Step 1: Application Guide
Until recently, the idea that people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder could move their lives forward or even reintegrate into their communities was thought by many to be unrealistic and unobtainable. But with the advent of newer medications, lives have been transformed.
However, medication is only the first step. The support of people and programs in the community is essential. Opening the door to educational opportunities is one way to help people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder transition from a world of chaos and withdrawal to one of accomplishment.
The goal of the Baer Reintegration Scholarship is to help people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder acquire the educational and vocational skills necessary to reintegrate into society, secure jobs, and regain their lives.
The Baer Reintegration Scholarship is funded by the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation which supports the efforts of organizations working to stimulate education, research and direct care in the mental health field. A businessman and consultant, Mr. Baer personally faced mental health challenges during his life and sought to alleviate the suffering of those living with mental illness
To be eligible for consideration for the Baer Reintegration Scholarship, applicants must:
Be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
Be currently receiving medical treatment for the disease, including medications and psychiatric follow-up, or have treating physician’s documentation of past history noted on Recommendation Form
Be actively involved in rehabilitative or reintegration efforts, such as clubhouse membership, part-
or full-time employment, volunteer efforts or
Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident and plan to attend a school in the United States
Be age 18 years or older by September 1st, 2019
The Baer Reintegration Scholarship program is designed
to offer financial assistance for a wide range of educational opportunities in which students work to attain a certificate or degree from an accredited institution.
Eligible programs include:
High school equivalency programs
Trade or vocational school, or certificate programs
*Please note that noncredit, online, home study and
distance learning courses are not covered under the scholarship. Also, the scholarship is only available to U.S. citizens or legal residents who plan to attend classes within the United States.
The applications will be judged by the following criteria:
References from three individuals, including the applicant’s psychiatrist or prescribing authority (references from family members are ineligible)
Quality of essay
Thoughtfulness and appropriateness of academic
and vocational/career goals
Success in dealing with the disease
Recent volunteer and/or vocational experience
Completion of application requirements including signing the Personal Consent & Release Form
CONDITIONS OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The 2019-2020 Baer Reintegration Scholarship program will be effective for the fall 2019- spring 2020 school year only. Past winners wishing to continue/complete their education must reapply to renew their scholarship on an annual basis. (See Renewal Guidelines below.)
Awards are determined on a case-by-case basis. Scholarship money is sent directly to educational institutions to defray the costs of tuition, books, laboratory supplies and mandatory fees on behalf of winning candidates. All monies remaining at the end of the 2020 spring semester must be returned to the scholarship fund. The scholarship does not cover summer classes, transportation, computer, or room and board expenses.
EDUCATIONAL GOALS AND COSTS
Applicants must have an academic or a vocational goal
as well as a career goal, including a specific school they plan to attend. Applicants must enclose a copy of the desired school’s statement of standard costs for tuition, books, lab supplies, and mandatory fees from the school’s website or financial aid office. If applying for more than one school, include standard costs from all potential schools
Once receiving the Baer Reintegration Scholarship, winners are encouraged to continue their educational pursuits and reapply for the program annually until they have achieved their educational goal. Past winners will receive top consideration as long as current academic records and rehabilitative/ reintegration efforts reflect dedication and commitment to an academic or a vocational goal, as well as to a career goal. Upon reapplication, past winners must enclose a current grade report, a recommendation form from a psychiatrist or prescribing authority, a signed Personal Consent & Release Form, and a reconfirmation of your goals and academic hours completed/remaining to fulfill your degree requirements.
INDEPENDENT JUDGING PANEL
The Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation has an independent panel of judges comprised of psychiatric care professionals and consumers to select the scholarship winners. The judges will review all eligible scholarship applications in accordance with the stated criteria. They will select scholarship winners and determine monetary scholarship amounts for each winner based on financial needs and educational goals. All deliberations and decisions by the judging panel are final and confidential.
This application will be reviewed only by the panel of judges and will remain confidential. All application materials will be destroyed after the judging process is completed and will not be returned to the applicant. Decisions will be made in April of 2018. All applications will be notified of a decision in the spring of 2018.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com. All questions will be answered by email only.
Essay must be no longer than three double-spaced typed pages and must include the following section headings; to make six separate sections to the essay.
My Career Goal and My Rationale for Choosing This Goal
How This Course of Study Will Help Me Achieve My Career Goal
How My Illness Has Impacted My Ability to Succeed in School, Maintain Employment or Establish Relationships
Steps I Have Taken to Prepare for Pursuit of This Education
Rationale for the Specific School Chosen
My Plans to Continue Treatment While Pursuing
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the U.S. Department of Education.
You can apply on the Web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov or contact your school for an application form. DO NOT mail in any FAFSA info with your application package. If you are chosen as a finalist, you will be required to show proof that you completed a FAFSA prior to April 1, 2019. (FAFSA filing is not required of those applying for
financial assistance for high school or GED studies.)
Should your references be submitting a mailed in PDF form; please be sure to:
Complete the Applicant portion at the top of all three forms, including your signature
Prepare self-addressed, stamped envelopes to accompany the appropriate Recommendation Form for each of your three references Note: The recommendations you receive back from your references must be enclosed with your completed Application and either be in their postmarked, unopened envelopes; or if not postmarked, signed on the unopened seal by the person providing the recommendation. You will submit these unopened envelopes together with your application materials.
Remind each reference that the form must be completed and mailed to you so that you may enclose it with your application packet and still make the January 12, 2018, deadline.
Before mailing in your application packet, be sure
Completed Application Form
Your essay of no longer than three double-spaced typed pages
All three unopened, sealed Recommendation Forms
Your unofficial school transcripts (If you are chosen as a Finalist, official transcripts will be required at that time
Copy of your desired school’s statement of standard education costs from the school’s website or financial aid office
Signed Personal Consent & Release Form
Please note: Incomplete applications will be disqualified. All application submissions should include only the above requested materials. Any additional information or materials will be destroyed and will not be submitted to the judges. Applications submitted to the Baer Reintegration Scholarship program will remain confidential. Materials submitted will not be returned. The Baer Reintegration Scholarship program will not be responsible for lost or misdirected mail.
Applications must be postmarked or emailed by January 18th, 2019.
Applications must be completed in their entirety according to the directions provided; applicants must meet the eligibility requirements in order to be considered by the panel of independent judges
All applicants will be notified by Spring 2019 whether or not they have been chosen as a finalist. Winners will be notified in July 2019.