Tips to land scholarships

What is the number one thing that college students think about? Money. Students often ask questions like how to pay rent, pay for lunch, afford gasoline, and of course, how to pay for tuition and textbooks.  Well, college students are lucky because finding the funds is actually a lot easier than most people realize. The number one source of money that is readily available to tons of college students is scholarships.

During the spring semester, The University of Akron and a lot of organizations, both within the university and outside, start accepting applications and handing out checks. While scholarships are widespread and readily available, surprisingly, not many students utilize them. The hardest part of applying for scholarships is finding them. Where can students get this money? Lots of places, actually. A source of scholarship money is actually through The University of Akron. The University offers a wide variety of scholarships for different majors, interests, and achievements. The best place to start is by searching uakron.edu/scholarships. On that page, students can find a variety of categories for which one can be eligible, such as transfer students, graduate students, and continuing students.

In fact, for continuing students, is there one quick and easy form to fill out each year that automatically applies students to private and endowed scholarships made available through the university by the Office of Student Accounts. Also, there are several opportunities for scholarships through each college, such as the College of Arts and Sciences or College of Applied Science and Technology. More scholarships can be found through each school at the university and for individual majors as well. Scholarships can also be found through places like the Office of Accessibility or for students who are also veterans.

Scholarships may be available through student organizations as well. Not only are scholarships recognized in nationwide organizations like the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, but student organizations can help give students some edge on a resume or application too.

Scholarships are also made available through organizations outside of the university. Many corporations like Walmart or Starbucks offer scholarships for students who work for them, and some even offer scholarships for students whose parents work at certain corporations. Also, students might find the most random scholarships for things like being incredibly tall or living in a certain region. A simple Google search will return tons of results that might apply to you.

The next step is collecting the materials you need. Each scholarship has different requirements, so make sure to read instructions very carefully. Some require essays, others cover letters, resumes, transcripts, letters of recommendation, samples of work, or other materials. Make sure you know what you need to include so that you can prepare. Also, be wary of due dates and deadlines for applications.

Applying for scholarships can be an intimidating and overwhelming process for many students. But there are some ways to ease the strain. It is important to keep in mind that not many students actually apply for scholarships. So even if you think you do not have a good chance of receiving it, apply anyway. Your chances might still be pretty great.

Also, the University of Akron has lots of services that can help students improve their work. For example, if a scholarship requires an essay or cover letter, the university has two writing labs where students can take their work to get feedback and help from tutors. The career center on campus also offers services like helping craft resumes and cover letters. Another piece of advice is ask for letters of recommendation early. When asking a professor, employer, advisor, or whoever else for a letter of recommendation, the standard amount of time to give them is  two to three weeks before the deadline of the application. This gives them plenty of time to write a good letter and get it back to you on time.

Many organizations and places at the University of Akron are beginning to open up their scholarship applications for the next academic year, so now is the perfect time to look for them. Applying for scholarships benefits for students, from paying for school and textbooks to being another bullet point on a resume. Scholarships are far and wide, and can apply to so many students, so if you are looking for money now you know where to look.

 

News conference reveals historical gift to UA

On the morning of Thursday, October 19th, President Matthew Wilson made an announcement to the community that surprised and astounded those in attendance for the speech. This semester, the University of Akron received the largest single gift of in the history of the university. That is, more than $20 million dollars donated by Jean Hower Taber.

President Wilson revealed how that $20 million dollars will be spent. Nearly two-thirds of the gift will be used for scholarships to support students pursuing audiology and those in the Williams Honors College. The other one-third of the money will be used to maintain the Hower House.

President Wilson expressed his gratitude and excitement for the gift, and described how this generous donation from Jean Hower Taber will affect students at the University of Akron.

President Wilson stated, “…It is just an incredible impact, and it will impact our students, it will facilitate students from the community to be able to come here and to obtain an education, and be able to realize their dreams…”

He goes on to explain the importance of such donations, and the scholarships they are used for.

“…We have many first generation students where their parents never had the opportunity to go to a university. You’ve got folks who are coming to the University from limited means…”

The Hower family has a history of philanthropy and community involvement in Akron. Jean Hower Taber has been a donor to the University of Akron since the 1980’s, although she was not a student here.

While the exact amounts of the scholarships designated for audiology and honors students have not been determined, they are expected to be awarded beginning in the Fall, 2019 Semester.

PorchRokr Festival 2017

Highland Square has always been renowned for its role as a home for Akron’s local arts and music scene. In addition to music venues and tons of events geared toward the community, Highland Square hosts the PorchRokr festival every year. The PorchRokr festival is exactly what it sounds like: all over the neighborhood, people open their porches for local musicians to use as stages. From each street come melodies, applause, and vendors serving an audience.

This year, the annual music festival hosted nearly 130 bands that ranged in genres from folk to jazz to celtic music to “electric soul”. Vendors selling food and artisanal products lined the streets, for people to enjoy while listening to local artists.

We spoke with some of the bands who performed at the PorchRokr festival this year. One such band was Modem, a punk rock band from Kent.

Following their heavy, energetic, entertaining set, we had a chance to speak with the band. This was their first time performing at the Porchrokr Festival.

They told us, “This is awesome because there’s a lot of people who don’t go out and see shows… it’s really diverse”

Much like many of the other bands, as well as fans, they said that the PorchRokr festival was an awesome time. We also spoke to Axon-Neuron, a progressive rock band from Akron. They told us about their inspirations, and their experience playing at the PorchRokr Festival for the past three years. As a six-peice band, all of which are professionals, they boast an interesting blend of jazz, metal, and elements of classical music. They told us, “At Porch Rockr, anyone can wander by and check out the music and be exposed to something they wouldn’t have otherwise thought to try.” This was an aspect of the festival that they enjoyed.
For the past six years, neighbors have offered their porches to Akron’s diverse music scene and an event that has become a summer highlight for many people. The PorchRokr Festival acts as an opportunity for locals, vendors, restaurants, musicians, and anybody with anything to offer, to open their doors and celebrate Highland Square.

University of Akron UNICEF

Photo courtesy of University of Akron UNICEF

Last fall, a new student organization joined the University of Akron called UA UNICEF Campus Initiative. UNICEF stands for the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund. Worldwide, this organization works with people to raise funds and volunteer to help children in need. Maddie Cuckow, one of the founding members of the University of Akron’s UNICEF chapter, speaks about the founding of the organization, its goals, and why UNICEF matters.

Cuckow, along with some other students who were also passionate about helping children, decided to start the UNICEF group, and states that the organization had much success at other Ohio universities. Then they began to recruit other students, table in the Student Union, and fundraise. The University of Akron’s chapter donates to the United States fund. With these funds, they can help children receive basic and educational needs, and in some cases, even rescue children from human trafficking or other harmful circumstances.

The organization began holding events last semester. Their first was a fundraiser, and all the funds raised were used to help liberate children from sex trade.

They raised fifty dollars, which as Cuckow states, “It takes [nearly] five dollars to get a child out of sex trafficking.”

With another fundraiser, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, they were able to raise money to provide vaccinations, children’s toys, and other beneficial items. In mid-March, the group held their first major event, UNICEF Water Olympics.

“We aimed to raise 20,000 gallons of clean water for children around the world, and through the event, were able to raise 1,700 gallons of clean water…,” she says.

She says the process of starting a new student organization is difficult. However, UA UNICEF was lucky enough to be able to use a prior UNICEF chapter’s constitution. Cuckow says with new organizations, students must draft a constitution, apply for funding through the Undergraduate Student Government, find four members to become officers, and then receive 10 signatures of other students who are interested in becoming members.

She, like other members, became a part of the group because she is passionate about playing a beneficial role in the lives of children.

She says, “There is potential in every child, no matter where they come from, no matter who they are, and I believe every child deserves the right to an education, deserves the right to the best quality of life possible… If I can be instrumental in a small way in helping a child reach their fullest potential, then that is the biggest joy that I can have.”

To get involved or learn more about the group, check out them out on Facebook at UA UNICEF Campus Initiative, or follow them on Twitter at UAkronUNICEF.

Student Organization Spotlight: Muslim Student Assocation

Photo courtesy of University of Akron Muslim Students’ Association

An executive order created a ban on people from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Syria on January 28th. After much controversy, the executive order was put on hold and then revised. These revisions affect people from the aforementioned countries except for Iraq.

Nasser Razek, a faculty member at the University of Akron, as well as a member of the Muslim Students’ Association, spoke to us about the purpose of the Muslim Students’ Associaton, as well as how the travel ban is affecting Muslim students and students who come from the countries affected by the ban. Razek came to the United States from Egypt, but is acquainted with affected students through his position as a faculty member at the university, as well as a member of MSA.

According to Razek, the Muslim Students’ Association is a group that serves the needs of Muslim students on campus. Each Friday, they hold a weekly prayer, in addition to having meetings and inviting guest speakers throughout the semester.

Razek says that a lot of students come from Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Iran who study a variety of fields from engineering to business to education. Currently, these students cannot travel outside of the country. They are often told “don’t leave the country until you get your degree”.

While these restrictions are not supposed to affect current visa holders from these countries, this still poses an issue for many students. Razek explains that these students come to the United States with current visas, but when those visas expire, students file paperwork stating that they are still in the United States to finish their degrees and, thus, remain “in status”. Therefore, the current ban means that these students would have to get another visa if they are to return home.

Despite these issues, Razek says that the University of Akron has been a supportive community for these students and faculty members. He says, “The university is doing a good job in trying to keep up with the current students. However, there is not a lot the university can do if there is a ban on travel, on visas.”

Razek tells us that while there is much uncertainty about the current state of politics, he has hope for the future.

He says, “In Islam, we have a saying that when God wants to reinstate a virtue, he chooses someone to simply say bad things about the virtue, to attack the virtue, and then people would go back to that virtue and say ‘let’s think about this. Is this right or wrong? ‘…And then they would understand that this is a virtue, we should support that.”

While, the travel ban poses many fears and questions for students on campus, they still go about their daily lives, finding support in their student organizations, as well as community members at the University of Akron.