Financial aid for recent college graduates: UC San Diego offering bridge to employment scholarships

University of California (UC) San Diego Extension will award four Bridge to Employment Scholarships for recent college graduates of up to $5,500 in 2013 for adults to pursue continuing education. Applicants do not need to live in the San Diego area because more than two dozen certificate programs are offered online.

college-grads-(1).jpgAnyone who has received a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from any accredited college or university within the last five years is eligible to apply by completing an online “Bridge to Employment” scholarship form from the website before the next deadline date of April 15, 2013.

“In today’s economy, university continuing education programs across the country are needed to help even the college educated bridge to new areas of employment,” says Henry DeVries, assistant dean for external affairs and chair of the scholarship committee at UC San Diego.

According a Department of Labor report from January of 2013, there are more than 3 million jobs that American businesses cannot fill because of a lack of skilled applicants.

“Sadly, the U.S. education system hasn't been producing enough people with the highly specialized skills that many companies need to be competitive, particularly in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering and math,” added DeVries.

Certificate programs offer a practical, concentrated study in a specific professional area and most can be started any academic quarter. Most certificates at UC San Diego Extension can be completed in one to two years at a cost around $1,875 to $3,200.

For the convenience of working adults, classes for most of UC San Diego Extension’s certificate programs and specialized study programs are held evenings and weekends on the UC San Diego main campus and two other locations in University City and Mission Valley or online.

UC San Diego offers approximately 90 certificates or special study programs. Some areas of possible study for career changers or those wishing to add new skills to their resume include: Business; Digital Arts; Education; Engineering and Defense Technology; English Language Studies; Foreign Languages; Healthcare and Behavioral Sciences; Humanities and Writing; Information Technology and Software Engineering; Law; Leadership and Management Development; Life Sciences; Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health; Photography, Art and Music, and Public Service, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business. Details are available at

Certificate programs at UC San Diego Extension have never been more popular.  This past year, UC San Diego Extension had approximately 56,000 enrollees, which translates to a record 30,929 students in more than 4,100 courses.

The “Bridge to Employment” scholarships are automatically renewed, provided the recipient continues to pass their coursework and remains active in the certificate program. Scholarships cover tuition only, are non-transferable and carry no cash value.

Scholarships are awarded each academic quarter. Applications must be received by January 15, April 15, July 15, or October 15. Recipients and non-recipients are notified by email by March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15. Applications will be considered for the upcoming quarter. The UC San Diego Extension Scholarship Committee will review scholarship applications four times a year and reserves the right not to award a scholarship.

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