SGA launches new student scholarship

Student Government Association will create a student committee to choose the recipients of the new scholarships.

Jana Eller, Writer

Updated: March 18, 2016 at 9:07 P.M. 

Student Government Association and the future scholarship committee will give out 10 scholarships at $1,000 to non-SGA students based on community involvement, need and GPA.

positive changes in their communities

SGA has not yet decided on the approximate GPA requirement, but they plan to keep it at a number that includes the majority of the Biola population. The applicants will also need to write an essay about how they want to see positive change within Biola’s community and the community off campus, and provide one reference from a faculty, pastor or former employer, as well as two student nominations. Students will be able to nominate the applicants on the SGA website.

Samuel Jackson, junior business management major and vice president of marketing and communications, explains that in addition to financial need and GPA, the scholarship is primarily aimed at students actively working towards positive changes in their communities.

“The idea is that this is going to be a scholarship that is going to be given out to students who are doing things in the community outside Biola or within Biola…” Jackson said. “It might be that they’re creating positive change as simple as having a positive effect on other people in their dorm floor or it could be as large as they are working to forward a social issue in the outside community.”

making all the clearances

The new scholarship committee will consist of the vice president of marketing and communications, who will function as the committee chair, two SGA senators, one office assistant, the diversity liaison and two students who have no affiliation with SGA. Applications to serve on the scholarship committee will open within the next few weeks.

The scholarship committee will review the applicant’s essays and references and choose a top percent. The SGA executive board will then choose 10 recipients from that percent. Those names will be forwarded to financial aid, who will review their community standing, GPA and financial needs.

“Financial aid is making all the clearances on who we choose. And I am working with financial aid to come up…with an application system that's fair,” Jackson said. “Ultimately though there's no one in SGA that can apply for the scholarship. And everyone has to sign something that says if they know the applicant personally, they can't vote on that applicant's application on being elected.”

benefitting the Biola community

Some students, including Amina Edache, freshman nursing major, believe the money will go toward high-GPA students, reducing the chances of other students receiving the help they need.

“I’d apply, but I doubt I’d get it. So it's like I probably wouldn't put as much effort into it because i know that they only give it to the highest ranking students, and I know I’m not that,” Edache said.  

Other students like Adam Wagenet, freshman biblical studies major, believe the program will greatly benefit the Biola community.

“I think it’s a great use of students’ funds to help support new students and help support the Biola community,” Wagenet said. “This was one of the things that when I was first asked about it, yeah this is something worthwhile that I would want to support with my money is helping others to help come and experience Biola like I have.”

Once the program is approved, students can apply through the SGA website as well as the financial aid website. Applications for the scholarships will be open by the end of April, and the winners announced in May.

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