82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesThe Road To College: Finding Money Close To Home

The Road To College: Finding Money Close To Home

Last Wednesday on "Making The College Choice," my weekly radio show on Radio One, I interviewed the president and foundation director from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, with regard to the $300,000 that CFVI will be awarding in scholarship money in the year to come—a remarkable increase over last year, and an especially inspiring total compared to the $3,000 that CFVI disbursed in 1996, its first year of providing such support.

In case you didn’t hear the show, or couldn’t take notes while you listened, here are some highlights of how young people in the territory can secure some of this remarkable pool of financial assistance.

CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown and Foundation Director Beverly Chongasing made clear from the outset that the wide range of scholarships is possible due to the extraordinary generosity of local benefactors, some as individuals; others on behalf of organizations and corporations.

One particularly generous grant that we discussed is the Jean Su-Maeng Kim and Charles M. Kim ’98 Scholarship, which will pay up to $28,000 per year to support a V.I. student who attends Binghamton University, formerly known as the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. At a public university price, that $28,000 will go a very long way indeed.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

One of the top public universities in the United States, Binghamton enjoys a fine write-up in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011, a text to which I contribute each year as a member of the Fiske Guide to Colleges Editorial Advisory Group, but for which I receive no compensation other than a complimentary copy of the book.

Given that the highly selective guide only profiles about 300 colleges and universities, essentially the top 10 percent, Binghamton’s inclusion is a coveted seal of approval and an immediate marker of quality.

The entry describes the institution’s five schools: arts and sciences, business, education, engineering and applied science, and nursing. Moreover, it compliments Binghamton for requiring all students, regardless of school or major, to study in five thematic areas of general education: language and communication, creating a global vision, sciences and mathematics, aesthetics and humanities, and physical activity and wellness.

While 90 percent of students are from New York State, and there is in that sense little geographic diversity, there is a good deal of range in the composition of the student body, with 16 percent Asian American, 9 percent Hispanic and 7 percent black cohorts within the population.

With one of the highest graduation rates of any public university in the nation, Binghamton is well worth a look for any talented student willing to brave the cold of upstate New York, especially with the beneficence of the Kim Scholarship available.

While some of the other local scholarships are available solely for study at the University of the Virgin Islands, others can be used to support higher education at any accredited institution, in areas such as environmental science, humanities, marine biology, medicine, music, nursing, pharmacy, and many other fields of study.

To make the application process less burdensome for students, CFVI wisely uses its own version of a “common application,” where applicants file one form with one set of supporting documents, checking off which of the many scholarships for which they would like to be considered.

Key aspects of successful applications will be a:

1) a form that is completed flawlessly, with no misspellings or omissions;
2) a transcript that shows a student challenging him or herself academically and achieving fine grades;
3) standardized testing that is at least respectable;
4) an essay that shows real passion and the ability to write;
5) recommendations from teachers and counselors who know the applicant well and can corroborate the attributes that would make the applicant worthy of financial support; and
6) a copy of the completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as a tax return from the preceding year.

While the financial information is essential for many of the scholarships, it is not taken into consideration for others that are based solely on merit, and not on demonstrated financial need.

The deadline for applications is presently set for March 18, though I will reiterate what I said on the radio: Apply Early! Don’t wait until the last minute!

The sooner in the New Year that CFVI has a student’s completed application, the sooner its committee can convene to consider a candidate’s merits. Given that FAFSA can be filed Jan. 1, 2011, and really must be filed by mid-February at the latest in order not to delay a student’s receiving a financial aid package, there is no reason to wait all the way until mid-March to complete a CFVI application.

Indeed, I will be urging my own seniors to be completing their applications within the month of February, well ahead of the deadline. Indeed, where the Kim Scholarship is concerned, I had already advertised it to my seniors, but I just made three copies for talented individuals for whom it could be an especially wonderful opportunity.

While CFVI is the main clearinghouse for local scholarships, it is certainly not the only source. At some point in the New Year, I will write a column on all the other organizations that support the higher education aspirations of students from the territory.

A complete list of all the scholarships is available online at www.cfvi.net, or via a phone at 774-6031. In the meantime, I urge everyone interested to take a look and get to work on securing some local money to support the dream of higher education.

The cash won’t arrive in time for Christmas, but it might make the gift of a college degree, something that can truly change a young person’s life, possible.

Chris Teare is College Counselor at Antilles School on St. Thomas. His column appears here each week, and "Making The College Choice" airs Wednesdays at 4 p.m. on AM 1000.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more

Last Wednesday on "Making The College Choice," my weekly radio show on Radio One, I interviewed the president and foundation director from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, with regard to the $300,000 that CFVI will be awarding in scholarship money in the year to come—a remarkable increase over last year, and an especially inspiring total compared to the $3,000 that CFVI disbursed in 1996, its first year of providing such support.

In case you didn’t hear the show, or couldn't take notes while you listened, here are some highlights of how young people in the territory can secure some of this remarkable pool of financial assistance.

CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown and Foundation Director Beverly Chongasing made clear from the outset that the wide range of scholarships is possible due to the extraordinary generosity of local benefactors, some as individuals; others on behalf of organizations and corporations.

One particularly generous grant that we discussed is the Jean Su-Maeng Kim and Charles M. Kim ’98 Scholarship, which will pay up to $28,000 per year to support a V.I. student who attends Binghamton University, formerly known as the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. At a public university price, that $28,000 will go a very long way indeed.

One of the top public universities in the United States, Binghamton enjoys a fine write-up in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011, a text to which I contribute each year as a member of the Fiske Guide to Colleges Editorial Advisory Group, but for which I receive no compensation other than a complimentary copy of the book.

Given that the highly selective guide only profiles about 300 colleges and universities, essentially the top 10 percent, Binghamton’s inclusion is a coveted seal of approval and an immediate marker of quality.

The entry describes the institution’s five schools: arts and sciences, business, education, engineering and applied science, and nursing. Moreover, it compliments Binghamton for requiring all students, regardless of school or major, to study in five thematic areas of general education: language and communication, creating a global vision, sciences and mathematics, aesthetics and humanities, and physical activity and wellness.

While 90 percent of students are from New York State, and there is in that sense little geographic diversity, there is a good deal of range in the composition of the student body, with 16 percent Asian American, 9 percent Hispanic and 7 percent black cohorts within the population.

With one of the highest graduation rates of any public university in the nation, Binghamton is well worth a look for any talented student willing to brave the cold of upstate New York, especially with the beneficence of the Kim Scholarship available.

While some of the other local scholarships are available solely for study at the University of the Virgin Islands, others can be used to support higher education at any accredited institution, in areas such as environmental science, humanities, marine biology, medicine, music, nursing, pharmacy, and many other fields of study.

To make the application process less burdensome for students, CFVI wisely uses its own version of a “common application,” where applicants file one form with one set of supporting documents, checking off which of the many scholarships for which they would like to be considered.

Key aspects of successful applications will be a:

1) a form that is completed flawlessly, with no misspellings or omissions;
2) a transcript that shows a student challenging him or herself academically and achieving fine grades;
3) standardized testing that is at least respectable;
4) an essay that shows real passion and the ability to write;
5) recommendations from teachers and counselors who know the applicant well and can corroborate the attributes that would make the applicant worthy of financial support; and
6) a copy of the completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as a tax return from the preceding year.

While the financial information is essential for many of the scholarships, it is not taken into consideration for others that are based solely on merit, and not on demonstrated financial need.

The deadline for applications is presently set for March 18, though I will reiterate what I said on the radio: Apply Early! Don’t wait until the last minute!

The sooner in the New Year that CFVI has a student’s completed application, the sooner its committee can convene to consider a candidate’s merits. Given that FAFSA can be filed Jan. 1, 2011, and really must be filed by mid-February at the latest in order not to delay a student’s receiving a financial aid package, there is no reason to wait all the way until mid-March to complete a CFVI application.

Indeed, I will be urging my own seniors to be completing their applications within the month of February, well ahead of the deadline. Indeed, where the Kim Scholarship is concerned, I had already advertised it to my seniors, but I just made three copies for talented individuals for whom it could be an especially wonderful opportunity.

While CFVI is the main clearinghouse for local scholarships, it is certainly not the only source. At some point in the New Year, I will write a column on all the other organizations that support the higher education aspirations of students from the territory.

A complete list of all the scholarships is available online at www.cfvi.net, or via a phone at 774-6031. In the meantime, I urge everyone interested to take a look and get to work on securing some local money to support the dream of higher education.

The cash won’t arrive in time for Christmas, but it might make the gift of a college degree, something that can truly change a young person’s life, possible.

Chris Teare is College Counselor at Antilles School on St. Thomas. His column appears here each week, and "Making The College Choice" airs Wednesdays at 4 p.m. on AM 1000.