Posts Tagged ‘college-based merit scholarships’

Juniors, Here Is A List of What To Expect When You Are Expecting to Go To College

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Most college admission officers will tell you, from the spring semester of a student’s junior year through the fall semester of that student’s senior year, they should be heading full tilt towards college.  What does that mean?  It means this is the time for students to get serious about the college selection process.  Here is a timeline, to help you know what to expect when you are expecting to go to college.


If possible, start visiting colleges.  In order to do that, you need to speak with your guidance counselor or college adviser and craft an initial list of schools.  Possibly take the ACT for the first time, if you haven’t yet.  Register for the March SAT.  Prepare for both tests.


Most high schools begin their course selection for senior year.  Remember to take a challenging curriculum.  Register for the April ACT.  Continue studying for both tests.  College Visits!  If you want to play sports in college, start contacting coaches.


Register for the May SAT or SAT II’s.  You will need to take the SAT II Subject Tests if you are applying to some colleges.  If you are taking an AP test that correlates with an SAT II test, then I recommend you take the SAT II in May, as the May test date is right in the middle of AP Exams, and all the content will be fresh in your head.  If you have registered for it, take the ACT test.  Continue your college visits and start to narrow down your list of schools.


Take the SAT or SAT II’s, if you have registered for the test.  Register for the June SAT or SAT II, or ACT.  Study for the tests!  Get your results back from the April ACT or the May SAT.  Decide if you need to take the test again, and what you need to study.  Start studying for your final exams.  Junior year is the last full year of classes that the colleges will see.  Your grades are always the primary factor in the decision whether to admit you to college or deny you.  Start planning what you are going to do over the summer.  If you think might want to have one of your current teachers write you a letter of recommendation, ask now, so he or she can write the letter over the Summer.


Take your high school exams, if you haven’t yet.  Take the SAT or SAT II, or the ACT.  Most colleges are out of session now, so visits might not be as effective as when classes are in session.  But, it is better to visit in the Summer than to never visit at all.  Review your test results and plan which tests you need to retake in the Fall and how you are going to prepare.  Contact college coaches again to let them know which camps, tournaments, etcetera you will be attending over the Summer.


Have a little fun!  OK, now back to work.  Review your of schools and start narrowing it down to the final schools to which you are going to apply.  Start writing your personal statement or college essay.  Work a summer job, go to a summer program, or perform some community service.  Make certain to stay active.


The Common Application becomes available.  Start an account online, and start filling out your application.  Work on your college essay!  The best writing takes abundant rewriting, so be sure to give yourself enough time to write a good essay.  Get a list together of all school requirements for the schools to which you are applying (how many teacher recommendations, extra essays, interviews, et cetera).  Touch base with any teachers you have asked to write a letter of recommendation for you.  You can now provide them with the Common Application’s Teacher Evaluation form.  Visit colleges.  Interview for college.  Decide if and where you will apply Early Decision and or Early Action.  Study for standardized tests.  Register for September ACT.


Keep up your grades.  Put finishing touches on applications.  Continue college interviews.  Request teacher recommendations.  Finalize your college list.  Review the list to make sure you have at least one admission “safe” school and one financial “safe” school.  If you do not have a financial “safety”, use to find one.  Take ACT again if necessary. Register for October SAT, if necessary.  Study for standardized tests.


Take SAT and ACT if necessary.  Request transcripts from your guidance office.  Finalize and submit applications for your Early Action and Early Decision schools.  Continue visits and interviews.  Send thank you notes to anyone you had interviewed with previously.  Make certain you have requested your letters of recommendation.  Send thank you letters to teachers who have written you recommendations.  Check on financial aid deadlines to the schools to which you are applying.  Register for November SAT, if necessary.

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Avoiding the Summer Daze: Rising Seniors Use Your Summer Wisely

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Now that the school year is wrapping up (or has already been wrapped up), it is easy to just kick back, relax, and allow half the summer to go by without doing anything to get your self ready for college.  The fall of senior year can be a very stressful time, so I recommend you use the summer to get a jump on your college applications.  Here is a list of things that you need to get done this summer.

  • Finalize Your College List
    —Narrow list down to 8 to 10 schools
    —Revisit your original criteria, has anything changed?
    —Check application requirements at your list of schools
    —Have you met testing requirements?
    —Do you have teachers lined up for letters of recommendation?
    —When are the deadlines?
  • Visit Colleges Again
    —This will help you narrow down the list and come up with your own ranking of the schools
    —Demonstrated interest is becoming more important in the admission process. This is one of the best ways to show interest.
    —If possible, interview when on campus.
  • Prepare for Fall Standardized Tests
    Take practice SAT or ACT tests
    Review performance results from your spring tests, and study up on areas where you are weak
    Consider tutoring, a course, or a book to help you improve
  • Start Your Applications!
    —The Common Application accounts open on August 1, but you can print a draft and get started earlier
    —Write a resume
    —Start your essay!
    —The Common Application has reinstated the 500 word limit on the long essay.
    Work on the Common Application short answer
    Make certain you know your school’s policy regarding transcript requests
  • Develop a List of Financial Aid Deadlines
    —When are the filing deadlines?
    —What forms are required?
    —Do you have a financial safety school?

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Tips for Winning Local Scholarships

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Applying for scholarships can be intimidating, and time consuming. However, if you do a little research at the

Nichols College in Dudley Massachusetts.  Click the image for your chance to win a $1,000 Spotlight Scholarship to Nichols!

Nichols College in Dudley Massachusetts. Click the image for your chance to win a $1,000 Spotlight Scholarship to Nichols!

beginning of the process, it can be very financially rewarding as well. In writing and speaking, it is always important to know your audience. That same goes when applying for scholarships. If you take the time to know who will be reading your application ahead of time, you can tailor your application to the reader.

This isn’t as hard as it sounds. You always have your best chance at winning local scholarships. The money being given away has been raised by fellow members of your community and they want to see it go to deserving students from their home town. Since these are very geographically targeted, there are often less applicants for the scholarships and that means less competition. I am the chair of my local Rotary club’s scholarship committee, and I have also helped review applications for my local Chamber of Commerce, and now I am going to share some tips with you on how to tailor your application to the mission of the organization.

  1. If possible, determine the criteria being used to evaluate the scholarship applications. Not all organizations offer complete transparency, but most will give you the general means of evaluating the application. Typically they will look at academics, service, need, and an essay.
  2. Look at the organizations website and see if they have a mission statement. Determine how they raise the money they are giving away and also seek out the other types of charitable works they do throughout the year. Service organizations like to give money to students who are very involved in community service. A kind of pay it forward mentality. If you are involved with any service work that is similar to work that the organization is doing, mention it. That will help you to create a connection with the reader.
  3. Read the application carefully. If they ask for three copies of your application, make certain to submit 3 copies of your application. In my Rotary Club, we also evaluate students by how they follow directions. Finally, if there is an essay question that is specific to that scholarship, don’t try to make another essay fit. Write an essay that answers that specific question. Most importantly, make sure to meet the deadline, and if a transcript is required from your high school, make sure you give them enough time to get the transcript for you.
Students enjoying the beautiful campus of Mitchell College. Click for your chance to win a $1,000 scholarship to Mitchell!

Students enjoying the beautiful campus of Mitchell College. Click for your chance to win a $1,000 scholarship to Mitchell!

It is important to remember that most of the people who are reading these applications are volunteers, and they work hard all year to raise the money that they are giving away. Show appreciation in your application without becoming too obsequious (good SAT word. It means excessive fawning. It has a similar meaning to a sycophant, or kissing up). Finally, take the time in the end to proofread your application before sending it and make sending the write essay to the write organization. Attention to detail is very important. Follow these tips and you will increase your chances of winning some local scholarships.

James Maroney, the author of this article, is the founder of First Choice College Placement LLC,, and  He is also a contributor to  He has toured over 100 different college campuses across the country and worked with students from all over the world to help them make their college dream a reality.  He is a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association, NACAC, the Education Industry Association, and the chair of the Devon Rotary Scholarship Committee.  You can contact him at

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3 Ways Private Colleges Offer More Tuition Discounts than Public Colleges

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

College is the hope of all young people who want to get ahead in life and obtain a better job with higher pay in the future. A mix of today’s economy and rising tuition prices make it hard for everyone who wants to go to college to be able to attend. But it is not impossible. Public colleges generally have lower tuition than private schools, but often lack the prestige of their private counterparts. However, one of the advantages of attending a private college is that they generally offer more tuition discounts than public schools.

Income-based discounts

First of all, most private and public colleges offer some type of needs-based financial assistance. However, because public colleges often have lower tuition to begin with, they tend to offer less dollar amounts than private colleges. One of the reasons public schools can offer lower tuition is that they are subsidized by taxpayers. Private schools, on the other hand, don’t rely on taxes for support. Rather they generate income through alumni, donors, and the prestige of their faculty, as well as the tuition of students. So, in general, private college tuition is higher, but those colleges are more likely to offer large amounts of financial assistance to promising students who otherwise might not be able to afford the cost. For example, Ivy League colleges, like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, offer needs-based tuition assistance to smart, yet underprivileged, students.

Religious and group affiliation

Private colleges can also offer more tuition discounts because they are able to offer discounts based on religious or group affiliation. Public institutions cannot offer tuition discounts for religious or group affiliation, but because private intuitions are not funded by public money, they have much greater discretion in offering tuition discounts. For example, Brigham Young University offers discounted tuition to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many other religious-based and bible colleges offer discounts to students who are members of a certain faith. Private colleges can also offer discounts to members of certain professional or social organizations.

Special incentives

Lastly, private colleges are much more likely to offer tuition discounts as special incentives to specific students. Public institutions often have policies regarding tuition discounts that outline specific requirements that they cannot deviate from and still receive tax funding. On the other hand, private institutions can offer tuition discounts to any student they feel is valuable, desirable, or brings certain skills or prestige to the school. For example, if a student has been accepted to multiple colleges and universities, a private college may offer a tuition discount as an incentive to that student, if they feel the student would be a valuable asset to their school. These types of tuition discounts are offered on an individual basis and are not generally offered to large groups of students.

If you are contemplating going to college but are worried about the cost, it might be worth it to check out the extra assistance that private colleges may be able to offer you.

Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and online classes.

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A Financial Aid Checklist for High School Juniors and Seniors

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
The University of New Haven is a Liberal Arts college with an emphasis on Career Preparation.

The University of New Haven is a Liberal Arts college with an emphasis on Career Preparation.

The financial aid application process can be exhausting and complicated. Some students, through preparation or chance, will find the process easy because they have at their disposal everything that they need. However, many are left confused and alone five minutes before their colleges’ financial aid application deadlines. If you read (and use!) the following list, you will be one of the former rather than the latter.


The good news: You can take your time! Set aside 30 minutes each day and begin to browse through scholarships. Apply for all of them that you can find, which won’t be many compared to the number that you’ll find next year.

The bad news: It’s difficult to stay motivated during junior year, and your likelihood of winning multiple scholarships is low. Remember, financial aid is a marathon not a sprint; hang in there!

· Necessary Information:

· Your parents or guardians’ complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of their assets, including home value but excluding tax-exempt, 401K type retirement plans

· Your complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of your assets

Things to-do:

· Start your scholarship search.

· Apply to all of the scholarships for which you are eligible.

· Draft a rough list of the colleges to which you plan to apply, and check their financial aid offerings and requirements.

· Begin to consult with your high school counselor (make him or her your friend).

· Consult with your parents’ financial advisor, their tax preparer, or a family member who knows a lot about finance. Ask questions about the taxability of specific scholarships and financial aid components in order to get a better idea of how much college will cost.


The good news: You are the prime target for most scholarships! Seniors in general are more likely to win scholarships than students in any other grade, and it will be easier for you to start a confidence-snowball.

The bad news: The second semester of senior year is the 11th hour for financial aid. Get ready for late nights and weekends of essay writing. Just remember, many students will be in the same position.

Necessary Information:

· Your parents or guardians’ complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of their assets, including home value but excluding tax-exempt, 401K type retirement plans

· Your complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of your assets

Things to-do:

· Spend an hour or more each day looking for scholarships.

· Apply to all of them for which you are eligible.

· Finalize your list of colleges and figure out the net cost of each. Carefully read each college’s financial aid application instructions (you’ll submit much of the necessary information when you apply to each school, unless you plan to do so early).

· Consult extensively with your high school counselor about financial aid options, and ask him or her to proofread your applications.

· Pose any last-minute tax related questions to your parents’ financial advisor, their tax preparer, or a family member who has extensive knowledge of personal finance.

The financial aid application process can be taxing and confusing. However, if you use the checklist outlined above, you will have an advantage over many applicants.

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Hispanic Scholarships and Scholarships for Hispanic Women

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Latinos and Latinas are Americans largest and fastest growing minority group.  According to the US Census Bureau, Hispanics made up 15% of the total US population in 2008.  Yet unfortunately Latino/as have the lowest high school completion rate and college attendance rate of any racial or ethnic group.  Latino/a students face a number of barriers in their educational careers including language, social, cultural, citizenship and – perhaps most importantly – economic challenges. As a subcategory, Hispanic women additionally face their own unique social concerns and cultural challenges which affect their ability to attend college. Because of these institutional obstacles, however, numerous private, public and college-based scholarships have been created to help close the gap is Hispanic college attendance rates, many of which are designed specifically for Latinas. An abundance of college funding sources see the wisdom in helping to end the under-education of Latino/a youth – the fastest growing segment of the American workforce – and in working to increase female representation in college.  Below are some of the most popular scholarship opportunities for Latino/as and Hispanic women.

In addition to the number of specific sources for Latino/a scholarships, you can find more opportunities at, a scholarship database solely for Hispanic students.

General Scholarships and Resources for Latino/a Students

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is an organization that indentifies and supports young Latino/a leaders in the classroom and community.  The Foundation has honored more over 1,500 students and awarded more than $3,000,000 in educational grants. The Foundation’s website also provides a list of many other scholarship opportunities available to Latino/a students.

The Hispanic College Fund is both a scholarship program and an organization designed to support Latino/a students on their path through school.  Since 1993, HCF has given away $15 million in scholarships to over 5,000 Hispanic young people.  Applicants must be a US citizens or a permanent resident residing in the 50 states or Puerto Rico, must have a minimum GPA of a 3.0, must plan to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student during the following year in the US.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides the Hispanic community more college scholarships and educational outreach support than any other organization in the country. In its 34 year history, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has awarded close to $280 million in scholarships to more than 90,000 students in need. Two-thirds of these students were the first in their families to go to college.

The Gates Millennium Scholars program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has sponsored over 13,000 students since its creations.  Applicants must be African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American, US citizens or legal permanent residents or nationals, have a minimum GPA of 3.3, will be enrolling for the first-time at a U.S. accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student in the following year, have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular or other activities, and must meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities represents over 450 colleges and universities which are committed to higher education for Hispanics.  The organization also funds a number of program specific scholarship for students who attend one of its member schools.  Scholarships amounts depend on field of study and the largest scholarship is over $3500.

The ASPIRA Association, Inc. provides information about a number of educational opportunities and scholarships for Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc. offers scholarship opportunities to Latino students in the United States who have a history of performing public service-oriented activities in their communities and who demonstrate a desire to continue their civic engagement in the future. There is no GPA or academic major requirement. Students with excellent leadership potential are encouraged to apply.  Scholarships are one-time awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.  The CHCI also provides extensive information about other scholarships, internships and fellowships for Latino/a youth.

College Board’s National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program provides annual awards for outstanding Hispanic high school students who are U.S. citizens. Students must take the PSAT/NMSQT test in the fall of their high school junior year during which they must affirm their Hispanic heritage – this is the initial screening and the first opportunity for students to qualify for the program. Students who score well are then asked to complete an application form. Award is based on recommendations, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, community service, high school academic transcripts and records, and personal attributes.

Cuban-American Scholarship Fund a scholarship program for undergraduate or graduate students of Cuban descent with a GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents of California.  Maximum award amount is $2,000.

No website available.

Latin American Education Foundation has provided over $5 million in scholarships to Hispanic students or students involved in the Hispanic community.  Applicants must be Colorado residents, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and commit 10-community service hours during year of funding.

League of United Latin American Citizens: National Educational Service Centers, Inc. provides scholarships in variable amount to Latino/a students through their local branches.

McDonald’s Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources (HACER) Program has awarded $1.3 million in scholarships to Hispanic high school graduates entering college.

Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund provides undergraduate scholarships of $2,000.  Applicant must be Hispanic, a resident of Florida, US Citizen, and have at least a 3.00 GPA.

The Sallie Mae Fund First in My Family Scholarship Program, developed in partnership with the Hispanic College Fund, offers scholarships to Hispanic-American students who are the first in their family to attend college, and have financial need. The program is open to Hispanic Americans who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at approved, accredited institutions who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 Scholarships range from $500 to $5,000.

The Adelante Fund Scholarship Program sponsors several scholarship programs with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.  Criteria vary by scholarship but most require a minimum 3.0 GPA, Hispanic heritage and either US citizenship or legal permanent resident status.  See website for more information.

The Emerging Latino Leaders Scholarship Program is a national essay contest sponsored by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Best Buy Children’s Foundation. Two $10,000 and three $5,000 scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence and community service.

The La Unidad Latina Foundation offers academic scholarships of $250 to $1,000 for Hispanic students enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program at a 4-year US college or university. Applicants must have completed one full-time year of undergraduate education or at least one full-time semester of graduate study and GPA between 2.8 and 3.6 .

The Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund provides more than 100 scholarships worth more than $150,000 to Orange County Hispanic students. Award amounts range from $500 to $4,000. Applicants must either be graduating from an OC high school or transferring from an OC community college. Minimum GPA requirements vary by scholarship program. All applicants must demonstrate financial need. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic achievement, community service and/or work history.

The Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund offers the “Fulfilling Our Dreams” scholarships Salvadoran, Central American, and Latino high school seniors, college students and graduate or professional students who reside and study in California, Houston or Washington DC. The scholarships are open to all students regardless of immigration or citizenship status. Applicants must be majoring in health-related fields of study, theology, philosophy, cultural studies, environmental studies or social justice. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. Award amounts range from $500 to $2,500 (some may be renewable). A minimum 2.5 GPA is required; some awards require at least a 3.0 GPA. Scholarship recipients are expected to participate in community service and/or mentorship of high school students.

Scholarships for Latino/as in Certain Fields

The Smithsonian Institution offers the Latino Studies Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships to facilitate research related to Latino history, art and culture using Smithsonian resources. The predoctoral fellowships provide a stipend of $27,000 per year plus allowances. The postdoctoral fellowships offer a stipend of $42,000 per year plus allowances. There is also a research allowance of up to $4,000.

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement provides the ComEd Latino Scholarship Fund which awards five $2,500 scholarships to Illinois residents who have a 3.0 or higher GPA. Eligible majors include accounting, business, chemistry, communications, computer science, engineering, pre-law, mathematics, media relations and physics. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic excellence and community service.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists offers several scholarships through the Rubén Salazar Scholarship Fund program. These scholarships are designed to encourage and assist Latino students pursue careers in journalism.  Awards from $1,000 to $2,000.  The NAHJ also provides information about a number of other scholarships available to Hispanic students interested in journalism.

The Advancing Hispanic Excellence in Technology, Engineering, Math, and Science (AHETEMS) Scholarship Program provides merit-based and need-based scholarships, in the amount of $1,000 – $5,000, to deserving Latino/a high school graduating seniors, undergraduate students, and graduate students who demonstrate both significant motivation and aptitude for a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

National Society of Hispanic MBAs provides scholarships for Hispanic business majors and Master of Business Administration graduate students of between $2,500 and $10,000.  Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited undergraduate institution, with some exceptions.

National Association of Hispanic Nurses provides 27 Hispanic students entering or enrolled in an accredited school of nursing scholarships in the amount of $1,000.  The NAHN also provides information about a number of other scholarships for Hispanic students.

The Costco Pharmacy Scholars Program offers funds to students who are pursuing a degree in Pharmacy who have completed one-year of pharmacy school or are in their second year into their pharmacy education. Students who are chosen for the Pharmacy Scholars Program are required to work at a Costco Pharmacy store for at least one year and are awarded between $500 and $9,500.  Applicants must be of Hispanic background, pursing a degree in Pharmacy, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident residing in the United States or Puerto Rico, be studying full-time as an undergraduate at an accredited university in the United States or Puerto Rico, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate financial need.

The Google Hispanic Scholarship Program offers funds to students studying computer science or computer engineering who are juniors or seniors in college or pursuing a Master’s or PhD. Selected scholars will be invited to an all-expenses paid trip to the Google Headquarters in California. Must be Hispanic or of Hispanic background, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident residing in the US, studying full-time in the US or Puerto Rico, and have at least a 3.5 GPA.

See Hispanic Scholarship Fund for more details.

World is a non-profit, international arts organization that promotes the work and education of minority and disadvantaged students in the fields of graphic arts, painting, furniture design, new media, photography, and other art forms. Awards range from $2,000 to $6,000.

Scholarships for Hispanic Women

While tradition and social conditions have sometimes limited the opportunities available to women in the past, today this struggle may prove to be an advantage when it comes to getting scholarship money.  In fact, minority women, especially those with a passion for math, science or computers, have more leverage power for earning scholarship money than almost any other group! Here are just a few scholarships for Latinas.

Hispanic Women in Leadership awards scholarships to graduating seniors based on academic performance, leadership, and economic need. Applicants must be enrolled in a college or university in Texas, ranked in the upper 1/4 of her class, and submit several supporting documents such as letters of recommendation and essays.

The AT&T Labs Fellowship Program offers three-year fellowships to outstanding under-represented minority and women students pursuing PhD studies in computing and communications-related fields. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, the fellowship pays all education expenses as well as a living stipend. Each recipient participates in a summer internship the first summer in the program, working in a research team at AT&T Labs Research. Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident, female or member of a minority underrepresented in science fields (Hispanic, African-American, or Native American)senior graduating in the current academic year or in their first or second year of grad school, currently enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a graduate school program leading to a PhD, and major field must be in computer science, math, statistics, electrical engineering, operations research, systems engineering, industrial engineering, or related fields.

The Hispanic Women’s Corporation Scholarship Program provides not only tuition support, but advice, encouragement, peer contact with the colleges, role models, an alumni base and success stories to motivate students. Monetary awards are based on grade point average, need, interest, volunteerism and dedication. Awards have ranged from $300 to $10,000 annually. HWC awards over 50 scholarships annually and students are presented at the annual HWC Scholarship Benefit Luncheon. HWC also provides information about additional sites for scholarship availability with descriptions and deadlines.

The Latin American Professional Women’s Foundation provides scholarship money to young women who can be considered “role models” for young Latinas.  Award amount is $500.

No website available.

Project Cambio offers a scholarship to Hispanic women pursuing studies in a business-related program. The applicant must be planning a career change that will lead to advancement, a new proficiency or entry or re-entry into the work force. Applicants should have been out of high school at least 5 years.

No website available.

Society of Women Engineers Rockwell International Corp. Scholarships is for female minority students studying computer science or engineering who are attending or planning to attend an institution that is SWE approved or has an Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology program. Awards are based on academic achievement and leadership experience or potential. Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000.

Young Latinas Leadership Institute is a program of 100 Hispanic Women, a nonprofit, nonpartisan women’s organization with members from a wide range of industries and interests.  The Institute provides students with annual scholarships of $1,000, leadership seminars, mentors, and internships. Five Latinas are selected every year. Applicants must be college freshmen at one of the City University of New York college campuses

The Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship Fund assists Latina students to complete their undergraduate and graduate education. The scholarships are available on a competitive basis to continuing undergraduate and graduate female college students of Latino background. Applicants must be enrolled in accredited colleges or universities in one of the following Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marina, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma. In addition, applicants must be residents of the Bay area for at least two years at time of application, and must have demonstrated leadership and civic/community involvement. Awards are for $1,500. Recipients must agree to volunteer a minimum of five hours in support of the Chicana/Latina Foundation.

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Paying for College

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The last week has brought about a number of different items of news related to how we pay for college.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to summarize some of the key changes:

  • The Obama administration has made it a priority to increase access to a college education.  To date, they have increased the size of the Pell grant, planned to modernize the Perkins Loan program, and offered the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a $2,500 tax credit each year for four years of college.  There most recent efforts have been aimed at simplifying the FAFSA.  The online FAFSA no has improved programming to make it possible to skip more of the unnecessary questions.  They are also working with the IRS to allow students to seemlessly retrieve relevant tax data.  This will be available in January of 2010 for students applying for aid for the Spring semester.  They hope to expand that program.  To read more about the changes, view this post on the Department of Education web page.
  • As of July 1 the interest rate on Subsidized Stafford Loans dropped to 5.6%.  Unfortunately, over the past month more lenders have dropped out of the program, the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation being one of the most recent casualties.  Also as of July 1, students who owe on FFEL program loans are now eligible for Income Based Repayment (IBR).  Visit the department fo education website to learn more about this program. View this document to learn more about Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees, and view this document to learn more about Loan Forgiveness for teachers.
  • Finally, this post on the Choice College Blog talks about how scholarships are becoming more difficult to find.  We are currently updating the database of college-based merit scholarships on and we have noticed that while some colleges are becoming more generous in these tough times, many colleges are actually reducing the size and number of their scholarships.  This as tuition continues to rise, and while this past year it rose at the lowest rate in almost 40 years, it is still outpacing inflation, so you would naturally expect scholarships to increase to cover that increased tuition.  There are still opportunities out there, we just recommend that students start looking for them earlier.  Now more than every it is critical that you have a financial safety as well as an admissions safety.

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