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Late-deadline scholarships still open to applicants

The following article is from U.S. News & World Report

In addition to late-deadline scholarships still available to prospective and current college students, many organizations have extended their typical spring deadlines to the early summer months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Financial aid experts encourage students to start the scholarship search as early as possible. But for those who got a late start or whose financial situation has changed in recent months, there are some scholarships that are still open.

"Scholarships are always available, though there are fewer deadlines in the summer," Thomas Jaworski, independent educational consultant and founder of Quest College Consulting, wrote in an email. "But some traditional deadlines are not until May 31, or even end of June."

National scholarships with summer deadlines come from a wide range of sources, including the Jared Jeffery Davis Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship created by an investor that is accepting applications until Aug. 1.

Another example is the David Hudak Memorial Essay Contest for Freethinking Students of Color, which requires an essay of 400 to 600 words on "why you are not religious and its benefits," awards up to $3,500 to the first-place winner. The deadline for this scholarship is July 15, and students may be part of any racial group that is not white.

Many scholarships with late deadlines are designated for students pursuing careers in specific fields, such as the Delaware Nursing Incentive Program, which provides $5,000 per academic year and has a July 15 deadline. Undergraduates and high school seniors applying to this program must have a cumulative unweighted GPA of 2.5 and be enrolled or enrolling in an accredited program leading to certification as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, or current RNs who have completed five or more years of state service and are enrolling in a BSN program.

Other field-specific scholarships with summer deadlines include those for aspiring veterinarians, writers and public policy scholars. One resource for finding these scholarships is scholarships.com, which lists scholarships by deadline month.

There are also late-deadline scholarships available to undocumented students, such as the Boundless American Dream Scholarship, which has a June 30 deadline and provides $1,500 each to four students with a vision for how technology can solve real-world problems.

To be eligible for this national scholarship, students must fulfill the requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status or temporary protected status and submit responses to three questions, including "What does the American dream mean to you?"

Undocumented students, including students with DACA status, can also refer to a list of 2020 scholarships organized by deadline that was created by Immigrants Rising, a nonprofit that aims to support undocumented students. They are for prospective and current undergraduates and don't require proof of U.S. citizenship.

Here are a few additional examples of late-deadline national scholarships:

  • DoSomething.org scholarships, amounts vary (May 15-31)
  • Barry J. Nace Pursuit of Justice Scholarship, $3,000 (June 1)
  • Claes Nobel Academic Excellence Scholarship, $5,000 (June 1)
  • Abbott & Fenner Scholarship, $1,000 (June 12)
  • Korean American Scholarship Foundation, $500 to $5,000 (June 30)
  • Good Lawyers / Good People Scholarship, $1,000 (July 1)
  • Villarreal Law Scholarship, $1,000 (July 1)

Scholarships With Extended 2020 Deadlines

This year is far from the typical scholarship season, says James W. Lewis, president of the National Society of High School Scholars. In a normal year, students are usually finalizing most of their scholarship applications by March. Instead, Lewis says there's a sort of "reset" on the entire higher education system this year because of the coronavirus pandemic's disruption to classes – which could present an opportunity for scholarship seekers.

"Don't think of the scholarship search time as being over," Lewis says. "In my mind, the scholarship search has just begun. The old norm was that scholarships are over by now, but this is a new reality, and institutions are having to rethink everything. Part of that is financial aid and scholarships."

Many scholarships with March and April deadlines were extended to mid-May or early June, experts say. Jan Smith, a financial literacy expert at ECMC, a nonprofit organization that assists student loan borrowers, suggests that students seeking extended scholarships look not just to national scholarships but also to local scholarships, which can end up having a big impact.

"Go one step further and search for "Scholarships with Extended Deadlines in (insert city), and you will find local scholarships – which means the applicant pool will be much smaller, and your chances of winning are increased," Smith wrote in an email.

Here are a few examples of national and local scholarships with extended deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • West Virginia's Higher Education Grant (May 15)
  • The Women's College Scholarship Club in New York (June 19)
  • American Heart Challenge (June 30)

There is a chance that due to economic conditions and the disruption of high school and college classes, some scholarships may be canceled. But Jaworski says this would be determined on a case-by-case basis, so students should check with the individual organization.

"Some local scholarships are having difficulty getting the word out to students, who traditionally have found the information in the school's guidance department, so those were canceled early on during the pandemic," Jaworski says. Still, he says, "many scholarships have continued because the money was earmarked for this purpose."

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