Application Details and Selection Process
Basic Award Information
Three awards will be made in 2012. The amount of each scholarship is $2,000.00. Payment of the scholarships will be made over a two-semester period, $1,000 per semester, subject to satisfactory completion of all course work in the first semester. The first payment will be made in or after December 2012. Recipients may be asked to attend an awards ceremony in early December 2012, in Princeton, New Jersey.
Applications can be submitted by regular mail or e-mail (see instructions on application form) and must be post-marked or time-stamped by Midnight EST, October 15, 2012.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
This scholarship will be awarded to a student who, having overcome significant adversity, demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and a long-term commitment to public service. While financial need is heavily considered in the selection process, it will not outweigh the importance of the three factors mentioned above. Only in the rare event that two or more applicants are evaluated equally on the basis of all other factors will the scholarship committee turn to the student who demonstrates a greater financial need. United States citizenship is not a requirement in applying for this award, and in no event will such a factor be used preferentially to determine the scholarship recipient.
This application is open to first or second generation immigrant students (foreign-born or children of foreign-born parents, or born in Puerto Rico) who are residents of New Jersey and are:
- High school seniors
- GED recipients,
- Prospective first-year college students
- Attending a college at any level of study
Applicants whose education was temporarily discontinued, for economic or other reasons, are encouraged to explain their individual circumstances in an attachment to the application.
Academic achievement is defined by the rigor of the applicant’s secondary school or college transcript. We understand that no two students have identical educational resources offered to them. For that reason, each applicant will be evaluated in the context of his or her high school or university. Applicants with cumulative GPAs greater than or equal to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale will qualify for the scholarship. On a 100-point scale, this qualification would translate to a cumulative GPA of 80 or above. Students must clearly demonstrate a desire to engage in higher level thinking by taking rigorous courses. If an applicant’s cumulative GPA is lower than the mentioned cutoff, he/she may still apply and offer what must be compelling reasoning in explaining the extenuating circumstances that led to his/her given GPA. No
preference will be given to students seeking to receive a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in any particular field.
One letter of recommendation attesting to the student’s academic potential and/or personal qualities must be included in the application. A teacher, guidance counselor, mentor, sports coach, community program supervisor, employer, or any other individual who can provide us with greater insight on the applicant’s talents should provide such information. Letters from family members or friends will be disqualified.
Recording one’s scores in the SAT Tests is optional. Applicants are strongly encouraged to document them if they are available. It may be argued that they are not predicative of actual college performance, and therefore, if the applicant wishes to omit such information, there will be no consequences insofar as the selection process is concerned.
The conventional measures of academic achievement used to evaluate applicants are not the same as those by which engagement in civic service is measured. No preferential treatment will be given to students with involvement in any particular type of service. This openness allows students to demonstrate how they have harnessed their respective strengths to improve some aspect of their communities. The most important aspect of this component is that the selection committee is able to see that the applicant’s commitment is not short-lived, but rather that it will influence him/her to share his/her talents in any community upon graduation from high school and/or college.
Adversity comes in a multiplicity of forms. It can be represented through stories of financial, personal, or academic struggles. The goal of this component of the scholarship application will be to realize a more personal account as to how this award will meaningfully contribute to the applicant’s continued pursuit of his/her academic and personal goals. In understanding how the applicant has overcome significant adversity, the selection committee may better understand how he or she will utilize this scholarship to further their pursuit of a kind of excellence that derives from constantly challenging one’s values.
An indicator of financial need is important because it provides the selection committee with a deeper understanding of the economic barriers faced by the applicants in continuing to attend an institution of higher education. During the final stages of the selection process finalists might be asked to provide household tax returns or proof of income, an award letter from the institution they plan to attend or a current financial aid award letter or tuition invoice from the institution that he/she is currently attending. However, academic excellence, commitment to community service, and personal qualities will be the primary criteria used in the selection process.
Timeline for the Selection Process
Late June 2012: Scholarship Application period opens on LALDEF website
Monday, October 15th: Application Cycle Closes (midnight)
Tuesday, November 21st: Selection Committee Announces Recipients
SEE APPLICATION HERE