Life in the face of a natural disaster can seem completely overwhelming. Whether it’s flood, fire, wind or earthquake, one terrifying moment can lead to a rebuilding effort that feels endless.
For college students struck by natural disasters, the feeling is even worse. They may be far from home; they’re likely to be struggling to make ends meet while paying for school. Most don’t have the kind of savings needed to replace lost textbooks or clothes, much less a car or computer. Without timely support, they may be forced to leave school—and that can have a massive impact. Studies have shown that if financial worries cause a student to “stop out” of college for even a single semester, they only have a 30% chance of returning.
That’s why Scholarship America established our National Disaster Relief Fund following the devastating 2005 hurricane season that saw Katrina, Rita and Wilma hit the southeastern United States. The Fund has stepped in where needed in subsequent years, most recently to aid students impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Now, in response to the wildfire outbreak in California, we are actively fundraising in order to support the significant need of as many affected students as we can.
Supporting Scholarship America’s National Disaster Relief Fund means getting money into the hands of students who need it, right when they need it most.
Scholarship America is Uniquely Positioned to Help
We use our nationwide reach to partner with colleges and universities in the affected areas. Through the Fund, we provide grants to those schools—and their staff on the ground disburse funds to students experiencing financial hardship to help with tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board or other education-related expenses.
If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Awards are not renewable, but students may reapply to the program each year they meet eligibility requirements. Awards are for undergraduate study only.
Selection of Recipients
Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations, and unusual personal or family circumstances. Financial need is not considered.
The program’s goal is to grant twenty (20) awards to children of employees and franchisees, and forty (40) awards to customers, their spouses, and children. Awards will be distributed to these two categories in proportion to each category’s number of qualified applicants. Awards to customers, their spouses or children will be granted to represent the diversity of the customer base of the applications received.
Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship America. In no instance does any officer or employee of Rent-A-Center, Inc. play a part in the selection. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.
Applicants will be notified in May. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients.
Payment of Scholarships
Scholarship America processes scholarship payments on behalf of Rent-A-Center, Inc. Payment is made in one installment in early August.