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Bonner Scholars Program

April 12, 2010

by Agnes Jasinski

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.

Prize:

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.)

Eligibility:

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.

Deadline:

Deadlines will vary by campus.

Required Material:

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.


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by Agnes Jasinski

If you're a decent writer, essay scholarships may be your opportunity to shine and win awards to help you cover your college costs. This week's Scholarship of the Week doesn't ask for things like your race or financial status. All it asks for is an essay and verification that you'll be enrolled in at least three credit hours this summer or fall.

The Alvin Cox Memorial Scholarship asks applicants to write an essay on what you've probably already thought about - their reasons for deciding to go to college. (An essay like this could also easily be retooled to serve other purposes, from personal statements to other awards that have broad essay requirements.) The fund was created in 2006 in memorial of Alvin Cox, a public school teacher for more than 40 years whose passion was matching students with financial aid opportunities so they may have a way to pay for college. Although the prize money may not seem very impressive, if you're a natural when it comes to the written word, winning several scholarships like this one will make a difference when you're determining how much to borrow to pay for college.

Prize:

15 $700 scholarships, with several smaller award amounts possible as well

Eligibility:

Undergraduates and graduates enrolled in at least three credit hours this summer or fall are eligible to apply. Those attending career schools are also eligible to apply, as long as they describe why they chose a career school in their essays. (About 10 percent of the fund's scholarships are awarded to those attending career schools.) High school students enrolled in dual credit courses that require out-of-pocket expenses are also eligible to apply.

Deadline:

May 31, 2010

Required Material:

Those interested in the scholarship must submit online their name, email address, academic year, and and an essay based on the following: Please discuss any factors that influenced your decision to pursue a college degree. You may discuss any people who affected your decision making process and explain how your decision may have been different without their influence.

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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by Agnes Jasinski

Sports scholarships are not only available to athletes from their respective colleges. A number of professional organizations and private groups offer generous awards to student athletes looking for some help to meet their college costs. This week’s Scholarship of the Week targets student bowlers already in college who are able to maintain good grades while competing in the sport on the amateur level.

The Billy Welu Scholarship from the Professional Bowler Association awards student bowlers with $1,000 scholarships. Applicants must not only be decent bowlers, but good students, as well, and meet GPA requirements associated with the award. Welu, for whom the award is named, was a charter member and Hall of Famer in the PBA who was a familiar voice in the sport as an analyst during Pro Bowlers Tour telecasts. If you’re a college student who competes in a different sport, though, make sure you check out some of our examples of sports scholarships and look beyond your college for award funding, as there are hundreds of awards out there that target student athletes.

Prize:

$1,000

Eligibility:

To be eligible, candidates must be amateur bowlers who are currently in college (preceding the application deadline) and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

Deadline:

May 31, 2010

Required Material:

Those interested in the scholarship must fill out applications available on the PBA’s website. Applications will ask student bowlers to detail their experience in the sport, and write a 500-word essay on how the award will positively affect their bowling, academic, and personal goals. Applicants must also send a reference letter and transcript along with their completed 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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by Agnes Jasinski

The name of this week’s Scholarship of the Week, the Kor Memorial Scholarship, may suggest that applicants be familiar with Klingon, the language created for use in the “Star Trek” series. The main criteria, however, is that all undergraduates and graduates nominated for the award be interested in the field of language study, whether that’s Klingon or the more traditional Spanish, French, or general linguistics degrees.

The purpose of the Kor Memorial Scholarship is to recognize and encourage scholarship in language study, and to award creative and innovative students. Applicants must be nominated in order to be considered for the award, so if you think this award is a good fit, make sure to talk to your academic department chair or dean. Winners are chosen by the director of the Klingon Language Institute and a panel of qualified language specialists. If you’re interested in checking out more awards with unique criteria, we have a long list of unusual scholarships that reward students their interest in mule deer, duck calling, and everything in between.

Prize: $500

Eligibility: All nominees must be full-time students at the time of the award and in a program leading to a degree in a field of language study.

Deadline: June 1, 2010

Required Material: In addition to a nominating letter from a department chair or dean at the student’s school, applicants must submit a resume highlighting their education, experience, awards, and community service.  Applicants must also submit two additional letters of recommendation from departmental faculty, and a brief statement of goals related to the field of language 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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by Agnes Jasinski

Minority scholarships are one of the more common scholarships by type out there, with numerous organizations looking to make college more affordable for those who may have been traditionally under-served in higher education. Scholarships for Asian students are no different. In honor of May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this week’s Scholarship of the Week is limited to women of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.

This week’s award comes from Central California Asian Pacific Women, a group of business and community leaders looking to support young women in their educational endeavors. Since 1981, the group has given more than $750,000 in scholarships to more than 180 of California’s Asian and Pacific Islander women. If you don't fit in to this category, try conducting a free scholarship search, and there are dozens of awards out there for not only Asian students looking to pay for college, but students from all minority groups and other demographic populations.

Prize: Scholarships vary, but the maximum amount is $1,000. Awards are given in July.

Eligibility: Applicants must be Asian and Pacific Islander women residing in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced or Tulare Counties in California. The selection criteria include academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and financial need. Applicants may be entering, continuing undergraduate, or re-entry students in a college or university. Special awards are also available for students studying in the areas of health, business, or early childhood education.

Deadline: May 15, 2010

Required Material: Those interested in the award are asked to complete online applications that include short essays in response to three questions to communicate personal experience, academic, and/or special circumstance information. Applicants must also submit official transcripts and two letters of reference; at least one of these should be from a teacher or counselor from the last or current school that applicant attended.

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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by Agnes Jasinski

History is one of the most popular college majors pursued by college students across the country, second only to business. It’s only natural then that there are a number of scholarships out there for future historians, academics, and educators. This week’s Scholarship of the Week is the ALBA George Watt Memorial Essay Contest, an award for history majors particularly interested in Spanish and world history, presented by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.

Scholarships as specific as this one typically have fewer applicants than sweepstakes or awards based on broader criteria, so your chances of landing this one if you meet all of the qualifications are greatly increased. If you’ve already written essays about the Spanish Civil War, the global political or cultural struggles against fascism in 1920s and 1930s, or the lifetime histories and contributions of the Americans who fought in support of the Spanish Republic from 1936 to 1938, you may as well send your work in. Why not get rewarded for doing well on an assignment? If you’re a history major who has not been exposed to these particular historical events, try out a scholarship search, because there’s a good chance there are history scholarships out there that fit your interest areas.

Prize: Two prizes of $500 will be awarded.

Eligibility: All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. Work will be judged on the basis of originality, quality of research, and effectiveness of argument or presentation.

June 1, 2010

Required Material: Applicants must submit essays or thesis chapters of between 3,500 and 7,500 words in Spanish or English on topics already mentioned above. Submissions must have been produced to fulfill an undergraduate or graduate course or degree requirement. Any work produced since January 2009 is eligible for the competition. Award winners will be announced at the end of June, and all winning essays are published on the ALBA website.


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by Agnes Jasinski

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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by Agnes Jasinski

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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by Agnes Jasinski

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 Agnes Jasinski

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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