Resources for Students

 

Though, unless otherwise noted,  SparkScholars is not partnered with these programs or providers, these resources may add value for interested students.

 
Highly Recommended

US Congressional Award

The Congressional Award program is a non-competitive award that is open to all youth in the United States regardless of mental or physical challenges or socioeconomic status who are between the ages of 14-23. Each participant sets their own goals in four areas and then collect bronze, silver, and gold certificates before moving onto bronze, silver and gold medals as they achieve those goals. The four areas are:

  • Voluntary public service: sharing time and talents for the benefit of others

  • Personal Development: Pursuing a new interest or advancing to another level in an ongoing interest.

  • Physical Fitness: Improving one's quality of life.

  • Expedition/Exploration: Immersion in an unfamiliar environment or culture.
     

The experiences gained from hours of community service, self development, physical fitness, and the thought process that goes into planning, packing, paying for, and then executing an expedition can be life changing. It may also help an applicant stand out when it comes to applying with highly selective colleges. To learn more about the Congressional Award, or to sign up, go here.

Contests

International Essay Contest for Young People

The goal of this international essay contest is to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the youth of the world to help promote an international culture of peace and sustainable development. The contest is open to anyone up to 25 years old, and this year's theme is "Creating a Society Full of Kindness."

Travel expenses for first place winners will be covered as they fly to a ceremony in Tokyo, Japan to receive a Minister of Education Award and a cash prize.

For more information, click here.

 

Science without Borders International Student Art Contest

This international art competition engages students to promote the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world's oceans and aquatic resources. The contest is open to primary and secondary school students aged 11-19 years old, with scholarships of up to $500 awarded to the winning entries. For full contest rules or to apply, click here.

Summer Programs
 

The Healthy Youth Program at Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute offers garden and cooking camps Monday to Friday for students ages 6-14. All camps feature cooking and garden activities, outdoor games and crafts. All camps run from 9AM to 2:30PM. For more information on upcoming classes, go here.

A Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) is a free six-week educational experience for high school juniors that offers challenges and rewards rarely encountered in secondary school or even college. Each program is designed to bring together young people from around the world who share a passion for learning. Telluride students, or TASPers, attend a seminar led by college and university scholars and participate in many other educational and social activities outside the classroom. Learn More Here

The Foundation for Teaching Economics

Our partner organization the Foundation for Teaching Economics offers summer coursework for high school Sophomores and Juniors on Economics for Leaders and Economic History for Leaders. Information on scholarships, program requirements, admissions criteria, and how to apply is available at fte.org/students

Saturday Academy

Saturday Academy is an educational services 501(c)3 non-profit offering spring break and summer classes and camps in Oregon and southwestern Washington State. Topics range from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to college and test preparation. Financial aid is available, if necessary. Details on programs and financial aid eligibility can be found at saturdayacademy.org

Corvallis Environmental Center

The Corvallis Environmental Center has a range of events for kindergarten and elementary school students. For more detailed descriptions including locations and pricing, see the Corvallis Environmental Center's website

Oregon State University High School Summer Camps

Oregon State University offers summer camps for high school students ranging from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), robotics, game design, and forest science. Click here for information regarding OSU's STEM Summer Academy and here for details on their other summer programs.

Princeton Summer Journalism Program

Princeton University offers an intensive 10-day summer program for students from low-income backgrounds. The program is open to current high school juniors living in the United States. Program details, application requirements, and to apply, visit the Princeton Summer Journalism Program website.

Digital Document Storage
 

The Virtual Student Locker is a private, online, digital space that allows you to organize and store important videos, photos, and other documents as a record of your experiences in high school. To learn more about the virtual locker and the other programs offered by the Coalition for College Access, go to their website.

College Search Resources
 

The College Board is a nonprofit organization founded in 1900 with a mission to expand access to higher education. Of the more than 6000 member organizations, 3807 are educational institutions spread across the world. With Big Future, students can enter specific search criteria and explore the database comparing different colleges or universities that might be right for them. For more information, click here.

Visiting even one college campus can be expensive and time consuming, but in-person visits are also a great way to help a prospective student narrow down the list of educational institutions they might be interested in attending. Fortunately, using 3D technology it is now possible to take virtual tours of multiple college campuses without leaving the comfort of home. One company offering free tours has more than 1000 campuses in it's database.

Financial Aid Resources
 

RaiseMe is a social enterprise focused on expanding access to higher education, especially among low income and first generation students. Rather than waiting until the end of high school to earn scholarships, which is often too late to impact a student's college ambitions or choices, RaiseMe enables students to earn scholarships throughout high school, starting as early as 9th grade, for doing all the things that best prepare them to succeed, whether that’s getting good grades, volunteering in the community or joining an extracurricular.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form used by the federal government to determine whether or not a student is eligible for federal grants, work study, or other forms of financial aid. The free form must be filled out at the beginning of every year, but some colleges and organizations will also use the information in the FAFSA to determine whether a particular student is eligible for local scholarships or other sources of support. For more information, or to get started on filling out the form, go here.

The College Board is a nonprofit organization founded in 1900 with a mission to expand access to higher education. Every year, the organization conducts a survey of its more than 6000 member institutions across the world to create a list of scholarships, internships, and other financial aid opportunities. Through the College Scholarship Search, students have the opportunity to access more than 2,200 programs with financial aid resources totaling nearly $6 billion. For more information, or to sign up, click here.