The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) Scholarship program website, www.AutomotiveScholarships.com, received a record-setting 607 completed applications from students seeking the 2014-2015 awards.
“The 607 applications for this year’s scholarships far exceed our previous record of 503 set in 2013,” said Pete Kornafel, chairman of the GAAS Scholarship Selection Committee. “Our outreach to teachers and industry professionals has succeeded in getting the word out about the scholarships’ availability to students who are planning careers in the automotive aftermarket.”
According to Kornafel, 87 percent of the 2014 scholarship applicants have designated automotive, collision or heavy-duty/diesel technician training as their post-secondary course of study. Another 60 applicants are business, marketing or engineering students attending or planning to attend four-year colleges or universities to pursue automotive aftermarket careers. In total, 97 percent of the scholarship applicants are preparing for careers in the aftermarket.
“The academic ratings of this year’s students are outstanding,” Kornafel explained. “More than 150 applicants have a high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher, and two-thirds have a 3.0 or higher high school GPA. Of the 250 applicants already at the post-secondary level, 82 percent have 3.0 or higher GPAs. The bottom line is that we’ve got a great way to apply all the funds we can raise for scholarships.”
“It is certainly gratifying to see this tremendous interest from students and their determination to pursue aftermarket careers. Now, the industry needs to do its part to support these future aftermarket employees,” said Denny Welvaert, GAAS chairman. “I urge all industry executives to register for GAAS 2014 today at www.globalsymposium.org – or to send other representatives from your company if you are unable to attend.
“Our agenda for GAAS 2014 is one of the strongest we’ve ever offered – the event’s educational and networking opportunities make it well worth the investment in time and travel,” Welvaert added. “But, the symposium’s greater purpose is to invest in the future of the aftermarket by funding scholarships. We need record-setting attendance at GAAS 2014 to match these student applications and ensure a record number of scholarship awards this year.”
In its 16-year history, the GAAS Scholarship program has presented more than $1.8 million in awards to more than 1,800 students. In the 2013-2014 academic year, the GAAS scholarship program presented 250 awards totaling more than $260,000, including 115 scholarships funded by the University of the Aftermarket Foundation.
Ten of the 2013-2014 GAAS scholarships were funded through a grant from the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. Seven additional scholarships were presented by GAAS to Canadian students.
GAAS is slated for Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 21 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.