The Student Publication of Norwalk Community College
Thursday August 28th 2014

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Students not taking advantage of available scholarships

BY DANDRE CHERY

Every year the NCC Foundation (NCCF) awards approximately $1 million in scholarships to NCC students, according to the 2012-2013 NCC Annual Report. Last year, over 500 scholarships were awarded. Yet with all this goodwill there still are scholarships that students are not taking advantage of.

The NCCF scholarships are available exclusively to NCC students.

“One of our main goals as a foundation is to support students at NCC,” said NCCF Database Manager Terri Nackid.

As long as a student meets the eligibility requirements for the scholarships they can apply. Application forms are available online at the NCCF website (www.ncc-foundation.org/for-students) along with instructions and guidelines about applying.

“It’ll have information about any programs that were currently taking an application for as well as the programs that were not (taking applications),” said NCCF Database Manager Terri Nackid. “It’ll let people look at the requirements so they can see in advance and know what to expect.”

There are three main NCCF scholarships: the spring scholarship, the traditional (full-year) scholarship, and the LEAP (transfer) scholarship. Each scholarship has its own deadlines and requirements that may vary. But in general, there is a scholarship that exists for almost any kind of student.

“Our scholarships are for residents, international students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approved students,” said Nackid.

For the traditional and spring scholarships some of the same eligibility requirements include: a GPA of 2.8 or higher, the completion of at least 12 NCC credits and enrollment in a credit-bearing degree program at NCC. Both the traditional and spring scholarships are available to any student with the correct documentation.

There are other eligibility requirements and application deadlines that differ for each scholarship. The traditional scholarship is applied to tuition and fees for the full academic year while the spring scholarship is applied to the current spring semester. Each award amount is depends on a number of factors.

The LEAP scholarship is only available to resident students of NCC. Students must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA at NCC or higher, have applied for and accepted for graduation from NCC and also have been accepted to a four-year institution. Students must also receive the financial aid package from the school they are transferring to.

“We generally award $2,000-$10,000 a year for the student at the school they’re transferring to,” said Nackid. “It’s a two year scholarship so as long as they continue to make progress on their degree and that they fulfill reporting requirements to us then they continue to get that funding.”

Applications for NCCF scholarships are done on their website.

“The application itself is simply a series of basic questions… and then an essay,” said Nackid, “It’s really not a lengthy process at all, it’s really straightforward and it’s all done online.”

Still there is a percentage of students that aren’t aware of the scholarship opportunities available to them by the NCCF.

Students Austin Boger, Ativa Decruise, Sarah Waterbury and Jackie Mikel were each asked of any knowledge of NCCF. Each student replied “no”.

When asked whether they would be interested in applying for a scholarship Decruise, Waterbury and Mikel all showed interest.

“Yea I would, it would make it easier to get through school,” said Decruise.

Then they were students like Gina Tiana and Marjorie Pique that were actually informed on the NCCF scholarships. Both students had applied for scholarships before.

“Yes, I applied for one before I came here,” said Gina Tiana. “Yeah I applied again, it was relatively easy and I had help from my advisor.”

The awarding of the scholarship is done by the NCCF. While working in conjunction with NCC, the final judgment on awards is made by a scholarship committee.

“For two days members of the foundation get together and we read the scholarship applications that students have submitted,” said English Department chair Cindy Casper. “The essays are wonderful, you get to learn a lot about students, you get to hear a lot of their stories.”

Casper participated on the scholarship committee for a number of years. For the years that she did participate there was always money left over for scholarships that students didn’t take advantage of. She reiterated the message that students are almost guaranteed to get help as long as they make the effort to apply.

“(I) think a lot of students don’t realize that if they simply make the effort to apply on time, to write the letter they need to write, they’re almost guaranteed they’re going to get help,” said Casper.

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