Scholarship sponsors usually have a predetermined list factors with which to judge applicants. Academic excellence is definitely an important consideration, yet it’s not all that sponsors are looking for. Other intangibles, such as being active in extra-curricular activities and showing strong leadership qualities, also matter.
In fact, these two traits seem to be among the top considerations of the Peace Corps Alumni Foundation (henceforth referred to as the PCAFPD or simply “the foundation.”). This is most clearly seen in the scholarship named after it. Let’s take a closer look at the details of the program.
1. General Scholarship Information:
The PCAFPD prioritizes applicants who have three basic characteristics: genuine financial need, academic excellence and a commitment to leading and serving their community (and ultimately their country as well). Thus, its scholarship is geared toward helping scholars exhibit and further develop the latter two traits.
The program is open to incoming freshmen majoring in any course (except for nursing) at any Philippine learning institution. Both Peace Corps Volunteers and Filipino citizens provide the funding for this scholarship.
2. Necessary Documents:
The foundation will expect the following paperwork from applicants:
- The application form (completely filled up)
- Personal statements (please see the application form)
- A copy of applicants’ most recent grade report
- written certification from the applicants’ high school principal testifying to their rank, a description of their extra-curricular activities, leadership qualities and their overall suitability for the scholarship
- a letter from influential people not related to the applicants by blood. These include: civic leaders, Peace Corps volunteers, teachers, religious leaders and barangay captains. The letter needs to describe the applicants’ community service potential, experience and commitment.
- the most recent Income Tax Return (or Certification for Exemption/non-filing of Income Tax) of the applicants’ parents or legal guardians.
Please send everything to the foundation’s contact person (Kindly see the Contact Details section below.) by September 30.
3. Application Schedule:
|June 1||start of application period|
|September 30||deadliest deadline for submission of required application documents|
|October||applications reviewed by Philippine Board members and volunteers|
|November||all complete applications go to the United States|
|January||US Board of Directors conducts a final review of applications|
|March 1||posting of scholarship recipients on the foundation website, complete with personal notices and instructions given to the chosen applicants a|
|April 1||deadliest deadline for applicants’ acceptance of scholarship|
|April – May||scholar orientation|
4. Eligibility Requirements:
To qualify, applicants:
- Must be Filipino students who have graduated from high school (or are set to graduate by the end of the current school year) and are ready to enter college.
- Must be in the top 10 % of their class
- Need to have performed some form of volunteer work or community service
- Must have no intention to work abroad after they graduate
- Need to be committed to serving others in their community and country
5. Miscellaneous Considerations:
Service is a top priority for the PCAFPD. Therefore, priority may be given to students who intend to study at public (state funded) institutions and whose choice of majors are skewed more toward the development of the country. These majors include:
- Special education
- Primary and secondary education
- Community development
- Social work
- Environmental sciences
- Agriculture and related courses
While the foundation looks most closely at applicants’ academic proficiency, financial needs, leadership qualities and commitment to service, it also pays attention to well-thought-out personal statements written on the application form. Think through the questions carefully and write your best answers!
Finally, please note that, due to way the has been scheduled, applicants need not necessarily be in college at the time of their application. Nevertheless, the foundation will still hold them responsible for taking their entrance exams as soon as possible.
Students who are already in college may still apply, yet more priority may be given to the ones who have not attended any higher education classes yet.
Benefits and Obligations
The PCAFPD will cover scholars’ tuition and other necessary school fees. It will also provide a book and school supply fund per semester, plus a 5,000-peso Contribution to Living Expenses (CLE) stipend that helps cover such costs as boarding and transportation. The Foundation will continue to provide for the scholars assuming they perform according to its standards and comply with its rules.
On the other hand, scholars must maintain an average grade of C or better and send in their grade reports (and an essay) on time at the end of every semester. They must immediately inform the foundation if any of the following should occur:
- They incur a failing grade.
- Their enrollment status (change of major or schools) or financial status changes. Approval must first be sought for the former case.
- Another organization offers them a scholarship. Dual scholarships may be considered, though with reduced benefits for the PCAFPD scholarship.
As you can see, the foundation values good communication, so scholars will also need to keep in touch with its Vice President for Philippine Operations via snail mail or e-mail. They will also be asked to join the PCAFPD Scholars and Alumni Association (PSAA) and remain in good standing with it.
Lastly, the foundation will ask them for written materials and pictures from time to time for official business purposes.
The official foundation contact person is Mr. Roland de Jesus, Vice President for Philippine Operations. Incidentally, he is also the person who will receive all of the foundation’s Philippine applications. He seems to have no contact number at the moment, so drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you may send him snail mail at Benguet Corporation, Universal Re Building, 106 Paseo de Roxas,1226 Makati. Note that you can also receive an application form via this method. Just send your complete mailing address to Mr. de Jesus at the aforementioned physical and e-mail addresses. Remember to mention “PCAFPD” in the subject line.