athletes. Interested student athletes should contact their colleges of choice for more information.
The Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship
So maybe your baseball swings would be better categorized as swats. So what? If you can rattle off sports stats like a champ, you may still have a shot at winning sports scholarships. Each year, the Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship program awards a $1,000 grant to an undergraduate (sophomore or older) pursuing a career in TV or radio sports reporting. If you have good writing skills, a breathtaking voice and killer teeth (the last two are not required but won’t hurt) you may be one step closer to winning a scholarship.
December 7, 2007
The QuestBridge organization has been turning heads lately for its ability to match talented, underprivileged students with excellent schools across the country. It's something of a dating service for students and colleges. QuestBridge has sought after and found numerous exceptional high school students and paired them with some of the nation’s most prestigious, and expensive, colleges and universities. By participating, schools can diversify their campus, and eventually, the demographic of the nation's leading scholars. QuestBridge makes finding gifted and oftentimes overlooked teens look easy.
High school seniors who are nominated, or who nominate themselves, fill out one application that can then be sent to all participating schools. Their fee is waived, and an essay about the student's ability to overcome obstacles is also included. When selecting finalists, QuestBridge considers academics, finances, eligibility requirements and personal circumstances.
From there, applications are sent to schools which make the final decision. Accepted students are offered full four-year scholarships to attend one of the twenty participating colleges and universities. Among these are Notre Dame University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago and Amherst College. There were 103 QuestBridge students who received scholarships to leading schools last year, and the number is expected to increase this year.
Students who may not have otherwise considered expensive schools suddenly find opportunity within reach. A featured QuestBridge student who won a scholarship to Stanford stated, “I didn’t feel like I could get in to a top college. I filled out my application and lost my nerve to hit the ‘submit’ button. I will never forget receiving a call at my home from a Quest counselor, encouraging me to go ahead and apply.”
For more information about the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship, you can conduct a free scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
September 19, 2007
Scholarships are great, all free money is. But as is true for earned income, students who receive awards may have to report them to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To be in the clear, undergraduate and graduate students should take the time to check if their scholarships and fellowships are tax free. As long as students are careful about how they spend the money, their awards will probably be tax exempt.
Scholarships and Grants are tax exempt if:
1. The recipient is a degree candidate at an educational institution with a regular faculty, curriculum and enrolled body of students who attend at the location of educational activities.
2. The scholarship money is used for required tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment. Scholarship money used for room and board, travel and optional supplies is taxable.
3. The recipient is not accepting the scholarship in exchange for services received (e.g., teaching and research). This rule does not apply to scholarships received from the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program or the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program.
Sometimes, only a part of a student’s scholarship or fellowship will be taxable. For example, a student may receive $3,000 in fellowship money from a school. However, $2,000 of the money will be offered in exchange for assisting a professor in her research (fellowship money usually accompanies such stipulations.) The remaining $1,000 will not be taxed, as long as it is used for qualified school expenses. A student’s future research service earnings may have to be estimated and reported, even if the work has not yet been completed.
To be certain that all income is accounted for, students should take a look at scholarship conditions and whether they can be used to cover qualified expenses. Students who believe their scholarship and grant money may be taxable should report their award to the IRS. If the scholarship is not taxable and the student has no income aside from the scholarship, a tax return does not need to be filed. To find additional information on scholarship, grant and fellowship opportunities, students should conduct a free scholarship search and take a look at Scholarship.com’s financial aid resources.
October 11, 2007
It’s been a long year for colleges across the nation. Aside from the student lender and college study abroad fiascos, investigators are looking more closely at the handling of endowments by colleges.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, many schools have accumulated large endowment funds, some in excess of $1 billion. This is tax-free money, and if investments are well-planned, interest will lead to annual gains.
Despite this, college tuition rates have soared across the country, and students are increasingly left with debts that sometimes mirror mortgages. A proposal that could allay this problem involves forcing schools with large endowments to spend about 5 percent of their money each year, or be subject to taxes. After all, endowments are meant to aid, not hoard.
But some schools say that this is not as easy as it may seem. People who donate often leave specific instructions for endowment spending. Money may be set aside, for example, for students who are financially needy and epileptic, or for those who conduct research in the hearing sciences.
Based on the written testimony of four higher education associations, the American Council on Education, the Association of American Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, proposed legislation is based on inaccurate college endowment information.
According to the testimony, an average of 80 percent of endowment assets were restricted at public institutions in 2006, and 55 percent were restricted at private ones. That, of course, still leaves plenty of unrestricted funds that could be used to greatly relieve student needs. This, by the way, is what higher education associations already claim to do.
The issue is a bit of a slippery slope. Endowments could diminish if expenditure choices were left up to college officials. Plus, available money doesn’t necessarily translate into swimming pools of cash for directors to dive into.
Then again, tuition is getting out of hand, and storing large amounts of money when students have little choice but to take out excessive loans seems a bit immoral. Perhaps additional information is needed on unrestricted money expenditures and on how much is needed to maintain interest that would keep funds afloat.
October 25, 2007
Based on a new report released by the College Board, government aid has increased in the past few years—but college costs have as well. And they’ve done so more quickly.
According to the report, a public four-year institution charges in-state students 6.6 percent more in tuition and fees than they did last year. The increase for out-of-state students is 5.9 percent.
Students who attend private four-year colleges haven’t fared any better. They may not have to worry about the whole in-state out-of-state thing, but their tuition rates are still higher than those at public colleges, and they are likewise increasing. Since last year, tuition and fees have increased by 6.3 percent at private four-year colleges.
Community colleges are pretty good when it comes to keeping the prices down, but their costs, as well as those of for-profit schools, have been rising as well.
Before you say it, yes, stated cost and actual cost are two different things. You don’t go into a car lot expecting to pay the ticket price, and you probably won’t pay the full price when it comes to college tuition. But that doesn’t mean that you’re being cut a deal. Even though government aid has been increasing—and will continue to do so due to the recent passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act—students are still paying more for college.
As my chemistry teacher used to repeat, “All things being equal, things aren’t going well.” (Maybe the second half was mine; it’s just what comes to mind when I think of chemistry.)
Thankfully, students don’t have to depend on the government to completely cover the cost of a college education. There are plenty of financial aid options out there, and they don’t all require interest payments. Students searching for tuition money can always look to college scholarships and grants for help. Plenty are available, and they won’t cost you a penny (don’t be scammed into believing that you should pay for scholarship consideration). Conduct a free scholarship search, and check out the numerous opportunities available to you.
October 31, 2007
Calling all nurses. Those of you with an interest in the nursing profession may be glad to know that much aid is available to you—and righteously so. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, registered nurses constitute the largest health care occupation. There are 2.4 million of them, and they’re growing in number…by the minute.
Actually, a takeover may not be such a bad thing. Plenty of people are in need of serious medical aid, and the high-stress, low-sleep, poor-diet mix is not helping. (Put that twinkie down; I don’t care if it’s Halloween.)
Those of you ready to don some scrubs, slip a stethoscope around your neck and embark on a new career should check out the resources below for nursing scholarships and grants. For additional information on these and other scholarships in nursing (including contact information), visit Scholarships.com and conduct a free scholarship search.
DAR Nursing Scholarship
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) are offering scholarships to students interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing. Three scholarships are currently offered by the organization: the Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship, the Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship and the Occupational/Physical Therapy Scholarship. Each winner will receive a one-time award of $1,000. The entries will be evaluated based on academic merit, dedication to field and financial need.
Tafford Uniforms Scholarship Program
Tafford, a maker of nursing wares, awards two $1,000 nursing school scholarships. The awards are distributed biannually, once in the fall and once in the spring. Nursing students who are working on their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and Associate Degree in Nursing are eligible to apply. Graduate nursing scholarships are also available for those working towards a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN).
Breakthrough to Nursing Scholarships for Ethnic People of Color
The National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) awards $125,000 per year in scholarships for nursing students. One of their awards, the Breakthrough to Nursing Scholarship, is given to students of unrepresented ethnicities in the nursing profession. Award winners should also be committed to servicing undeserved populations with quality care.
Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP)
Though not a scholarship, this program assists nursing students in paying off already-acquired debt. The NELRP was created by the U.S. Department of Health to assist nursing students in achieving their goals. Registered nurses who agree to work in areas of nursing shortages for two or three years may be eligible to receive partial loan coverage from the NELRP.
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