As students, the very idea of loans looms over our heads like a heavy black cloud. In the midst of a packed college schedule, we forget the alternative to swimming in debt or living paycheck to paycheck. We’re not alone on this financial struggle bus, and the institution we attend understands, accepts and attempts to minimize our worries. Check out these eight awesome scholarships that Florida State University offers and see if you fit the bill.
1. The Southern Scholarship Foundation
University housing is perhaps the steepest of financial mountains to climb. Working with Florida Agriculture and Medical University, Florida State University and the University of Florida, the Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF) is an independent nonprofit organization that provides rent-free housing for low-income students of high academic quality. Yes, you read that correctly—rent-free. Students apply with financial and academic information and an essay, undergo an intensive interview process and are selected to live in one of the foundation’s houses, which typically holds around 15 to 21 girls or guys. Not only does the foundation provide rent-free housing but it also provides a supportive living community during these high-stress years. “I’m from Rhode Island so being far away from home is hard. The bonds I’ve made here mean the world to me. We do genuinely care about each other and pick up the slack if someone is struggling,” said FSU senior Brianna Shoaf.
2. The Martin Luther King Book Stipend
Through the efforts of the Black Alumni Association, Florida State administers the Martin Luther King Book Stipend Scholarship in an effort to aid students in completing their education. This one-time scholarship is open to undergraduate or graduate students who identify as African-American and maintain a 2.5 GPA. Sophomore Stephenie Urbina said, “I’m so proud to have received this scholarship. This scholarship has enabled me to pay back my loans, and I’m only in my second year.”
3. The Seminole Club Scholarship
Florida State Alumni come together to extend a helping hand to students wishing to attend their alma mater. “I always encourage friends to look locally for scholarships. If you’re a student at Florida State and you live in Florida, there’s probably a Seminole club in your town,” said senior Nathalie Bazelais, winner of the Tampa Bay Seminole Club Scholarship. The clubs use membership dues to create scholarships for prospective students. “It’s really a blessing to know these alumni want to pass on their experience as a Seminole to someone else. It made it all the more exciting to enter Florida State University life,” said Bazelais.
4. The Ford Ethics Scholarship
Calling all ethics fanatics: If you’re enrolled in designated business ethics courses and need a little extra help paying tuition this semester, consider applying to Florida State’s Ford Ethics Scholarship. Eligible students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and documented community service. Financial need is also a primary consideration when applying for this scholarship. “I am absolutely debt free, and it’s from taking classes that I love,” said senior Sara Gomez, winner of the ethics scholarship. “Through this scholarship, I was able to save my money and study abroad in Italy, something I would have never been able to do.”
5. The Angie Cintron Memorial Scholarship
Those involved in the Hispanic/Latino Student Union at Florida State might be eligible for the Angie Cintron Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship intends to honor the memory of Angie Cintron, a former FSU student who attended school in 1997 and passed away before she could finish her studies. In her loving memory, Cintron’s family awards a scholarship to one student a year who exhibits leadership qualities and exemplary academic abilities. “Not only is this scholarship a financial blessing, but it is an opportunity to honor a fellow Seminole and uphold the standards of garnet and gold in her name,” said Urbina, who won the scholarship last year. “I come from a low-income household and without this scholarship, I know I would be in community college.”
6. The Rotary Club Scholarship
For those who don’t know, the Rotary Club is an international non-profit that encourages community and humanitarian service in order to foster good will and peace throughout the world. Anyone who holds human rights in high regard can sign up for membership. Additionally, Rotary offers a scholarship to those undergraduate or graduate members looking to work with human rights issues. “This isn’t just a scholarship, this is a support network of people who believe in me and my work, and invest in my future because of that—not to just make themselves feel good,” said recent graduate Rachel Jeter.
7. FSU Presidential Scholars Program
Upcoming freshman at Florida State may want to pay attention. The FSU Presidential Scholars Program is a scholarship offering a total of $32,000. This includes not only two $9,600 payments distributed over four years for a meal plan and housing, but also a $12,000 payment for enrichment studies such as study abroad programs, textbooks, public service, creative projects and internships. The catch: You must be enrolled in the Honors Program at Florida State. If you’re a freshman applying to FSU, you may be automatically invited to the Honors Program, but if you weren’t extended an invitation, don’t lose hope—you can still petition to join.
8. FSU International Programs University Scholarship
Have you dreamed of studying abroad but knew it wouldn’t be possible because of the cost? FSU’s International Programs established a scholarship to fix this problem. This merit-based scholarship is available for all semesters, and the amount awarded is determined for each individual application. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA and submit a resume and an essay related to their desires to study abroad. Do yourself a favor—don’t let your finances limit your experiences and apply for this scholarship.
As students, we tend to forget that there are a multitude of groups that want to help us on our financial journey. “Don’t give up,” said Sara Gomez. “I know it can be annoying writing essays, asking for letters of recommendations, etc., but I promise it’s so worth it. If you succeed, an application that takes you three hours for a $1000 scholarship is like you technically getting paid $333 an hour.” In reality, these scholarships are just a fraction of the pile of scholarships out there.