Posts Tagged ‘scholarships’

Reduce College Debt by Attending Community College

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

What many new college students don’t know about debt is that it builds up fast. It may seem like just a loan or two at first but by the end of four years (or more) it really adds up. One great avenue that people forget is the local community colleges. Community colleges often offer the same great basic classes at the same level as four year colleges but for much more affordable prices. Many people can even get full coverage from government grants and get money back from attending community college. Not only that, but classes tend to be smaller and more personal and it is easier to get help those first few critical years.
Beyond just the price, however, community college is also worthwhile because it is much easier to transfer into your school of choice then it is to get in as a freshman. You have already proven that you can handle the workload and keep your grades up, so there is no reason for them not to accept you. In state colleges almost universally accept the classes you take at community colleges, so that is not an issue either.
Community college can also be a money saver because you can live at home with your parents or in affordable housing nearby. Many university towns have high prices because of the exclusive student housing, but community colleges do not have that issue.
There are many reasons to choose to attend a two year community college. You can get an associate’s degree and complete your basics for an affordable price close to home and avoid racking up all that student loan debt. Check out your local community college today!

About the Author:
Ken Myers is an expert advisor on in-home care & related family safety issues to many websites and groups. He is a regular contributor to You can get contact him at

Technorati Tags: ,

Using ROTC To Pay For College and Start a Military Career

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Are you interested in joining the armed forces? Do you need money for college? Consider joining an ROTC program. These programs are designed to teach military tactics as well as to promote leadership and character. The core regimen consists of two years of special elective classes, exercises, and workshops. Students may participate in this regimen without committing to serve in the armed forces. Those who commit to serve after college may elect to take an additional two years of courses and apply for ROTC scholarship aid.

The Army, Navy, and Air Force each have their own ROTC program, and eligibility requirements vary by branch. However, to participate in the core regimen, students generally must:

  • Meet physical fitness requirements
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Score at least 19 on the ACT or 920 on the SAT (excluding the writing section). The Navy and Air Force require slightly higher scores.
  • Enroll in a college or university that offers an ROTC program (this includes nearly all major institutions).
  • Attend ROTC courses and exercises for two to four years. In most cases, ROTC courses count as elective credits.

Additionally, in order to receive scholarship aid, students must:

  • Apply for aid. The application includes a basic online component, a counselor certification, a personal statement, a resume, a physical fitness assessment, and an interview. The application focuses entirely upon merit rather than financial need.
  • Commit to serve (usually between five and ten years) in the armed forces after college. This often includes a term of active duty service followed by service in a reserve unit. In most cases, students may opt-out of a scholarship after freshman year without having to complete the post-graduate service requirement.
  • Meet standards of academic merit, extra curricular activity, and leadership experience similar to those required by a college application

Applicants are selected based on merit and intended field of study, with priority generally given to technical fields. Scholarships are available for both high school seniors and college underclassmen. Details about scholarships vary by military branch, but most include a yearly tuition payment ranging from $3,000 to full tuition, up to $900 per semester for books, and monthly stipends for living expenses. Most scholarships have applications deadlines in December and January and recommend that students apply early. Interested college students should talk to their school’s ROTC representative. High school students should talk to an academic advisor or local recruitment officer.

For more information, visit the following websites:

ROTC scholarships require a steep post-graduate commitment. Students looking only for financial aid should explore other options before the ROTC. However, for those interested in joining the military, an ROTC scholarship is a great way to pay for college.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Paying for college with the TEACH Grant

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Are you interested in becoming a teacher?  Are you willing to teach in a high-need subject area in a low-income school?  If so, you may be eligible for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.  The TEACH program was created in 2007 to help provide highly qualified teachers to low-income schools for the most needed subjects.  The grant is a non-need based program (meaning you can qualify no matter what your income), provides up to $4,000 each year and can be renewed each year for a total of $16,000 for undergraduate students and up to $8,000 for masters students.

The grant is provided to students who intend to teach in either a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students.  Low-income, for the TEACH grant, is defined as any school receiving Title I funding or on an Indian reservation.  You can search for which schools are identified as “low-income” in your area by visiting:

Recipients of the TEACH grant must also work in a high-need or teacher shortage field.  These fields are defined as subject shortage areas, not geographic areas (unlike some other programs).  The TEACH program defines national high-need fields as: Bilingual Education or English Language Acquisition, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Reading Specialist, Science and Special Education.  However, recipients can also work in state-wide or local high-need subject areas, which often provide a much broader list of subjects.  You can see a complete list of state-by-state subject need areas here:

TEACH grant applicants must work as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need subject at a low-income school as defined above for at least 4 years within the first 8 years after finishing college or grad school.  Here are the other eligibility requirements to receive a TEACH grant:

  • Must complete a FAFSA (though you do not have to demonstrate financial need)
  • Must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Must be enrolled in a school that participate in the TEACH program (which is most of them)
  • Must be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to becoming a teach or building your knowledge in the field you want to teach
  • Much sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (which just says that you understand the conditions of the program)
  • Must meet certain academic achievement requirements, which usually means maintaining a minimum 3.25 GPA in High School or in your first year of college OR scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test

It’s important to be sure that you want to be a teacher before taking the TEACH grant, because if you do not fulfill the service requirements of the grant or you decide you do not want to be a teacher, the TEACH grant will be converted into an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan- meaning you will have to repay the cost of the grant with interest.  But if you are sure you want to teach and you are willing to spend a few years as a teacher in a high-need subject at a low-income school, the TEACH grant can be a great way get money for college without having financial need or extremely high test scores and grades.  You can find out more about the TEACH grant by visiting:

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scholarships for Hispanic Students

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Latinos and Latinas are American’s 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.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Unusual, weird and interesting scholarships

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Many students believe that they won’t be eligible for scholarships unless they’re the valedictorian or a star athlete or got a perfect score on their SAT. What these students don’t realize is that today there are scholarships for almost any skill or unique quality you can think of. You no longer have to break the state track record or win a national science fair to get money for college. Now you can earn scholarship money simply for having an unusual hobby or distinctive trait, for anything from knitting to being left-handed and from duck-calling to being interested in space and science fiction! Take a look at these weird, interesting, and fun scholarships we found and remember that applying for scholarships, just like the whole college admissions process, isn’t about being the world’s most perfect student but about highlighting your personal strengths and abilities.


Scholarships just for being you:

Tall Clubs International (TCI) Scholarship
This scholarship is for those who have always been asked to get things down from the top shelf. Tall Clubs International (TCI) offers a $1,000 scholarship for tall people, the Kae Sumner Einfeldt Scholarship. Women who are at least 5’10” and men who are at least 6’2” are eligible. Candidates must be under 21 years old and plan to attend college in the fall.

Little People of America Scholarship
By contrast, The Little People of America scholarship is an award given to future and current students who are 4’10” or less in height attending a college or vocational school. Prizes range from $250 to $1,000—sometimes more. Although one does not have to be a little person to apply, the greatest preference is given to LPA members who have been diagnosed with a form of dwarfism. Students with dwarf-diagnosed family members and those who demonstrate financial need are also given preference.

Scholarship for Left-Handed Students
For those in the company of greats like Albert Einstein, Picasso, and Jimmi Hendrix, Juniata College offers the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship of up to $1,000 for left-handed students.

Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Do you delight in finding new ways to cook tofu? Do your parents roll their eyes at your “meat is murder” bumper sticker? If so, you might be eligible for the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship. High school seniors who promote vegetarianism in their schools and communities are eligible to win one of the group’s two $5,000 scholarships.

National Beef Ambassador Program
For those fonder of big macs than veggie burgers, a few lucky award winners will get the chance to represent the beef industry, and will receive a college scholarship. The National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) is a speech and interview competition for students between the ages of 16 to 19. Winners can earn between $250 and $2,500.

Twins Who Don’t Mind Seeing Each other for 4 More Years
Several schools offer scholarships for twins: Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, waives tuition for one twin when both enroll, Lake Erie College in Painsville, Ohio, offers half-off tuition for each twin, Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, has 45% discounts available on tuition for female twins only, Carl Albert State College in Oklahoma offers the Paula Nieto Twin Scholarship, George Washington University in Washington, DC gives a 50% discount for the second sibling, Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, VA gives a 15% discount, Sterling College in Kansas offers a 50% discount for each twin, and West Chester University of Pennsylvania offers the Bonnie Evans Feinberg Scholarship for twins.

Last Name Scholarships
A number of schools offer scholarships for students with particular last names. The Zolp Scholarship is restricted to students at Loyola University in Chicago who are Catholic and whose last name is Zolp. The good news is, the scholarship provides full tuition for four years; the bad news is, have you ever heard of anyone named Zolp? Texas A&M University pays full cost of attendance at for anyone whose last name is Scarpinato by birth or marriage. The John Gatling Grant provides scholarships for students who were born with a surname of Gatling or Gatlin to attend NC State University. The scholarship provides up to $9,000 for in-state students and $18,000 for out-of-state students. The Van Valkenburg Memorial Scholarship awards $1,000 to students with the Van Valkenburg name or a similar variation . Even Harvard University has several scholarships based on the student’s last name, including Baxendale, Hudson, Thayer, Downer, Bright.

Money for that unique hobby you never thought would pay off:

Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest
Students who can quack their hearts out for 90 seconds using four calls: hail, feed, comeback and mating and can win big ducks, I mean, bucks for higher education (we couldn’t resist a least one bad pun). Seriously though, The Duck Calling Contest awards $1,500 to the best duck-calling high school student. The first runner-up receives $500, the second $300 and the third $200 in scholarship money.

Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship
Now how to land a kickflip? Could you do Ollies in your sleep? The Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship awards one $5,000 and three $1,000 scholarships to skateboarders who are high school seniors with a GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and submit an essay on how skateboarding has had a positive impact on their lives. Recipients must enroll as a full-time undergraduate at an accredited college or university the fall after high school graduation.

Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest
In our first scholarship for sci-fi enthusiasts, student authors and artists can submit science fiction stories and/or illustrations to be considered for this award of up to $4,000. An entry consists of three black and white works illustrating a science fiction or fantasy story with no recurring theme. Entries may not have been previously published. Should the artist win the Illustrators Contest with their first entry, he is then sent a story from the companion L. Ron Hubbard Writers of The Future Contest for which to render an illustration. This illustration then becomes his or her entry in the yearly Grand Prize competition. Three winners are selected each quarter and are awarded $500 each; the yearly Grand Prize winner is awarded $4000.

American Welding Society Scholarships
Student welders familiar with trade skills such as allied joining, brazing, soldering and thermal spraying are eligible for this scholarship. The American Welding Society Foundation offers numerous scholarships to students interested in welding-related education or training programs. Award sizes depend on the scholarship.

SPAACSE Scholarships
The Society of Performers, Artists, Athletes and Celebrities for Space Exploration, Inc. (SPAACSE) offers two $1,000 scholarships: The SPAACSE Galaxy Music Scholarship for graduating high school seniors who are pursuing an interest in space music as a means of expressing the beauty and inspiration of the universe and The SPAACSE Liliane Webb Art Scholarship for graduating high school seniors who have an interest in space art.. The music submission must be recorded on either a cassette or CD and should be 4-6 minutes in length.
Candidates for the art scholarship must provide an original two-dimensional space artwork to be considered for this award. Candidates must also include a 1-2 page description of prior artistic and other school activities and awards.

If you know the different between a knit stitch and a purl stitch and your friends make fun of you for having a grandma-hobby, you may be able to get scholarships. The American Sheep Industry Association sponsors four scholarships for applicants who submit a sample of an article of clothing they created completely with wool. Philadelphia University also offers the Bernard Steur Scholarship for textile engineering students with an interest in knitting. Also, The National Make It Yourself with Wool (NMIYWW) competition awards $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships for knitting wool garments. Winners are selected based on the appropriateness to the contestant’s lifestyle, coordination of fabric/yarn with garment style and design, contestant’s presentation, and creativity.

David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship
Because David Letterman was a C student at Ball State University, he established a scholarship at his alma mater that is awarded to telecommunications majors based strictly on the creativity of a submitted project, rather than a student’s GPA. The awards are intended for average students who nevertheless have a creative mind. Projects may involve a variety of media, including written work, research, audio, video, graphics and film. The winner receives a $10,000 scholarship. The first runner-up receives $5,000. The second runner-up receives $3,333.

Aspiring Children’s Television Stars
Similarly, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awards three $10,000 scholarships annually in the name of the late Fred Rogers (yes, Mr. “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” Rogers) to college students pursuing a career in children’s media.

At last those lasso skills can rope you some money. Institutional awards, like Colorado State University’s rodeo scholarships, are usually reserved for students on the school’s rodeo team. Private awards, like the San Angelo Rodeo Scholarship, give students more flexibility in their college choice, but often have other requirements, like county of residence.

The Connecticut Guild of Puppetry offers the Margo Rose Scholarship for students involved in puppetry who wish to attend the National Puppetry Conference. The American chapter of the theatre organization Union Internationale de la Marionette, offers scholarships for students with experience in puppetry to study at the Institut Internationale de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France. Since puppetry degree programs are rare, most scholarships in this field are for private programs or for puppetry studies within a theatre arts department. Pinocchio would be proud.

Chess stars could turn their winning moves into money for college. Several colleges, including Texas Tech University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Texas at Dallas, offer promising chess players up to four-year, full-tuition scholarships. The United States Chess Federation provides information on chess tournaments and available chess scholarships, both college and privately-sponsored. Casual chess players, be warned, these scholarship programs are often very competitive.

Rugby may not be an official sport at most U.S. universities, but it can still help pay your college costs. Rugby scholarships are offered at New Mexico University, Texas A&M University, Saint Bonaventure University and many other colleges. Playing rugby can also send you abroad. The Center for International Studies offers a rugby study abroad program for students to study for one or two semesters in Wellington, New Zealand and play in a local rugby club. A $500 scholarship is available to make this program more affordable. Check with USA Rugby for more rugby scholarships.

United States Bowling Congress (USBA) Scholarships
Yes, bowling congress. And each season, bowling associations, councils, tournaments and proprietors offer over $6 million in scholarship money. Some of these programs include the Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow Award for $1,500 per year for three years, the Annual Zeb Scholarship for $2,500, the Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow for $1,500 per year for three years, the Youth Ambassador Award for $1,500, and the Gift for Life Award for $1,000.

Bagpipe Majors at Carnegie Mellon
One of the least competitive scholarships in the U.S.—it’s not unusual for there to be zero applicants—is the Carnegie Mellon University Bagpipe Scholarship. It offers $7,000 per year to a student who intends to major in bagpiping. You even get a kilt subsidy.

Just plain unusual scholarships:

Duck® brand duct tape Stuck at Prom® Contest
The Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest is open to students ages 14 years or older who are attending a high school prom in the spring. Entrants must enter as a couple and attend a high school prom wearing complete attire or accessories made from duct tape. The submission must include a color photograph of the couple together in prom attire. The winning couple gets $3,000 each towards college and some cash for their school to boot. Other prizes include $1,000 for second place, $500 for third, and Duck Tape sportswear for honorable mentions. The winning couple will be selected based on a variety of criteria, including originality, workmanship, quantity of Duck Tape used, use of colors, and creative use of accessories.

Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award
If you demonstrate excellence in academics, athletic performance, leadership and community service, and like to sport a milk mustache, this is the scholarship for you. Candidates must also be a resident of one of the 48 contiguous states or the District of Columbia. Each of 25 winners receives $7,500 in scholarship money, a designated place in the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex and a role in a USA Today Milk Mustache special.

Students for Organ Donation Youth Leadership Award
Candidates of this awardmust have made a commitment to raising awareness of organ donation and transplantation. Selection is based on effectiveness, leadership, creativity and sustainability of efforts. Applications may be based either on a report of previous events that have successfully raised organ donation awareness, or a detailed and realistic plan to raise donor awareness. One or two $500 to $1,000 scholarships will be awarded.

Evans Scholars Foundation Scholarship
Where would golfers be without their caddies? Not very far. For all of their help, caddies are finally being rewarded by the Evans Scholars Foundation. Each year, the Western Golf Association awards scholarships to more than 200 student caddies. Scholarship winners are required to reside in the scholarship house at each participation college. They must also demonstrate academic merit, financial need, exceptional character and, of course, a great caddie record.

Klingon Language Institute Award
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Klingon-loving Trekky to apply. The Klingon Language Institute (KLI) awards this $500 scholarship award to one graduate or undergraduate student each year. The scholarship was created to encourage the study of and achievement in the area of language. Applicants must be nominated by a school department and must demonstrate academic merit. Submissions should include the nomination letter, two recommendation letters, a resume and a statement of future intent.

The National Candy Technologists Scholarship
The American Association of Candy Technologists (AACT) awards a $5,000 scholarship to sophomore, junior and senior students who demonstrate an interest in confectionary technology. The award is paid in two $2,500 installments to winners who attend an accredited four-year college or university. Applicants must earn a 3.0 GPA and be majoring in food science, chemical science, biological science or a related field, and, of course, be a bit of a chocoholic.

National Marbles Tournament Scholarship
This isn’t your friendly game of marbles—this game is for keeps for the eight to fourteen-year-old players who compete. The King and Queen of Marbles (yes, that’s what they call the winners) will each receive $2,000, and, to calm things down a bit, a sportsmanship award of $1,000 will also be granted. The eight pages of rules, albeit in large child-like print, will show you just how serious these competitors are.

The Spirit of the Hiram College Hal Reichle Scholarship
Here is some chicken soup for the college student soul. This scholarship is administered by the Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal, otherwise known as SSSSH. Hal Reichle had a history of secretly surprising people with sweet gifts. He was a modern-day Santa Clause and SSSSH is convinced that Hiram College has more of them. It’s about time being nice got you some cash!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Bright Side of Today’s Economy: The Motivation for Education

Friday, June 19th, 2009

The following is a guest post from Lynn Mattoon.  Lynn Mattoon is a content editor for College Job Bank, a job search site that is focused on helping college students and recent graduates find jobs, post resumes, and get noticed by top employers. Her aim is to provide her readers with useful career advice and resources.

Education the Answer to Competitive Job Market

With the realization that jobs are not ripe for the picking in today’s economy, both young people and seasoned members of the workforce are looking to education as a means to secure and keep good jobs.

Students Working Harder for Needed Scholarships

With parents facing financial issues, many high school students realize the need to work hard in school to have a chance at scholarships, giving them the ability to afford college. Without a college degree they face poor job prospects and intense competition in the job market.

Riding Out the Economic Storm in Graduate School

Many college graduates are choosing to continue their education as well. According to this article on, a February, 2009 Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey shows that students are turning to graduate school as a place to “ride out the economic downturns.” The hope is that when they obtain their advanced degree they will not only face better employment conditions, but will have gained higher earning power for their educational efforts.

Back to School

Joining high school and college graduates are those who have been part of the daily grind for years. The recession has either propelled them to advance their education or enhance it with additional certifications or degrees. This may be through online courses, community college, or college on campus at night. For those who have lost jobs, it has become an opportunity to go back to college or even take a new educational direction in order to make a complete career change.

Degrees Aren’t Free

The focus on education is certainly a positive outcome of the economic crisis. With our youth and workforce more educated we can achieve more as individuals and as a nation. Education, however, does come at a price. Scholarships, financial aid, or the appropriate and affordable loan are important for ensuring that your education leads not only to good career opportunities, but a better standard of living as well.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Community Service Helps Pay for College

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

On Tuesday, April 21 President Obama signed the Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act in to law.  In addition to helping make service a national priority, this bill offers several opportunities for students, and parents or grand-parents, to help fund education.  First, it increases the amount of the  Segal Americorps Education award from $4,725 per year of service to $5,350 per year of service, and ties future increases the award to increases in the Pell grant.  Students can earn this through a year of service in Americorps , who, coincidentally reports that with the economy, applications have nearly tripled in March compared to March of 2008.  This is another coincidence, since the bill also will trip the size of Americorps from the current 75,000 members to 250,000 members over time.  There are two ways students can utilize this award.  They can either work first, and then go to school and have the benefit.  There are actually 80 colleges who will match this educational benefit, thus doubling the amount of the benefit.  As more and more students consider a gap-year, this becomes a tremendous gap year option.  College graduates can choose to have this award reduce their outstanding education loans.

Americorps, however, has been an option for students for several years.  What is most exciting about this legislation is the new programs that it creates.  It creates two new programs that will aid in funding a college education: the summer of service and silver scholars program.  The summer of service will provide $500 ($750 for  needier students) education stipends for students who complete a summer of service between middle school and 12th grade.  The silver scholars program enables adults 55 and older to earn $1,000 towards education that they can then use themselves or give to a child or a grandchild.  They can also give the money to a student who they are mentoring.  Since the Act does not officially go into law until October 1, the first summer of service will most likely be in 2010.  However, check the Corporation for  National Service website, as community service organizations will soon be holding a summit to figure out how best to implement the programs.  Also, check back to our website for updates on how this will impact you ability to finance your college education.    

Technorati Tags: , , ,