|Applying for scholarships pays off|
|Written by Julia Evelsizer, Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 10 February 2013 13:24|
Finding scholarships can really help lessen the blow of the price of tuition for college and increase the appeal of a résumé, but many students believe that none are available to them or that they are too difficult to find.
The truth is, ISU and many organizations offer thousands of scholarships to students in all areas of life, majors and levels of financial need.
The Scholarship Resource Office at ISU is a great place to start searching. The website offers many useful tools and information to make the process easier. Scholarship opportunities are posted regularly on the main page. A helpful tool on the site is the ScholarshipFinder, a Google-style searchable database.
Jennifer Fissel is the scholarship coordinator for the Scholarship Resource Office.
“During the 2011-2012 academic year, we processed over $2 million in scholarships from private donors for over 1,000 students and we processed over $26 million in scholarships for over 8,000 students,” Fissel said.
Awards are offered to students more often than it may seem. All it takes is a little research and dedication to find a scholarship.
“We also recommend that students do a variety of searches and search often,” Fissel said. “Donors may post scholarship applications throughout the year. Many applications tend to be posted in late fall or early spring with a deadline in early spring. Some donors do look for applicants over the summer time and early fall.”
ISU offers scholarships to students through various organizations and groups on campus, as well as certain majors or departments. Scholarships can also be found through donors external to ISU.
“There are awards from various ethnic, religious and service based
organizations,” Fissel said. “There are also nationwide scholarships
such as The Lincoln Forum scholarship and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ scholarship.”
Information about scholarships is also sent regularly through email
to students. Departments may search for scholarship applicants by
sending an email, but the students do not take the time to respond. If a
student is uncertain about the validity of the email, they should
contact their academic department to see if the department has sent out a
request for scholarship information.
Michael Kaschke, senior finance major at ISU, had the privilege of
receiving the Robert G. Bone scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year.
According to the honors website, being designated a Bone Scholar is the
highest honor an ISU undergraduate student can receive, and this honor
contributes markedly to a student’s success.
“Receiving this scholarship has made it easier for me to approach
employers with my résumé,” Kaschke said. “It gives them another metric
to assess me with besides my GPA.”
It is common for many students to apply for the same scholarship, so it is important to stand out from the crowd.
“I would recommend that students apply to scholarships that allow
them to tell a unique story. It’s hard to stand out from a large pool of
applicants if you can’t make your application personal and appealing,”
Many students skip the process of applying for scholarships because it takes a lot of time and effort.
“Writing a thoughtful and well-proofread application doesn’t take so
long if you set aside time for it,” Kaschke said. “When you consider
the potential reward, I don’t think it’s such a tough decision.”
More information on any of the scholarships listed above can be found through the scholarship resource office website at IllinoisState.edu/scholarships or by phone at (309) 438-2740.