Scholarship season is here to help students in financial need

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Scholarship season has already begun. Students don’t apply as much as you may think.

With the spring 2021 semester upon us, the Los Rios scholarship season is here from Jan. 15 to March 5, which allows students the opportunity to gain financial assistance.
Donor Relations Specialist for the Los Rios Foundation Elizabeth Starbuck said CRC offers 67 scholarships, totaling over $70,000. To qualify, applicants must fill out the general application, have completed at least six units at Cosumnes River College, be currently enrolled in six or more units and have one recommendation from a professor, staff member or someone in the community that knows you well, said Starbuck.
“We have had scholarships in the last few years that have gone without applicants at all, so my best piece of advice is apply, apply, apply!” said Starbuck. “We have over 14,000 students at CRC, and I think I had only a little over 400 qualified applicants last year. So you can see that makes your odds really, really good.”
When filling out the general application, applicants will provide personal information and answer short-response questions on educational and career goals, extracurricular activities and how they are financing their education, Starbuck said.
“Some students only put a sentence, and this is the only opportunity you have to represent yourself to the review committee,” Starbuck said. “You have to get across to them who you are and that is the only way you’re going to do it.”
Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Coordinator Michael Carney is one of the scholarship committee members and said there is typically a team assigned to each scholarship.
During the process of choosing each scholarship recipient, each committee member has the ability to include notes, rankings and then discuss collaboratively on the most worthy recipient, Carney said.
“I try to put myself in the shoes of the scholarship donors. Whether it’s a family or foundation, I try to look at that in terms of the description to understand what they’re looking for,” Carney said. “I try to get a picture of who the student is, and then see how that fits with what I believe the scholarship donor is looking for.”
As a MESA Coordinator, Carney said he had been given insight into how critical academic success is for students and how finances can hinder academic success.
“You really get a sense of how deep the need is that some of our students have,” Carney said. “I just felt really compelled to be involved in anything that contributes to helping students meet those needs.”
One of the new scholarships available this scholarship season is the CRC “Nina Simone Music in Action” scholarship created by Music Professor Omari Williams.
To apply for the scholarship, applicants are asked to submit a video performing a musical piece of their choice while also verbally expressing their plan to use the funds and how they can transform their community with music.
“A lot of the access for scholarships and core studies is about how well you can write an essay and for some people that’s difficult, but it doesn’t mean they lack in being able to communicate, particularly with music,” said Williams. “You might not be a great writer, but you might be an incredible artist.”
Williams said he provided two $500 winners for the Music in Action scholarship and is excited to see what students put together.
“Art is so much about the conversation. Not just the talent and not just the sounds and things that we hear or the visuals that we see, but the conversations that they provoke,” said Williams. “I’m looking for that spark. I’m looking for someone who has something to say.”
To fill out the general application and apply for some of this season’s scholarships, go to https://losrios.academicworks.com/.