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UCF Bookstore offers textbook scholarships

Published: Sunday, March 2, 2008

Updated: Sunday, February 15, 2009 16:02

How does free textbooks for an entire year sound?

For the past seven years, the UCF Bookstore has offered 15 textbook scholarships through the Textbook Scholarship Essay Contest. To apply, students must write an essay, 250 words or fewer, on the subject "If I were a book, my title would be… ."

"We sat down with the Book Advisory Committee and came up with a simple concept that anyone could do with applying some creative thought," said Melissa Yopack, operations manager of the Bookstore.

The Book Advisory Committee comprises faculty members from various colleges, along with Bookstore employees. Together, they come to a consensus on the topic of the essay for the year.

The Book Advisory Committee reads all of the entries and chooses 15 winners. The committee judges the essays on accuracy and creativity. It also requests that essays be limited to one page.

In order to be eligible for the contest, students must meet certain criteria. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours. Graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of nine credit hours. A degree audit and a cover page must also be included.

The contest also targets certain colleges in the UCF community. Only nine colleges are able to participate. The College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Sciences have had the highest number of applicants in past years.

As word spreads of this chance to receive free textbooks, student interest has also increased.

"The scholarships offered have been raised from the original number of 10 to 15 to keep up with the growth of the university," Yopack said. "We receive 200 to 300 applications every year."

The winners not only receive free textbooks for an entire year but are honored at an awards ceremony held at the end of the spring semester. The winning essays are also posted in the Atrium by the Bookstore for anyone to read.

If students are interested in participating in the Eighth Annual 2008-2009 Textbook Scholarship Essay Contest, applications are available at the Bookstore. All essays must be entered by March 24 by 7 p.m.

For information on entering the contest, call the Bookstore at 407-823-2665.?

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