BC Foundation scholarship applications are available as of Feb. 1 in a simplified common application process. Students fill out one application including short answer questions, recommendation letters and personal information. A board of reviewers will then match applicants to relevant scholarships.
The awards range from $300 to $3,000 from a variety of donors.
Scholarship and Program Manager for the BC Foundation Lauren Hardin said the process was more difficult in previous years. “They would have to answer supplemental questions and screen their own eligibility for each individual scholarship themselves,” Hardin said.
While there is one common application, students may be asked to provide supplemental material if necessary for an individual scholarship with which they are an appropriate match.
Last year over one hundred scholarships were awarded, totaling to approximately $200,000. “We need more applicants,” Hardin said, adding “There’s a really good chance you could potentially get a scholarship.”
If students are struggling with the scholarship process or need help with their personal essays, there are a few resources available on campus. Hardin said students can always stop by with questions as long as she is in her office. BC also has a writing lab in the library if students want help editing their essays.
In addition to personal statements, students also need to have a strong recommendation as part of their application. Hardin advised students to “pick someone who can really speak to their skills and abilities and can write a really well-rounded letter.”
The criteria is broad, and can be any “adult who has insight into your personal character as well as your family history,” according to the BC Foundation website. Hardin confirmed that this can include people from a student’s high school if they still have a strong connection and the student is in their first year at BC.
Suggestions include “a counselor, coach, pastor, employer, teacher who knows you particularly well.”
Running Start students are eligible for these scholarships as long as they are in their senior year and on track to graduate in June.
After applications are submitted, the essays will be reviewed by community members and volunteers. Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate. Essays are ideally scored by two readers, then a score is averaged.
Hardin explained that the review board takes a holistic approach to scholarship applications and examines elements such as household size, income, number of family members in college and GPA in addition to the essays and letter of recommendation.
Applications are due by May.