Every year, Columbia College holds a Scholarship Day competition. The next competitions are scheduled for Dec. 3, 2011; Jan. 21, 2012; and Feb. 18, 2012 on the Columbia College campus in Columbia, Mo.
The competition includes a writing exercise and interviews with Columbia College faculty and staff. All new freshmen and transfer students as of fall 2012 are eligible to compete for one of many scholarships that Columbia College offers.
Here are just two of these scholarships:
- The Columbia College Scholarship, worth full tuition, room and board. It is awarded to five students annually.
- The Presidential Scholarship, also awarded to five students, is worth full tuition.
To compete for either the Columbia College or Presidential scholarship, entrants must be a new freshman applicant with a minimum 3.5 GPA and a 26 ACT or 1190 SAT.
In 2011-12, Columbia College awarded a total of nearly $800,000 to 10 incoming freshmen. Five students received the Columbia College Scholarship and five received the Presidential Scholarship.
Several of those who received the scholarship got an unexpected visit from Columbia College staff, who presented checks to students in person. Click here for the video.
The Missouri students were Michael Brown, from Montgomery City; Madeline Elliott, Eolia; Montana McCollom, Holt; and Taylor Marino, Sedalia. One, Panshak Dakup, hailed from Nigeria.
So, how do these students like Columbia College so far?
"It's been everything I expected it to be and more … the people, the connections I have made are priceless. Am I homesick? No. My mom wishes I was, though.
"My classes are going okay. Some of the ones I dreaded the most are the ones I enjoy the most, like Introduction to Public Speaking. The classes are held first thing in the morning, and I look forward to it. Also there's pre-calculus –yeah, I'm a bit a bit of a math geek at heart. I always say that if I were awakened from a coma I could still do math and diagram a sentence."
Michael has already declared a major, forensic science with a biology track, and says he wants to be a medical examiner, preferably somewhere out West. He is also involved in several clubs at Columbia College, including creative writing, the International Club, a science club, a history club and Drumline. He plays the bass drum.
"Missouri has funny weather. It can change so much in one day! It's not like this at home," says Panshak Dakup, a freshman from Nigeria majoring in chemistry track, with another major possibly to come. "I know I need a winter coat."
"I have been here at Columbia College for a few weeks now and have studied the environment, met the professors – I am encouraged by the helpful attitude I see in the faculty. If you don't get help at Columbia College it's because you didn't ask for it."
"It's great to know everyone and to know they have your best interests at heart. Everyone here gets attention."
Panshak says he is not going home for two years but will live and study in Columbia. There are about six other Nigerian students at Columbia College, a few more in Columbia as a whole. "It's okay. There's a lot to keep me going here."
He is currently a chemistry major but hopes to add another major as he progresses, perhaps the forensic science chemistry track: "I'm thinking of a double major because of the flexibility of the system at the college."
What of American cafeteria food? "It's been an adjustment," he says. "My favorite new food, I will go with a chipotle sandwich."
For a complete list of requirements and an online RSVP go to http://www.ccis.edu/day/scholarshipday/. Or you may contact the Admissions Office at (800) 231-2391, ext. 7352.