Free Money for Students, Part II: How to Get Scholarships

Have you decided to apply for scholarships but aren’t sure how to get started? In this second of my 2-part series, I’ll explain some strategies for being awarded scholarships. In case you missed it, be sure to read my first article on why you should apply.

Step 1: Apply

Did you know that under 10% of FRCC students even apply for scholarships? And yet, over 75% of those who apply receive one! Of the scholarships from 2017, three still had money in them in February of 2018. It’s never too late to apply, so go to the Scholarships page and create your profile once it opens again in the Fall. Between now and then, check the page every few weeks to see the individual scholarships that open up.

Step 2: Start Preparing Now

The FRCC Foundation Scholarship lets you apply for many scholarships at once, but make sure you include as much as possible to set yourself apart from other applicants. When submitting your application, include as much of the following as possible:

  • Your academic goals (degree/certificate)
  • Your personal history
  • Your interests and extracurricular/volunteer activities
  • A 250-500-word essay (under two pages, double-spaced)
  • Letters of recommendation from instructors or employers

Step 3: Your Essay

Not all scholarships require an essay, but you’ll have a better chance with those that do because many students don’t want to spend time writing one. You’ll stand out if you do!

When writing your essay, explain how the money will help meet your educational goals and how you have succeeded when facing challenges. Are you a working parent? Did you re-take a class and do much better the second time around? This is your chance to tell your story and demonstrate that you’ve got what it takes to succeed even when facing adversity.

You can reuse your essay for other scholarships you may apply for in the future, and you can even use it as the basis for a 4-year college application! Just be sure to re-write anything that is specific to one scholarship.

Step 4: Letters of Recommendation

Make sure to include at least two letters of recommendation. They’re easier to get than you might think. Your instructors (past and present) want you to succeed, so start now! Request them at least a month or two before they’re needed because instructors and employers can be busy. You don’t have to have good grades. If the instructor knows you’re trying and participating, they’ll likely support you. It’s helpful if the letter describes how a scholarship will help you meet your educational and career goals, what you’ve accomplished, and why you’re a good student. Your instructor shouldn’t mention your grade, so don’t worry if you’re struggling. Overcoming difficulties is even something they can mention!

Step 5: Extra Activities

Scholarships like to see a good life balance and time management, but also good citizenry. If you’ve participated in school clubs, activities, volunteered in the community, or won any awards, be sure to include that in your application. If you haven’t, consider getting started now!

Applying for scholarships can seem daunting, but it’s not as hard as it seems and the rewards are absolutely worth your time. Good luck!

 

ScholarshipIllustration

Illustration by Madison Otten

Pizza with the President

By Jeramey Reamer

Hot slices of pizza were served as FRCC’s President Andy Dorsey addressed the concerns of the Westminster campus.  This was a unique opportunity for students to share their voice with their college’s leadership.

A wide range of topics were discussed at the event, billed as “Pizza with the President.”  Issues relating to baseball teams and the upcoming HOWL release were exchanged in an open-style forum.  There were no questions that were off-limits, and areas that needed improvement were brought to light.

 

Pizza with Prez

FRCC President Andy Dorsey, Photo by Jeramey Reamer

 

During this hour-long event, a long-standing rumor was put to rest.  In the past, students have voiced concerns over the recycling program.  Noticing that the bins were always getting mixed-up led to the rumor that Front Range does not actually recycle, but that it sorts all of its waste into the garbage.  This is not true. Dorsey assured the room that FRCC has gone through all the steps to ensure the effectiveness of its recycling program. This also serves as even more motivation to sort your recycling correctly!

“Student input has impacted many of the decisions we have made,” said Dorsey. “These forums are part of the many different steps we take to best respond to students.”

One student mentioned how his online classes were confusing.  He expressed his frustration with reading textbooks, then logging into message forums.  Conflicts with the syllabus as well as credit hour concerns made this student feel lost and overwhelmed.  After voicing his frustration, an important exchange of ideas was shared between the student and Dorsey. Hearing directly from the source of a concern, Dorsey was able to respond with insights that led to resolutions.

In addition to getting to the root of campus problems, both students and staff thanked President Dorsey for his community building.  They admired how interactive Dorsey was with the campus, as well as creating a family among the college. Having been a part of the Front Range since 1993, Dorsey is well experienced in team building.

Dorsey also reassured students that they will always have ways to express themselves.  One group of young thespians described their ambitions to have an improv club. Theatre rehearsals and public performances were at the heart of these students’ motivations.  The President responded with enthusiasm for their ideas and gave them advice on choosing a faculty mentor that can help their theater club flourish.

Following the event, two students, Camille Green and Mikaela Milhaupt, teamed up to organize FRCC’s new Theater Club.  Even though they have only been a club for a short amount of time, they have already attracted over 25 students to this emerging organization.

“I’ve been acting since I was four, and have been in approximately 30 shows in high school and community theater,” said Green.  “We didn’t know we had the ability to start the club at first, but once we did we started as soon as we could.”

In the upcoming semesters, the Theater Club has already been approved to put on a full show.  This will mean auditions and rehearsals, resulting in a fully student-directed event.

“I have experience as a stage hand and management, as well as directing,” said Milhaupt.  “Currently, we are working on getting a larger space for our club meetings too.”

All students who are interested in the performing arts are encouraged to join the Theater Club, which will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00pm to 5:00pm.  (Check summer schedule for the most accurate meeting times and locations over the break.)

Pizza with the President was an effective way to get students in touch with those who are working behind the scenes to make our campus thrive.  By eating pizza and discussing important matters with President Dorsey, all are working together to ensure student success.

Looking to the future, Dorsey assures students they will always have an outlet to express their concerns.

“We will definitely be doing more student outreach events next year,” said Dorsey.  

Be sure to stay in touch with the Front Page for more student engagement activities.