Photo courtesy of Lisa Hardamon / The Collegian
30 students admitted for 2009
With scores of students scratching and clawing to begin a college journey, scholarships and grants are the only viable option for some.
The Smittcamp Family Honors College has recently finished admitting its 11th class into California State University, Fresno. The elite pool of high school student applicants has been carved down to a slim group of 30 men and women.
Prospective students are not limited to Fresno high schools, candidates this year range from California cities like Selma, Coarsegold, and Palmdale. Students from other countries have also applied.
â€œWeâ€™ve had up to 600 prospective students in the past,â€ Dr. Honora Chapman, associate professor of classics, said. â€œAll of these kids are seniors spanning all over the globe. Weâ€™ve even had a student apply from Egypt.â€
The influx of students provides a need for rigorous standards and qualifications. Potential Presidential Honorâ€™s Scholarship winners are required to score an 1800 or higher on the SAT and be in the upper 10 percent of their graduating class.
Extracurricular activities are expected on student resumes.
â€œI joined three clubs to boost my status,â€ Jeremy Eggman said. â€œI also traveled abroad to China and Brazil to teach English to students.â€
After high school graduates compile a body of prime academic and supplementary work, they must file an application to be considered.
â€œThe application is posted in PDF format on the Smittcamp Honors Web site,â€ said Chapman. â€œIt is very accessible and easy to fill out. The applications are due on Jan. 5 of the year.â€
Upon completion of the application, qualified candidates are then asked to submit several short essays on a broad range of topics.
â€œI had to write a few essays after I turned in my application,â€ said Eggman. â€œMy essays consisted of current events, plans for the future, and an essay on my literature of choice.â€
â€œI am going to be a computer engineer,â€ said Eggman. â€œI eventually want to get my P.H.D and start to work for the FBI.â€
Applications are reviewed via a panel of administrators and professors.
â€œThese are three person panels of professors and administrators,â€ Chapman said. â€œApplications are reviewed by our reading teams for further evaluation.â€
Selected applicants receive the Presidentâ€™s Honorâ€™s Scholarship for their undergraduate program up to eight semesters. This covers registration and fees, a laptop credit and an option for a free two-person dorm room. Furthermore, students are allotted free parking and extended library benefits.
This scholarship provides opportunities for students to achieve their goals through the CSU system. Degrees, ranging from liberal arts to agricultural science are among the many programs begun through the Smittcamp scholarship.
For 11 years, the Smittcamp Honors Society has provided assets for students.