Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Scholarship season

It’s that time of year. It’s the time of year when a lot of scholarship applications are coming due.

For those anxious to know who this year’s winner of the Kirshner Scholarship awarded annually to someone with Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome or their children, I don’t yet know who the winner is – but I’ll post it when I know it’s been cleared by the Network.

In the meantime, the subject of how hard it is to pay for school has come up on the HPS adults listserv. In this economy, I’m sure it isn’t easier than when I was in school! I feel for today’s students. It’s the rare exception that graduates and doesn’t start life straddled with debt.

But, in my history I’ve also served on scholarship award committees and it’s amazing to me how few people sometimes apply. I think it’s hard to find the scholarship opportunities out there and people give up trying. Or, they think if they don’t have straight A’s there’s no point.

I’m here to tell you – there’s money out there going unclaimed.

To many, this might sound obvious – but if you’re legally blind the first place to start is your state’s commission for the blind. It can’t hurt and often there are resources there to help.

Next, invest some time at your public library and do the shoe leather work no one else is willing to do. Get a librarian to help you if you need it – they will.

Make a list of every special interest you might meet.

There are scholarships for those that are legally blind, for those that have Crohn’s or colitis, or those that have bleeding disorders etc. There are scholarships out there from churches, church denominations, from unions for member kids, corporations, the children of vets. etc.

I just spent two seconds goodsearching and found this link of scholarships for those with a Hispanic background. They might be old – I don’t know. The point is – it’s out there. Put your hat in and go get it.

http://www.uga.edu/hispanicproject/scholarships.html

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