OPINION: Scholarship hunting needs to be made easier

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Scholarships are great when you actually know about them.

College is expensive and having a scholarship or multiple scholarships helps to ease the financial burden given to students. Before heading into college, I already had an idea that I would at least receive something for my academics due to my high GPA.

I made the early application deadline for Dixie State University well before my first fall semester; shortly after I received my acceptance letter, I received a letter stating that I would be given the non-resident presidential scholarship.

The non-resident presidential scholarship is given to incoming college freshmen and pays full base tuition on the account of 4 years or a Bachelor’s degree. According to the DSU scholarship page the scholarship pays $14,976 per year based on 2019-20 tuition and requires 15 credit hours per semester with a 3.5 GPA. With the scholarship, you also can’t enroll in all online courses.

Even with the readily available scholarships DSU has to offer there should more done such as advertising to students through Canvas, having professors or tutors mention scholarships and even let prospective students know all the scholarships that DSU has to offer them. While I wasn’t even aware I qualified for scholarships, I still received them. I didn’t even know the full extent of my scholarship until I visited DSU’s scholarship website.

According to DSU’s scholarship website, many scholarships don’t even need an application. I wasn’t fully aware incoming freshmen who are Utah residents automatically receive an academic scholarship upon being fully accepted into DSU. During my tour with a DSU ambassador I remember being told how cheap tuition is for DSU but was never made aware of the available scholarships.

DSU has such a vast array of scholarships giving many options to students. DSU scholarships range from in-state, out of state, transfer and even first year current students. With this range of scholarships, it seems as if almost anyone who applies to DSU would be eligible for at least a small scholarship.

Aside from the average academic scholarships, students also have the ability to apply for the high impact scholarship and receive up to $500 towards a program that you have or are interested in attending. The programs for the scholarship range anywhere from study abroad to programs to alternative spring break trips. All students have to do is fill out the required forms and are then considered for the scholarship.

I found the high impact scholarship to be unique as I wasn’t even aware a scholarship like this existed. I’m in my second year at DSU and only found out about this scholarship last fall simply because I overheard others talking about it.

There’s an abundance of scholarships but no one is applying, as College Raptor said. College Raptor also said there are many people who don’t apply for financial aid or scholarships simply because they don’t think they’ll get them but with DSU giving scholarships to eligible students upon full acceptance, one doesn’t even need to apply for a scholarship initially.

College Raptor said, “57% of all financial aid comes in the form of college scholarships and grants.”

If DSU not only offers academic scholarships but ones like the high impact scholarship then why are more students not hearing about them? I don’t think the problem is DSU having a lack of scholarships for students, the problem is not having the scholarships advertised to begin with.

I was excited to get my scholarship since the cost of my tuition was decreased to even more than what my home state of California would have offered me. Aside from the non-resident presidential scholarship, I also received a private outside scholarship I wasn’t even aware existed until I was presented with it.

The private scholarship I received coincided with where I went to elementary and middle school. I grew up in the little unincorporated city of Aguanga, California and spent my elementary and middle school years at Cottonwood School. Upon graduating high school and being accepted to DSU, I received a private scholarship from the Cottonwood Country Council.

The Cottonwood Country Council awarded me a small scholarship as I was planning on going to a four-year university. The scholarship helped to cover my housing and textbooks for my first year. Even though this scholarship was private, I wasn’t aware of the details of it since I had never seen or heard it advertised. I was made aware of this scholarship by word of mouth and in turn was then able to apply for it.

While DSU and other universities have an abundance of scholarships, the thing that I would like to see change is the advertising of the scholarships. I want more advertising when it comes to scholarships so many unaware of what schools have to offer, have the ability to have some financial help.

If you are interested in applying for any scholarships or have any questions regarding the scholarship process contact Joni Hale, assistant director of scholarships at [email protected] or 435-652-7578.