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Financial Aid for College Graduates: UC Alumni Offering Continuing Education Scholarships

LA JOLLA, Calif., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — University of California (UC) San Diego Extension will award four "Change the World" merit scholarships 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.

All UC alumni who have received a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree from any UC campus are eligible to apply by completing an online "Change the World" scholarship form from the website before the next deadline date of April 15, 2013.

One of last year's winners was UC San Diego graduate Albert Chu, who was selected to receive a "Change the World" Scholarship to study video and imaging technologies in order to further his research of object detection and motion/pose estimation technology.

The UC San Diego Extension Scholarship Committee cited his commitment to developing an Android app that would allow the user to control the device by the movement of their face.

Along with the novelty this technology provides to the public, it could also drastically improve the lives of those who are disabled, allowing them easier operation of such devices.

"The Video and Imaging Technologies certificate would supplement and enrich my computer vision knowledge," said Chu. "I would like to apply that to mobile device programming and develop an app that takes as input the user's face pose and allow the user to navigate the interface with a turn of the face."

Chu, who graduated from UC San Diego in 2011 with a degree in Computer Sciences, works as a software engineer for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., and is currently taking graduate courses at UC San Diego in computer vision and machine learning.

The scholarship is awarded to UC graduates who demonstrate outstanding promise and potential. Chu earned Provost's honors for three quarters while at UC San Diego.

"My goal is to combine computer vision research with user interface (UI) design to develop innovative human-computer interaction technology," said Chu. "With this certificate, I can further pursue my passion in computer vision research, which complements perfectly with my background as a software engineer, where my current work involves front-end UI development."

What does it mean to change the world? The definition is purposely broad, and can range from cultural enrichment to regional economic development. UC San Diego Extension is looking to reward alumni with the promise and potential to improve the quality of life in San Diego, and beyond. In the application essay, potential recipients can explain how they would help California build a globally competitive talent pool, accelerate economic vitality or foster community-building conversations if they receive this advanced training.

Certificate programs offer a practical, concentrated study in a specific professional area and most can be started any academic quarter. 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.

UC San Diego offers approximately 80 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.

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 26,000 students in more than 4,900 courses.

The "Change the World" 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.