Scholarships are underrated

Free money is a lifesaver

March 1 was the deadline for merit-based academic scholarships for the upcoming school year. The application process is admittedly a competitive one. However, with the number of scholarships offered overall, it would be an unfortunate loss for anyone who chose not to apply. NDSU’s scholarships are open to all class levels. They are assessed on one’s academic record and response to the different questions that were posed. 

Using my NDSU log-in username and password, I was quickly able to access all of the academic scholarships offered. At first glance, the general academic scholarship application can seem daunting. There are quite a few questions that do require some effort in filling out. For example, I had to really reflect on all of my volunteer work and leadership roles I have had in the three years I have attended this school.

 In all reality, there are only about a dozen questions that you have to fill out. It took me a max of 15 minutes to complete. After that, I was put into a pool that automatically matched me with scholarships that I met based on my previous answers and my applicable criteria from my student record. 

I did not even need to go scrounging through pages upon pages of the wide variety of scholarships that had nothing to do with my major in hopes of stumbling across something that would spark my interest. From there, I had the choice of filling out extra scholarships that required more, like an essay.

College is ridiculously expensive when it comes down to it. If you’re anything like me, I want to avoid taking out student loans so I can graduate with minimal to no debt.

While my future is an investment, I do not want to be living with the crushing financial weight for the rest of my life. 

Working part-time is an option to avoid this, but the time commitment it requires can make focusing on your studies and graduating on time no longer your priority. This is where scholarships come into play. If there is less exhaustion, students will have a smaller chance of dropping out. 

 As a resident assistant on campus, I have been pushing my residents to apply for scholarships. The free money that I have earned from my different scholarships so far has been a lifesaver. I am incredibly grateful for these opportunities that are available to students here.

When I applied for the 2020-2021 school year scholarships through NDSU, I received three new ones, as well as a renewable one that I had applied for my freshman year. These were a Jim Falck scholarship, Delsie Holmquist scholarship, Tony Hanson Memorial scholarship and the NDSU Entrepreneurship Scholarship, which resulted in a total of $6,803.

I have not done much research for scholarships outside of the ones NDSU offers, mostly because there is already such a large variety to apply for.  While it is not promised that you will get a scholarship, you do not stand a chance if you never apply in the first place.

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