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Scholarship for Undocumented Students Met with Criticism

June 2, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

As opposition to the new Arizona immigration law only continues to grow, a new scholarship that would target illegal-immigrant students has led one Congressman to suggest that the school offering the award may lose federal funding as a result.

The $2,500 matching Tam Tran Memorial Scholarship is offered by the Santa Ana College Foundation, the fund-raising body of the two-year school. The award was created in memory of Tam Tran, a Santa Ana College and University of California-Los Angeles alumna who was killed by a drunk driver in Maine last month. Tran was enrolled at Brown University as a graduate student at the time of the accident.

According to a press release from the foundation, the award will be given to a student who excels academically, has financial need, and is working toward their American citizenship, as Tran was. Tran was a vocal supporter of the DREAM Act while she was a student at Santa Ana College, and testified before Congress in favor of passing the legislation. The DREAM Act would provide those students who are in the country illegally the opportunity to apply for permanent residency if they have graduated from an American high school or have been accepted into an institution of higher education. 

A recent article in The Orange County Register details the first negative response to the award, from California Congressman Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher called the scholarship “unforgivable,” especially at a time when other, legal students are having a difficult time finding funding for rising college costs. The Congressman has already sent a letter to the president of Santa Ana College. In effect, the letter tells the president that if the school goes forward with the award, the move would put “continued public financing for Santa Ana College in jeopardy.”

Santa Ana College defends their decision by saying it is only fitting that the scholarship go to other undocumented students, the group Tran rallied for and supported as an illegal immigrant herself. As the award comes from the school’s foundation, it would also be driven by donations, not public dollars. What do you think about the award? Should schools be setting aside funds for undocumented students, even if they come from private funds? Let us know what you think about this controversial topic.

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Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship

June 7, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

If you’re a basketball fan who has been following the NBA playoffs the last few weeks, you should know that many of the professional teams you’ve been watching have foundations associated with them that raise money for youth and the college-bound. The Pacers Foundation is one such group, and their Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship is our Scholarship of the Week.

As the award is presented by the St. Vincent Sports Medicine Center, applicants must be more than sports fans, but majoring in medicine or a related field as well. (It’s always best to contact the scholarship provider about eligible majors before applying for such an award.) You may have also already guessed that the award targets those enrolled at Indiana colleges or universities, including two-year junior or community colleges. If you meet these requirements, you could have a shot at this award.  If you’re interested in other medical scholarships or even athletic scholarships, browse our listings on those pages or make sure to check those criteria off on your user profile.

Prize:

Two awards of $2,000 are given each year. Winners are notified every August.

Eligibility:

This scholarship targets undergraduates enrolled at Indiana colleges and universities. Students should have completed at least four semesters, and be majoring in medicine or a related discipline, such as sports medicine or physical therapy. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, be U.S. citizens, and boast leadership qualities.

Deadline:

July 1, 2010

Required Material:

Those interested in this scholarship should fill out an application provided by the Pacers Foundation. Applicants will also be asked to write a one-page personal statement, and provide a letter of recommendation and current college transcript.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.

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Want a Scholarship? Follow the Rules!

June 11, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

It can’t be a good feeling to know that you could have been a contender for a generous scholarship but for the one piece of the application you failed to send to the award provider. Or that you were this close to winning an award to help pay for college but missed the deadline on providing supplementary materials. We can’t stress enough how important it is to follow the rules on each scholarship you apply for exactly, because one small misstep will not only send you to the bottom of the pile, it will most certainly take you out of the running for an award.

Thanks to free scholarship searches like ours, it’s easier than ever before to find scholarships. The harder part is obviously applying, but don’t assume you’re eligible for an award after a casual glance over the requirements. Take a close look at what each scholarship requires of you, and, if available, the official rules of each award, to make sure you meet all of the criteria. If you need to request an application through the mail, write a formal letter that you’ve proofread for any errors. Once you’re ready to submit your scholarship application, take a look at everything again, or have a fresh pair of eyes look over your materials. Most scholarships have quite a few applicants vying for that same award you’re applying for, so don’t give the scholarship provider a reason to deny you your chance.

Your work’s not quite over once you’ve submitted your application, even if you’ve followed the guidelines of that award to the letter. Your work may not even be over after you’re told you’ve won a particular scholarship. Take our own Area of Study Scholarships as an example. If you’re chosen as a winner of one of the 13 scholarships, based on the field of study you provide when you fill out a Scholarships.com profile, you’re expected to follow through on a few steps to help us determine whether you’re truly eligible to receive the award. Follow the rules we provide and respond by the deadline we give you, and we’ll send you a check for $1,000 to help cover your college costs. If you fail to reply, we’ll pick another lucky winner in your place. If you reply after we’ve already chosen another winner, you’re out of luck.

It sounds simple, but there have been instances where scholarship winners forfeit their prizes because they fail to follow-up after an award is announced or miss important deadlines. Scholarship providers are in the business of helping you with your college costs, and the best thanks you could give is following directions and being timely with your responses. Good luck out there!

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Safety Scholars Video Contest by Bridgestone

Scholarship of the Week Targets Aspiring Filmmakers

June 14, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

If you have a talent for video and already make short films for fun, you should look into video contest scholarships that could reward you with more than a reel of your movie-making abilities. This week’s Scholarship of the Week is one such award, offering $5,000 to those who come up with the most creative clips on promoting auto safety.

The Safety Scholars Video Contest by Bridgestone asks applicants to come up with short clips to serve as public service announcements on auto safety and what the youth set can do to drive more safely. Winners don’t only get scholarships; their videos run on television stations across the country, which could give you quite a bit of exposure. Don’t limit yourself if this video contest isn’t for you though. There are a number of awards out there for you aspiring filmmakers, and will probably be less competitive than awards that ask for a more traditional but less involved application. If you’re interested in this one though, get that camera out and start filming. (June is National Safety Month, after all.)

Prize:

Three finalists will receive $5,000 scholarships, payable to the accredited university, college, or trade school at which the winner is enrolled full-time. (Eligible high school students will receive their scholarships at the time of their enrollment in an institution of higher education post-graduation.) Those three finalists will also receive tickets to the Chicago Auto Show in February 2011, complete with round-trip air travel and accommodations.

Eligibility:

The video contest is open to legal permanent U.S. residents ages 16 through 21 who are enrolled full-time in accredited secondary, college level, or trade schools (or have plans to do so after their high school graduations).

Deadline:

July 1, 2010

Required Material:

Applicants are judged based on the concept/idea, effectiveness, and creativity of their video entries. Entries must be original videos of 25 to 55 seconds in length on one or more issues or topics related to auto safety and improving auto safety for drivers ages 16 through 21. Applicants must also complete an official entry form on Bridgestone’s Safety Scholars website.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.

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Barona Sustainable Environment Scholarship

Scholarship of the Week Open to "Green" Majors

June 21, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

The health of the environment is on many people’s minds these days as the BP spill continues to stream oil into the Gulf. If your interest in Earth’s natural resources goes so far as to determine your chosen field of study, this week’s Scholarship of the Week could be for you. The Barona Sustainable Environment Scholarship from the Barona Band of Mission Indians and Barona Resort and Casino is open to California students majoring in horticulture studies, turf grass management, natural resources management, and the environmental sciences.

If you don’t quite fit the criteria for this one but are entering college with an environmental streak, make sure you explore other green scholarships. Scholarship money isn’t only awarded to students coming to college looking to major in a “green” field of study, but to those interested in other environmentally-friendly activities, such as community service or advocacy work related to the environment.

Prize:

Four finalists will receive a $1,000 scholarship; one out of those four will be chosen for an additional $1,000 following a series of personal interviews.

Eligibility:

This award is open to students majoring in horticulture studies, turf grass management, natural resources management, and the environmental sciences. Students must be attending accredited colleges or universities in Southern California full-time, have completed at least 30 semester units, and boast GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

Deadline:

July 15, 2010

Required Material:

Students interested in this scholarship must complete applications from the scholarship provider and submit transcripts from all colleges attended, two letters of recommendation, one character reference letter, and a copy of their last two federal tax returns or most recent financial aid forms. The application will ask for brief essays on educational and professional career goal and objectives and other questions based on the applicant’s chosen field of study.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.

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College Hopes New Fishing Scholarship Will Lure Applicants

June 25, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

Gone fishin’ this weekend? That hobby could net you more than a delicious bass. You could be eligible for some scholarship money, as well.

An article in The New York Times this week took a look at two college freshman from Tennessee attending Bethel University who both received athletic scholarships for their talents in competitive bass fishing. According to the article, they were the first students in the country to receive award money for the sport, with another teammate, a female this time, joining them in the scholarship pool this week.

Administrators at the college said they wanted to introduce a scholarship for the sport based on the interest in bass fishing across the country—there are about 220 college bass-fishing clubs in the United States—and the potential to use that surge as a recruiting tool for Bethel. According to the article, administrators had to first recognize bass fishing as an official sport at the college, and then set aside the budget and personnel to lead the program. The awards given range from $1,000 to $4,000, and require that students be not only good at bass-fishing, but successful in their academic lives as well.

Bass fishing’s growth in popularity has led to a growth in college clubs devoted to the sport, along with recognition from state groups. The Illinois High School Athletic Association recognized the sport last year, with 225 schools currently competing in various tournaments. The University of Florida’s team has done so well that they’ve won thousands of dollars to keep the club afloat; the Florida team also passed $50,000 on to the university, which will be used for a scholarship fund for low-income students. If you're not all that interested in fishing but excel in another sport, the point of this story is that there's probably sports scholarship money out there for you.

In others sports news, budget concerns on the community college level have led a number of the two-year institutions to cut back on their athletic offerings. A recent article in Inside Higher Ed focuses on the situation in Mississippi, where the governor has suggested that the state’s community colleges should either shut down sports programs completely or target certain sports for elimination to improve the budget picture there. Three schools have already taken his advice, although the most expensive sports to offer, like football, have remained. According to the article, Mississippi is a football state, and eliminating even junior college football would affect enrollment at the schools. Currently, the NJCAA has 511 member institutions.

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American Legion Baseball Scholarship

June 28, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

Now that baseball season’s in full swing, it may be the perfect time for you baseball players out there to consider how to supplement your financial aid packages. Baseball scholarships are more common that many other sports scholarships, and the American Legion is one of the biggest providers of awards in the sport. If you’re on an American Legion team, make sure you’re aware of this week’s Scholarship of the Week—the American Legion Baseball Scholarship.

Although applicants must be nominated for this award by their team managers or coaches, it doesn’t hurt to know what you’re eligible for if you think you excel in not only the sport, but in the other qualities lauded by the Legion: leadership, service, discipline, and impressive academics. If you think you’d be a good candidate, consider talking to your team leaders to make sure they’re aware of the awards available and that you’re interested in getting your name out there for scholarship contention. If you’re not on an American Legion team but are decent on the diamond, know that there are numerous awards out there targeting baseball players.

Prize:

Award amounts vary, but the Legion awards more than $20,000 in scholarships annually. Scholarship awards also vary based on annual interest in the award.

Eligibility:

Qualified applicants must have graduated from high school and be on a 2010 roster of a team affiliated with an American Legion post.

Deadline:

July 15, 2010

Required Material:

Those interested in this scholarship must be nominated by any team manager or head coach of an American Legion-affiliated team. Players must then complete a scholarship application, which includes letters of recommendation and a certification form. The three letters of recommendation required as part of this scholarship application are an important part of the award process.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.

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The Resolve to Evolve Scholarship

Deadline for this Scholarship of the Week is July 31. Apply now!

July 12, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

We’re not only here to match you with outside awards through our free scholarship search. We’re also here to offer you 14 ways of our own to help meet your college costs. In addition to our 13 Area of Study Scholarships, where we award one scholarship per month based on the field of study you mark off in your user profiles, we also award five annual $1,000 scholarships based on how you respond to essay prompts that we provide. This week’s Scholarship of the Week is our Resolve to Evolve Scholarship, and the deadline is fast approaching.

The annual Resolve to Evolve Scholarship is an essay contest that allows applicants to come up with workable solutions and criticisms to questions and issues we put before them. This year, applicants are asked to discuss how we as a country could better meet President Obama’s goals of getting the United States to become the most educated country in the world by 2020, and how technology and the Internet have changed the way institutions of higher education operate.

If you’re picked as a winner, you won’t only have an additional $1,000 to cover your college costs, we’ll forward your essay to officials who may be able to act on your suggestions. Pretty cool, right? Check out our Official Rules for more information on applying if you’re interested, and make sure to follow the directions closely. You won’t be considered otherwise!

Prize: A total of five scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each will be awarded.

Eligibility: Applicants must be 19 or older. You must be a currently enrolled full-time undergraduate or a full- or part-time graduate or non-traditional/returning student who will be enrolled at a U.S. Department of Education accredited college, university or vocational school at the time the prize is awarded. (Prizes will be awarded in November 2010.) Graduate and non-traditional/returning students may be enrolled part-time.

Deadline: July 31, 2010

Required Material: All applicants must choose one of two essays to respond to in 300 to 800 words, in addition to a short answer response on why attending college is important to you, your academic and career goals, and what your biggest obstacle has been in your desire to attend college. Applicants must also submit a letter of reference and a proof of enrollment, such as an official/unofficial transcript, printout of courses, or a letter of enrollment or admittance from your college or university.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.

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AmeriGlide Achiever Scholarship

Deadline Approaching for this Week's Scholarship of the Week

July 19, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

One of the more popular scholarship categories is “scholarships by type,” or awards based on specific student characteristics, like a commitment to community service or a passion for poetry. An expanding category has been scholarships for students with disabilities. As access to education in general has improved for students with disabilities over the years, so has the access to resources that can help pay for those educations. This week’s Scholarship of the Week is the AmeriGlide Achiever Scholarship, which targets students who use wheelchairs.

As part of this scholarship, you’ll be asked to write an essay on one of two topics provided by AmeriGlide. The first asks which area of your school you think would benefit from improved accessibility and how you would improve it; the second asks which area of your school already has excellent accessibility and why. If you don’t fit the criteria for this award but feel you’d be eligible for a different disability scholarship, browse through the information we have posted on scholarships of that type or try a scholarship search. There are awards out there based on any and all student characteristics. It’s up to you to put in the work to seek them out and apply!

Prize: $500

Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited two- or four-year college, use a manual or electric wheelchair, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be a legal resident of the United States or hold a valid student visa.

Deadline: July 31, 2010

Required Material: Those interested in the scholarship must complete an online application form, which includes an essay of a minimum of 500 words on one of the prompts provided by the scholarship provider. Applicants will also be able to submit two character references once they complete their online applications.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.

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MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program

July 26, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

Law school is by no means inexpensive. If you’ve taken the leap to ace that LSAT and get yourself into a law school program, you should know there are scholarships out there for you future lawyers. If you plan on using that law degree to better your community or for humanitarian purposes, there may be even more funding available. This week’s Scholarship of the Week from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) targets law school students interested in the civil rights of Latinos.

While the MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program isn’t a minority scholarship, you will need to prove that you’ve already shown your commitment to the Latino community or have a plan to do so once you’ve completed law school. If this doesn’t describe you, know there are plenty of law and criminal justice scholarships out there for you to explore to help you cover the costs of your degree.

Prize: Scholarships come in varying amounts, but the maximum is $7,000 annually.

Eligibility: This award is open to students who will be enrolled full-time in an accredited law school in the United States in 2010-2011. Applicants must have a commitment to advancing the civil rights of Latinos through law. Financial need, past achievements, and the potential for achievement will be considered.

Deadline: September 30, 2010

Required Material: Those interested in the scholarship must complete the MALDEF Law School Scholarship Application (available for download online) and submit a current resume, personal statement that details a history of service to the Latino community and the applicant’s background, and two letters of recommendation. Current law school students should also submit their most recent law school transcripts.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.

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