The Big Bang Theory
Students love watching TV and now The Big Bang Theory Is Making Students Dreams Come True when 50 of the Big Bang Theory stars including co-creator Chuck Lorre, cast and crew together launched a scholarship fund worth $4 million dollars, the vast majority of the money was made available from Chuck Lorre's charity foundation.
The Big Bang Theory Scholarship
The scholarship money will enable 20 poor students to go study at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), the students will be able to enrol on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses to get their first degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the USA.
The Big Bang Theory with its science based storylines is enjoyed by many scientists and engineers worldwide and now the show is able to give back to the community which has supported it.
20 Scholarships In The First Year
Whilst the first intake of scholarship students will allow 20 students to get their degree through free scholarships, future years of students will also be able to get a free degree with 5 students each and every year being offered the free scholarship from the Big Bang Theory scholarship fund.
Scholarship Coontributions From Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Penny, Amy And Bernadette
Stars of the show who have contributed to the scholarship fund include Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Simon Helberg (Howard), Kunal Nayyar (Raj), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Mayim Bialik (Amy) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette).
'UCLA Is Grateful To The Big Bang Theory For The Endowment'
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said that they are 'grateful to The Big Bang Theory for the scholarship endowment enabling students without economic standing to study for a degree from such a high calibre university'.
The award is made available to undergraduate students applying to UCLA for what are termed STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses which are the geek courses that the stars of the Big Bang Theory and it's audience would relate to, indeed the show is named after the theory of how the universe started.
Enabling Poorer Students To Get A Degree
The scholarships will be awarded based on financial need where poorer students are more likely to be considered than students who are able to pay the course fees themselves or students who have family that can pay the bills. Students who want a Big Bang Theory scholarship will need to apply to any STEM course at UCLA and if the student has the academic grades to be accepted but cannot pay the course fees then they will automatically be considered for the Big Bang Theory scholarship by UCLA.
UCLA is not the only university offering free scholarships, universities like Harvard University in the USA and Oxford University in the UK also offer free scholarships as do companies like Coca Cola, McDonalds and Burger King which offer free university scholarships to their employees, global institutions like Fulbright, The World Bank and even the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation also offer Free Scholarships to study for a degree.
Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics Undergraduate Degrees
To be considered for the Big Bang Theory Scholarship students will need to apply for a place in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics undergraduate degree and be accepted by UCLA, the student must not only show that they have the academic achievement to thrive at UCLA but also that they have achieved much personally, this might be with clubs and societies or with technical achievements or charity work. UCLA is looking for more than just bright students, it's looking for students that will make a difference in the world once they graduate.
When you make your application to study at UCLA the application form contains a scholarship section which perspective students will need to complete, students can get the application form from the UCLA Financial Aid department. As well as completing UCLA's own application form students will also need to complete a FAFSA form (Pell Grant), this form assess the ability of the student or the students family to pay the UCLA course fees and informs UCLA if the student would be eligible for The Big Bang Theory scholarship on the grounds of financial need, the university will then use the application form to assess academic merit of the student and award the scholarship accordingly.
Once a student accepts their offer of a place at UCLA they can use the universities website login to search for a full range of scholarships including The Big Bang Theory scholarship and apply directly from the university website. Students applying to UCLA from high school will need a 4.1 or above Grade Point Average (GPA) whilst students applying from community college will need a 3.5 GPA or better.
Students will be notified by the Financial Aid and Scholarships office at UCLA of the scholarships that have been awarded to them, the scholarship department will send out a letter to students called the Provisional Award Letter (PAL) which will list the scholarships which the student has been awarded.
Other Scholarships From UCLA
It's not only The Big Bang Theory scholarship that you can get from UCLA, the university has a range of scholarships including the UCLA Achievement Scholarship, UCLA Regents Scholarship and the UCLA Chancellors Blue and Gold Scholarship.
UCLA Achievement Scholarship
The UCLA Achievement Scholarship is awarded for students demonstrating academic excellence, each new students starting at the university in their first year (freshmen) are selected for this award after the scholarship department make a review of all students that have been admitted to UCLA for an undergraduate degree, no separate application is needed to be considered for the Achievement Scholarship other than to have completed a FAFSA application or DREAM Act application form.
The Achievement Award scholarships are for four years, students don't need to apply each year as the award will automatically roll up to the next year, awards range from $500 to $10,000 per year, the award is made to students who the admissions department have assessed as the top admissions for that year and are in need of financial aid to complete their studies.
Students who are not US citizens or International Students should not complete a FAFSA application but can still apply and are encouraged to apply directly to the university, illegal immigrant students known as undocumented students can apply under the Dream Act (AB540 Scholarships).
Once a student has been offered a place at UCLA (after making their application and being accepted) the student must then complete a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) form, only then can a Financial Aid Notification (FAN) letter be issued by the university detailing the scholarships that you have been awarded.
UCLA Regents Scholarship
The UCLA Regents Scholarship Programme picks students that have academic excellence, leadership skills and future promise to perform well in their lives after university. Financial need is not a requirement for this scholarship meaning students are just as likely to be awarded this scholarship if they are rich or poor, it is only the academic achievements, leadership skills and likelihood of future success that are the determining factors in this award.
Students starting their undergraduate degree with UCLA or transferring form another college or university to UCLA to continue their undergraduate studies are eligible for the award, each year one hundred students are picked for this scholarship, the scholarship is unique to each UCLA campus and the scholarship cannot be moved between campus or between universities should the student transfer.
As an example of how academically gifted a student must be to receive the Regents Scholarship, only 1.5% of new undergraduate students are selected for the Regents scholarship with the scholarship lasting for four years, the scholarship does not need to be renewed between years of study as it continues automatically. Students transferring from another university are offered a two year scholarship rather than the four year scholarship, obviously UCLA are looking for students that make UCLA their first choice and not transferring in.
Each Regents scholar is considered for a $2,000 honorarium regardless of the amount of any additional scholarships and regardless of any additional financial need (so students who don't need the money may still get a $2,000 honorarium), scholarship students will need to maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA average if they are to maintain the scholarship and must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units of study each quarter.
As well as the scholarship money Regents scholars also receive guaranteed housing on campus, guaranteed on campus car parking and faculty mentorship where a member of the teaching staff supports and encourages the student in their studies, profession and personal life.
UCLA Chancellors Blue and Gold Scholarship
The UCLA Chancellors Blue and Gold Scholarship is a scholarship award to reward students coming from Los Angeles County High Schools who in previous years have not sent many students to UCLA, the scholarship encourages widening participation from students with lower incomes and lower levels of degree study within these households (lower engagement with universities).
High achieving students from local high schools will receive this merit based award, each year 350 students are awarded this scholarship with the cost of providing this scholarship exceeding one million dollars per year. The yearly award ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 per year and is made each year for up to four years of study (for students that started their undergraduate degree with UCLA) and two years for students that transferred to UCLA after starting their degree at another college or university, so freshmen at UCLA get the advantage of a full four years of scholarship money.
Students receiving the Chancellors Scholarship are required to perform community service on behalf of UCLA this involves doing twenty hours of community service each year, the students duties might involve outreach visiting schools and colleges to answer perspective students questions about life at UCLA and encouraging the perspective students to join or helping out with university workshop programmes.
To maintain the Chancellors scholarship each student must continue to submit a FAFSA or DREAM application form each year (only US students , international students need not complete these forms), the student must also maintain a 2.5 GPA proving satisfactory academic progress.
Grant Help For Single Parents
As well as these scholarships UCLA also makes available grants for single parents who have higher costs of accommodation to accommodate their families as well as ongoing childcare needs whilst they are studying, students can apply for these single parent scholarships directly through the financial aid department at UCLA for an application form, note that as with all scholarships at UCLA the student will ned to apply and be accepted onto a course of study at UCLA before they can apply for a scholarship or award.
There's a wide range of scholarships at UCLA, the Big Bang Theory scholarship is just one example of an innovative scholarship at UCLA, whether you're looking for a scholarship award to help you pay for the course fees or for accommodation or living expenses there are a great many UCLA scholarships open to you.
UCLA Course Application Form
Completing the UCLA course application form will see perspective students automatically assessed for a range of scholarships (the student will also need to submit a FAFSA or DREAM application form). Financial forms like FAFSA and DREAM help the university to understand the student's personal financial circumstances and help direct the student to the best scholarships and awards that will mean they can continue their studies at UCLA.
Cast And Crew Of The Big Bang Theory
Whilst the cast and crew of The Big Bang Theory helped raise the money for this award it is not the Big Bang Theory that help decide which students get the scholarships, it is UCLA that administer the fund on behalf of The Big Bang Theory.
Whilst The Big Bang Theory follows the lives of a group of young physicists it is not only physics degree students that can receive the scholarship money in fact any science or engineering discipline from the university, the much used STEM acronym meaning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses can all apply for the scholarship.
STEM subjects are most in demand by companies, certainly for high schools not used to sending their students to university these maths based subjects have been avoided by students who see them as the harder option in comparison to other subjects but it is these STEM subjects that are driving our technology forward.
TV shows like The Big Bang Theory have rightfully helped bring STEM subject s to the forefront of student's minds where at one time students may have worried about being the geek in the class now students actively wish to be the geek in the class, indeed being the geek is now cool.