The CNMI continues to see a growing number of students wanting to obtain college degrees here and abroad, as shown by the over a thousand applications received by the CNMI Scholarship Office for the spring 2014 semester.
Scholarship administrator Rose Pangelinan disclosed to Saipan Tribune yesterday that a total of 1,182 applications for spring semester grants have been filed with her office. Of this amount, the bulk is from ongoing scholars, totaling 927 applications.
About 64 returning applicants applied for the new semester while 191 applicants are classified as new students.
Pangelinan disclosed that, as of Jan. 17, only 70 of these applications are complete and under review by the office. Supporting documents for all applications are due on Feb. 28. The final number of approved and denied applications will be determined after that date.
The Scholarship Office has two program offerings: the Educational Assistance Program and Honors Scholarship Program. However, the Honors scholarship program has stopped receiving new applicants since fall 2013 semester as a result of the expiration of the sunset provision that created it. The Scholarship Office now just provides funds to those under this program so that they can complete the remaining years of their studies.
It will be recalled that financial awards to EAP scholars were also cut starting in the fall 2013 semester due to budget constraints. These reduced awards will continue for this spring 2014 term.
Pangelinan earlier disclosed that EAP awards are $850 for per semester scholar, while $550 for quarter-term scholars. This reflects a 19-percent cut for per semester recipients and a 21-percent cut for quarter-term scholars compared to what they previously received.
The reduction in awards, Saipan Tribune learned, was based on the budget approved for the program in fiscal year 2014, which is $1.2 million. To avail of the EAP award, it requires meeting a 2.25 cumulative GPA and the scholar must be enrolled in 12 units or more for the semester.