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5th Annual College Cash

5th Annual College Cash

Posted: 02.11.14

Attendees at a College Cash seminar

January’s annual financial literacy College Cash seminars were our most successful to date!  Thanks to all of the students, parents, and education professionals who showed up at our two sessions in Baltimore City on January 28th and in Columbia, MD on January 30th.  This year’s College Cash was sponsored by SECU, BB&T and Howard County General Hospital.  Three lucky students who attended the seminars will win College Cash scholarships.  The first two winner announcements will be made in May and June.  The grand prize winner announcement will be made in July at the awards ceremony.

Attendees at a College Cash seminarSenior Program Manager, Angela Harrison, and Program Manager, Jennifer Bauer, disbursed information about student loans, scholarships, and making the right college choice to over 300 attendees.  One student said, “the breakdown and simplicity of the information was very realistic and made me feel good about the steps I’ve already taken.  It was also a very welcoming environment.”  Look out for our College Cash event all about student loan repayment later in the year that will be geared toward older students.

Register for January’s Free College Cash Seminars

Posted: 01.09.14

College Cash 101 logo

Register today and join us in January as we host our fourth annual free seminar as part of our College Cash series.  January’s seminar will teach students, parents, and education professionals how to find and apply for scholarships, how to compare financial aid letters, how to reduce tuition cost, how to maximize federal, state, and private aid, and how to effectively tell your story in your application essay.  Our program staff will be on board to share their tips and tricks for those who want to save money on college.College Cash Scholarship Winners, Kadeem Khan (left) and Ijeoma Uzohu (right) at the 2013 Student Awards Ceremony

Those who attend will be eligible to apply for a College Cash scholarship of up to $2,500 sponsored by Howard County General Hospital.  On January 28th, the evening seminar will take place at the Enoch Pratt Library Central location in the Wheeler Auditorium.  On January 30th, we will offer the same evening seminar in Columbia at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.  Space is limited so register today.

Make Your Year-End Gift Today

Posted: 12.30.13

Central Scholarship Recipients at the Student Awards Ceremony

When you give to our students, you invest in the future.  Your gift makes the difference between a student enrolling in their next semester or delaying their college career in order to work and save up for tuition payments.  Your gift makes the difference between a student graduating debt-free or racking up private student loans with high interest.  Donate today.

There is one day left to make your tax-deductible year-end gift before 2014.  Making your donation online is quick, easy and secure.  If you are interested in setting up a scholarship fund or in planned giving, please contact our office and speak to our development director at 410-415-5558.

Cori, Scholar of the Month

Posted: 12.24.13

Shoe City Scholarship Fund recipient Cori Hart

Cori Hart is in her sophomore year at Ohio State University.  She is working toward her Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  Cori received a Shoe City Scholarship which is one of a handful of programs that award DC students at Central Scholarship.  In high school, Cori demonstrated her academic excellence through her membership with the National Honor Society.  At Ohio State, Cori works on campus at the Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center.  She is a member of the Black Knights Chess Club and she plans to join the Black Student Association as well as the Minority Psychology Students Association.  Cori looks forward to taking more psychology courses next year and engaging in research opportunities on campus.

Shoe City Scholarship Fund recipient Cori Hart and friends volunteering with Cleveland CropsIn the photo on the left, Cori is pictured with other volunteers dedicating their time to Cleveland Crops.  Cleveland Crops is an agriculture education, training and employment program operated by a non-profit employing people with disabilities.

The Shoe City Scholarship Fund at Central Scholarship has been helping students since 1999 achieve their higher ed dreams.  We are proud to help students like Cori afford a college education due to the generousity of donors like Shoe City.  If you are interested in helping students, please make a contribution.  By helping our students today, we are investing in their successful futures.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings Enlists CS

Posted: 12.18.13

Congressman Elijah Cummings‘ annual How to Pay for College Seminar

Central Scholarship Program Manager Jennifer Bauer offered free scholarship advice to students and parents last week at Congressman Cummings‘ 17th annual How to Pay for College SeminarThe event brought together college-bound high school seniors, parents, and current college students with financial aid and higher education experts to provide information about opportunities and financial assistance programs that give current and perspective students the ability to attain a college education.  In addition to Jennifer, others on the education expert panel included Dr. James Copeland (U.S. Department of Education), Benee Edwards (MHEC), April Bell (College Board), Troy Quinn (Morgan State University) and Julie Knox-Brown (Howard Community College).

We are gearing up to offer another free student event in January – our annual College Cash seminar.  Mark your calendar for this free event taking place in two locations this year.  On January 28, 2013, join us at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore City to hear about how to find a scholarship and tips for applying.  On January 30, 2013, Central Scholarship will be offering the same free seminar at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.  Our scholarship and financial aid experts will present and be on hand to answer questions for students and parents.  Stay tuned for event registration information next week.

Eli, Scholar of the Month

Posted: 10.30.13

Jerome G. and Annette S. Zimmerman Foundation Fund recipient Eli Werdesheim

A senior at Johns Hopkins University studying Business and Finance, Eli Werdesheim is focused on his goal to pursue a career in law. His unique life experiences have prepared him for this endeavor.  He received an interest-free loan from the Jerome G. and Annette S. Zimmerman Foundation Fund at Central Scholarship.

As a young man of only sixteen, Eli left his family and relocated to Israel. For the first time he was truly independent and had to create a life for himself. Times were indeed rough and on occasion Eli found himself homeless and ever grateful for the kindness of strangers. On this journey, Eli enlisted in the Israeli Special Forces. He served as a paratrooper and earned acceptance into one of Israel’s most elite counter-terrorism units. It was here he learned leadership and determination. Although he has experienced these successes, Eli has never forgotten the challenge of looking for work as an uneducated young man.

Eli is proud to be in his final year of undergraduate studies and continues to value education. Eli is confident that he will return Central Scholarship’s generosity tenfold by providing scholarships for ambitious students who cannot afford college.

2013 Annual Meeting

Posted: 09.26.13

Dr. Jon Oberg (right) and Board Member James Lewis (left) at the Central Scholarship Annual Meeting

Central Scholarship held our annual meeting on September 12th.  We were excited to host the meeting in our new Owings Mills office and celebrate the new space with our board, donors, and staff.  We were honored to have Dr. Jon Oberg (pictured on the right in the photo along with new board member, James Lewis) speak to our guests about how schools are changing financial aid packages.

Dr. Oberg is a political scientist and a former university, state, and federal government higher education official.  He has worked in the U.S. Senate and at the U.S. Department of Education.  In 1997, he published the first research on institutional displacement of federal grants; in 2003 he discovered fraud in student loan programs; in 2007 he testified in the Senate for major reforms of federal grant and loan programs, many of which have since been adopted.  He holds a masters degree from University of Nebraska and a doctorate from the Free University of Berlin.  Dr. Oberg’s thoughts on higher ed can be found on his blog.

Straus scholarship award recipient Crystal Webb

We also heard from Crystal Webb (pictured), a Straus scholarship award recipient at Central Scholarship. Crystal is a sophomore at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  She is an environmental science major and is passionate about creating sustainable spaces and preserving the environment for future generations. Crystal is on the Dean’s List and involved in outdoor clubs on campus.

It is always rewarding to recap our year at the annual meeting and look forward to what the next year holds.  We hope to continue awarding over $1 million to a new group of students in the coming year and to continue believing that education is a right, not a privilege.




2013 Student Awards

Posted: 09.24.13

James Lewis (left) and Joe Mechlinski (right) at the 2013 Student Awards Ceremony

It’s been a busy summer at Central Scholarship.  We awarded over $1 million in need-based scholarships.  Two hundred students and donors gathered at the Cylburn Arboretum in July to connect and celebrate a new season of scholarships.  We were honored to have Joe Mechlinski speak to the crowd about his success.  A Baltimore native, Mechlinski (pictured on the right) overcame many obstacles in his life in order to become an author and CEO of Entrequest.  You can learn more about Joe, his business, and his New York Times bestselling book here.  James Lewis (pictured on the left) also spoke about how receiving numerous scholarships from CS helped him earn his degrees and begin his career.  We welcomed James Lewis onto our Board of Directors in September — continuing many of our scholarship recipients’ legacies of giving back after graduation.  Another former scholarship recipient, Katlin Meissinger, spoke about graduating from the University of Maryland and the impact she hopes to make in the world.

College Cash Scholarship Winners, Kadeem Khan (left) and Ijeoma Uzohu (right) at the 2013 Student Awards CeremonyWe surprised two students — Ijeoma Uzohu and Kadeem Khan — with College Cash scholarships.  Ijeoma and Kadeem participated in our College Cash financial literacy series and wrote essays identifying ways that financial literacy would help them in the future and offering up ideas for future College Cash seminars.   At our College Cash seminar, Deanne Loonin spoke about students’ right to log into the NSLDS website and check their loan types and amounts.  Ijeoma writes, “I attended four different colleges and have taken out different school loans.  Prior to this seminar, I was not sure of the kind of loans I had.  After the seminar, I logged onto the website and was able to figure out the types of loans I have and now I am working on consolidating my loans.  One might think that students should be aware of this information but in reality, many students are uninformed.”Central Scholarship recipients at the 2013 Student Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to all of the 2013 scholarship recipients!  Our students’ stories continue to inspire us.  We are so thankful to award over $1 million in scholarships to yet another deserving group of hard-working students.  It is because of the generous donations we receive from our donors that we are able to do the work that we do.  Thank you!


College Cash Scholarship Announcement

Posted: 06.13.13

College Cash scholarship winner Shira Krawatsky
Congratulations to our first two College Cash scholarship winners, Shira Krawatsky (pictured left) and Maysa Elsheikh (pictured below).  Both ladies attended our College Cash seminar in January and wrote essays about what they got out of the free financial literacy seminars.  The scholarship announcements for students who attended the June College Cash seminars will be announced in the first week of July.  There are three College Cash scholarship winners from our January seminars and three additional College Cash scholarship winners from our June event in Howard County.  The next award recipients will be announced in the first week of July (from the Howard County events).  The two top grand prize recipients from both January and June events will be announced live at the Student Awards Ceremony on July 18th.  These scholarships were made possible through the generosity of Howard County General Hospital.  We are also grateful to SECU and BB&T for sponsoring our January and June events this year.

We enjoyed reading through all of the College Cash essays from our January events, but Shira’s and Maysa’s winning essays really shined.  Shira Krawatsky wrote,

“College Cash 101 was an eye opener for me in many ways! So many vital points were discussed. It was clear that a lot of effort and planning went into such an informative and invigorating evening! I want to break up my thoughts into 2 parts. First, I would like to discuss what I gained from Mr. Joseph Lorick, the passionate and energetic keynote speaker. Next, I will address my thoughts on Angela and Jen’s enlightening presentation.

Mr. Lorick emphasized words that are essential to my life. I am blessed with a husband and four beautiful children. In our home, I take care of the budget and bill paying. Mr. Lorick’s advice of “protecting your net worth” was vital for me to hear. I am faced with many financial decisions each and every day, ranging from which credit card to pay off first to which child needs a new pair shoes. I am a college student stretching my husband’s teacher salary for a family of 6. It seems “easy” to simply take out student loans so that we can comfortably get through my college years. However, since this lecture I have decided that I will not D.E.B.T. (do everything but think) and will try my best to obtain scholarships, minimize my student loan amount and lessen any superfluous expenses.

Angela and Jen brought a new dimension to the evening. Yes, there were many practical and informative tips that I learned. I now understand the different types of student loans and scholarships. I now know that it is important to reapply each year for scholarships. I left the evening with a wealth of resources and practical information about where to start and how to divide my energy.

Most of all, I felt that I gained from them something that I could not have read somewhere online. The thing that struck me most from Angela and Jen’s presentation was that scholarship companies are looking for a real person. I know who I am – my strengths, my weaknesses, my dreams, my challenges – but you do not! It is my job to help you understand who I am and where I am coming from. Scholarship providers are looking for a star! I was taught how to improve my essays and how to make myself stand out. Getting a great letter of recommendation, making your essay come alive and presenting yourself as a potential winner were all very important suggestions that I took home with me.

The one thing that I think would be worthwhile discussing in the future would be how to figure out your net worth. Perhaps there is some sort of formula or strategy to figure out how much in student loans would be appropriate for the career you are pursuing. Current expenses and debt would be an important thing to consider as well. I am sure this is not an easy thing to describe to a crowd of varying situations, but some sort of guidelines to come up with a general number would be helpful.

Thank you for coordinating this event and for all the noble work that you do day in and day out. I thought twice about coming since the timing was prime “happy hour” in my house – dinner/bath time/bedtime! It was a College Cash scholarship winner Maysa Elsheikhgreat evening! I am really glad that I was able to come. I gained more than I expected to and I look forward to working hard at earning scholarships.

Maysa Elsheikh wrote,

“Attending College Cash 101 was a catalyst for my scholarship application process this year. While a lot of what was covered was information I had heard before it was a really great reminder for me of the process I went through last year that I need to work at again now. In particular, I found the information about the Senatorial scholarships at MHEC helpful because last year I did not pay attention to that until it was too late. After listening in on College Cash 101 I now plan to apply to the Guaranteed Access Grant and possibly more institution grants this year. The emphasis on scholarships that I will be looking for and applying to be will be locality and organizations that have the closest relation to me. This way there are better chances of getting financial aid because the application pool will be smaller. That quick financial aid crash session gave me my to-do list for now and the rest of my undergraduate education.

In addition, advice on naming a price on the future you are willing to pay for and knowing your net worth was really insightful to me. I like the idea of looking at long-term goals so as not to lose sight during the short-term when stress can make a person act irrationally or irresponsibly. Reiterating that college is an investment helped me focus on what is important in college and what I want to get out of it. I absolutely loved that Mr. Joseph Lorick spoke about actually reaching your dream and enjoying it because I feel like it is easy in a fast-paced society in America to live to work rather than work to live. I also appreciated that he said that if we can figure how to manage our budget and finances in college it will be a skill that benefits us for the rest of our lives whether it comes to buying a house or a car, etc. His speech set the stage for my financial blueprint for at least the next few years.

Furthermore, I found the instruction on writing about thoughts and feelings to tell a story through essays very helpful to hear especially from someone who has first-hand experience with reading applications and deciding on them. The refresher on the importance of excellent recommendations brought to light my goal for this semester of building relationships with my professors. From here on I am committed to being a student my professors will remember because it will enhance my learning as well as open up doors of opportunities with that means more college cash or work field experience.

One aspect that I thought could have been improved upon was discussing more of the opportunities for graduate school funding. It makes me really nervous that there are not as many opportunities for graduate school to be funded as there are in undergrad even though furthering education is essential to the workforce nowadays. It would give me a little more hope just to know about some rare programs that would pay for a significant amount of graduate school, specifically law school in my case, so that we can actually live our dreams as Mr. Lorick mentioned.”

Student Loan Repayment Free Seminar Tomorrow

Posted: 06.04.13

College Cash 101 logo
Central Scholarship and Howard County General Hospital are hosting the next in our College Cash series sponsored by SECU and BB&T tomorrow evening.  Please join us on Wednesday, June 5th at 5:30 pm at Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center for a free seminar all about Student Loan Repayment.

Attendees of College Cash will be EXCLUSIVELY eligible for $2,500 in scholarships provided by Howard County General Hospital.  National Student Loan Repayment Expert, Deanne Loonin, will present along with Jim Harris of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware.  The first 100 registered guests to arrive will receive a free copy of Deanne’s book, A Guide to Surviving Debt.

Have you ever asked yourself…

“How do I repay my student loans?” “Which repayment program is right for me?” “What is a subsidized loan?” “Should I consolidate?” “What can I do if I can’t pay one month?”  Attend the free session tomorrow evening and find answers to all of your questions.  Register today.

Check in begins at 5:30 pm and the program begins at 6:00 pm.  Refreshments and snacks provided.