“BPWSH: Women Helping Women”

The majority of FAU students are commuters. They may feel like living off-campus is more convenient, costs less, or is more appropriate for their lifestyles. While remaining students are fighting for spots to live on campus, (especially now that Algonquin is gone) more students have been moved to hotels due to overcrowding. 

What many students don’t know is that there is a women’s scholarship house available on-campus for women who attend school full-time and meet the financial aid requirements. 

It’s called The “Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship House” ( BPWSH) and contrary to its name, you do not have to be a Business major to live there. Here are some of the actual requirements:

  • Being a full-time enrolled, degree-seeking female student.
  • You must be a Florida resident.
  • Require a financial need of at least $1,500 (according to your financial aid report).
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA (cumulative).
  • Show a strong desire and willingness to actively participate in the women’s scholarship environment. 

The scholarship house is set-up in doubles, so it has two women per room with an adjoining bathroom, making it four women per bathroom. The house offers spaces for 17 women (the President of the organization is provided with their own suite).

This housing is offered at $800 for the entire semester, granted that you meet all of the requirements. Now, like any great American offer, there is a catch. The women that live in this household work and live cooperatively on a daily basis and must meet the requirements of the house once accepted. Some of these requirements include:

  • Attending Bi-Weekly house meetings to discuss house-related activities.
  • Doing one chore or “work job” every Friday in order to keep the dorm clean.
  • Participating in house related events (i.e. Open House, Community Service, Tabling & Bonding Events).
  • Following FAU Rules as well as the rules of the house.
  • Participating in “cook crew,” which requires cooking with a team one day of every week. 

While this may sound like a lot, it is a small price to pay to have the benefit of living on campus. I spoke to the current President of the organization, Akilah Cabey, who has lived on campus for six years, having spent the past three years in the BPW scholarship house. She had this to say,

“Living in BPW has given me the opportunity to live in a community unlike any other dorm on FAU campus. With not only providing me affordable housing that allowed me to continue my education here at FAU and be able to earn 3 degrees here, It surrounded me with like-minded women, who supported each other in our different endeavors but, had a common desire to be successful in our education while having some financial difficulty. It exposed me to women of different cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities and with that, I was introduced to different personalities, talents, and foods. I’ve had the opportunity to live in every dorm on the Boca Raton campus except Algonquin and my experience in BPW is like no other. BPW provided me with the sisterhood I never had growing up and challenged me to continue to step out of my comfort zone. BPW made a huge impact on my college experience and life that I will always cherish!”

The house has been on campus since 1996 and there are a few other houses just like it at FSU & UCF. The BPWSH foundation started in 1965 when Donna Stover Morris had a dream to graduate from FSU with a degree in teaching, but couldn’t afford to live on campus. Luckily, she wasn’t the only woman with this dream. 

The women of the Education Foundation of the Florida Federation of Business & Professional Women’s (BPW) Clubs shared this dream of Donna’s and wanted to provide housing for women on the Florida University Campus. They began collecting donations in Piggy Banks that eventually helped provide housing for 17 girls at a time. Thanks to Donna’s dream, many other women’s dreams to be successful graduates may now come true.

The Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship House provides a safe place to live, learn and bond with fellow women that come from different strokes of life. Having regular access to the university promotes better grades and more involvement in student life. While applications for this scholarship house are on a rolling deadline, candidates are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For more information on how to apply to this scholarship house, simply check fau.edu/housing/ and select the dormitory named “The Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship House.” There’s a picture of UVA on the page, but that is only because the buildings share the same parking lot. 

For more information on this story, you can reach out to BPWSH directly via: 

IG: BPW_FAU or faubpw96@gmail.com

Mykera Crawford is a staff writer for The Paradigm Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email mykeracrawford@gmail.com

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