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The STARS Scholarship

The STARS Scholarship awards up to 10 scholarships of $500.00 per award. The 10 students selected by the STARS Committee will receive $500.00 towards their study abroad program. Each selected winner only receives one award of $500.00. The award is contingent upon meeting all of the STARS Scholarship requirements.

Application Deadline: Thursday, February 2, 2023

Awards Announced: Thursday, March 2, 2023

STARS Application

*** Please note that the STARS Application requires several document attachments that must be submitted via the link above. To review the most up-to-date STARS Scholarship application requirements please see the information listed below.

Would you like to learn more about other external study abroad scholarships and financial aid resources? Check out our Financial Aid & Scholarships web page to learn more to fund a study abroad program.

Scholarship Requirements

Complete ALL of the required fields for the STARS Scholarship Application.

  • This award is only for students enrolled in a degree program at Clayton State University.
  • This award is only for Clayton State students enrolled in a Clayton State study abroad program.
  • The applicant must be enrolled in a study abroad program to be eligible for the award.
  • Must have a minimum GPA of a 2.5 to qualify.
  • STARS GPA - Minimum 2.5 GPA. Both your overall and institutional GPA should not be below a 2.5. If your GPA is not available then contact your Academic Advisor or the Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions department to obtain your GPA information.
  • Submit a copy of your Unofficial Transcript: Can be found via the DUCK. Check under ‘Student Services’ for ‘Transcript (Unofficial)’. Submit a PDF or screen shot.
  • Submit a copy of your Financial Aid Award Letter: If applicable to Fin Aid recipients; this can be found via the DUCK in the Financial Aid portal. Submit a PDF or screen shot. If you do not receive Financial Aid Support, please submit a letter stating that you do not receive assistance with your application materials.
  • Submit a copy of your HOPE Award Letter: If applicable to HOPE recipients; this can be found via the DUCK in the Financial Aid portal. Submit a PDF or screen shot. If you do not receive Hope Support, please submit a letter stating that you do not receive assistance with your application materials.
  • Submit your STARS Essay. See the Essay Guidelines below. Did the essay follow the Essay Guidelines? Please submit a PDF copy of your essay.
  • All questions must be answered on the STARS Scholarship Application. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

Essay Guidelines

The STARS Scholarship Essay Guidelines offer several topics to consider and assist with writing the application essay. This will require 400-500 words for the essay.

Use as many as possible of the following topics below.

Personal Statement

How will your study abroad experience connect with your program of study? For example, how will your study abroad experience in France connect with and impact of your educational experience in the Clayton State University Teacher Education program or how will your study abroad experience in Germany connect with and impact your educational experience in Clayton State University’s MBA program?

Personal Development

How will studying abroad benefit your long-term goals and aspirations (personal, academic, professional or otherwise)?

Engagement and Preparation

The Program Director (faculty member) will provide a very structured learning experience, but what research have you done to prepare for study abroad and what might you do to get the most out of your experience in your host country?

Cultural Perspectives

An effective study abroad experience requires knowledge of the host country’s culture. Discuss one or more significant issues (social, political, economic, environmental, etc.) currently facing your intended host country. How might these intersect with your intended studies or your personal development or personal goals? How might you plan to learn, engage (if appropriate).

Identity & Diversity

Consider your background and experiences, how these shape your perceptions and interactions with the world, and how others in turn perceive and interact with you. What research have you done on the culture, belief and social norms, of your host country? What did you find and how might this impact your visit? You may also discuss how this information may inform how you prepare for your stay or how you may interact or behave while traveling?

Use the following formats for your essay:

  1. Write a 400-500 word essay.
  2. 12-font for text.
  3. Double spacing in the format of the essay.
  4. Good grammar and sentence structure.
  5. Essay format for the outline of your paper.
  6. Submit a PDF copy of your essay along with your application materials.
  7. We recommend visiting the Clayton State Writer’s Studio for assistance on editing and improving your essay.
  8. Also, take a look at this helpful resource, Scholarship Application - A Focus on the Scholarship Essay example the Study Abroad Office put together to aid in crafting an excellent scholarship essay.

Award Information

Students awarded the scholarship will receive $500.00 upon the selection of award nominees by the STARS Committee.

  • Students receiving this award are also required to fulfill volunteer service hours. Please see next tab for more information.
  • This award will be distributed by the Financial Aid office to the Bursar office.
  • If a student has an outstanding balance on their Clayton State student account, please note that the scholarship funds may cover the outstanding balance.
  • If the student does not have an outstanding balance on their student account, speak with the Bursar office on how the funds be be returned to the student.

Award Announcement and Next Steps

  • Once awardees are selected, they will be notified by the Study Abroad Office on behalf of the STARS Committee.
  • Students will collect their award letters, bring the two 'Thank You Letters' (see the Thank You Letters tab for more info), and complete the Scholarship Award Agreement in the Study Abroad Office.
  • The Scholarship Agreement will determine your service hours and the volunteer project you wish to do - as listed below.

Volunteer Requirements

As part of the award nominee requirements, the student will be tasked with directed volunteer work with the Study Abroad Office by aiding study abroad programming. This is at least ten (10) hours of directed volunteer work with the Study Abroad Office or other entities. This can be completed before, during, or after the study abroad program.

The award nominee will assist with ONE of the following tasks.

Here are a few examples of how the award nominee can obtain service hours:

  • Assist the Study Abroad Office.
  • Assist the On-Site Study Abroad Program Director (the faculty member) while on the study abroad program. This would entail assignments that would be discussed between the student and the Program Director while overseas with the program.
  • Volunteer at the Study Abroad Fair(s) and the Main Street Pop-Up Tables (in the Fall and Spring of the following year). Not recommended for students in their Senior or last year of school.
  • Speak/Present to a Class About Your Study Abroad Experience.
  • Design a Video About Your Study Abroad Experience.
  • Social Media Project. See the Study Abroad Office to collaborate.
  • Create a Scrapbook or Photo Album of Your Study Abroad Experience.
  • The Program Photographer: This role entails being the group photographer while on the study abroad program. By taking on this role the student will be aiding in the future marketing for the study abroad program. See the Study Abroad Office for details.
  • Propose a Project to the Study Abroad Office to Collaborate On.
  • Speak with the Study Abroad Office during the Scholarship Award Agreement form process (see below) to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about what project is right for you.

Don't forget! These are great resume and career portfolio builders for your professional development! The Study Abroad Office can assist you with understanding how to incorporate your volunteer work and scholarship on to your resume or portfolio.

Financial Aid Disclaimer

Each student’s financial aid situation is unique and it is impossible to include all aspects of financial aid information on behalf of the Clayton State Study Abroad Office. Our office is unable to access this information.

Students should be aware that the STARS scholarship is disbursed in the same manner as any other scholarship/financial aid received from the Clayton State Financial Aid Office. Generally, it will be applied toward any outstanding balance on the students account, which would include any study abroad program fees. However, due to the manner in which awards are disbursed, it may not actually deduct the program fees you owe (it might be applied toward tuition, for example). If students have questions about what is owed to Clayton State, speak with the Bursar Office to determine the account balance. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all study abroad program fees are paid in full by the deadline indicated by the study abroad program.

Receipt of this award may impact your financial aid eligibility. It is recommended that students speak with representatives in the financial aid office BEFORE applying for this scholarship to determine how the scholarship might affect your individual situation.

The study abroad Program Director and the Office of International Programs / Study Abroad Office DO NOT have access to a student’s financial aid information and are not qualified to discuss this information with a student.

The STARS Committee

The STARS Committee is composed of faculty and/or staff that are not associated with the current study abroad programs and the Study Abroad Office.

  • These faculty and/or staff are provided ALL of the applicants submission materials for review.
  • The committee reviews that the students have met all of the STARS requirements, while also reviewing the content of each essay.
  • The committee reads and reviews each essay to determine that the criteria have been met by the applicant.
  • If the applicant fails to meet all of the requirements, the committee will disqualify the applicant.
  • Once the committee has determined the 10 finalists, they will notify the Study Abroad Office.
  • The Study Abroad Office then works in conjunction with the Financial Aid Office to distribute the award.
  • The Study Abroad Office will notify the finalists once the award has been distributed and will update the finalists about their service obligations.
  • The Study Abroad Office will also update the remaining applicants about the status of the award distribution which may include the Bursar and Financial Aid offices.

Thank You Letters

We ask our STARS award recipients - those who are awarded the STARS Scholarship - to write two (2) thank you cards/letters/notes, etc. to the STARS Scholarship Committee (card #1) and to the CSU Foundations office (card #2).

  • These letters show a huge appreciation to the STARS committee and Foundations office for providing funding for the scholarships and selecting the award recipients. These letters are a wonderful way to show your support and appreciation for receiving a scholarship.
  • The STARS Committee selects the recipients of the award.
  • The CSU Foundations office contributes the annual award to the Study Abroad Office that is awarded to students.
  • Students are asked to turn these into the Study Abroad Office enclosed in an envelope so that they may be shared with the organizations.

Notice for 2023

There are multiple study abroad programs with multiple students, so please note that only a few students will receive this award.

The STARS Committee can only award 10 awards to eligible recipients of $500.00 per finalist.

This scholarship may not be applicable every year due to funding and as it is based on annual giving. As of 2022-2023, this scholarship has been approved for funding.