Scholastes, the Greek root of scholar, translates to ‘one who lives at ease.’ As humorous as this might seem to the delirious student fresh off a Red Bull fueled all-nighter, the definition seems apt when applied to scholarships. For what is a scholarship if not a ticket to financial peace of mind?
What makes scholarships useful to cash-strapped students is that, unlike student loans, the cash from scholarships does not need to be repaid.
One of the more prestigious of IU Southeast’s merit-based scholarships is the Chancellor’s Medallion Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship recipients are chosen by Chancellor and the award is meant to recognize outstanding senior students for their academic achievement and leadership potential.
The four recipients for 2015 are Katherine Clark, Rachel Dalton, Patrick Fanning and Sean Marguet.
“The application process was extensive,” Clark, accounting and international business senior, said. “It is an honor to be receiving this prestigious scholarship.”
Marguet, chemistry senior, advised fellow students who are seeking scholarships to prepare for the process with a résumé.
“A résumé or a personal statement gives you the opportunity to sell yourself,” Marguet said. “This is where you want to catch the reader’s attention with what you have accomplished.”
Marguet added that being involved in your community is another way for applicants to distinguish themselves from their peers. Marguet is president of IU Southeast’s chemistry club.
“Joining a club or a group on campus is a great way to show that you are a ‘team player’ and actively supporting your community and school,” Marguet said. “Sometimes GPA can be overlooked if you are actively involved in your community.”
Fellow winner Rachel Dalton, Spanish and education senior, reiterated Marguet’s advice to build a solid resumé. In addition, she stressed that applicants should build up a collection of personal and professional references.
“Try to get more than you will need and try to get some that target what the scholarship is focused on,” Dalton said. “And don’t forget to show your appreciation for the people who give them.”
Dalton also emphasized the importance of extracurricular activities such as community service. She has worked with Global Outreach Ministries in the Dominican Republic where she helped translate in medical clinics. She is also active in organizing Run for the Village, which is a local 5k that provides 100 percent of the race profits to Eden Children’s Village in Mhangura, Zimbabwe.
“My advice is to take every opportunity you can,” Dalton said. “When I submitted my application for the scholarship, I didn’t think I had a big chance. I thought it was a long shot. But don’t underestimate yourself. And remember that you never know how many people aren’t taking advantage of their own opportunities.”
The types of scholarships available tend to fall into at least one of four categories. The first three categories boil down to a list of criteria that a student must meet to be eligible.
The last type of scholarship is the merit-based scholarship. In merit-based scholarships, eligibility and selection can depend on a number of factors. These can include a student’s activities, community work outside of school or their ability in a particular field such as athletics, academics or the arts.
Every year from October 1st to March 1st, a student can complete scholarship applications either at the Office of Financial Aid or through their web page.