Student Loan Pay-Down Award
Debt-free, or close to it – that’s the promise we make to one of our recipients in attendance at the summer Student Awards Ceremony every year! Central Scholarship will wipe out the undergraduate student loan debt, up to the national average, for one lucky recent graduate. The winner is selected at random from those who apply.
Student loan debt is skyrocketing: nearly 40 million students in the United States have borrowed $1.3 trillion dollars, and 7 in 10 graduating college seniors graduate with an average $30,000 in student loan debt. Central Scholarship wants to do something about that!
For 91 years, Central Scholarship has been helping Maryland students afford higher education through a combination of scholarships and interest-free loans. For six years, Central Scholarship has offered College Cash® education sessions to help students and their families become more informed consumers of higher education and reduce their loan burden. Now, for the next ten years, Central Scholarship will wipe out the undergraduate student loan debt, up to the national average, for one lucky recent graduate.
This new award was created by the generosity of our board chair, Ira Wagner, and Central Scholarship has committed to continuing the award every year until our 100th anniversary in 2024. Meet the man behind the award.
Here Are the Details:
To be eligible you must:
- Be an undergraduate or graduate student with a graduation date in the 2015-2016 academic year OR be currently enrolled in graduate school;
- Have received a scholarship or interest-free loan from Central Scholarship in the 14-15 or the 15-16 academic year;
- Have undergraduate student loan debt;
- Complete the application in 2016 and agree to all items in The Fine Print (below); and
- Be in attendance at the Student Awards Ceremony on August 3, 2016.
The application will be open April 15-June 30, 2016. Central Scholarship will pay down only undergraduate student loans, including Perkins, subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford, and private loans – up to the national average for undergraduate student loan debt. Credit card debt and parent loans are excluded. If you owe more than the national average, we’ll pay down your highest interest student loans first.
How to Apply
The application is open in 2016. Here’s what you’ll need to apply for the 2016 Student Loan Paydown:
- Student Aid Report for the 2015-16 academic year
- A statement from your lender(s) documenting your loan balance*
- Your final undergraduate transcript
- A recent head shot or other photo in which we can see your smiling face
- A short bio (up to 200 words)
- A short statement of what it would mean to you to have your student loans paid off (up to 200 words)
The Fine Print
All applicants must agree to the following statements to be eligible for the award:
- I understand that this award may be taxable and that Central Scholarship will not pay the tax liability for me, if I am the winner. (Central Scholarship will make the award in 2 payments – one in 2016, one in 2017 – to reduce my tax burden.)
- I understand that Central Scholarship will pay down only undergraduate student loans, including Perkins, subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford, and private loans; credit card debt and parent loans are excluded.
- I understand that I must attend the Student Awards Ceremony in August to be entered in the random drawing and that, if I am not in attendance, I will not be eligible, even though I have completed the online application.
- If I am the winner, I give Central Scholarship permission to use the information I submit in this application – including amount of student loan debt, photograph, biography, and impact statement – as well as information I submitted as part of my most recent scholarship application and video footage of me from the Student Awards Ceremony for purposes of publicity. This includes but is not limited to our website, blog, social media, and press releases.
- If I am the winner, I am willing to speak to the press about this award and how it will change my life.