Students unaware of scholarship grants

Many students at Florida A&M University are unaware of the scholarships available to them. FAMU in partnership with major corporations offer several collegiate scholarships.

Julia Brunson, FAMU scholarship coordinator, is encouraging students to seek and apply for scholarships. Brunson said companies like Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola are just a couple of the many companies that have available scholarship opportunities.

“The best way for students to stay up to date on scholarships is to take the initiative to research scholarships themselves and check their FAMmail,” Brunson said. “We send out a lot of our scholarship information through FAMmail.” Brunson said students should check the bulletin board in the career center.

She said the university’s Presidential Scholarship Association program has a budget of over $3 million per year, which is based on the number of students that meet the criteria. The requirements for the presidential scholarship program are based on the student’s grade point average from high school and the student’s SAT/ACT score. Presidential scholarship awards range from $2,500 per year to full tuition, fees, room and board. Approximately 900 students have received scholarships from the Presidential Scholarship Association this year.

Requirements for scholarships from companies outside of the university usually require the student to have and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, according to Brunson.

“I can’t think of any scholarships that allow a lower GPA than that, but any student is eligible to apply,” Brunson said. “Some companies ask for a specific major, but most are for any major.”

Kaylyn Dixon, 20, a third-year business student from Fort Lauderdale is on a Bright Futures scholarship. Dixon said that she was uninformed of the scholarships available through the university or other companies.

“I don’t ever hear about them, but if I did, I’d apply for them,” Dixon said. “I always want more money.”

Dixon said scholarship programs are not well publicized to the student body.

“I don’t check my FAMmail because I don’t think that e-mail system is reliable [and] I’ve had problems with it in the past,” Dixon said.

Dixon said if FAMU wants to reach the students and inform them on scholarship money, they should try Facebook.

Unfortunately, Brunson said that the university does not recommend informing students through Facebook.

“If I do that I might be fired in the morning,” Brunson jokingly said.

Chad Butler, 20, a junior criminal justice student from New Orleans, is not on a scholarship. “I know that the university awards scholarships to students with a certain GPA but I an unsure of the other details about the eligibility of those scholarships,” Butler said.

“The problem with students is that they don’t feel like going out to do the research for scholarships,” Butler said. “FAMU could do a better job of publicizing scholarship availability to students, but most of the work should be done by the student.”

Butler added that students should be required to apply for at least one scholarship per semester, whether it is through the school or other companies.