Like many college students nationwide, there are plenty at Yuba College in need of some extra money. Whether one needs the money for transportation to travel to and from class, or to help pay the bills, books or food, the money is readily available provided that the student takes the time and effort to look for it.
Unlike loans, scholarship and grant money does not have to be paid back and is available to anyone that meets the criteria.
The college’s financial aid office should be the first stop in the search for free money. In addition to having staff that can be of assistance to students, the office provides a financial aid program that includes scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid that help students achieve their educational goals.
The financial aid office can provide students with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is better known as the FAFSA. Based on income, assets, size of family, and other criteria, the FAFSA can help eligible students to overcome financial barriers that stand in the way of their educational goals. For more information, the financial aid office can be reached at (530) 741-6781.
All eligible students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships through the Yuba College Scholarship Program. This program consists of foundation scholarships, general scholarships, scholarships for Lake Campus students only and scholarships for the Woodland Campus students only.
The funding for these scholarships becomes available to the Yuba College Foundation through private donors and from other community organizations and corporations. Periodic changes in the stock market affect the level of funding for each scholarship; therefore, each year, the amount of the scholarships offered can vary. The Yuba College Scholarship Program can be reached at (530)749-7978.
Yuba College student Sao Vang was a recipient of a $1,000 Shirley J. Kimerer Hayter Memorial Scholarship. “I used the money for books, housing, and supplies,” she said. The scholarship is one of many that are offered through the Yuba College Scholarship Foundation at Yuba College.
Criteria for scholarships can vary tremendously. They can range from maintaining a certain G.P.A., financial need, and extra-curricular activities, to having a specific major. Even if a student does not qualify for financial aid, she shouldn’t be discouraged as there are scholarships that are based on other factors such as academic excellence.
Some students don’t apply for scholarships because they are unaware of the process, or they are afraid they don’t meet the prerequisites, or they worry about writing an essay. Others are just lazy.
“I’m lazy. I just think about it, but I never do it,” noted Yuba College student Charisse Sumabat with a smug smile. “I don’t know what steps I have to take, G.P.A. requirements, what I have to do or what goes into the process,” she continued.
Rotary International offers a $25,000 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship awarded to students that have completed two years of college-level coursework and plan to study outside of the United States for at least one year thereafter.
The Ambassadorial Scholarship is the world’s largest privately funded International scholarship program. With over $26 million available, recipients from over 69 countries have studied in more than 64 nations. The organization offers 12,000 scholarships worldwide, but students in this area only compete with others in the Sacramento Valley for one or more of the scholarships. The purpose of this scholarship program is to further international understanding and relations among people of different countries.
According to Jim Buchan, Yuba College District Board Member and former President of the Rotary Club in Yuba City, the money is available but students need to take advantage of it. Only about twenty students apply for the scholarship every year in the Sacramento Valley, which, according to Buchan, isn’t nearly enough.
The initial application of the scholarship must be made through a Rotary club in an applicant’s legal or permanent residence or place of full-time study or employment. The applications are available in January of each year and are due in May. Once an applicant has won the scholarship, the student will be notified the following June or July. The scholarship will take affect a year from that time.
Buchan also mentioned that when a student has won the scholarship and is studying abroad, a Rotary family is always nearby to offer their home and take in the student during the holidays when students are lonely and far away from their families.
Kay Peterson, Ph.D., offers tips for winning scholarship applications on Fastweb.com. She states that one should apply only if they’re eligible. Many scholarships are very specific in their eligibility criteria and won’t consider an applicant if she doesn’t meet the guidelines.
Completing the application in full is also helpful. If a question doesn’t apply to an applicant, noting that on the application is better than leaving a blank because then the application will seem incomplete. Include all additional materials that are requested, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation and essays. Being neat in filling out an application is a must.
Typing an application ensures neatness as well as its legibility. The application should be proofread at least three times to make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Following all of the directions is also very important, as it will ensure proper processing of the application.
Also, students should make copies of everything just in case something happens and they need a backup. A good idea is to put a name and social security number on all pages of the application just in case something gets lost.
Making a mental note to send in all required forms and documents at least two weeks prior to the official deadline will help in making sure that everything is completed on time and your scholarship application will be safely in the hands of those who need to have it.
For those that lack exceptional writing skills, the essay that is required for some scholarships is what keeps some students away. Judith Mann, an student accepted for a competitive Cal Grant stated, “The essay is the only thing that’s keeping me from applying for other scholarships.” However, some scholarships don’t even require an essay but a small personal statement or none altogether.
Another method for obtaining information on scholarships is through the Internet. Many websites have scholarship engines, which are free of charge and only require a minute to register.
The websites can have a vast array of local and nation-wide scholarships as well as other helpful, up-to-date financial aid information. Some to try are: www.fastweb.com, www.brokescholar.com, www.collegedata.com and scholarships.com.
There are many giving people that want to help students achieve their educational endeavors. The information and funding are widely available to help students do just that. There are many resources for students on campus that can help them through the process.
All they have to do is ask.