The SPSCC Foundation hopes for a better turnout for this year’s 2014 Scholarship Cycle beginning March 3. Out of the 500 students who started the free application process last year, only 200 finished, said Katya Miltimore, development manager of the College Foundation.
After talking to students and conducting a survey, the College Foundation found that many students did not allow themselves enough time for the application.
If you plan ahead, the application will really only take about 45 minutes, said Miltimore. Students are given 6 weeks to complete the application with the April 14 deadline. By filling out one free common online application, the sophisticated computer system the College Foundation developed will then automatically match the applicant with scholarships best suited for the individual, said Miltimore.
She said there are 140 different scholarships in the cycle that cover all fields of study for almost every type of student at SPSCC. One example of this would be a new Memorial Scholarship being included in the cycle this year; it is for students interested in creative writing or for those pursuing a career in the field of journalism.
The scholarship awards range from $500 to $4,000 with the majority of the awards being $1,000. “When else will you have the chance to get $1,000 for only 45 minutes worth of work?” said Miltimore.
Many students have the misconception that you need to be a “perfect student” to apply for a scholarship, said Miltimore. This is far from the truth, she said, because only about 20 percent of scholarships in this cycle ask for your GPA.
Last year there were scholarships that the College Foundation were unable to award because not enough people applied. The scholarship cycle only runs once a year. It does not hurt to at least apply, said Miltimore.
The 2014 Scholarship Cycle is for students attending the college in fall 2014. The common application requires a one to two page essay, an unofficial transcript, and two letters of recommendation. Miltimore said the letters of recommendation are what students procrastinate on, which then prevents many of them from turning their application in on time.
Students need to let their teachers know ahead of time if they want to receive a well-written letter of recommendation, said Miltimore. It can be stressful for staff and faculty trying to write-up a letter for a student at the last minute. Miltimore also added that when students do not give teachers enough time to write the letters, they will most likely not be as well written. She said students have told her getting this done on time was their biggest struggle.
This is the College Foundation’s second year using the online applications. After a survey done last year, they found that the majority of students had no complaints about the application process and did not think the application was asking too much of them.
To begin the online application, students can go to www.spscc.edu/scholarships on March 3. For more information, contact Kerri Chaput, director of student grants and scholarships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.