Amazon announces scholarship for undergraduate students

The Director of Student Programs at Amazon, Ripley MacDonald, announced on the Aug. 27, the launching of Amazon’s first ever student scholarship, the Amazon Student Scholarship. This announcement came as a bit of a surprise to many Sonoma State Students.

“I wish I had known this would come sooner so I could have prepared myself to win,” said Jessie Jimenez, junior after finding out about Amazon’s Student Member Scholarship. “After reviewing the scholarship requirements, I became very excited for the undocumented population who strive and excel in schools across the United States with only the option to apply to scholarships specified to them, which are not many.”

The Amazon Student Scholarship is merit-based and will be awarded to 50 students across the United States who have demonstrated leadership, community involvement, along with a competitive grade point average. In addition, applicants are required to be enrolled full-time in an accredited nonprofit two-or four-year school. Prizewinners will be awarded $5000 toward their tuition and a $500 bonus to be used on textbooks.

The Student Scholarship is open to members of the Amazon Student Prime program only, which is available to college students across the United States. The application time period is open from Aug. 25 up until Nov. 20 and will close at 11:59 . 

Semifinalists will be asked to write an essay in order to precede onto the final round, where winners will be announced in April of 2015 and awarded in July of that year, right before the commencement of the Fall 2015 semester.

Though the Amazon scholarship is getting a lot of positive feedback throughout the community, there are some skeptics. A few Sonoma State University students, believe that this is just another move by a big company to make big profit.

“Millions of students around the country will sign up for Amazon Student due to the scholarships requirement, but only 50 will win the scholarship,” said Kaliah Kern, junior at Sonoma State. “This means that Amazon will be using that income to provide the scholarship. The only winner here is Amazon,” said Kern.

Four years ago, Amazon launched the Amazon Student program that allowed students to save money on a variety of college necessities with a free two-day shipping bonus. Half the price of the regular Amazon Prime membership, Amazon Student gives students a free six-month trial period. After the trial period has ended, the membership is $49 a year. Amazon Student allows students to stream movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Videos, as well as access to over one million songs with Prime Music. Lastly, students subscribed to Amazon Student will have access to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 

The Amazon Student Scholarship has not yet been announced on Sonoma State’s Scholarship Office site, nor has it been announced anywhere else on campus. Students interested in the scholarship, or those who have questions regarding any other scholarship are advised to go to the Scholarship Office in Stevenson Hall, room 1050. 

The Scholarship Office at Sonoma State offers students the resource to get help with applying for scholarships along with the opportunity to gain insight and tips on how to apply to a variety of different scholarships, including the Amazon Student Scholarship.