The Sallie Mae Fund will once again provide $2.5 million in college scholarships to roughly 1,000 deserving students pursuing higher education this fall. Applications, eligibility and deadline information are now available at www.salliemaefund.org.
The Institute for Higher Education Policy estimates that there are billions of dollars in college scholarships available each year. Awards can range from a few hundred dollars to a full ride for all four years, and best of all, they do not need to be repaid.
Kathleen deLaski, president of The Sallie Mae Fund, explains that these awards are not limited to the class valedictorian or star athletes: “Scholarships are awarded based on a number of factors – from your interests to where your parents work to exceptional writing skills displayed in an essay contest. Searching for scholarships may take a little time and energy, but remember, it’s free money. Even if you spend five hours applying for scholarships and receive only one $500 scholarship, that’s still the same as earning $100 an hour. Money is available, but you have to take the first step and apply.”
The Fund offers students tips for tapping into this free money for college:
“It may seem out of your reach, but once you take that first step and apply, you quickly see how worthwhile it all is,” said 2006 Sallie Mae Fund scholarship winner and Spelman College junior Leanna Pearson.
By 2015, there will be an additional 5 million college-age individuals in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of this growth is projected to come from minority populations with greater financial need. To help meet these needs, The Sallie Mae Fund provides scholarships through a number of its own programs that address a common barrier to higher education access: financial need. Scholarships with upcoming deadlines this spring include:
“Even though they don’t know you, they believe in you,” said Oklahoma scholarship winner Thelma Ramirez about The Sallie Mae Fund. “I used to clean chalkboards for books in hopes of one day going to college. Now I am a pre-law major at a prestigious Ivy League college.”
Additionally, The Sallie Mae Fund, in partnership with the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development’s Tomas Rivera Policy Institute; the Walt Disney Company; and Southern California Edison recently introduced a valuable free resource for students – the Latino College Dollars Scholarship Directory. This up-to-date scholarship guide features hundreds of scholarships available to California Latino students, and is available without registration at www.latinocollegedollars.org.
In 2006, The Fund awarded $2.6 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 deserving students enrolled in colleges across the country. More than 14,000 completed applications were submitted by college-bound students from across the country, a significant jump from the previous year and a record for The Sallie Mae Fund’s scholarship programs. For a complete listing of 2006 scholarship recipients and the schools they attend, or for 2007-2008 scholarship information, visit www.salliemaefund.org.
The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae, achieves its mission – to increase access to a postsecondary education for America’s students – by supporting programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education, preparing families for their investment, and bridging the gap when no one else can. For more information, visit www.salliemaefund.org.