By Quiaira Terrell
Students are being encouraged to apply for scholarships for the Spring semester, even if they don’t think they will qualify.
Nearly $1.5 million in scholarships was awarded to LBCC students last semester. Most of these scholarships had been sitting in accounts untouched for yours because students did not apply for them.
“I never applied for scholarships,” said Renee Richard, a recent graduate of LBCC. “I always got told that my mom makes too much for me to even get financial aid so I doubt I can get scholarship, either.”
Alicia Kruizenga is the Interim Dean of Student Affairs and has been with the college for 12 years. She encourages students to apply no matter what their personal circumstances are.
Kruizenga said, “We have more than 700 scholarships so we probably have a scholarship for everything. It’s not the typical low-income, 4.0 GPA. It’s about succeeding.
“Some students may have a 2.5 and are deemed successful because we see their past, we read their autobiography. We are really able to humanize the process.”
Among the student body, athletes, student leaders, future teachers and students transferring are the hardest groups to reach for scholarships, she said.
“Teachers are one of our hardest ones. We don’t have a program that the teachers can filter into, so they are a little bit harder to identify,” Kruizenga said.
Maria Jimenez, a third semester biology major, on the PCC said, “I think it’s so cool that they have scholarships for students who are going to transfer out (of LBCC) and move on to universities. A lot of schools don’t have stuff like that for their students. It’s like they really want us to succeed.”
Through the college website, students may submit a scholarship application answering questions such as the student’s major and educational goals after LBCC. The application also requires and two letters of recommendation.
Students are not limited to letters of recommendation from instructors, but may ask any employee of the college.
“Kruizenga said, “If you’re a work-study student, it can be your supervisor. If you’re going to the career center and you have a rapport with the staff there, financial aid, cashier’s office, your adviser, anything like that. It does not have to be an instructor.”
Students have until December 8 to submit their applications, but have until the beginning of the spring semester to submit their letters of recommendation.
After applying, the scholarship committee works to match students with more the more than 700 available scholarships. Students are contacted by the scholarship department notifying them whether they received a scholarship or not.
Students may visit lbcc.edu/scholarship for more information about how to apply for scholarships and deadlines.