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Shirk Scholarships

What is the Shirk Scholarship?

Albright College annually awards 25 Eugene Shirk Scholarships. These scholarships were established to honor the late Gene Shirk and to encourage Berks County students to follow his ideals - community service, leadership, strength of character and commitment to excellence. Shirk Scholarship recipients receive $70,000 to $100,000.

To apply for the Shirk Scholarship, a student must:

  • Currently attend a Berks County high school
  • Complete an Albright application for admission on or before December 15, including the receipt of the School Report form, high school transcript, teacher recommendation, and the SAT or ACT test scores
  • Complete a Shirk Scholarship application on or before December 15

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Williamson, associate director of admission, at jwilliamson@albright.edu.

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How much is the scholarship worth?

All new incoming Shirk Scholars will receive at least $70,000-$100,000, or $17,500-$25,000 per year. In addition, the College awards:

  • An additional $2,500 to Shirk Scholars who choose to live on campus, bringing the total Shirk Scholarship for resident students to $80,000 ($20,000 per year). Since the Shirk Scholarship recognizes service, leadership and qualities of character, the College naturally wants those qualities present in our residence halls as well as in our classrooms. To that end, the College encourages Shirk Scholars to live on campus by providing additional scholarship funds to help defray the higher cost of living on campus.
  • Shirk Scholars with high academic achievement will receive an award of $20,000 per year for on-campus study ($80,000) regardless of whether they live on campus or not.
  • Shirk Scholars who receive an automatic invitation into the Honors Program will receive $100,000 ($25,000 a year for four years of on-campus study) regardless of whether they live on campus or not.

Shirk Scholarships are awarded to new students matriculating full time at Albright and are renewable each of the four years the student is enrolled at Albright College. In order to renew the scholarship, the student must be a full-time day student on Albright's Reading campus, complete a minimum of 25 hours of community service per semester, and maintain a grade point average of 3.0.

Students who are not awarded a Shirk Scholarship will go through the College's Scholarship Review Committee for other merit scholarship consideration. Students are also encouraged to apply for need based financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. Students chosen to interview for the Shirk Scholarship are considered finalist and are guaranteed an award of at least $7500 to recognize their accomplishments.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Williamson, associate director of admission, at jwilliamson@albright.edu.

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What is the Shirk Scholarship process?

Students completing their Albright application for admission and Shirk Scholarship application on or before December 15 will receive full scholarship review. Once the College receives the admission and scholarship applications, all candidates are presented to the Shirk Scholarship Committee for preliminary review. Those who pass the initial review will become finalists and take part in the Shirk interviews. These interviews are given on Albright's campus during the last three Saturdays in January, and all finalists are contacted by the College to schedule an interview. Students chosen to interview for the Shirk Scholarship are considered finalists and are guaranteed an award of at least $7,500 to recognize their accomplishments. If they receive another merit based academic award, it will supersede the $7,500 award.

The Shirk Scholarship Committee reviews applicants on the basis of the school and community service, extracurricular activities, strength of character, and academic achievement. Candidates also are judged on the effort they put into the scholarship essay, and how they present themselves during the interview. While the interview plays a role in the Committee's decision, the interviews are relaxed and conversational in nature.

The Shirk Scholarship Committee will meet in early February to review all finalists for Shirk Scholarships. Students will be informed of the awards via phone no later than mid-February.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Williamson, associate director of admission, at jwilliamson@albright.edu.

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