Eastern New Mexico University’s Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, Omicron Alpha, encourages the accessibility of leadership and scholarship opportunities for student success. More importantly, the only ASL Chapter in the state, strives to assist non-traditional students by providing national scholarships, with their latest being an award of $3,000.
Omicron Alpha’s Chapter Counselor, Esthela Bunuelos, believes that assistance in funding is an important asset as a college student and said, “If you are able to receive a scholarship, it’s going to lessen your overall debt and that’s big. Me personally, I think students should graduate with no debt if possible. Scholarships like these lessen that burden once you graduate. My belief is if you fit a scholarship, you apply for it.”
Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national organization founded in 1946, is now accepting applications for the 2017-18 academic year, which will grant a total of twelve $3,000 scholarships to non-traditional students across the country.
Bunuelos stated there are many definitions of what a non-traditional student is, “One would be any student who that is not your typical 18-year-old coming straight from high school but, Alpha Sigma Lambda has different definitions and it all depends on the charter and their constitution.”
Each charter of ASL, including ENMU’s Omicron Alpha, have their own rules and guidelines regarding what they define as a non-traditional student. To apply, non-traditional students who are enrolled on the Portales campus must have completed 20 semester hours at ENMU, achieve a minimum GPA of 3.2, be enrolled in a degree program, have a need for financial assistance, and be 24 years of age or older. Although the ASL National Scholarship is geared towards Omicron Alpha members, students who are not a member may also submit scholarship applications, which are due by April 10, 2017.
The honor society on ENMU’s campus includes a base of students who are somewhat alike, “Members of an organization like this all have the same past experiences. They all have the same needs. They could be military just like they are, or they are single parents, or that they are parents working and going to school at the same time. So, it’s really a feeling of belonging,” said Bunuelos. Members of any ASL Chapter in the country may also include students who are considered financially independent, active/retired/returning military, attending less than 12 hours, independent families, in financial need, and more.
For more information on Alpha Sigma Lambda’s National Scholarship, visit their website for application packets and other requirements at www.alphasigmalambda.org.
This article was in the print edition with Jena Slater as the writer.