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Disabled students seeking scholarship opportunity must act fast

 

By: Ashli Kaczor
Staff Writer

The deadline for the Allan Saxe Scholarship for Disabled Students offered this semester at UT Arlington is arriving this month and students should have applications in soon  to be considered.

Tuesday, February 19, at 5 p.m. will be the final day for students to turn in their application and reference letters in order to be considered for the scholarship. There are some minimum qualifications as well for applicants and no late or incomplete scholarships will be considered according to the Office for Students with Disabilities’ website.

Minimum qualifications are as follows:

  • All applicants must be a first-time undergraduate student at UT Arlington.
  • All applicants must have completed at least 12 hours at UT Arlington to be eligible for this scholarship.
  • All applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA for a minimum of 12 hours completed at UT Arlington.
  • All applicants must be enrolled in a full load of classes (full time status is defined as at least 12 hours or more) and must maintain full-time status for the duration of the scholarship period.
  • All applicants must be in good standing with UT Arlington (e.g. not on probationary status).
  • Your application must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation from UT Arlington faculty and/or staff (see recommendation requirements form).
  • For disability verification purposes, all applicants must be registered in The Office or Students with Disabilities.
Dr. Allan Saxe is currently an associate professor of political science at UT Arlington. Photo Courtesy of UT Arlington website

The scholarship is given every fall and spring semester in the amount of $500 with the winners being announced at the Student Leadership Recognition Ceremony in April. Though it is awarded to students who excel academically, it is also for those students with a disability who excel in community involvement.  That last requirement should not be a problem though said  Bitty Reilly, former UTA journalism student and last year’s scholarship winner.

“There’s a lot of opportunity at UTA alone for community involvement,” Reilly said.

Currently there are 700-900 students registered with the OSD. Many of these are transfer students who do not meet the qualification requiring students have at least 12 hours completed at UTA. Aside from those though, there are only between two and 20 students who apply for this scholarship each semester according to Demarice Ferguson, associate director of the OSD.

Ferguson said many more should consider applying though.

Ferguson said some students think because of challenges they may face with their disability, it may not be possible to obtain reference letters or be involved in community activities as required. However, she said that is just not the case.

“Regardless of physical challenges, students with disabilities can still be strong student leaders on campus by being members of different organizations, even if they are unable to attend and be involved in every activity,” Ferguson said.

Though there are dozens of scholarships specifically tailored to students with disabilities, the Allan Saxe Scholarship is the only on-campus one currently offered at UTA. Dr. Saxe, an associate professor of political science at UTA, has been funding the scholarship for about 30 years.

While Saxe said he does not have any direct overview of the scholarship process, he prefers it that way. Saxe, who suffered from polio as a child, chooses to focus on lending his time to his lectures as well as extensive community involvement. This often includes monetary contributions for various programs.

Regarding why community involvement is so important for students, Saxe puts it simply.

“Community involvement is important because academic life cannot be removed from the broader community in any way,” Saxe said