Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Funding Your Education in Library Science

Money should not be a barrier for you to follow your dreams. College is an investment for your future. There are resources available for students at any level to find financial help. Besides the financial aid process completed through the college of your choice, there are scholarships available:

Spectrum Scholarship: This is the American Library Association's (ALA) scholarship for ". . . students from under-represented groups American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students." The scholarship is for students attending an eligible university offering a master's degree in library science or for students enrolled in school library media programs for K-12 schools. There is now a program for doctorate students, too.

In Illinois, winners of the Spectrum Scholarship become eligible to receive a scholarship award through the Sylvia Murphy Williams Fund. There is no separate application process for the award. For more information on the Fund, please visit the Illinois Library Association Web site.

The ALA also offers a variety of research grants.

For students interested in a career in archives, the Midwest Archives Conferences offers the Archie Motley Memorial Scholarship for Minority Students. Please visit their Web site for more information.

For those interested in academic libraries, there is a Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Program.

For general scholarships, try the FastWeb scholarship search database. It is possible to set up an educational profile based on interests and receive e-mail messages when new scholarships become available.

A good time to begin looking for scholarships is one year before starting a new educational program. Scholarship deadlines vary and you will not want to miss out!

A good time to apply for financial aid through the school of your choice is February, seven months before classes start in the fall. That means not waiting until midnight of April 17th to file income taxes! February is much different than the deadlines listed on the Department of Education Web site. You will want financial aid ready when classes start. There is an online Free Application for Federal Student (FAFSA) to complete and check with the Financial Aid Office of the school of your choice to find out what they require for financial aid.

No comments: