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Objective: Learn some basic strategies to complete all components of a scholarship application. Development of a unique and compelling essay; Writing.

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Presentation on theme: "Objective: Learn some basic strategies to complete all components of a scholarship application. Development of a unique and compelling essay; Writing."— Presentation transcript:


2 Objective: Learn some basic strategies to complete all components of a scholarship application. Development of a unique and compelling essay; Writing a resume that truly attests to one’s accomplishments; Strategies for securing excellent letters of recommendation. Scholarship Panel

3 In 2012, undergraduate enrollment at all American public, private, four-year and two-year institutions of higher learning was approximately 17.5 million students; 11 million attended the country’s 2,474 four-year schools, and 6.5 million attended its 1,666 two-year institutions. Murr, C. D. (January 01, 2010). A Scholarship Workshop Program to Improve Underrepresented Student Access to Higher Education. Journal of Student Financial Aid, 40, 2, 31-38.

4 There is roughly somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States today. Two-thirds of college seniors who graduated in 2011 had student loan debt, with an average of $26,600 per borrower California: $18,113 Sacramento State:$14,679 (Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Consumer Finance Protection Bureau)

5 Estimated Annual Costs of Attendance at Sacramento State ALLOWANCEWITH PARENTSON-CAMPUSOFF-CAMPUS DIRECT COSTS Tuition Fees*$6,628 Food & Housing-$11,874- INDIRECT COSTS Books & Supplies$1,754 Food & Housing$4,518-$12,090 Transportation$1,400$1,210$1,358 Miscellaneous Personal$1,338 TOTAL$15,638$22,804$23,168

6 4 main types of financial aid available for college: Federal Pell Grant- largest grant program and are awarded based on the FAFSA; $5,550 State Cal Grants (A & B) State University Grant (SUG) Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Student Loans Federal Perkins, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans Subsidized- based on financial need; interest is paid by the government while enrolled Unsubsidized- regardless of financial need; charged interest, can either pay the interest while enrolled or defer but will add to principle University Emergency Short Term Loan -a zero-free interest loan which must be repaid within 60 days Private Loans Federal Work-Study Scholarships

7 “low-income students and students of color are especially likely to face substantial unmet need even after taking into account all available grants and loans” Unmet need is the difference between a student's Cost of Attendance, minus student and family expected contributions and available financial aid funds Murr, C. D. (January 01, 2010). A Scholarship Workshop Program to Improve Underrepresented Student Access to Higher Education. Journal of Student Financial Aid, 40, 2, 31-38. Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC)* Financial Need

8 A scholarship is a form of student financial aid that does not need to be repaid. Selection of scholarship recipients is usually based on a set of criteria, such as academic, athletic, or artistic merit. Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the US Department of Education

9 Types of Available Scholarships Institutional scholarships The application period is from January 15 to March 15, each year. An application link willbe available in the Student Center for all students with a My Sac State account. ml Departmental scholarship Each department has different scholarship application processes and deadlines. larship%20Website.html Community scholarships ml

















26 Example of a Real Scholarship! Duck Brand Duct Tape "Stuck At Prom®” Ten finalists are selected and visitors to the site then vote on them. Each of the two entrants that make up the couple who gets the most votes gets $3,000 towards college

27 Myths About Scholarships 1.Only Straight-A Students Win Scholarships 2.Only High School Seniors Can Apply for Scholarships 3.Colleges Reduce Need-Based Aid When You Win Scholarships, So Why Bother? 4.Searching/Applying for Scholarships is Too Much Work Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher of Fastweb and FinAid

28 Myth: Only “A” Students Win Scholarships Reality: Students with better grades are more likely to win scholarships, but B and C students do win some Cumulative GPA on a 4.0 Scale High School GPA College GPA % Winning Scholarships % of Scholarship Winners % Winning Scholarships 0.0-1.9 (D- to C)5.7% 1.3% 7.0% 2.0-2.4 (C to B-)7.1% 6.2% 9.1% 2.5-2.9 (B- to B)9.5% 8.1% 10.7% 3.0-3.4 (B to A-)10.7% 30.0% 13.1% 3.5-4.0 (A- to A)18.7% 54.4% 18.8%

29 Myth: Just for High School Seniors There are scholarships with deadlines in every month of the year – Deadlines peak in the fall and spring – Summer is the low point Many families wait until spring of the senior year in high school to figure out how to pay for college, missing half the deadlines for seniors Continue searching for scholarships after you have enrolled in college

30 Myth: Colleges Will Cut Aid, So Why Bother? Colleges do displace private scholarships, but most colleges will try to ensure that the student gets some financial benefit – Private scholarships first fill the gap (unmet need) – Then some of the private scholarship money will be used to reduce the student’s loan and work burden Every college has an outside scholarship policy which dictates how the college reduces need-based aid when a student wins a scholarship

31 Myth: Searching and Applying for Scholarships is Too Much Work Searching for scholarships is the easy part Applying for scholarships is hard, but then so is applying for college admission It gets much easier after your first half-dozen applications, since you can reuse and adapt your previous application essays

32 Secrets to Winning a Scholarship Who Wins Scholarships? Basic Strategies for Winning Scholarships Tips on Winning Scholarships Pitfalls and Dangers

33 Who Wins Scholarships? Very few students win a completely free ride – Of students enrolled full-time at a 4-year college 0.3% get enough grants to cover the full COA 1.0% get enough grants to cover 90% or more of the COA 3.4% get enough grants to cover 75% or more of the COA 14.3% get enough grants to cover 50% or more of the COA – Of students winning scholarships, more than two-thirds (69.1%) received less than $2,500 More students at 4-year colleges win scholarships – 8.3% of students at 4-year colleges win scholarships – 2.6% of students at 2-year colleges win scholarships

34 Some Majors are More Lucrative Major Percentage Winning Average Award Math/Statistics23.2%$4,059 Engineering17.6%$3,075 Physical Sciences17.1%$3,180 Life Sciences16.9%$2,649 Education15.0%$2,420 Health14.8%$2,880 Social Sciences12.7%$3,063 Humanities12.5%$2,623 Computer Science11.1%$2,974 Business9.1%$2,828

35 More Students with Good Grades Win Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 Scale High School GPA (% Winning Scholarships) College GPA (% Winning Scholarships) 0.0-1.9 (D- to C)5.7%7.0% 2.0-2.4 (C to B-)7.1%9.1% 2.5-2.9 (B- to B)9.5%10.7% 3.0-3.4 (B to A-)10.7%13.1% 3.5-4.0 (A- to A)18.7%18.8%

36 Strategies for Winning Scholarships – To win more scholarships, apply to more scholarships, but only if you qualify You can’t win if you don’t apply – One in four students never applies for financial aid It gets easier after your first few applications – Essays can be reused and tailored to each new application Don’t miss deadlines

37 Common Scholarship Components The application is more than just a form: Personal information Scholarship application Personal Essay Resume Letters of recommendation Academic transcripts

38 What is a Personal Statement? Narrative essay 1-3 pages long Explains your accomplishments, goals, and struggles

39 Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay Answer the essay question orally and transcribe the recording Use an outline to organize your thoughts Give examples and be specific Personalize your essay and be passionate Talk about your impact on other people Proofread a printed copy of the essay for spelling and grammar errors

40 My name is Chao Vang and I am twenty years old. I was admitted to California State University, Sacramento Fall of 2005. I graduated from Edison High School in Stockton, California June of 2005 and came right out of high school to attend the Equal Opportunity Program sponsored Summer Bridge program. There was no doubt that my choice to obtain my higher education will be from Sacramento State. Sacramento State was not only close to home but the student body and region represents diversity. I view a diverse student body as an important educational resource that enhances the environment for learning. The first time I toured Sacramento State my senior year in high school, I felt like the campus was park-like with hundred if not thousands of trees and energetic squirrels. The surrounding region made me more interested in attending Sacramento State. Next to the campus there are miles of trails along the nearby American River Parkway which I occasionally jog and bike and the Aquatic Center which I have also visited. In addition to the great opportunities and environmentally friendly green campus, I chose Sacramento State because of the vibrant teaching credential program that is offered through the College of Education. I would love to become a teacher and teach in Sacramento City Unified. While teaching, I plan to further my education here at Sacramento State and get my masters in educational administration and my administrative credential. Coming to Sacramento State is one of the best decisions I made so far. I know the value of obtaining degree and the long term benefits but this academic journey of mine has not been easy. As Hmong refugees from Thailand fleeing the Vietnam War both my parents’ goal for all my siblings is to have a better life than they did. This meant getting an education and being a productive member of society. Both my parents were not and are still not able to support me financially. Even though they are unable to financially support me I know they are proud of me. As the first generation to attend college and 4th person in my family to attend Sacramento State, I am proud that I am the few lucky persons in the world to have the privilege and opportunity to carry out my dreams. Living away from home and not having the security net from my parents and family has allowed me to become very responsible. I continued to volunteer and maintain a descent GPA while working on campus and applying to various scholarships and with financial assistance to face my financial hardship. There is the uncertainty of whether lack of finance resources will deter me from achieving my goals. I have the intellectual capacity, determination, and emotional support to accomplish my goals. I will always value what Sacramento State has given me. I hope that the scholarship committee can also see my dreams and grant my application for a scholarship. Thank You, Chao Vang Introduces self Why attending CSUS Academic interests and goals Personal hardships Personal growth and successes Conclusion

41 Letters of Recommendation They are commonly required as part of the scholarship application process. Provide the selection committee with third-party documentation and validation of your background. They want to read the opinion of someone who is familiar with your background and knows you well. Main goal of providing the scholarship awarding panel with an idea of the kind of person that you are and what you will bring on in that makes you the most preferred candidate. They can make the difference in attracting extra attention to your scholarship application

42 How to Help Get Better Letters Request in writing Give your letter writer basic information Your contact information The deadline for each letter you need The type of scholarship for which you're applying scholarship details Any special forms/Directions from the application Give your letter writer information you would like emphasized in the letter ◦ Course of study ◦ Career interests ◦ Resume Campus or community activities Honors and awards received

43 Who Should You Ask? Choose someone who:  Has worked with you closely. (supervisor)  Has worked with you long enough to write from real knowledge. (academic advisor)  Is relevant to the scholarship you have chosen. (professors in the case of academic applications)  Has a positive opinion of you and your abilities.  Has an personal style that is warm and supportive.

44 Personal Advice: Develop strong mentorship with a professor/staff that can write you multiple letter of recommendations Give your writers plenty of time Follow up Thank the recommender for writing the letter

45 Most Common Application Mistakes Missing deadlines Failing to proofread the application Failing to follow directions (essay length, number of recommendations) Omitting required information Applying for an award when you don’t qualify Failing to apply for an award for which you are eligible Failing to tailor the application to the sponsor Writing a boring essay

46 Beware of Scholarship Scams If you have to pay money to get money, it is probably a scam Never invest more than a postage stamp to get information about scholarships or to apply for a scholarship Nobody can guarantee that you’ll win a scholarship Do not give out personal information like bank account numbers, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers Beware of the unclaimed aid myth

47 Personal Tips Begin scholarship search around November Finding scholarships requires dedication Decide which scholarship Don’t overlook scholarships for smaller awards Verify deadlines Read eligibility requirements CAREFULLY and THOROUGHLY Develop strong mentorship with a professor/staff that can write you multiple letter of recommendations Be assertive, take initiative Proofread your application for spelling and grammar mistakes Use a professional email address Clean up the content of your Facebook account Make a copy of your application before mailing it Print or type responses in ink Respond to ALL questions Order transcripts Thank-you letters

48 For more information Full Circle Project 6000 J Street Lassen Hall 2205 Sacramento, CA 95819-6068 Phone: (916) 278-5172 Email: Website: For more information Full Circle Project 6000 J Street Lassen Hall 2205 Sacramento, CA 95819-6068 Phone: (916) 278-5172 Email: Website:

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