ASI Scholarship Program changes direction

The year-old Associated Students Inc. scholarship program is seeing changes this year, including a shift in deadline and target audience.

According to the scholarship application, the ASI Scholarship Program seeks to provide $25,000 of financial support in awards of $1,000 to 25 qualifying students.

In the past, the application focused on the theme of student engagement on campus or in the community, according to ASI Treasurer Agatha Gucyski.

It required applicants to submit an essay describing their responsibilities while in college, including involvement in student organizations, internships, research, employment or community outreach.

This year, however, the application also targets students with financial need, according to Gucyski.

Gucyski said with the new changes, applicants are now prompted to submit an essay that describes either the challenges or responsibilities they have faced as college students and how those have affected them or how they overcame any obstacles that arose.

The change “addresses students who may be facing challenges, whether that is financially, emotionally or both,” Gucyski said. She said the essay options also ask applicants to describe how the scholarship will help them and why it should be awarded to them.

In addition to these changes, the ASI Board of Control has moved the scholarship application deadline to the fall semester, instead of setting it for the spring as before. The deadline for fall 2014 scholarship applications is 4 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Gucyski said because the application deadline coincided with the busy spring allocation season, a period in which ASI distributes funds for the upcoming year among the colleges, the ASI Board of Control agreed to move the application deadline to the fall semester.

The new deadline should also allow the ASI Board of Control, who will choose the scholarship recipients, “more time to be more thorough in the selection process,” Gucyski said.

According to the application, students must submit the essay along with a letter of recommendation and Financial Award Summary, or an estimate of financial aid the student is eligible to receive, to the Center for Scholarship Information.

Eligible applicants for the scholarship must be full-time undergraduate or graduate students at Cal State Long Beach. Undergraduate applicants must also have a cumulative GPA of 2.5, while graduate students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5, and applicants must not be receiving any other form of financial support from ASI.

Last year, there were 88 eligible applicants for the ASI Scholarships, but the ASI Board of Control hopes that these changes will lead to even more applications for this year’s scholarships, as the prompts should relate to more students, Gucyski said.

All applicants must complete the online application form available on the CSULB website and submit all other required documents to the Center for Scholarship Information, located in Room 238 of the University Student Union. Recipients will be chosen by March 22.

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