Of almost 1,650 students across the nation who applied for the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) 2015-2016 scholarship, only 36 were chosen to receive aid. Rebekah Thorne, a Biology major at Shoreline, was one of those few.
FEA awards scholarships to students who demonstrate “compelling academic plans and financial need,” and Thorne plans to use her award to help defray the cost of studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Residing there for four weeks,” she said, “will not only give me the opportunity to live beyond my comfort zone and step into the unknown, but it will also fulfill a deep desire I’ve cultivated ever since I entered college.”
Thorne continued, “I want to change the countless social equity issues we experience here in the United States. The chance to retrace Nelson Mandela’s journey through Apartheid, and be an observer within a country that is healing from this dark time, is a profound opportunity linked to the very dreams I aspire to.”
The applicant pool for the scholarship represented students from 525 U.S. colleges and universities, and of this year’s recipients, 72% are first generation college students, 75% are of minority background, 53% attend minority-serving institutions or community colleges, 58% will study in non-traditional destinations, and 92% are studying the host country language.
According to the FEA website, “The mission of the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is to increase opportunities for dedicated American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships.”