The second semester of classes has just begun for most students, which for high school seniors means making major decisions regarding college. While most schools don't require official declarations of intent until May, there are serious benefits to having a choice made earlier in the year. The benefits are primarily financial; almost every university has a priority scholarship deadline. It is basically an incentive to apply or commit to a school early. While IU Bloomington's priority deadline may have passed on November first, I'm hear to say that there is no reason to panic yet.
Turn the clock back to about February of last year. I was a high school senior so dead set on studying aeronautical engineering at Purdue University that I hadn't even applied to IU. So when my mind changed and I wanted a college with a strong liberal arts background, I was worried that I would have to choose between the degree of my dreams and years of paying off student loan debt. While it's true that many of the best opportunities for scholarships expired on that November deadline, I wasn't entirely out of luck.
Enter, the Cox Scholarship. One of IU largest and most comprehensive scholarship programs, the Jesse and Beulah Cox Scholarship consists of four outstanding programs that give dedicated and successful Indiana residents the chance to pursue their education without being hindered by financial considerations. The Cox Exploratory, Legacy, and Engagement programs are all available for students who applied to the university after the selective scholarship deadline.
Here's how it works. The scholarship covers the entire cost of attendance at IU up to eight semesters. That means everything, and I mean ever thing from books to meal plan, is covered. In addition, there is a work component of eight to ten hours a week dedicated to whatever program you happen to be apart of. I am an Exploratory Scholar so I get my hours working as an IU Peer Mentor, helping incoming students adjust to the college experience and answer any questions regarding registration, tracking degree progress, and a variety of other subjects. For more information about the Cox Scholarship requirements and application process, go to http://scholarships.indiana.edu/scholarships/cox/.
I strongly encourage all high school seniors with good academic records and community involvement to apply. In the heat of the application season, it may not seem worth it to complete a few extra essays and forms or get letters of recommendation, especially if IU may not be your first choice. But I promise it will be worth while. This scholarship program is one of the few places on campus where you have the opportunity to become close with a interesting and engaging group of people under the supervision of passionate advisers to complete your education for free. And all because of the vision and caring of a couple who I unfortunately never got the chance to meet, Jesse and Beulah Cox. The Cox s' valued initiative, education, involvement, and giving back to the community. It is a sometimes daunting task to think about living up to this motto, but I can't think of a better way I'd like to spend my undergraduate years.
So to all the future Hoosier freshmen out there, make sure to check out the Cox Scholarship. Remember, the deadline is March 10, 2015.