Students encouraged to apply for scholarships

By Beatriz Garay

The First Year Experience has information on scholarships for students who might need financial help for school.  

Rafael Sanchez, Success Coach and ELAC Alumnus, and  Alfonso Garcia-Godinez, Peer Navigator and ELAC student, hosted an online workshop to explain the scholarships available for students. They went over how scholarships work and what the requirements are to receive  the available scholarships. They also spoke about grants and how they are different from scholarships. 

 Scholarships are a “payment” made to support students’ education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement. 

“Grants are a payment made to support a student’s education based on who that student is,” Garica-Godinez said.  There are grants that do provide financial help to students based on what ethnicity they are, having significant financial need, or living in certain locations.  

Sanchez said requirements vary for each scholarship. Some scholarships require students to have a certain amount of units in order to be eligible, while others  require students to have a certain GPA and units. 

A 3.0 GPA can usually allow you to apply for scholarships but sometimes scholarships only require having a 2.0. According to the hosts, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is rare in scholarship applications. 

Certain scholarships require students to have a minimum of 24 units when applying. It’s important to read the guidelines some scholarships have to be able to apply for them. 

Some scholarships are also based on  students being  part-time or full-time. Sometimes part-time students don’t receive their full award. If students are full-time they get the full awarded amount the scholarship offers. 

There are also scholarships that are for specific majors. Students majoring in subjects such as engineering and psychology have access to specific scholarships. 

Sanchez and Garcia-Godinez said  that some scholarships require a letter of recommedation. They said it’s rare for scholarships to ask for one,  but it helps if you build connections and relationships with professors and bosses if you have a job. Building these relationships will help with asking for letters of recommendation. 

Grants are based on answering a prompt in an essay format. 

“Usually depending on how well written the answer to the prompt is, that’s how likely students will receive the award from the grant,” Sanchez said.

Another available scholarship is the Hybrid Award. This scholarship takes account of students academic/extracurricular achievements and requires students to belong to a certain demographic. 

Overall, Sanchez and Garcia-Godinez encourage students who need the financial support to look into the scholarships and grants. It’s free money awarded to students that students don’t have to pay them back like student loans.

Students who are interested in scholarships and grants or have questions can email 

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