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Paying for school with scholarships

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Students who hear about others studying under scholarships may have the fallacious impression that scholarship programs are only for those with exceptional grades, skills, or circumstances. This idea is not always true.

Large sums of money set aside for scholarship programs go unused every year due to lack of applicants. The application process for most scholarship awards may require less of a commitment outside of their studies than students might expect.

Some awards may be based on a student’s merits; for instance, are you the first of your family to attend college? Funds have been awarded in the past to assist and encourage first-generation students. Do you enjoy journalism, athletics, student leadership, music or performing arts? Grants, also called merit awards, are awarded each term for some students studying in these fields.

Information on merit awards is available in the Financial Aid department of the Student Center as well.

It just may be in every student’s best interest to check on such opportunities regularly.

What follows are some legitimate scholarship resources provided by the UCC website (through the Financial Aid link).

The UCC Foundation

Located in the Technology Center on campus, the UCC Foundation is a nonprofit arm of the college concerning scholarship coordination. The foundation will accept and evaluate applications February 1 through the March 15 deadline.

Executive Director Susan Taylor also says that when students fill out applications they should consider their community service or volunteer work broadly, as even the smallest contributions to their local communities count. Taylor says references are important as well; it is a good idea for applicants to include at least three to increase their chances of follow-through if the people listed are contacted. The UCC Scholarships webpage has a link to the state’s Office of Student Access and Completion, which has the most current OSAC requirements.

This application must be filled out for state, federal and some local scholarships.

The umpqua.edu/scholarship webpage also has links to several other scholarship search portals, including Fastweb, SuperScholar, Jack Kent Cooke or College Answers. College Answers also provides links to other tools such as how to fill out the Free Application for Student Aid, which is required by many scholarships. The umpqua.edu/scholarship page additionally gives links to sources which explain the scholarship process and how to avoid problems.

Transfer School Scholarships

Students intending to continue their education after UCC are likely to find very similar scholarship information on their next school’s home pages. For example, UO provides its own scholarship information (https://financialaid.uoregon.edu/scholarships_search).

Likewise, Southern Oregon University also provides scholarship information that students can look up now (https://inside.sou.edu/enrollment/financial-aid/scholarships/index.html).

 Peer Mentor Scholarship Application Assistance

The peer mentors have been through application processes and can help you with many aspects of applying for scholarships: how to fill out OSAC applications, how to fill out Foundation applications, how to order student transcripts, how to complete an activity chart and how to write effective essays. The student mentor program is located in the ASUCC department of the LaVerne Murphy Student Center.

Scholarship Scams

Be wary of organizations that promise money or require no work from you. Though many scholarship applications are simpler than one might think, no valid resource is likely to put in all of the work.

Ask Around!

Tuition assistance doesn’t just have to come through official means and programs; associations outside of school may be willing to pitch in. Clubs, societies, fraternal organizations, places of worship, local businesses, even an employer could find a student’s education to be a worthy investment.

Student debt is commonplace. Learn now – pay later – is the paradigm for many students, but some may be able to lessen their future burden without a huge devotion of time.