About Gyan Baird

A self-employed educational consultant and publisher for 30 years, I returned to college as a nontraditional, first-generation student. I’ve spent the last 10 years learning how to find and win scholarships so I can share successful techniques with you. My wish is for you to graduate without drowning in student debt or mortgaging your future.

Why You Need to Read the Fine Print

Read the Fine PrintNot All Scholarships Are Created Equal

When you begin to search for scholarships, what’s the first thing you read? If you said the eligibility requirements, you’re right! This information is crucial because if you aren’t eligible to apply, your application is headed directly into the trash can. You’ll have wasted the time and effort it took to complete the application and send in your supporting documents. Nobody has time to waste, especially if you absolutely need scholarship money in order to attend college.

However, you also need to read and understand what the scholarship is funding. Some scholarships can only be applied to tuition while others are only for books and supplies. Many scholarships are awarded to the student for just one year and others are “renewable” which means you can reapply for the scholarship again after you’ve won it. Some scholarships are even renewable for all four years of your undergrad degree. Those are the real gold mines.

You’ll also want to understand how and when the scholarship money is disbursed. Is it sent directly to the college? Will you receive a check then pay the college yourself? Is the money sent at the beginning of the school year as one lump sum? Or will it be sent at the beginning of each semester? If it’s sent at the start of the semester, are there requirements you need to meet in order for the money to be sent for the second semester? Some scholarships will require you to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) and others may require you to complete a progress statement by a certain deadline. Miss either of these and your second payment won’t be sent and you’ll be left scrambling for money you counted on. This can mean you might have to take out student loans or drop out of college altogether. Neither is a good alternative.

If you’re lucky or good enough to be offered an athletic scholarship, make sure you understand the ramifications if you become injured. Is there a clause in your scholarship that states if you’re injured and cannot return to the sport you’ll lose your scholarship funding? Are there restrictions for the number of games missed? Are there academic requirements such as a certain GPA must be maintained in order for you to continue to receive your athletic scholarship? For many students on sport scholarships this may be a deal breaker when it comes to completing their college education.

There are other “scholarships” that should rightly be called unpaid student internships. Here’s a good example of what I mean and why it’s so important to read the fine print (i.e., all of the information about the scholarship provided on the sponsoring organization’s website). If you read the requirements of the Emerging Voices Scholarships, you’ll discover that you’ll be doing a lot of writing and that you are required to attend their special luncheon at your own expense. If you’ve ever been to New York City, you know everything there costs more (hotels, taxis, food) and, if you live far away, you’ll have to pay your own airfare. Even if you live nearby, you’ll still be paying for your own travel costs. They offer $2,000 in scholarship money, for which you may well end up spending the bulk of the award JUST to attend their luncheon. Plus, you’ll be working to create content on a topic of their choice to be used on their website. Does this sound like a scholarship opportunity? Not to me. It sounds like good publicity for the sponsoring organization along with free content development.

If you’re a reader of this blog or our scholarship books, you already know we’re strong advocates for funding your college education with scholarship dollars NOT student loan debt. We encourage and support you to go after as many scholarships as possible. Having said that, we also want you to read the fine print so you won’t be caught off guard and lose the funding you need to graduate debt-free.

Do you have a scholarship story to share?

Scholarships for Students with Cystic Fibrosis

Exercise for Life Athletic Scholarship for Students with Cystic FibrosisExercise for Life Athletic Scholarship for Students with Cystic Fibrosis

According to their website: “…[W]e have raised millions of dollars to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis. But our mission isn’t all about fundraising; it’s also about supporting the CF community. To that end, we have developed a variety of programs to help people with CF live, breathe and succeed despite the disease.”

URL:  http://www.esiason.org/cf-living/scholarships or http://www.esiason.org/ (Programs tab, “Scholarships” from the drop-down menu to view all of their scholarships)

Contact Info:  Boomer Esiason Foundation, c/o Chris McEwan, 483 10th Avenue, Suite 300, New York, NY 10018; Email: [email protected]

Deadline:  June 19

Award Amount:  $10,000 (2 awarded; 1 for a male student and 1 for a female student)

Eligibility: Applicants must be a high school senior who has cystic fibrosis and demonstrates scholastic ability, athletic ability (as evidenced by regular exercise), character, leadership, service to the community, need for financial assistance, and daily compliance to CF therapy. The student-athlete should jog on a regular basis and be training for the 1.5-mile qualifying run. All candidates will be judged on the basis of time.

Requirements: Application; Completed Exercise For Life training log (email for the download link); Essay 1: Discuss the importance of compliance to CF therapies and what you practice daily to stay healthy; Essay 2: Discuss your post-graduation goals; recent photo; Letter from physician (on letterhead) confirming CF diagnosis and therapy routine; most recent W2 form for both parents; Transcript; Letter of Acceptance from academic institution; detailed breakdown of tuition costs from academic institution; and signed waiver.

Application Link:  http://www.esiason.org/cf-living/scholarships

Note: The Boomer Esiason Foundation supports scholarships for college students, cystic fibrosis research and education, as well as transplant grants. If you’d like to help support these causes and #BeTheChange, you can donate here: http://www.esiason.org/about-us/sponsors-partners

InkAddict Tattoo Art Scholarship

Ink Addict Tattoo Design ScholarshipDo You Like to Draw Tattoo Designs? Well, Here’s a Scholarship Just for You!

Since I’ve been substitute teaching at my local middle school and high school, I’ve noticed that many students have tattoos or sport tattoo designs on their clothing. For those students without a permanent tattoo, there’s a trend to use sharpie markers to draw tattoos on themselves or on their friends. In one art class I taught, a high school student had two friends creating intricate and colorful “tats” on both her arms. I mentioned to the group that tattoos are considered an art form in cultures all over the world. I suggested that they photograph their work and email it to the Art teacher as evidence of their work in class. By the end of class, she had two full sleeves in every sharpie color available. I can only imagine the relief her parents felt when they realized her tattoos would eventually wash off. Another student actually had a tattoo portfolio he shared with me. When they discovered I write about scholarships, they challenged me to find a scholarship for tattoo artists. Well, here’s the real deal:

URL:  http://www.inkaddict.com/

Contact Info:  Ink Addict, 22007 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale, MI 48220; Phone:  855-INK-ADDICT; [email protected]

UPDATE: We suggest emailing InkAddict to find out of their scholarship is being offered this year.

Deadline:  June 15

Award Amount:  $1,000 and $500

Eligibility:  Must be pursuing a Graduate or Undergraduate degree for Graphic Design or Art, must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Requirements: Online Application. Must submit your best example of tattoo art OR art that could be used on tattoo inspired clothing. Note that you must upload a file of your original artwork Designs must be original and cannot repurpose – or use in any way – copywritten material. Most recent college transcript

Application Link: http://www.inkaddict.com/

Notes:

  • The first place winner may have their original design printed on InkAddict apparel
  • The runner up winner may have their original design printed on InkAddict apparel
  • All rights to first and second-prize winning art become the sole property of InkAddict, to be used at its discretion

High School Bloggers Internship UPDATE

Internship for High School Students

UPDATE: May 26, 2015

We’ve started receiving emails from high school students all over the country. We have four high school student blogging internships to fill and would LOVE to hear from you too! It’s not too late! So, don’t be shy and don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Send us an email so we can schedule time to chat. — Gyan

Wanted: High School Students Who Love to Write & Plan on Attending College

Are you a high school student who enjoys writing? Are you planning to attend college? Do you need an internship? The Scholarship Opportunity Blog would love to hear from you! We’re currently looking for four high school students (preferrably one freshman, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior). We’d like you to write about topics relating to issues that are important to high school students like yourself. We’re interested in hearing what you’re doing to prepare for college including:

  • Studying for and taking standardized tests (PSAT, SAT, and ACT)
  • Selection of classes and coursework
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Community service
  • Working while in school
  • Dual enrollment
  • Selecting a college
  • Applying to college
  • Paying for college
  • Finding and winning scholarships
  • How you use social media
  • Student loans and debt

We’re interested in YOUR experiences, thoughts, worries, questions, and issues you bump up against while in high school.

You would write one blog post per month on a topic of your choice. We will provide you with a professional writer and editor to polish your post prior to publication. We often receive requests from companies to review their products. While we are not paid for endorsements or reviews, we do receive these products for free. If you write an honest product review, you’ll get to keep the products for your own personal use. We think your opinion as a high school student is invaluable.

While this is a blogging internship, your photo and name will be published monthly, allowing you to gain real-world work experience and get the attention of college admissions counselors and scholarship committees. While this internship is unpaid (this year), there are perks! You’ll receive FREE:

Although we work in Vermont, our student bloggers can be located anywhere in the US. We’re looking for students who can make a one-year commitment. If you’re able to meet deadlines and want to learn how to blog and write professionally, reach out and send us an email today along with a short statement as to why this opportunity excites you.

Sports Journalism Scholarships

APSE Sports Journalism ScholarshipAssociated Press Sports Editors Scholarships for Collegiate Sports Journalists

http://apsportseditors.org/newsletter/apse-scholarship-application-deadline-is-june-1-for-four-1500-scholarships-for-collegiate-sports-journalists/ or http://apsportseditors.org/ (use the search bar to find “scholarships”)

Contact Info: APSE Scholarship;  c/o Joe Sullivan, Sports Editor;  Boston Globe; 135 Morrissey Boulevard,  Boston, MA 02205-2845; eMail: Joe Sullivan at [email protected] with APSE Scholarship in subject line

Deadline: June 1

Award Amount: $1,500 (4 Awarded)

Eligibility: Undergraduate (Sophomore, Junior, or Senior)

Requirements:  Include the following information in your letter of application:

  • Personal: Name, address, age, phone number.
  • Academic: A copy of the student’s collegiate grades.
  • Financial: A brief rundown of the student’s financial situation, with regards to how he/she plans to pay for tuition.
  • Five Examples of sports journalism (usually stories but could also be sections the student has edited), using either links or PDFs.

Application Link:  There is no application form or link. You are asked to write an application letter and email it along with the above documents (listed under Requirements) to Joe Sullivan.

Additional Information: The APSE Scholarships will be awarded based on the students’ journalistic work, their academic record, financial need, and geography. The scholarships will be awarded to students from four different regions of the United States.

While you’re visiting the APSE website, you might want to check out their Interns Wanted board and the APSE Sports Journalism Institute. According to their website, the “The Sports Journalism Institute is a nine-week training and internship program for college students interested in sports journalism careers. The Institute is designed to attract talented students to journalism through opportunities in sports reporting and editing and enhance racial and gender diversity in sports departments nationwide.” After attending their Sports Journalism Institute, students receive eight weeks of professional experience at a paid internship in the sports department of a daily newspaper and a $500 scholarship.

If you’re a student interested in pursuing a career in sports journalism, this is one organization you’ll want to take an in-depth look at.