Student loan debt is the scourge of many young graduates starting a new life.
Scholarships are a great tool to help minimize the cost of college. The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois has been offering a terrific scholarship program since the early 1960s. Jodie Brooks, GFAI's director of member services, notes the organization has two scholarships available.
The first is a monetary scholarship, worth $2,000 for students attending a four-year university or $1,000 for community college students. To apply, students must be a junior or senior enrolled in a four-year Illinois university, or a sophomore enrolled in a community college.
GFAI also offers a number of Industry Immersion Scholarships. These are worth $3,500 and include a built-in internship.
"With the Industry Immersion Scholarship, we give students the tools to help get a job in the industry," Brooks notes. "It's a chance to show them the opportunities that are available in the industry."
Last year, GFAI raised $60,000 for the scholarship program. Approximately, $40,000 was awarded to students.
Rather than awarding a certain number of scholarships, the evaluation committee awards scholarships based on how many worthy candidates there are in a given year. On average, this amounts to around 15 monetary scholarships and about seven Industry Immersion Scholarships.
Students must be Illinois residents and must attend an Illinois school. Also, worthy candidates will have a strong interest in the grain and feed industry.
The application deadline is Nov. 18. To apply, visit http://www.gfai.org/scholarship.asp. Lastly, Brooks says a letter of recommendation is required.