Scholarship deadline ends March 15

Regardless if a student transfers or remains at Saddleback, scholarship money is applicable at either institution. (Courtesy of Amy Wheeler/Saddleback College)

Julie Tran

The last day to apply for Saddleback College’s scholarships is March 15 for those interested in receiving one for the 2011-12 academic year.

Typically, the notifications for scholarship applications are sent out in the second week of December, in which a marketing person sends out the notifications all throughout the campus.

Although Saddleback offers numerous scholarships ranging from academic-based to merit-based scholarships, not many students apply for them.

Mary Hall, director of financial aid, said that despite the presence of scholarships in the campus, the rate of application is low.

“Sometimes students don’t apply for scholarships because they don’t believe that they can afford to go to Saddleback,” Hall said.

There is also the misconception that applying for a scholarship would cost money or the process of applying is a lengthy one.

“Application for a scholarship doesn’t cost anything and it only takes 30 minutes to an hour’s time to finish it,” Hall said.

On average, the usual amount of money given in a scholarship is typically $500, although some can go as high as $1,000. According to Patti Rocklin, financial aid specialist, a significant amount of money comes from the Bernard Osher Foundation, an organization that gives away money to community colleges.

In addition, Saddleback funds the money for scholarships from groups such as ASG, who is a big supporter of the program. Outside community groups and departments are also responsible for the distribution of scholarships. Some of the groups include the American Association of University Women, the Laguna Niguel Lions Club, and the San Clemente Men’s Golf Club.

In order for a student to qualify for a scholarship, there are qualities a student must possess to get a scholarship. Some of the traits include academic prowess, community/college involvement, major, as well as personal goals.

Ruth Higgins, financial aid specialist, also said that there are scholarships tailored for students pursuing a particular major. For example, the Harold Friedmann Chemistry Scholarship offers $10,000 in scholarships for students majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical engineering. Students who receive scholarships from OSHER will need to complete 24 units.

Students who receive scholarships will attend a ceremony where they are honored for their achievements. They will also have the opportunity to meet with their donors.

When the student receives the scholarship money, the money is applicable for the next academic year, according to Rocklin.

“The funds are sent in the fall semester of the next academic year or if the student is transferring, it will be sent to the transfer school,” Rocklin said.

Higgins encourages students to apply for the scholarships at Saddleback, since it will allow students to use the money for their education.

“The scholarships are good for students to pay off their books or classes, since fees can add up,” Higgins said. “Also, when you receive a scholarship, it’s like receiving free money.”

For more information on the scholarships offered at Saddleback or to apply for one, go to http://www.saddleback.edu/fao/

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