STARS Scholarship Application 2024-2025 Program | Fully Funded

STARS Scholarship Program 2024-2025, proudly sponsored by Clayton State University:

Clayton State University is pleased to announce the availability of the Fully Funded STARS Scholarship for international students for the 2024-2025 academic year. We kindly invite applications from suitable qualified candidates who are interested in pursuing their education at Clayton State University through the STARS scholarship program.

About Clayton State University 

Clayton State University, located in Morrow, Georgia, is a prominent institution of higher education known for its commitment to providing quality academic programs and fostering a supportive learning environment. Established in 1969, Clayton State University has consistently strived for excellence in education and has evolved into a comprehensive public university serving a diverse student body.

STARS Scholarship Program , STARS Scholarship application

STARS Scholarship Award:

Up to 10 scholarships worth $500 each may be awarded through the STARS Scholarship. The STARS Committee has chosen 10 students who will each receive $500 for their study abroad program. Each chosen winner is only given one $500 prize. The recipient must fulfill all STARS Scholarship requirements in order to receive the grant.

STARS Scholarship Requirements

To apply for the STARS Scholarship at Clayton State University, please ensure that you complete all of the required fields accurately and adhere to the following eligibility criteria and application guidelines:

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Enrollment at Clayton State University: This scholarship is exclusively available to students currently enrolled in a degree program at Clayton State University.
  2. Participation in a Clayton State Study Abroad Program: Applicants must be Clayton State students who are enrolled in a Clayton State study abroad program to be eligible for this award.
  3. Minimum GPA Requirement: Applicants must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 to qualify for the scholarship. Both your overall GPA and institutional GPA should meet or exceed this threshold. If your GPA information is not readily available, please contact your Academic Advisor or the Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions department to obtain this information.

Application Documents:

  1. Copy of Passport Submission: Please note that you are required to submit a copy of your passport to the Study Abroad Office separately. Do not submit your passport with your scholarship application. You can submit your passport by or before the STARS Scholarship application deadline, as listed on the STARS Scholarship website. Access the passport submission portal here. Use your Clayton State credentials to log in.
  2. Unofficial Transcript Submission: Submit a copy of your unofficial transcript, which can be accessed through the DUCK. Navigate to ‘Student Services’ and locate ‘Transcript (Unofficial)’. Submit a PDF or screenshot of your transcript.
  3. Financial Aid Award Letter Submission: If you are a recipient of financial aid, provide a copy of your Financial Aid Award Letter, which can be found in the Financial Aid portal on the DUCK. Submit a PDF or screenshot of your award letter. If you do not receive financial aid support, include a letter with your application materials stating that you do not receive assistance.
  4. HOPE Award Letter Submission: If you are a HOPE Scholarship recipient, submit a copy of your HOPE Award Letter from the Financial Aid portal on the DUCK. Submit a PDF or screenshot of your award letter. If you are not a HOPE recipient, include a letter with your application materials stating that you do not receive HOPE assistance.
  5. STARS Essay Submission: Compose and submit your STARS Essay, following the guidelines provided below. Ensure that your essay is in PDF format.

STARS Essay Guidelines:

  • Your essay should follow the specified guidelines.
  • Provide a well-structured and thoughtful response to the essay prompt.
  • The essay must be in PDF format.

Note: make sure that you complete all sections of the STARS Scholarship Application. Incomplete applications will not be considered for this scholarship opportunity.

See also: University of Alabama Merit Scholarships 2024-2025

Passport Submission for STARS Scholarship Application

As part of your STARS Scholarship Application, please remember to submit a copy of your passport to the Study Abroad Office. You are to follow the  instructions below:

Submission Instructions:

  1. Submit Your Passport: You must provide a copy of your passport to the Study Abroad Office.
  2. Do NOT Include Passport with Scholarship Application: It’s essential to note that your passport should not be included with your scholarship application documents.
  3. Submission Deadline: To be eligible for the STARS Scholarship, you must submit your passport by or before the deadline specified on the STARS Scholarship website.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have already submitted your passport to the Study Abroad Office as part of your application process, you can disregard this message.

To submit your passport, please log in using your Clayton State credentials.

Thank you for your attention to this requirement, and best of luck with your scholarship application!

Essay Guidelines for STARS Scholarship Application

In crafting your STARS Scholarship essay, please adhere to the following guidelines:

Essay Length and Format:

  1. Word Count: Your essay should be between 400-500 words.
  2. Font and Spacing: Use a 12-point font size and double spacing for the entire essay.
  3. Grammar and Structure: Ensure your essay demonstrates good grammar and sentence structure.

Essay Content:

Please address as many of the following topics as possible within your essay:

1. Personal Statement

  • Explain how your study abroad experience will relate to your current program of study at Clayton State University. For instance, describe how studying abroad in France will impact your educational journey in the Clayton State University Teacher Education program or how a study abroad experience in Germany will connect with your education in Clayton State University’s MBA program.

2. Personal Development

  • Discuss how studying abroad will contribute to your long-term personal, academic, professional, or other aspirations and goals.

3. Engagement and Preparation

  • Describe the steps you’ve taken to prepare for your study abroad experience.
  • Explain how you intend to make the most out of your time in your host country, even though the Program Director will provide a structured learning environment.

4. Cultural Perspectives

  • Identify and discuss significant issues (social, political, economic, environmental, etc.) currently facing your intended host country.
  • Explain how these issues might intersect with your studies, personal development, or goals.
  • Share your plans for learning about and engaging with the host country’s culture.

5. Identity & Diversity

  • Reflect on your background and life experiences and how they shape your worldview and interactions with the world.
  • Discuss your research on the culture, beliefs, and social norms of your host country.
  • Explain how this research may influence your visit, including your preparations and interactions while traveling.

Submission Instructions:

  1. Write your essay in a 400-500 word format.
  2. Use a 12-point font and double spacing throughout the essay.
  3. Ensure proper grammar and sentence structure.
  4. Format your essay according to the provided outline.
  5. Submit your essay in PDF format along with your scholarship application materials.

For inquiring in editing and improving your essay, we recommend visiting the Clayton State Writer’s Studio. More information, you can refer to the helpful resource titled “Scholarship Application – A Focus on the Scholarship Essay,” which the Study Abroad Office has provided to aid you in crafting an outstanding scholarship essay.

Award Information

Congratulations to the students awarded the STARS Scholarship! Here’s what you need to know about your award:

  1. Award Amount: Each scholarship recipient will receive $500.00 upon selection by the STARS Committee.
  2. Volunteer Service Requirement: Please note that recipients of this scholarship are required to fulfill volunteer service hours. Additional information about this requirement is available in the next tab.
  3. Distribution of Award: The scholarship funds will be distributed by the Financial Aid office to the Bursar office. If you have an outstanding balance on your Clayton State student account, the scholarship funds may be applied to cover this outstanding balance.
  4. Handling Surplus Funds: In the event that you do not have an outstanding balance on your student account, please consult the Bursar office for guidance on how the remaining scholarship funds will be returned to you.

Award Announcement and Next Steps

Upon the selection of scholarship awardees, you will receive notification from the Study Abroad Office on behalf of the STARS Committee. Here are the next steps to follow:

  1. Award Letter Collection: Visit the Study Abroad Office to collect your award letter.
  2. ‘Thank You Letters’: Prepare two ‘Thank You Letters’ as detailed in the ‘Thank You Letters’ tab for more information.
  3. Scholarship Award Agreement: Complete the Scholarship Award Agreement in the Study Abroad Office. This agreement will outline the service hours you are required to fulfill and specify the volunteer project you intend to undertake, as listed below.

Congratulations once again on receiving the STARS Scholarship, and we look forward to your active participation in the volunteer service component of this award. If you have any questions or need further help, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Study Abroad Office.

Volunteer Requirements

As part of the award nominee requirements, scholarship recipients are expected to engage in directed volunteer work with the Study Abroad Office, contributing at least ten (10) hours of their time. This volunteer work can be completed before, during, or after the study abroad program.

Award nominees will assist in ONE of the following capacities:

1. Assist the Study Abroad Office

  • Support the operations and initiatives of the Study Abroad Office.

2. Assist the On-Site Study Abroad Program Director (Faculty Member)

  • Collaborate with the Program Director during the study abroad program, taking on assignments and tasks as discussed and delegated while overseas.

3. Volunteer at Study Abroad Fairs and Main Street Pop-Up Tables

  • Participate in events like Study Abroad Fairs and Main Street Pop-Up Tables in the Fall and Spring of the following year. (Note: Not recommended for seniors or students in their final year of school.)

4. Speak or Present to a Class About Your Study Abroad Experience

  • Share your study abroad experience by speaking or presenting to a class.

5. Design a Video About Your Study Abroad Experience

  • Create a video that captures and showcases your study abroad journey.

6. Social Media Project

  • Collaborate with the Study Abroad Office on a social media project. Please visit the Study Abroad Office to discuss potential projects.

7. Create a Scrapbook or Photo Album of Your Study Abroad Experience

  • Compile and present your study abroad memories in the form of a scrapbook or photo album.

8. The Program Photographer

  • Take on the role of the group photographer during the study abroad program. Your photographs will be used for future marketing of the study abroad program. For more details, consult the Study Abroad Office.

9. Propose a Project

  • If you have a unique project idea related to study abroad, feel free to propose it to the Study Abroad Office for collaboration.

During the Scholarship Award Agreement form process (see below), you can speak with the Study Abroad Office to address any questions or concerns you may have regarding the choice of your volunteer project.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Your volunteer work not only fulfills scholarship requirements but also serves as valuable additions to your resume and career portfolio, enhancing your professional development. The Study Abroad Office is available to help you in incorporating your volunteer work and scholarship into your resume or portfolio.

Financial Aid Disclaimer

Please note the following important information regarding financial aid and the STARS scholarship for study abroad:

  1. Unique Financial Aid Situations: Each student’s financial aid situation is unique, and the Clayton State Study Abroad Office cannot encompass all aspects of financial aid information. The office does not have access to individual financial aid records.
  2. Disbursement of STARS Scholarship: The STARS scholarship is disbursed in the same manner as other scholarships and financial aid received from the Clayton State Financial Aid Office. Typically, it will be applied to any outstanding balance on the student’s account, which may include study abroad program fees. However, the disbursement may not directly deduct the program fees owed, as it might be applied to other charges like tuition.
  3. Account Balance Responsibility: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all study abroad program fees are paid in full by the specified deadline indicated by the study abroad program.
  4. Impact on Financial Aid Eligibility: Receiving the STARS scholarship may impact your eligibility for other forms of financial aid. We strongly recommend that students consult with representatives in the financial aid office BEFORE applying for this scholarship to understand how it might affect their individual financial situation.
  5. Limited Access to Financial Aid Information: Please be aware that the Study Abroad Program Director and the Office of International Programs/Study Abroad Office do not have access to a student’s financial aid information and are not qualified to provide guidance on financial aid matters.

NOTE: It is very important for any international students to proactively manage their financial aid and study abroad program fee payments to ensure a smooth and successful study abroad experience. If you have any questions or concerns about your financial aid and the STARS scholarship, please contact the Clayton State Financial Aid Office for personalized help.

Also check: FAEA Scholarships Program 2024-2025 in USA | Fully Funded

Important Notice for 2024

Please be aware of the following important information regarding the STARS scholarship for the year 2024:

  1. Limited Number of Awards: Multiple study abroad programs will have numerous students participating. However, it’s crucial to understand that only a select few students will be recipients of the STARS scholarship.
  2. Award Limit: The STARS Committee has a limited number of awards available. In 2024, they can award up to 10 scholarships to eligible recipients, each valued at $500.00 per finalist.
  3. Scholarship Availability: Please note that the availability of this scholarship may vary from year to year. The scholarship’s availability is contingent on funding and is based on annual giving. As of the 2022-2023 academic year, the scholarship has been approved for funding.

We recommend that interested students stay informed about the scholarship’s status and eligibility criteria, and apply accordingly. Scholarships can be competitive, so it’s good to prepare a strong application if you wish to be considered for this opportunity in 2024.

The STARS Committee

The STARS Committee is comprised of faculty and/or staff members who are not affiliated with the current study abroad programs or the Study Abroad Office. Their primary role is to review and assess scholarship applications to ensure that all requirements are met and to evaluate the content of each essay.

Here’s an overview of the committee’s responsibilities and the process they follow:

  1. Review of Application Materials: The committee is provided with all the application materials submitted by applicants, including essays and other required documents.
  2. Ensuring Requirements are Met: The committee thoroughly reviews each application to verify that applicants have fulfilled all the STARS scholarship requirements.
  3. Evaluation of Essays: The committee reads and evaluates each essay to determine whether the criteria outlined in the essay guidelines have been met by the applicant.
  4. Disqualification: If an applicant fails to meet all of the stipulated requirements, the committee has the authority to disqualify the applicant from consideration for the scholarship.
  5. Finalist Selection: Once the committee has reviewed all applications and determined the 10 finalists who best meet the criteria, they will promptly notify the Study Abroad Office.
  6. Distribution of the Award: The Study Abroad Office collaborates with the Financial Aid Office to distribute the scholarship award to the selected finalists.
  7. Finalist Notification: The Study Abroad Office will notify the scholarship finalists once the award has been distributed, providing them with essential information about their service obligations.
  8. Status Updates: The Study Abroad Office will also keep the remaining applicants informed about the status of the award distribution, which may involve communication with the Bursar and Financial Aid offices.

This rigorous and impartial selection process ensures that the STARS Scholarship is awarded to deserving recipients who meet the scholarship criteria and demonstrate excellence in their application materials.

Thank You Letters

As recipients of the STARS Scholarship, you are kindly requested to express your gratitude through two (2) thank you cards, letters, notes, or similar forms of appreciation. These letters serve as a meaningful gesture to convey your thanks to both the STARS Scholarship Committee (Letter/Card #1) and the CSU Foundations office (Letter/Card #2).

Here’s how to proceed with these thank you letters:

Letter/Card #1: To the STARS Scholarship Committee

  • This letter is directed to the STARS Scholarship Committee, the dedicated individuals who select the deserving recipients of the award.

Letter/Card #2: To the CSU Foundations Office

  • This letter is addressed to the CSU Foundations office, which generously contributes the annual award to the Study Abroad Office for distribution to students.

Your thank you letters are a heartfelt way to express your appreciation for the funding provided for these scholarships and to acknowledge the careful selection process that led to your receipt of the award. These letters will be shared with the respective organizations, allowing you to convey your thanks directly to those involved.

Please submit your thank you letters to the Study Abroad Office, enclosed in an envelope. Your expression of gratitude is not only a courteous gesture but also a means of recognizing the support you have received in pursuing your academic and study abroad endeavors

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