Scholarships : imagine your name on itby on Jan 11, 2019
With the end of finals during Fall semester, students returned rented texts, confirmed class for spring semester and took a much needed break. Not.
For today’s college students, there is no break and next to no ‘down’ time.
Across campus, students are enrolled in intersession classes, where the material is presented in the fastest of fast tracks: four weeks. Their student colleagues are busy touring nearby campuses and researching available scholarships. Most are probably working at least one job.
And deadlines for scholarships are coming up, fast.
ASGC students with their scholarships and their advisors after the 2018 Scholarship Reception.
Students can download official scholarship information and learn all the required parameters:
- College standing
- College applications sent
- Current enrollment
- Academic pursuit, course of study
- Financial need
Gavilan College had a notable increase in scholarships from 2017 to 2018. Students were able to defray book and tuition costs, and some students earned multiple scholarships and a fully paid transfer to a CSU or UC.
Applying is key
After meeting the scholarship’s specific criteria, three factors remained constant for all scholarship applications: letters of recommendation, the personal essay, and above all, meeting the deadline. Gavilan staff in financial aid and scholarships advised students to start their requests for faculty letters of recommendation early. During the semester break, instructors may check email less frequently or be traveling out of the area.
A component of all scholarships is the personal statement. Each scholarship application asks students to produce a personal statement profiling the student, their hardships, aspirations, and how they meet the scholarship requirements.
LVN Scholarship students Paulina Beltran, Krista Lober, Rosemary Sanchez, Raymond Lopez.
The hardest part is the first essay
Successful scholarship awardees write and rewrite their personal statements many times. Across the multiple scholarships available, some of the answers to questions are constant. Others are specific to each scholarship.
A recent scholarship workshop focused on a slide presentation and worksheets to help students frame their essay answers. Writing tutors in the Learning Commons are available to help any student, at any stage of the process.
“Scholarship submission can be time consuming,” said Ryan Shook, Student Life/Welcome Center Coordinator, but he advises the time is well worth the return. “When those $500, $1,000 or $15,000 scholarship checks are applied to financial aid packages, the result is fewer loans, less stress about paying for college.”
In 2018, Allison Jordan was awarded the Karl S. Pister Scholarship and two other scholarships.
Jordan, who transferred to UCSC in Fall 2018, applied for and was awarded three scholarships, including the prestigious Karl S. Pister Scholarship, awarded as $10,000 in each of two years.
“Money is out there for students,” said Shook. “It just takes a little time to look, and to write the winning essay.”
Returning student Michele Castro, who transferred to UC Berkeley in Fall 2018, was awarded
multiple scholarships, allowing her to focus on her studies and not worry about student loans.
“Sometimes, students don’t even apply to some scholarships,” said Shook. “That means you could be the only one applying.” And winning.
New Scholarships added for 2019
New scholarships are added every year. For 2019, two new scholarships will be bestowed to students who are studying either STEM or education careers. Launched by Diane Stone, kinesiology and athletics, the scholarship bestows two $500 scholarships each year.
"This is a new scholarship created this year in memory of my parents,” she said. Her parents were the first in their immediate families to attend and graduate college during the World War II era.
“My idea was to honor my dad and his commitment to math and science,” said Stone. “He is the only reason math and I get along.”
“My mother was a teacher in the public elementary school system, worked in the school library and then with disabled student populations,” she added.
“With my mom’s passing this year, I decided there was no better way to honor their memories than to continue as they had done, supporting students in higher education,” said Stone.
For Rebecca Ayala, it was a family affair.
More photos from Scholarship Ceremony 2018 can be viewed here.