FW: Scholarship money going unclaimed!!

From: edequity@phoenix.edc.org
Date: Thu Mar 09 2000 - 15:55:25 EST

Many Thanks to Mary Gannon for passing this on:
"Kathy Johnson" <kjohnson@vismt.org>

>>If you know any minority students headed for college who could use extra
>money, let them know about this. DEADLINE IS MARCH 15!!!
> > (For more information about the Gates Millennium Scholars Program,
> > call 1-877-690-4677, or visit http://www.gmsp.org .)
> >
> > Build a scholarship, but will they come?
> >
> > Editorial
> >
When Bill and Melinda Gates created a $1 billion nationwide
scholarship fund last fall, the education dean at the University of
Washington boasted he could find 1,000 students just in the
Seattle area who would qualify. So where the heck are they?
> >
The Gateses pledged to pay for the college educations of 1,000
minority students a year - for the next 20 years - beyond other
financial aid they receive. The applications should be flooding in
from every corner of the United States. Instead, they are
dribbling in - only about 800 completed applications so far.
That's much better than the 250 reported last week, but still a
humble start.
> >
Perhaps a few hundred thousand students plan to FedEx their
applications at midnight on March 15, as teenagers and other
deadline-lovers are apt to do. Washington must ensure its young
people are well-represented applicants for this stunning home-
grown opportunity - especially after passage of Initiative 200,
which ends affirmative action in public institutions.
> >
Here's the checkoff list for eligibility: The scholarships are
open to African-American, Hispanic, Asian Pacific or Native
American students with financial need, leadership skills and cumulative
grade-point averages of 3.3 or higher. The students have to be applying to
college, enrolled in an undergraduate program, or working toward a
graduate degree in engineering, math, science, education or
library science.
> >
Both the supply and demand are enormous. About 70,000 minority
students in the United States are eligible for financial aid and
have a 3.3 GPA or higher. Even if only half of them had leadership
skills, that's still 34,200 students who could apply to become
Gates Millennium Scholars, but haven't.
> >
College tuition in Washington has risen three times faster than
the median income since 1980, making sticker shock a real obstacle
for lower-income families. Minorities are often more likely to
drop out, and they are nearly nonexistent by the doctoral stage:
Only 1 to 2 percent of doctoral degrees awarded in this country
each year go to blacks, Hispanics or Native Americans.
> >
It makes a difference to minority students' career advancement and
earning potential. It makes a difference later, to their children.
> >
Getting the word out before March 15 will take grass-roots efforts,
not just from organizations like the local chapter of the NAACP,
>but from parents, neighbors and co-workers. Printing applications from
> >the Web site for employees could help. Volunteering to grade papers or
>be a guest speaker in a high-school classroom would help with
>teachers' extra workload writing nomination letters for colleges and
scholarships. So would assisting a student with the application.
> >
Today's problem is not lack of talent, but insufficient
communication. Surely, the communication-savvy state of Washington can rise
to this occasion over the next three weeks.
> >
For more information about the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, call
1-877-690-4677, or visit http://www.gmsp.org .)
> >

William A. Howe, Ed.D.
Associate Education Consultant
Connecticut State Dept. of Education
165 Capitol Ave. Room 360, Box 2219
Hartford, CT 06145-2219
Tel:860-566-8228 / FAX 860-566-1098
E-mail: william.howe@po.state.ct.us

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