March 2, 2010
Spring break is fast approaching. Some college students already have their all-inclusive vacations planned out for beach-side locations like Cancun and South Padre Island, taking the week to relax, kick back, and take a break from campus life. Others, however, have alternative plans, and hope to give back a little in the wake of a number of recent devastating natural disasters.
An article in Inside Higher Ed yesterday describes the plans of David Adewumi, a Pennsylvania State University student who will join 10 of his peers on a relief trip to Haiti. They plan to spend the week of their spring break helping with minor medical care, food distribution and building shelters for those who lost their homes and livelihoods in the recent quake. A group of 20 to 25 students from the University of Maryland, College Park, and Howard University have similar plans to spend their spring breaks in Haiti, training Haitians to build homes using dirt-filled bags.
The earthquake in Chile on Feb. 27 may cause some to divert their spring break attentions to that country as well. Some schools, like the City University of New York, have already expanded their relief efforts to include both Haiti and Chile. (So far, all students who had already been living or visiting in the South American country have been reported safe, including 27 University of Notre Dame students and faculty members, a group of business-school students and faculty members from the University of Tennessee, and students studying abroad from the University of South Carolina at Columbia.)
Organizers of alternative spring breaks say college students' relief trips are nothing new. But the speed with which students have mobilized to assist countries with recent disasters is. Students have expressed so much interest that some organizers, relief agencies, and college administrators worry that the situation in both Haiti and Chile is not stabilized enough to make for a meaningful experience for spring breakers. In the Inside Higher Ed article, Suzanne Brooks, the director of the Center for International Disaster Information, says inexperienced volunteers should wait a year before planning any relief missions to Haiti. "I don’t think it’s impossible that a year from now for spring break there may be some programs up and running, but I really don’t think it makes sense for this year," she said in the article. It may also not be the safest option, other say, or even a wise idea to send more relief agencies out there when those already on site have had trouble finding sufficient food, water, and housing.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of options if you want to organize an alternative spring break closer to home. At Tulane University, "service learning" has become a part of the curriculum, as students work to continue rebuilding a city still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Those interested in local community service opportunities should also be aware that many nonprofits reward those good deeds with scholarships.
April 12, 2010
Community service scholarships and awards based upon an applicant's volunteer experience are one of the more common scholarship categories out there, so if you have quite a bit of volunteerism under your belt, you could be eligible for a large number of scholarships that reward altruistic individuals like yourself. In honor of April being National Volunteer Month, this week's Scholarship of the Week is one such scholarship, and recognizes students interested in continuing their volunteer work on the college level.
The Bonner Scholars Program is open to students in 27 schools across the country, and annually recognizes more than 1,500 students who wish to engage in community service while going to college. Chosen scholars are asked to serve at least 10 hours of volunteer service each week, and must complete at least one full-time summer service internship during their time in school. If this sounds like something you're interested in and your school is on the list of schools that operate the Bonner Scholars Program, you could be eligible for a stipend rewarding your hard work.
Award amounts vary by school. Davidson College, for example, allocates $1,250 to each scholar per semester, with more funding available for summer-service stipends and in loan reductions. (The four-year total there is $17,500.)
Applicants must be attending one of 27 schools that support the Bonner Scholars Program, and most recipients also demonstrate high financial need. Applicants will be asked to fulfill set community service requirements, and will need to recommit to the program annually if they wish to remain Bonner Scholars.
Deadlines will vary by campus.
Applicants should contact the admissions of financial aid office of their intended college to apply for the program. Those administrators will then direct you to the Bonner Scholars Program office where applicants may receive additional information about applying to the program. Applicants may complete more than one application if they are considering more than one school with the Bonner Scholars Program.
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.
June 29, 2010
As if you needed more reason to get some volunteer work under your belt, students at one New York college will be rewarded with generous tuition discounts if they are members of one of three local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters.
Starting this fall, Marist College will offer discounts of 25 percent to new undergraduates and graduates at the school who are members of any of the three Hudson Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters. Those students will also get a pass on any application fees. According to The New York Times article on the new initiative, the school decided to offer the discounts to encourage volunteerism in the community, especially among men. The dean of graduate and adult enrollment at the college is a Big Brother himself, according to the article.
While school administrators admit they will probably lose some revenue from the initiative, they are also hopeful that more students will be drawn to Marist with the introduction of the program. Tuition discounts will also apply to any family members of participants in Big Brothers Big Sisters, according to The New York Times, meaning a parent of a “little” brother would be eligible for the reduction in college costs as well.
Administrators at the college say they don’t know of similar programs at other schools, but that doesn’t mean you should quit volunteering if you’re not interested in Marist. Most colleges offer grant and scholarship opportunities for students involved in community college. Columbia College, for example, offers the $1,000 Boone County Endowed Scholarship to freshmen applicants who boast volunteer experience and certain academic requirements. Pacific Union College offers the $1,200 Christian Service Award to students involved in church or community service leadership.
If those scholarship totals seem low to you altruistic high school students, be aware that there are a number of generous community service scholarships out there to supplement the financial aid packages you’re offered from your intended college. Volunteer experience will also help you on your college applications, scholarship contests that aren’t specifically targeted at volunteers, and future employment. And if you’re pursuing a major in a high needs field, such as nursing or education, you may also be eligible for loan forgiveness programs, so make sure you do your homework when you’re determining how to pay for college.
August 9, 2010
With an increase in programs to keep students in school and a renewed focus on improving college preparedness and high school graduation rates, it’s no surprise that there are scholarships out there that want to help students achieve those goals. This week’s Scholarship of the Week is one such award, and targets college-bound high school students in Oregon who “beat the odds” to get to where they are and onto the path to higher education.
The Beat the Odds Scholarship Program from the Stand for Children Leadership Center awards $2,500 scholarships to students who have overcome personal obstacles and hardships while remaining on track to graduate high school the following year. Winners will be asked to share their stories publicly, so applicants should be comfortable doing so. You don’t need to be attending an Oregon college to apply, but you do need to be an Oregon high school student. Those in other states should try a free scholarship search to find awards they qualify for; as this one asks for volunteer experience, there are dozens of awards out there for those who help out in their local communities.
Five $2,500 renewable scholarships
Applicants must be enrolled in a public high school in Oregon, on track to graduate the coming June, have a 3.0 GPA showing marked effort, improvement, or success, have succeeded in spite of hardships (the scholarship provider lists disability, personal tragedy, and poverty as examples), have volunteered or participated in other altruistic activities, and have financial need.
September 17, 2010
Those interested in this scholarship have the option of applying online or printing out an application and submitting it by mail. The application will ask for a personal and academic letter of recommendation, and a personal statement of between 500 and 1,000 words. Applicants will also be asked to provide a copy of their high school transcript and a copy of their parents’ most recent federal income tax return.
November 18, 2011
Whether you’re a prospective college student or already a few years in, there’s no doubt that tuition is a major concern. It’s not cheap to be a college student and while student loans can greatly assist you in this struggle, sometimes they’re not enough. That’s where scholarships can help.
Many aren’t aware but November is National Scholarship Month and the perfect time to start your search for scholarships that perfectly meet your needs. Your first step in this journey is throwing away the number one misconception about scholarships – that they are only awarded to “smart kids.” While many scholarships do require that you maintain a certain GPA, grades are not the only criteria. There are scholarships available for athletics, community service, to students pursuing certain careers or majors, and to minorities.
It may seem like the chances of winning a scholarship are slim. That was my mentality when I heard nothing after filling out application after application. Sure, it was frustrating but I didn’t give up. And I’m glad I kept at it: Just a few weeks ago, I saw the fruits of my labor when I was awarded a scholarship from an alumnus at my school!
My biggest piece of advice to students searching for scholarships is to be persistent in your search. If you fill out hundreds of applications, you have hundreds of scholarship opportunities but if you give up and don’t fill out any, your opportunities will reflect that. Utilize every resource you can, like talking to the financial aid office at your school and seeing what they recommend...and don’t forget about the Internet! A little site called Scholarships.com has a plethora of information that can steer you in the right direction. Best of luck and may your scholarship searches be fruitful!
Angela Andaloro is a junior at Pace University’s New York City campus, where she is double majoring in communication studies and English. Like most things in New York City, her life and college experience is far from typical – she commutes to school from her home in Flushing and took nearly a semester’s worth of classes online – but she still likes to hang out with friends, go to parties and feed her social networking addiction like your “average” college student.
November 21, 2011
Fifty-million people are at risk of hunger, including 17 million children. The Sodexo Foundation works to ensure that every child in the U.S., especially those most at risk, grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food to enable them to lead a healthy, productive life. The Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarships recognize students who are driving awareness and mobilizing youth to be catalysts for innovative models and solutions to eliminate hunger in America.
Each national STOP Hunger Scholarship recipient receives a $5,000 scholarship and a matching $5,000 donation to their affiliated hunger relief organization. Added consideration is given to those students working to combat childhood hunger.
Applications are available to students from kindergarten through graduate school and are accepted through December 5th. For more on this scholarship and other scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today!
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