New Scholarship Opportunities Available

Category:  News
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 7:54 PM

When it comes down to it, figuring out how to finance your college education can be a nightmare.

Between filing your FAFSA, skimming through website after website for scholarships, waiting for your (or your parents) taxes to be filed and getting the letter from PHEAA saying you’re not eligible for a state grant, it’s a stressful and exhausting time for most college students.

Along with all of the external options are the scholarships offered by Edinboro University to all of its students, undergraduate and graduate, whose requirements range from filling out an application and writing an essay to being in a specified major or club on campus.

According to the university’s website, there are 512 scholarships available to students, including three which are new to this academic year.

The Clan Steward Society Scholarship, the Jessica Woods Marchionda Scholarship and the Stupiansky Graduate Education Scholarship are all up for grabs for students to apply towards the 2016-2017 academic year and are each worth $1,000.

The Clan Stewart Society Scholarship is awarded to the applicant who has full participation in the Pipe Band ensemble, including concert performances, competitions and university events.

Preference is made to applicants who are members of the Clan Stewart Society in America, Inc., but it is not mandatory.

The Jessica Woods Marchionda Scholarship committee gives first preference to applicants pursuing a degree in early childhood education or speech, language and hearing, and who are members of the Delta Zeta sorority.

Any eligible applicant must complete an application along with a short essay, “describing a life-changing event related to an illness that stretched your thinking and changed your perspective.”

The Stupansky Graduate Education Scholarship is awarded to graduate students and the requirements alternate yearly between an applicant in the Master of Education-Early Childhood Education program and one in the Master of Education-Middle/Secondary Instruction with Middle Level Focus.

Applicants can be either an incoming or a current Edinboro student based on the decision of the head of the program.

Any student wishing to apply must submit a resume indicating on or off-campus work experience, volunteer experience, leadership roles and active community service, along with an essay detailing the applicant’s career goals.

When it comes to applying for scholarships, the process varies depending on the award. The Edinboro University scholarships section of the financial aid webpage states, “for most of these scholarships, all qualifying students are automatically considered for the awards by completing the FAFSA. In cases where an application is required, the Financial Aid Office contacts students by email.”

There may, however, also be instances where the student must reach out to the financial aid office for more information, as many of the scholarships offered are open to most of Edinboro’s student body.

Marilyn Goellner, Edinboro’s director of major gifts and planned giving, hopes students take more advantage of the scholarships available.

Sometimes some of the awards go unclaimed or deadlines must be extended due to lack of applications, such as last spring when the deadline for the James F. Williams GLBT Scholarship passed and there were no applications.

“When I talk to parents and students, I say ‘don’t ignore those emails’ (sent by the financial aid office),” said Goellner.

“Students don’t always want to take that extra effort to fill out an application or write an essay, but it’s important do to that.”

The LGBT Scholarship is open to any student interested in gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender issues and requires an application, resume and essay completed by March 21 for consideration.

One other scholarship that Goellner would like more students to apply for is the Study Abroad Scholarships.

“Some students don’t even want to think about it because they think ‘I can’t afford it,’” said Goellner.

“But they shouldn’t think that. They should think about the financial aid for study abroad, if it’s credit-bearing or through the university. It’s almost the same as going to school here but you need travel expenses.”

First consideration for the Study Abroad Scholarships is given to applicants who apply for previous semesters, as decided by the scholarship committee.

“The committee looks over all of the applications; we ask for a budget from the student and the student can receive an award of $500 or more,” said Goellner.

“We’ve given $1000, sometimes we cover the whole trip. It just depends on the number of applicants each year.”

“It’s rare that scholarships go unawarded, but it’s the more unique ones such as Study Abroad and the GLBT where students aren’t aware that the money is out there or they don’t want to go through the process,” said Goellner.

Goellner also noted when a scholarship is not awarded, the university tries to work with the donor and see if they’re willing to consider applicants who don’t completely fit the criteria but come close, and more often than not they’re willing to award the funds.

“All donors want the money to do good, they all want to help students,” said Goellner.

A list of all scholarships offered is available on the university website (keyword: scholarships) and information can be obtained by contacting the Financial Aid Office at finaid@edinboro.edu or (814) 732-3500.

The financial aid office is located on the first floor of Hamilton Hall.

Kimberly Firestine is the Senior Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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