The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Scholarships: Apply Now

Apply for $100,000+ in spring semester scholarships through Nov. 15

The Parkland College Foundation is now offering scholarships for the spring 2019 semester. More than 90 scholarships, totaling more than $100,000, are available! Individual amounts can range from $100 to $3,000.

The primary application period is October 15–November 15, 2018 (and March 15–April 15, 2019 for the fall 2019 semester), but Parkland posts scholarships throughout the academic year. The funds are there, just waiting for the right student to apply. Will it be you? Check out the tips for success below:

Searching Our Scholarships

Log in to your Parkland College student portal account and either select the "100-dollar bill" icon or select "Scholarship Search" under the Student Services tab. You will find a listing of all currently available scholarships; Parkland Foundation scholarship information will be posted along with scholarships provided by external organizations. You can also customize your search by selecting "Eligible Scholarships" from the drop down menu, based on the scholarship criteria you indicate.

Getting Help with Your Application

  • Most scholarship applications require you to write an essay, but don’t be intimidated! The Center for Academic Success at Parkland College in Room D120 includes a Writing Lab that is open and available to all students. Stop by CAS for free help from English instructors with any writing project you might have. For more information, visit D120 or log in to the student portal and select "Tutoring & Learning Assistance" under the Student Services tab.

  • Most scholarships also require at least one letter of recommendation. These should be from someone who knows you well, but not a friend or family member. Think of people who know your academic history, your work ethic, and your involvement in school and the community.  Give people plenty of time to write the letter for you.

Expand Your Search!

The student portal is not the only place you can find scholarships for the upcoming semester; high school guidance counselors are a great resource for finding local scholarships. Additionally, many employers offer scholarships to their employees and the family members of their employees. Be sure to check with any civic, community, religious, or professional organizations of which you or your parents are members. 

Finally, you can try reputable online resources for scholarships including Fastweb, CollegeBoard, and Scholarships.com. Keep this in mind as you search: A reputable scholarship organization will not ask you to pay a fee to apply.

Happy hunting!

 

[Haiti Eastin is a financial aid advisor for Parkland College.]

Diverse Students Win Faculty-Created Writer's Competition

Students win Diana McDonald Writer's Challenge awards of $500 each

Four Parkland College students recently earned prizes in an annual writing competition created by a retired faculty member.
 
Winning Diana McDonald Writer's Challenge awards of $500 each for their essays were Kennedy Coffie of Chicago for "Mastering Language"; Sami Issa of Syria for "Moving Up the Ladder"; Kaitlyn Marsh of Weldon, Illinois, for "A Necessary Evil"; and Elie Ngandu of the Republic of Congo for "America's Immigrant Dream."
 
Parkland English Professor Seth Mendelowitz, who serves as coordinator for the contest, said the competition usually awards one or two winners each year but that this year was special due to the strength and diversity of the submissions.
 
"Our winners ranged from a student temporarily living here during conflicts in his home country to a student from a small town in rural Illinois," he said. "Given evidence of excessive time spent by young people with more clipped forms of communication (via social media), and given the resultant widespread concern that most young people are not developing their reading and writing skills, it is exciting that we have had such a strong pool of submissions this year."
 
In fall 2011, to foster students' interests in writing, McDonald, a former composition instructor at Parkland, began awarding essays that display a strong sense of voice and unique perspective, written with precise word choice, clear organization, and grammatical and mechanical correctness.
 
According to the contest website, judges look for essays that "connect the writer's experiences, insights, and observations to larger ongoing conversations about the world—about politics, philosophy, science, media, justice, family, race, happiness, the environment, or some other important component of our culture and/or world." Mendelowitz said this year's judges regretted not awarding several other submissions that also displayed originality, interesting life experiences, and clear writing.
 
Students taking a Humanities department course may submit essays for the McDonald Writer's Challenge. Faculty judges select a winner near the end of May. Besides a cash award, the winning essay is also published on SPARK, Parkland's online academic repository. SPARK now includes the new winning essays:

  • Mastering Language: Coffie’s essay offers thoughtful reflections on her journeys between different English language communities, demonstrating how our way of speaking can tie us to a community and sense of communal identity, while shutting us off from other communities and identities. https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/8/
  • Moving Up the Ladder: Having made the U.S. his temporary home due to civil war in Syria, Issa details his fears and confusions at his job due to his rudimentary English skills as well as the strategies he employed to overcome his fears and improve his speaking and comprehension. https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/7/
  • A Necessary Evil: In this well-researched essay, Kaitlyn Marsh offers a balanced analysis of the effects of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Illnesses (DSM), which has promoted humane and consistent treatment of people with mental illness, while also enabling "big pharma" to generate a dramatic increase in the numbers of Americans being diagnosed with and medicated for mental illness.  https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/6/
  • America's Immigrant Dream: An immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ngandu acknowledges sympathy for Americans who come from a line of long-oppressed forebearers while describing the contrasting perception and experience of many immigrants, including himself, for whom the U.S. is a land of opportunity.  https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/5/
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