Applying through the study abroad office

The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is accessible through the Study Abroad Office of the UCSD International Center. Regarding financial aid while studying abroad, you can read more on Triton Link: Financial Aid for Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, some relevant passages excerpted below:

Financial aid is available for most study-abroad and exchange programs, during both the summer and the regular academic year. Contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office if you have questions about eligibility.

The Education Abroad Program is a UC program, so you are a UC student and pay UC fees while in the program. The universitywide EAP office determines your costs, which will differ from the UCSD basic student budget. UCSD’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office adjusts your financial need and awards based on the cost of your program.

Opportunities Abroad Programs (OAP) are non-UC programs, but you may still qualify for financial aid through UCSD’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The sponsoring institution determines your costs, which differ from the UCSD basic student budget. UCSD’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office adjusts your financial need and awards based on the cost of your program.

Please read the SAO’s Financial Aid — Use your financial aid to go abroad page for more information. Typically, the application deadline for this scholarship is around mid April for students departing in the summer or fall.

The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship

While other SAO based scholarships are typically based on financial need, this is not the primary driver for granting the Chris Borton Memorial Scholarships. Rather we look for motivated and dedicated student applicants who see the value of broader cultural understanding and personal development that is to be gained from a study abroad experience. It is our experience that these benefits are best obtained through an academic year long program, and this has been confirmed by many past recipients.

Basic requirements

Applicants are required to show strong academic merit and participation in an approved academic program (EAP or OAP), for which UCSD credit will be granted. This is a requirement, but actual academic performance does not necessarily count very strong in choosing among applications. Although not required, preference will be given to applications on academic year long programs. Scholarship recipients are expected to return to UCSD, after being abroad, for at least one quarter to support Study Abroad Office outreach and recruitment efforts.

The selection process

Each year, before the selection process starts, the board looks at the fund’s finances and decides how many scholarships can be awarded, and in what amount. This decision is communicated to the SAO. Since the 2001 academic years the fund has awarded three scholarships, each in the amount of $3,000. Exceptions were 2002 where only two were awarded, and 2004 and 2006 where four scholarships were awarded. With the start of the 2008/2009 year, the amount of each scholarship was increased to $5,000.

The SAO preselects from all applications those that meet the basic criteria as set forth in the fund’s goals. Copies of these applications are then forwarded to the fund’s board of directors.

Each director individually reads each application and scores it with regard to the fund’s goals. Additional factors are used in scoring, see below. Ultimately, this results in a top to bottom ranking of all applicant by each director individually. Subsequently, the board has a meeting in which all rankings are communicated and subjected to a weighted, rank scoring system. The scoring system is designed to avoid ties between applicants and to favor certain characteristics of the application over others. In the event of a tie, the board discusses the applications in question and makes a decision to break the tie. The top scoring applicants for the allotted number of scholarships are then determined and communicated to the SAO, which in turn informs the awardees.

The SAO then gives the board names and addresses of the winning applicants. They, in turn, are asked to confirm their acceptance in writing.

What the board would like to know about you, the applicants

The SAO issues you a standard set of documents which take care of communicating basic information such as your major and minor, statement of financial need, country of your choice etc. In addition, you are asked to write a short essay explaining why you are applying for this specific scholarship, why you would like to study abroad, your goals for your time spent abroad, and your overall career goals.

In addition, the board would like to see some information about yourself outside the academic realm. This could include information on hobbies, previous experience abroad, jobs held, cultural interests and activities etc.