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Congrats, Laura & Simone

Congrats, Laura & Simone

Posted: 05.28.15

College Cash Scholarship WInner Laura Bartolomei-Hill
Congratulations to Laura Bartolomei-Hill and Simone Abe, our first 2015 College Cash® winners. In order to be eligible for a College Cash® Scholarship, students attend a community seminar and submit an essay to Central Scholarship about their takeaways from the session. Three College Cash® winners remain.  Stay tuned to find out who the next winners are as they are announced in June, July, and August.  Laura Bartolomei-Hill is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Maryland. She attended the Loan Repayment College Cash® seminar at the University of Baltimore in April, and learned that new graduates in Maryland owe an average of $26,000. She writes, “learning that my expected debt was average was comforting.” An excerpt from Laura’s winning essay is below.
College Cash Scholarship winner Simone Abe
Simone Abe attended the Student Loan Repayment Seminar at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve and wrote about how the session made her feel less alone in the student loan struggle.  She learned about the 40 million Americans with student debt who stand beside her. She is pursuing a Master’s degrees in Management of Aging Services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. An excerpt from Simone’s winning essay is featured below.

“Before the session, I was tracking my loans on an Excel spreadsheet, haphazardly attempting to calculate the interest owed. I can now accurately track my loans, including interest as it accrues, at the Federal Student Aid website. With the National Student Loan Data System, I know exactly what I owe. I was also excited to learn about programs like the Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program that offer assistance specifically to social workers. Following the session, I am more familiar with resources that will directly help me manage my loans.  As a result of the Central Scholarship event, I have created an ambitious but realistic budget and plan for the remainder of my time in school. I have talked with my classmates, friends, and neighbors about how they are managing their debt. I have researched additional scholarship and repayment opportunities for social workers. I have shared the resources I learned about with clients and colleagues.”
Laura Bartolomei-Hill

“There are direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, direct PLUS loans, direct consolidation loans, Perkins, and direct consolidation. I have heard of some of these loans but I never really took to the time to understand what they do for each student. This seminar taught me that when looking at subsidized loans and unsubsidized loans, subsidized loans are the best route because the government pays the interest while the student is in school, during the six month grace period, and during deferment; whereas with unsubsidized loans, the borrower pays the interest regardless of school status. Unsubsidized loans are a pretty scary concept for me because my graduate program does not offer subsidized loans, only unsubsidized—which means I am being charged interest while still in school. From the College Cash® seminar, I learned that in order to keep my bill as low as possible, it would be good to start paying my bill while I am in school. This is something that I have been working hard at accomplishing, but it has been really hard finding a job due to my strange class schedule, which is why I was very tempted to use my college refund check but I learned from the College Cash® seminar that this is not appropriate. You should never use your financial aid refund check because when you pay that loan money back, you will be paying that money back plus the interest!” Simone Abe

Shoe City Application Remains Open Until May 31st

Posted: 04.18.13

Shoe City logo
Our general application is closed as of April 1st, but one scholarship application remains open for undergraduate students.  Central Scholarships awards four students with a Shoe City Scholarship every year.  The students must be graduating seniors from Maryland or Washington, D.C.  Eligible applicants should have been accepted to and planning to attend college full-time in the Fall of 2013.  Preferences toward applicants who are residents of Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, and Washington, D.C.  To apply, click here.

Diana Ramirez received the Shoe City Scholarship last year.  She is the first of her siblings to graduate high school as well as being the first to continue on to college.  Despite the pressures of being one of the primary providers for her family, Diana is a student at Notre Dame University of Maryland.  She works two jobs on campus, as a student aid in the school’s Academic and Career Enrichment Center and as a Spanish tutor in the school’s language lab.  Diana is from Prince George’s County and she writes, “Being able to study in a place like Baltimore has opened so many doors for me.  I have gone places I’ve never visited, and have made friends with people also working for their education.  Of course life has its ups and downs, but I am definitely not letting it bring me down no matter how hard it gets. Thank you, Shoe City Scholarship donors, for helping me embark on such a journey.”

2013 Application Now Closed

Posted: 04.03.13

"Sorry We're Closed" sign

The scholarship application for undergraduate and graduate school funding is now closed.  As we sort through 5,520 applications, we look forward to choosing the most competitive and deserving students to receive scholarships.  Semi-finalists will be selected in the comings months and final decisions will be made by mid-July.  If you applied, please continue to check your e-mail in the coming months to learn if you are a semi-finalist.

The only scholarship program that remains open until April 15, 2013 is for the Charles Crane Family Foundation Grant for Jewish Studies.  This particular scholarship awards up to $5,000 to students pursuing  Judaic studies in the US and Israel.  Students may apply for this program here until April 15, 2013.

Our Vocational and Certificate Training scholarship application remains open year-round and we award vocational scholarships on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Don’t Be an April Fool

Posted: 03.26.13

Woman taking a photo of a recent graduate with family

Don’t be an April fool, submit your scholarship application today!  Central Scholarship’s application deadline is April 1st – five days away!  Why not turn off your TV, have a working lunch, or stay up a little later to apply?

1. It’s EASY!
No letters of recommendation are required and your resume is optional.  We only ask for a couple of paragraphs and your Student Aid Report.

2. ONE Application -> Dozens of Scholarships
Once you submit your general scholarship application, Central Scholarship does all of the work for you!  We match you with scholarships from over 40 different scholarship programs.

3. Local Scholarships = Less Competition
When you apply for national funds you compete with thousands of students.  With Central Scholarship, you will compete with far fewer students, giving you a 1 in 10 chance of winning.

4. Interest-Free Loan Program
Scholarship applicants are also able to apply for Central Scholarship’s interest-free loan program.  Students only pay back exactly what they borrow, there are absolutely no fees or interest.

5. Scholarships for ALL TYPES
Central Scholarship has funds for which students?
a. high school seniors planning to go to college for the first time
b. undergraduate and graduate students
c. students pursuing professional degrees in fields like social work, medicine, health finance, or law
d.  students seeking non-degree career or technology training

Click here to read student testimonials at!


Happy International Women’s Day

Posted: 03.08.13

Marjorie Cook Endowed Scholars Program award recipient Ebony Thompson

Ebony Thompson, a third year law student at the University of Baltimore, is an upcoming Summer Associate at Venable LLP and winner of the Byron Warnken Moot Court Competition. Ebony is twice published in the University of Baltimore Law Review. Ebony aspires to become a law firm partner, outstanding commercial litigator, and to continue to impact her community through involvement in Delta Sigma Theta, the Black Law Association, and the Homeless Persons Representation Project.  Ebony is our March Scholar of the Month.

In 2o12, Ebony received funding from Central Scholarship’s Marjorie Cook Endowed Scholars Program.  This fund offers multiple awards of up to $5,000 for female graduate students studying law or public policy.  Fitting candidates are committed to empowering women and advancing their social status through careers in law or as policy makers.  Eligible applicants must be Maryland residents, US Citizens/Permanent Residents, have a family income below $90,000, have a GPA of 2.7 or higher, and be enrolled in or applying to an accredited U.S. college/university.  Central Scholarship is proud to help women succeed and afford an education.  The application deadline for 2013-2014 academic year scholarships is April 1st, 2013.  Apply now.

Thanksgiving Thoughts — We Need Your Help!

Posted: 11.15.12

a grateful Central Scholarship award recipient

Central Scholarship is a fantastic financial resource for students in Maryland.  We know this.  You know this.  How can we get others to know this?  Easy — take 5 minutes out of your day to post a review about us on  When others see that we (like last year) are a top-rated Education non profit in 2012, they will know that we are making a real difference in the community.

Are you a grateful scholarship recipient?  A donor to our cause?  Are you a volunteer?  An education professional?  Perhaps a parent of a student who received a scholarship?  We will be grateful to YOU if you take a few minutes to share your thoughts about us with the world.  Click here to begin.   Before you are able to post, you will be asked to create a profile which is a quick process.

Last year, scholarship recipient Lauren wrote…

“Central Scholarship really helped change my college experience. While I could afford to go to college with my parents help, it was a real strain and I had to work so much that it cut into my study time. With Central Scholarship’s generous help I was able to graduate in 4 years with a degree in biochemistry and study abroad for a summer in Spain which I never would have been able to do otherwise. I continued working as a resident assistant for room and board but luckily I was able to graduate debt-free with just that one job. They communicate in a very prompt and effective manner and are so compassionate.”Great Nonprofits website page on Central Scholarship screen shot

A parent of a scholarship recipient wrote on the website…

“As a parent of a student who has received an interest free loan, I am grateful. My husband and I have helped our children with their higher education, but can only do so much. The interest free loan my son received was very helpful and much appreciated.”

Have a happy thanksgiving with your friends and family — we give thanks for your help!

Anirban Basu Speaks at Central Scholarship’s Annual Meeting

Posted: 09.17.12

Anirban Basu of WYPR’s “Morning Economic Report” presenting at Central Scholarship’s Annual Meeting

Anirban Basu — a familiar voice to those who listen to WYPR’s “Morning Economic Report” — gave a presentation at Central Scholarship’s Annual Meeting last month.  Each year, Central Scholarship’s supporters gather to look back at another year of helping students.  At this year’s Annual Meeting last month, Anirban Basu of WYPR’s Morning Economic Report presented data about the state of higher education in Maryland.  Board members, staff, and donors listened on as Anirban praised Maryland for the way in which it prioritizes higher education.  Along with Anirban, scholarship recipient Aaron Parker spoke about what his funding has meant to him.  As a law student at the University of Maryland, the burden of tuition payments was a heavy one to bear.

Charlotte Floyd of the The Kenneth S Battye Charitable Trust (left) and Central Scholarship Board of Directors Chair Mike Ward (right)Aaron is grateful to have received a scholarship and looks forward to giving back to the community in the future.

Pictured above: Anirban Basu

Pictured below:  Central Scholarship Board of Directors Chair Mike Ward and Charlotte Floyd of the The Kenneth S Battye Charitable Trust.

Bonnie Lyon, Art Educator and Scholar of the Month

Posted: 06.26.12

BHD Endowed Scholarship Program for Graduate Teacher Education recipient Bonnie Lyon

Bonnie Lyon is an aspiring art educator.  She received the BHD Endowed Scholarship Program for Graduate Teacher Education at Central Scholarship.

As a product of the Harford County Public School System, Bonnie came to appreciate the diverse student body and the challenges students face.  She writes, “I believe allowing students to channel their inner frustrations in a therapeutic non-threatening way is the most significant challenge in the school systems today.  It is imperative for a child to be able to have a creative outlet and share their inner voice.”

Bonnie earned her undergraduate degree at Towson University.  During her time at Towson, Bonnie was an assistant teacher, played the piano for a children’s choir, and conducted tours of the Baltimore Museum of Art.  During the summer before her first year of graduate school, Bonnie incurred  a terrible fall which resulted in significant injuries.  “I was completely disarrayed as to why I would have sustained such significant injuries in my life at a time in which I was ready to start my life as a young educated lady,” writes Bonnie.  Medical bills from the accident placed a financial burden on Bonnie and her family.  The BHD Scholarship helped Bonnie pay for school and graduate this year.

Central Scholarship has helped many students become teachers.  At this year’s Student Awards Ceremony, Joshua Parker — Maryland State Teacher of the Year — will speak to our guests.  For more information on this year’s Student Awards Ceremony, click here.

Promise Olomo, Scholar of the Month

Posted: 05.23.12

Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship recipient Promise Olomo (left) with Dr. Sanford Siegel (right)

Promise Olomo’s friendly disposition impressed the staff at Central Scholarship upon meeting the young man.  We awarded him with a Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship — a program created to help students pursuing medical fields.  He is pictured (left) at Central Scholarship’s 85th Anniversary Celebration with Dr. Sanford Siegel, President and CEO of Chesapeake Urology Associates.

Promise Olomo emigrated from Nigeria to the United States with his brother after finishing high school.  Unfortunately, his brother died of Sickle-Cell complications in 2011, and following his death, Promise decided to pursue a career in health care.  He chose nursing and after completing his education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, he set his sights on becoming a Nurse Anesthetist.  He writes, “The role of scholarships in overcoming financial hardship cannot be overemphasized.”

Promise is among the many students pursuing medical careers that Central Scholarship has funded over the years.  Earlier in the month, we announced a new scholarship program from Carefirst BlueCross Blue Shield and students studying health care policy, health care financing, and economics will be eligible to receive funding from the program.

MONEY Magazine Scholarship Announcement

Posted: 05.03.12

Students attending College Cash 101 seminar

Exciting stuff is brewing here at Central Scholarship.  This month, we will announce the first winner of the MONEY Magazine Scholarship.

All those who attended College Cash 101 (read about our annual financial literacy event here) in March were eligible to apply for a MONEY Magazine scholarship.  Four students will win scholarships.  Three students will win runner-up scholarships and the big winner will receive a $5,000 MONEY Magazine scholarship to attend their accredited institution of choice.  The contest required that students write an essay about their experience with financial literacy.  We will profile and share these students’ essays with you as we announce the winners.  Stay tuned!