Experience

Scholarship applicants lacking

“If you look at what our student population is and the number of applicants that we get for scholarships I would consider that low,” says Oranje.

Lilly Montero, @lilly_montero3

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The deadline to apply for LMC Foundation scholarships was extended to Tuesday, Feb. 19, yet not a lot of students seem to know there are scholarships available in the first place.

Though there are over 40 LMC Foundation scholarships available, in addition to many other external scholarships, it is not uncommon for only a handful of students to apply per scholarship despite there being roughly 9,000 students on campus.

The lack of applicants can be contributed to a handful of issues, said Financial Aid Scholarship Specialist Tammy Oranje. Insecurity about the likelihood of being awarded or asking for references, and time management are all likely factors.

However, “It may just be campus culture,” said Oranje.

Staff and faculty often have a hard time getting students to participate in sports, clubs and even online surveys.

“I think that’s something on campus that we all struggle with is how to best reach students,” Oranje continued.

For her part, the financial aid office spends their time flooding student emails with information, promoting opportunities on banners and bulletin boards. However, when the information doesn’t stick, you end up with students missing out on life changing opportunities.

“If you look at what our student population is and the number of applicants that we get for scholarships I would consider that low,” said Oranje.

One professor aiming to help boost those numbers is speech professor Zach Feere. Feere makes a point to take five minutes out of all of his first classes of the semester to discuss scholarship opportunities.

“One of the reasons we have such low numbers participating in these scholarships and application processes is because students simply don’t know about them, and I try my best to spread awareness,” said Feere.

Feere’s own education was funded predominantly by scholarships, some of which he received when he attended LMC. Seeing the benefit it has had in his own educational career he encourages his students to do the same.

“I think it’s important particularly at a community college where students are looking for ways to fund their education,” said Feere.

One such student was Karleen Griffin who had a class with Feere in the Fall. After he brought to her attention the scholarship opportunities available to her, she applied and was awarded $2,000 for the Live Your Dream Scholarship.

“I was very surprised because you never think you’re going to win… but the lady was nice enough to tell me there were only five people who had applied and I was shocked,” said Griffin.

Though she has always been dedicated to her education winning the scholarship only motivated Griffin further. Much like Feere and Oranje she encourages students to take the time to apply and keep in mind the opportunities they can pass up when they don’t.

Professor Feere put it in simple terms.

“You really have to consider the return of investment of your time,” said Feere.

Ten hours on an application for even a $500 scholarship is $50 an hour – pay most people never see in their lifetime.

Students interested in scholarships can find more information at https://www.losmedanos.edu/scholarships/list.aspx.

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Scholarship applicants lacking