December 14, 2009
There are a lot of awards out there that target high school seniors and college freshman, one justification being that in order for those student populations to even consider going to college, they may need more help getting a start and funding that difficult first year. This week's Scholarship of the Week, however, targets college sophomores who have spent that first year proving themselves on their college campuses.
The Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship is given to college sophomores who are making a difference on their campuses as leaders and have taken a stand against ideological conformity. The award is given annually by The Phillips Foundation, a nonprofit that looks to advance constitutional principles, free enterprise, and a democratic society. This scholarship program was launched in 1999 to provide renewable awards to undergraduates demonstrating leadership on behalf of the cause of freedom, American values, and constitutional principles. The foundation awarded more than $200,000 in new and renewed scholarships for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Prize: Up to two $10,000 awards will be awarded, but scholarship renewals will also be given in the amounts of $7,500, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 for the 2010–2011 academic year.
Eligibility: Applicants must be college sophomores enrolled full-time and in good standing at any accredited, four-year degree-granting institution in the United States or its territories. Third-year students are eligible to have their awards renewed to help in the costs of their senior years on campus.
Deadline: January 15, 2010
Required Material: Applicants must complete an online application that will ask for proof of good standing at their accredited colleges, a short essay highlighting their personal background and scope of activities consistent with the reasons for the award, any documentation proving the students' leadership abilities, and at least two letters of recommendation.
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.
December 28, 2009
After you have created your list of scholarships and or colleges and identified the people you want to write your recommendations it is time to tackle the most important part of the application. The reason writing skills are apart of the foundation of the application is because they build up to the personal statement. The personal statement is just that; writing that makes a statement about who you are as a person. It does something that a grade point average, test score, or award cannot: it gives you the opportunity to creatively tell the scholarship or admissions review board (the people who will read and judge your application) how high school has affected you. It also provides the opportunity for the review board to gain an understanding of who you are when you leave school. The review board will be looking for students who are well rounded and that understand that school is more than just acquiring accolades and gaining a high GPA or test score. School is about growth and progression and the people who read your application will enjoy applicants who show that they understand this concept. The personal statement is your chance to show the review board that you understand, and in many instances it will be used to evaluate everything else included in your application.
Now that you see why the personal statement is so important, it’s time to start writing. However, before you start writing, please check out my Top Five Don’ts When Writing a Personal Statement:
Now that you have read the "Top Five Don’ts When Writing a Personal Statement", you should be more than ready to write a great personal statement for any college or scholarship. Just remember that the personal statement is about illustrating who you are as a person in and, more importantly, outside of school. You want to find something that other parts of your application do not say, start early, be concise, be creative, and revise, revise, revise. If you keep these points in mind you will definitely set yourself apart.
About the Author: Derrius L. Quarles is a 19-year-old freshman at Morehouse College. He hopes to go to medical school after he graduates with a degree in psychology and biology and a minor in public health, and to one day work on the public health policies of his hometown, Chicago, and beyond. To help him achieve those academic and career ambitions, Derrius has won more than $1.1 million in scholarships, including a full scholarship to attend Morehouse, since graduating from Chicago’s Kenwood Academy High School with a 4.2 GPA. Derrius was awarded a Gates Millennium scholarship and won a number of other highly competitive awards, many of which he found while searching for scholarships at Scholarships.com. He is the first in his family to attend college, and spent his childhood in the foster care system before becoming the “Million Dollar Scholar.” This is the third in a series of posts Derrius is writing for Scholarships.com on how he was able to fund his education, along with advice about the scholarship application process.
Still finding yourself with a lot of time on your hands this winter break? This week's Scholarship of the Week could help you with that. The Morality of Profit Project through the SEVEN Fund asks applicants to write an essay of up to 3,000 words on the morality of profit, and whether the pursuit of profit is moral in the current global economic crisis.
The SEVEN Fund, or the Social Equity Venture Fund, is an independent nonprofit organization that provides monetary, organizational and intellectual support for the study of enterprise-based solutions to poverty. The essay scholarship aims to get more young people thinking about profit motives, as the debate is currently fairly polarized. If you have opinions on the topic and enjoy writing a good essay, this could be the perfect contest to get your creative juices flowing. The organization is also all about diversity, so those from diverse cultural, religious, philosophical, and academic traditions are especially welcome to participate.
Prize: SEVEN will award top honors to three essays, with a grand prize of $20,000, a second prize of $10,000, and a third prize of $5,000. The best pieces will be collected into a manuscript, which is intended for publication, and the program will culminate with an international conference in 2010.
Eligibility: Everyone is welcome to apply, no matter your field, discipline, or profession. The competition is also a global one, so both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens are welcome to participate.
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Required Material: The essay must be submitted electronically in a Microsoft Word or PDF format only, using the submission form on the organization's website. Every essay must, in addition to the actual essay, include a 100 word abstract at the beginning of the document. Along with the submission, applicants are asked to include the following information in the submission form, as well as on the first page of your submitted essay: full name and mailing address, a contact telephone number, your email, and a brief paragraph biography. All information requested, including contact information, abstract, and the essay should be included in a single document.
January 4, 2010
In addition to being a major source for all your middle-of-the-night shopping needs, Wal Mart also is a big player in higher education funding, through the Wal Mart Foundation. The foundation awards both grants for colleges and scholarships for high school students. Their most well-known scholarship is the Sam Walton Community Scholarship, an award for high school seniors who are active in their communities. This $3,000 scholarship is awarded to 2,500 students nationwide and is this week's Scholarship of the Week. Applications are evaluated on financial need, academic achievements and records, and school and community activities and leadership. If you need money for college and demonstrate strong leadership abilities, you may want to consider applying for this scholarship opportunity.
Prize: 2,500 scholarships of $3,000 will be awarded
Eligibility: Current high school seniors with a high school GPA of at least 2.5 who are planning to enroll at an accredited college or university. Must be a US citizen and have financial need.
Deadline: January 29, 2010
Required Material: A completed online scholarship application, available on the Sam Walton Community Scholarship 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.
January 11, 2010
One of the most common scholarships by type is the religious scholarship. No matter your denomination, there are probably a number of awards out there that you're uniquely qualified for, just for practicing your faith. If religion is an important part of your life, make sure you consider that when seeking out scholarships.
This week's Scholarship of the Week is awarded to "spiritual" applicants. The Roothbert Fund Scholarships don't emphasize a particular type of religious background or practice, but they do look to support those who are motivated by spiritual values. The Fund is a small, nearly all-volunteer scholarship fund based in New York City, which awards yearly grants and works to foster fellowship among grant recipients. Those grants are sent directly to the winners' colleges and universities.
Prize: Scholarship awards range from $2,000-$3,000, and about 20 scholarships are given annually
Eligibility: Scholarships are open to all regardless of sex, age, race, nationality, or religious background. The Fund has awarded grants to applicants entering a variety of fields, but preference will be given to those with impressive academic records and who are considering careers in education. Applicant interviews are scheduled on fairly short notice, so the New York-based Fund typically awards scholarships to those in the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.
Deadline: February 1, 2010
Required Material: Applicants must request printed applications from the Fund. Those applications will require an autobiographical essay, transcripts, and recommendation letters. Applicants chosen to move on to the next round will be asked to come in for an interview held during March in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New Haven. Applications change annually, so applicants are discouraged from copying printed applications from previous years.
January 12, 2010
Now that you have developed a scholarship list to keep track of all your scholarships and have created the foundation of your application by getting your recommendations and personal statement(s) completed, all you have to do is put the finishing touches on all of your applications right? Not quite; juggling school, extra-curricular activities, a part-time job, and scholarship applications can make the most organized person stressed, and what tends to happen is that high school students spend less time on their scholarship applications in order to relieve the stress of being a senior. However, you do not have to sacrifice spending time on your scholarship applications if you take certain steps. These steps can help you keep your grades up, participate in all of your activities, and still put in the time that is required to create great scholarship applications.
Learning how to manage your time will be your most effective tool to help you complete your scholarship applications on time and decrease stress. If you learn how to manage your time effectively, you will notice that you can fit more into your schedule because you will waste less time wondering what you supposed to be doing. Have you ever come home from school, tossed your book bag down and gone to sleep or watched television for a couple hours and later asked yourself where all your time went when you go to do your homework? You probably go to sleep late, wake up tired and end up being sleepy in your first class. Well this is a cycle that many students are familiar with, but it can be fixed if you simply learn how to manage your time more efficiently. These strategies can help you use your time more effectively:
Masterpieces such as the Taj Mahal and Sistine Chapel were not created in a day. Though smaller in scale, great scholarship applications are not either. You have to learn how to manage your time so that you do not have to throw together something that is not of high quality. When you have school and other time-consuming activities to do every day, finding time to complete scholarship applications can cause a lot of stress. However, if you learn to use a calendar, plan ahead, and prioritize tasks you will be sure to keep your sanity during the application process.
Derrius L Quarles is a 19-year-old freshman at Morehouse College. He hopes to go to medical school after he graduates with a degree in psychology and biology and a minor in public health, and to one day work on the public health policies of his hometown, Chicago, and beyond. To help him achieve those academic and career ambitions, Derrius has won more than $1.1 million in scholarships, including a full scholarship to attend Morehouse, since graduating from Chicago’s Kenwood Academy High School with a 4.2 GPA. Derrius was awarded a Gates Millennium scholarship and won a number of other highly competitive awards, many of which he found while searching for scholarships at Scholarships.com. He is the first in his family to attend college, and spent his childhood in the foster care system before becoming the “Million Dollar Scholar.” This is the fourth in a series of posts Derrius is writing for Scholarships.com on how he was able to fund his education, along with advice about the scholarship application process.
January 20, 2010
Last week’s earthquake in Haiti has had a profound impact on students, faculty, and staff at a number of college campuses. Students and faculty from Lynn University in Florida are still missing in Haiti, while members of other campus communities in the U.S. and Canada have been counted among the more than 70,000 dead. Schools are beginning to reach out to their students who suffered losses in the earthquake, including one college that’s offering free tuition to its Haitian students.
Tallahassee Community College is offering 100% tuition relief for the duration of their education to 35 currently enrolled students from Haiti. After a unanimous vote from the school’s trustees, Tallahassee Community College will begin figuring out the logistics of offering this assistance immediately. The college’s president Bill Law said, “These students will go to school for free. We will keep that in place while they are here,” while acknowledging that there are still details to be ironed out when it comes to getting the funding to the students.
While Tallahassee Community College appears to be first to announce special financial aid for all Haitian enrollees, other schools are reaching out to their students who were affected by the earthquake. Colleges and universities are offering counseling, help contacting friends and family, and assistance finding ways to stay in school for their Haitian students and students of Haitian descent.
The City University of New York and Miami Dade College are also engaging in a variety of special efforts to help their students who are from Haiti or who have family and friends there. CUNY has 6,000 students who are either Haitian or of Haitian descent on its 23 campuses. Miami Dade College Both schools are offering counseling services and are trying to help students stay in school during this crisis. Medgar Evers College, part of the CUNY system, has set up support centers to help students reach friends and family members in Haiti. Students are able to make long distance calls and use computers to try to reach their loved ones.
In addition to aiding in the search for four students and two faculty members who were volunteering in Haiti when the earthquake struck, Lynn University has established a fund to assist members of their community whose lives the earthquake has impacted. The Lynn University Haiti Crisis Fund donation page states the money will provide assistance for 40 Haitian staff members at the school, as well as students and faculty from Haiti.
Students and schools nationwide are engaging in other relief efforts, including holding fundraisers and donation drives for a wide range of charities that are assisting in the recovery effort. Doctors from several medical schools have already arrived in Haiti to assist in treating the wounded. As more time passes and immediate needs are met, there will be more opportunities for students interested in community service and humanitarian aid to help out in Haiti, both through sustained donations and volunteer efforts.
January 25, 2010
If the crisis in Haiti has caused you to up your volunteer efforts or if you've always been interested in community service as a way to help out your local community or even build on your resume, there are a number of scholarship opportunities out there for you to get some payback for those good deeds. This week's Scholarship of the Week awards 1,000 scholarships of $1,000 each to high school students involved in volunteer efforts in their schools and communities.
The Best Buy@15 Scholarship Program is looking for students with impressive academic records who give back to their communities. Students with work histories in high school will also be considered, but you have to be planning to attend a college, university or technical school in the fall immediately following high school graduation. If you think this fits your student profile, make sure you look for this award in your search results. Remember to check off "community service" before conducting your free scholarship search, because volunteerism is a top criteria on many scholarship awards.
Prize: 1,000 scholarship of $1,000 each
Eligibility: Students must be planning to attend a college, university or technical school in the fall immediately following their high school graduation. Students in grades 9-12 from private, public, alternative or home schools are eligible to apply. The program is looking for students with solid grades who are involved in volunteer efforts in their schools and communities, and/or have a work history.
Deadline: February 15, 2010, although applicants are urged to file their applications early
Required Material: Scholarship applications are available only to @15 members, but you can become a member for free on the program's website. Paper applications will not be accepted, so please file yours electronically.
January 26, 2010
Humans give off carbon dioxide for plants to use and plants give off oxygen for humans to survive. Water is constantly converted into a gas through heat where it then rises and cools to fall as rain, snow, etc. These processes have occurred for thousands of years and they are also some of the most efficient processes known to man. Why are these natural processes so efficient? It is because they use a process known as recycling. Recycling is a process observed in many natural systems, and it may be the most important concept for you to understand when completing the scholarship process. You have written your personal statements (essays), gotten your recommendations, created your resume, and made a scholarship list. However, if you do not learn how to recycle these items, you will soon find that it is difficult and vey time-consuming to apply for the 15 or more scholarships on your list. If you learn how to take a paragraph from your college application essay and insert it there, take a paragraph from your past scholarship essay on adversity and insert it here, you will soon have an entirely new essay that you can use for a different scholarship.
Recycling application sections sounds like a fairly simple idea, right? Not necessarily. Recycling when doing scholarship applications is a great idea, but it’s not exactly simple. It can be an effective tool if used properly. If used incorrectly, however, it can have disastrous effects and can be a quick way to lose potential financial aid. “So, how do I recycle effectively?” you may ask. The answer is that you have to ensure that while recycling application sections such as a personal statement (essay) or recommendation that you tailor the personal statement or recommendation to each specific application. If you are applying to a scholarship that awards money based on academic achievement, it is not the best idea to recycle and use a recommendation previously written by a community service organizer because they cannot speak first hand about your abilities in the classroom the way a teacher can. You also may want to go through your essays and ask your recommenders to make the small or large changes in order to tailor your applications. If your essay states that “I feel I deserve the Dell Scholarship because…” yet you are applying to the Wal-Mart scholarship, you probably just lost that scholarship. An application package is somewhat like a suit, it needs to tailored in order to look its best; although it may look okay without tailoring, it will look great with it.
Here are some quick rules for recycling sections of your scholarship application:
Using and sticking to these rules will be an easy way to save time, reduce stress, and finish scholarship applications well before the deadline. Remember, if used properly, recycling is not only good for the environment; it’s good for the scholarship application process as well.<,/p>
Derrius L Quarles is a 19-year-old freshman at Morehouse College. He hopes to go to medical school after he graduates with a degree in psychology and biology and a minor in public health, and to one day work on the public health policies of his hometown, Chicago, and beyond. To help him achieve those academic and career ambitions, Derrius has won more than $1.1 million in scholarships, including a full scholarship to attend Morehouse, since graduating from Chicago’s Kenwood Academy High School with a 4.2 GPA. Derrius was awarded a Gates Millennium scholarship and won a number of other highly competitive awards, many of which he found while searching for scholarships at Scholarships.com. He is the first in his family to attend college, and spent his childhood in the foster care system before becoming the “Million Dollar Scholar.” This is the fifth in a series of posts Derrius is writing for Scholarships.com on how he was able to fund his education, along with advice about the scholarship application process.
February 1, 2010
The benefits of a vegetarian diet are well-known, but did you know that in addition to benefiting your health and the environment, going vegetarian can also have a positive impact on your wallet?
If you're a high school student and a vegetarian, check out this week's Scholarship of the Week. The Vegetarian Resource Group is offering two $5,000 college scholarships for high school seniors who are involved in promoting vegetarianism in their schools and communities. If you've been actively engaged in pro-vegetarian activism or a community service project that involves raising awareness of the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, you can write a short essay explaining your experience, your views on vegetarianism, and your future plans and goals for a chance to win this scholarship award.
Two $5,000 scholarships
High school seniors who will be graduating in the spring of 2010. Applicants must be planning to attend a college in the United States in the fall. Applicants must have been actively engaged in promoting a vegetarian lifestyle in their schools or communities.
February 20, 2010
A completed scholarship application (found on the Vegetarian Resource Group website), a copy of your high school transcript, three or more letters of recommendation, and an essay (with supporting documentation wherever possible) addressing a number of topics, including your efforts promoting vegetarianism and your goals for the future.
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