After questionable language found in the applications forced a deadline extension, Pasadena City College (PCC) students will have until April 14 to submit applications for a chance to receive scholarships from the Associated Student (AS) executive board.
This year’s spring scholarships from the AS include two from previous year’s offerings, the STEM Major and Be Involved! scholarships.
The STEM Major scholarship is geared for students who are currently pursuing a major in science, technology, engineering or math. The Get Involved! scholarship sets to award those who volunteer and have participated in on-campus clubs.
A draft of last year’s scholarship application included a section written by former Vice President for Business Affairs Emily Samualian that stated that the submission would be “evaluated in a completely arbitrary and senseless manner…” and that any submission that was incomplete would “not be considered, only mocked.”
The draft was used as a template for the 2016 scholarships but the aforementioned section was not removed. The language prompted a halt on the scholarships after receiving student complaints. The applications had to be revised, causing the deadline to be extended. An updated version has been placed online for students to complete and submit.
AS scholarships have been no stranger to controversy.
Last year four scholarships were up for grabs, including the current offerings, which encouraged students to get creative with the application process by allowing them to submit original works of writing and present a 45 second pitch as to why they should receive the scholarship.
However the winners of the scholarships were unable to claim their prize because an adviser was not present when the finance committee reviewed the applications. While there was no indication of foul play, an adviser’s presence was required to ensure a fair selection process since the finance committee consists of fellow PCC students.
Christopher Langstaff serves as the AS vice president for business affairs and as the chair of the Finance Committee, which is responsible for drafting the annual scholarship offerings which Langstaff has promoted as receptive of student feedback and needs.
The scholarships are unique as they are “tailored by the students for the students,” Langstaff, said on the AS website.
“My committee is working hard to find creative ways to give scholarships,” Langstaff wrote on the scholarship page, which also encouraged students to email him ideas for future scholarships or information on how to put a scholarship proposal together.
The current scholarship requirements include a minimum GPA of 2.5 and current enrollment in at least nine units at PCC. Applicants must also include a short essay of no more than 500 words.
The updated applications for the scholarships can be found on the AS website. The scholarships are due by April 14 at 4:30 p.m. and are to be submitted to the Office of Student Life in the Campus Center.