The Stars Scholarship Fund was founded in 2002 by Joe LaMantia Jr. and his family. The fund has partnered with a variety of businesses, colleges, and organizations at both the national and local level to raise funds for college-bound students. To date, the scholarships provided through the Stars Foundation have helped more than 12,000 Texans pay for college.
This award was created for students who are highly motivated to continue their education and who show academic merit. Applicants may use the funds to attend any institution and both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Furthermore, students may major in any field of studies. Each application is reviewed and awarded based on three main criteria: grade point average, financial need, and number of credits earned.
In order to be eligible to apply for the STARS Scholarship, students must be a resident or citizen of the United States. Furthermore, they must have a permanent address that is located in either South or West Texas. Students must have earned at least 12 college credits at an accredited institution and have at least a 2.7 grade point average. Furthermore, students must have graduated from high school before the start of fall. Lastly, eligible students must be enrolled in a degree-eligible program at a community college, 4-year-college, or a graduate degree program. Students may enroll on either a part-time or full-time basis.
In order to be considered for the award, students must complete an application during the open application period. For the 2016-2017 cycle, students can submit applications between January 1st to March 31st 2016. A completed application includes the application form, a signed release form, a current Student Aid Report, a personal statement, and an official transcript. In the personal statements, students are prompted to discuss their financial need, academic and personal accomplishments, and any other information that they would like to share with the committee related to themselves or their goals. Additional materials such as a recommendation letter from an advisor and a copy of identification may be provided. Students may apply online (https://www.starsscholarship.org/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2fstudent%2fStarsApplication%2f2016%2fOnlineApplication%2fapplication-start-2016) or they may obtain a paper application form from their financial aid office.
For students who have questions about the scholarship or application process, the company makes it easy to get help! Students may e-mail helpdesk@StarsScholarship.org, fax questions to 956-928-0327, or call 866-939-7827. Additionally, the answers to many frequently asked questions can be found online. A list of FAQs, such as whether students are allowed to reapply and technical questions related to obtaining and submitting documents through the Stars account can be found online.
Anywhere between $1,000 to $1,400 scholarships are offered each year. The amount of the awards ranges between $350 to $10,000. The decisions as to how much funding a student receives will be based on the institution that the student plans to attend. Furthermore, if a student attends one of the 22 colleges that are considered matching colleges (in TX), the college matches the amount of funding provided by Stars.