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Discover Scholarship Program

November 30, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

Corporate scholarships award some of the most generous funding out there, and while competition can be fierce for these awards, you could be looking at an impressive financial aid package if you're chosen as the winner of such an award.

This week's Scholarship of the Week is no exception. The Discover Scholarship Program awards up to 10 scholarships of $40,000 each annually to high school juniors who show a passion for leadership and community service, and who have faced some significant roadblock in their lives. The program has been offered since 1991, with more than $16 million awarded in scholarships to nearly 6,500 students since then.

Prize: Up to 10 scholarships of $40,000 each

Eligibility: Applicants must be current high school juniors enrolled in an accredited U.S. high school, with plans to graduate from that high school. Homeschooled students and students attending military base high schools in or outside the United States are also eligible. Applicants must also have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 over their freshman and sophomore years.

Deadline: January 31, 2010

Required Material: An online application is available starting in December on the Discover website. Scholarship money may be used for any type of post-secondary education, training, certification, or licensing programs, including two-year trade and technical colleges. Judging is based on outstanding achievements in areas beyond academics.

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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Dell Scholars Program

December 7, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

Are you a hardworking high school student frustrated by the emphasis on GPA and test scores in many scholarship contests?  If you've ever caught yourself thinking, "sure, anyone can get a 4.0 if they take easy enough classes," you may want to check out the Dell Scholars Program, this week's Scholarship of the Week.  The Dell Scholars Program seeks to reward students who use their high school experience to prepare for college, taking challenging classes and participating in college-readiness programs, while taking care of other responsibilities outside of school.

High school seniors who have participated for two years in an approved college-readiness program, such as AVID or Upward Bound, while maintaining at least a 2.4 GPA are eligible to apply for the Dell Scholars Program, which carries a scholarship award of $20,000.  The scholarship application focuses primarily on a student's dedication to college success, asking questions about your non-scholastic activities and responsibilities, the challenges you face, the steps you've taken to prepare for college, and the amount of financial support you need for college.  Dell Scholars are students who have the drive to push themselves to earn a bachelor's degree.

Prize: $20,000 - 250 scholarships awarded

Eligibility: High school seniors who are U.S citizens or permanent residents and who plan to enroll in a bachelor's degree program at an accredited higher education institution next fall.  Applicants must have participated in a college readiness program for two years with a cumulative GPA of 2.4 or higher, and must have demonstrated financial need for college.

Deadline: January 15, 2010

Required Material: Completed online scholarship application (available on the Dell Scholars website). The application may require information from your high school transcripts and your and your parents' tax returns, and will also include a couple of short essay questions.  Semifinalists will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation, a copy of their high school transcript, and FAFSA Student Aid Report, as well

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free 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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Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship

December 14, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

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.

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So You Want To Set Yourself Apart, Huh?

December 28, 2009

by Derrius Quarles

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:

  1. Do not send in a personal statement with multiple grammar and punctuation mistakes. Be sure to have it proof-read and edited, revising until it is grammatically correct; this shows the review boards you are ready for college level writing and does not waste their time.
  2. The personal statement is not the time to tell a sob story that you believe will make the review board feel sorry for you. Everyone experiences adversity and the review boards hear hundreds if not thousands of sad stories. Instead show them how you got over your adversities.
  3. More does not necessarily mean better. If the application gives you a word limit or maximum for your personal statement, follow directions. One easy way to get your application tossed is not being able to follow simple directions.
  4. Do not start on the personal statement a week before the application is due. You will not have time to do the necessary revisions that make a great personal statement.
  5. Do not use the entire personal statement talking about your activities, honors, awards, and GPA because they are already listed in the rest of your application. It is a waste of an opportunity to create a story that says something about who you are.

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.

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The Morality of Profit Project

December 28, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

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.

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Sam Walton Community Scholarship

January 4, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

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.

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The Roothbert Fund Scholarships

January 11, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

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.

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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Keeping Your Sanity During the Application Process

January 12, 2010

by Derrius Quarles

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:

  1. Start using a calendar that tracks your day by the hour. By doing this you allow yourself to actually see what you should be doing every hour; which helps you keep track of your time better than a list of things you have to do for each day. REMEMBER- A calendar only works if you actually use it and fill it with the activities in your schedule. Use your mobile phone and computer calendars as ways to constantly remind yourself of what you have to do daily. 
  2. Plan ahead as much as possible. Fill your calendar with the activities you are sure you will have complete as early as you can, and make sure you add items to your calendar as soon as you become aware of them, such as homework assignments, college fairs, application deadlines, etc.
  3. Prioritize by completing your most important tasks first. This will ensure that you do not forget to complete a very important task and that you have enough time to finish all of your important tasks. For example, school is always going to be your most important task, so everything on your schedule should fit around it.
  4. Spread out your time when completing important tasks. You do not always want to find yourself completing an entire scholarship application in one day because it can require hours and hours worth of time. Spread your time out because this will allow you to take breaks that keep your mind fresh and allow you to create great school projects, essays and, most of all, scholarship applications.
  5. Find time to do things that you enjoy. Sometimes you have to put your homework, textbook, and applications down and to do something that makes you laugh and enjoy yourself. This will help you stay energized and ready to complete tasks that are more demanding.

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.

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Colleges Reach Out to Students Affected by Earthquake in Haiti

January 20, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

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.

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Best Buy @15 Scholarship Program

January 25, 2010

by Scholarships.com Staff

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.

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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