CSUN offers scholarships to help students during tuition hikes

Nathan McMahon

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>>>CORRECTION: The article reads that “students should have at least a 3.5 GPA.” It should read, “Often, students should have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA to qualify for a majority of the CSUN scholarships.”<<<

 

Scholarships are a way for students to take some of the financial burden out of their often hectic university life. When it comes to CSUN, there is no shortage of available scholarships to students.

The Scholarship Department oversees 308 on-campus scholarships with a wide range of requirements and descriptions.

There are also off-campus scholarships and each of the 25 educational departments on campus handle a large variety of their own as well. Though there are a lot of scholarships and applying means more work on top of their normal class workloads for prospective students. It also means more money up for grabs for the motivated.

The average amount of a scholarship hovers around $1500, with a few hundred dollars on the low end and multiple thousands of dollars on the higher end scholarships.

CSUN recently implemented the Stars Online program to make applying for scholarships easier for students. They can now fill out a general profile and sign up for membership in the Stars program and they will be filtered by eligibility and given the options of which scholarships they would like to apply to.

For a vast majority of the scholarships, there are a multitude of requirements to gain access to them. Often, students should at least have a 3.5 GPA. They also may need to write essays and have their professors and faculty members write letters of recommendation, though Veronica Corona, scholarship coordinator at CSUN, has words of warning to students.

“We always tell students, hey, before you ask your professor to submit it online, to talk to them about it,” Corona said. “We’ll get letters of recommendation where it’s literally just three sentences from the professor saying, ‘Yes, I know the student. He or she got a B average in my class. Please award them the scholarship.’ We get a lot of letters like that.”

To keep students from getting letters like that Corona recommends that students see their professors in person when asking for a recommendation letter.

She also pointed out how making that one-on-one contact can result in a letter with a more personal touch when the professor has a stronger student/teacher relationship.

Another obstacle that students face is their own inaction.

Taran Gill, a junior in psychology, has the grades but sees it as another hassle on top of financial aid.

“Financial aid is pretty tedious in itself. They make me go back and do it over and over. They’re (financial aid office) like, ‘Oh, we don’t have this so you need to go bring us this paper.’ And then I bring them that and like a week later it’s something else,” Gill said. “It’s not needing it (scholarships) and also the process would be tedious going through that again.”

Below are just a small slice of the various scholarships students can use to pad their fall into the financial ether of college:

Title: The California Internet Scholarship from ATT
Type: Off-Campus
What It Is: Students need to write a 300-500 word essay on where they think they will see the internet in 10 years.
How Much Moola It Awards: $1000
Deadline: Nov. 30

Title: Hearst CSU Trustees Award
Type: On-Campus
What It Is: Students who have faced adversity in their lives and also face financial need are eligible for this distinguished award
How Much Moola It Awards: $10000
Deadline: Spring 2013

Title: James Ring Scholarship Awards
Type: Department of Urban Studies and Planning On-Campus
What It Is: Students should write at least 500 words describing how they would use the scholarship to enhance their education and achieve their career objectives.
How Much Moola It Awards: $500
Deadline: Spring 2013