“To all students and families who feel like they’ve been counted out of scholarship opportunities, this program is for you,” says Steve Bumbaugh, College Board senior vice president for college and career access. “It starts with one simple but important step, and then another, until they reach their goals. Together with Telemundo, we want to clarify the path to college and encourage all students to stay on it.”
These scholarships are open to the class of 2021 high school students, who are studying in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories, regardless of their citizenship status. Residents attending Department of Defense Education Activity schools abroad may also participate and apply for the program. At least half of the scholarships are reserved each month for students whose families earn less than $60,000. Scholarships will be awarded through monthly drawings to students who complete each action.
“We are committed to empowering and educating our Latino students and giving them the opportunity to further their education and become the next leaders of our community,” said Christina Kolbjornsen, senior vice president, corporate and external affairs, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “We are pleased to partner with College Board for this important initiative and continue providing our community with resources to inform, educate, and set up for future success.”
According to the United States Census Bureau, Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority in the United States. This has also brought an increase in the Hispanic student population, growing from 8.8 million to 17.9 million from 1996 to 2016. The share of Hispanic students enrolled in college and university rose from 8% to 19.1% during that same 20-year period. The campaign will be tailored to Spanish-speaking families to help simplify the complex college application process and increase the number of students completing key college planning steps.
This joint initiative includes a television spot featuring class of 2020 College Board Opportunity Scholarship winner, Sarays Flores from Arlington, Texas. In her own words, Sarays describes the program as a college planning guide, and a scholarship opportunity that can help offset the financial burden many students and their families face. The spot highlights the simple steps students are required to take to qualify for scholarships, and the fact that, “you don’t have to be a stellar athlete or at the top of your class” to be a recipient. The spot is punctuated by the tagline, “College Board Opportunity Scholarships are for all."
The College Board Opportunity Scholarships program doesn’t require an essay or an application, and it doesn’t have a minimum GPA or SAT® score requirement. Rather, it rewards students’ actions on their way to college, making it open to all students. The more actions students take, the more chances they have to earn a scholarship. All students can earn opportunities for scholarships by completing any or all of the following steps:
- Building a college list: students get started by exploring colleges they’re interested in (Build Your College List scholarships, each worth $500)
- Practicing for the SAT: students use Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy® (Practice for the SAT scholarships, each worth $1,000)
- Improving SAT scores: students show how practice pays off by improving their scores (Improve Your Score scholarships, each worth $2,000)
- Strengthening their college list: students make sure their list has a mix of safety, match, and reach schools (Strengthen Your College List scholarships, each worth $500)
- Completing the FAFSA®: students fill out the free government form to apply for financial aid (Complete the FAFSA scholarships, each worth $1,000)
- Applying to colleges: students apply to the colleges they want to attend (Apply to Colleges scholarships, each worth $1,000)
Students who earn an entry for the Build, Practice, Strengthen, Complete, and Apply scholarships will earn a chance at a $40,000 scholarship. Class of 2021 students do not need to qualify for the Improve scholarship in order to be eligible for the $40,000 Complete Your Journey scholarship.
Students, families, and educators who want to learn more are encouraged to visit telemundo.com/collegeboard, where they can learn how students can participate and review scholarship details. Campaign assets, including a brochure, poster, and guide for educators are available in the Resources tab within the page. For students in the class of 2021, the Build Your College List scholarship will close on July 31, 2020.