Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scholarships: Do They Still Exist in College?!

Apply Now!

Scholarships were abundantly pouring down upon us when we were seniors in high school, and then seemed to disappear once we got in college.  Are there scholarships available for college students, or are scholarships something you only apply for while in high school? 

Although not as well known or broadcasted as high school scholarships, thousands of college scholarships go unclaimed each year because no one takes the time to apply for them, thinking that the competition is too high or that there just aren’t any out there!

The trick to applying for scholarships starts from knowing your strengths and finding ones that cater to those strengths.  Half of the process of applying for scholarships is searching for them.  Be patient!  There are many websites online designed specifically to help you personally find scholarships, even matching them to what you are involved in, what your major is in school, and whether you should apply for a merit scholarship depending on your GPA.

There are scholarships out there for everyone; it just takes some time to find them!  There are several on-campus resources that aid in finding scholarships, starting at the Chico State Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.  Chico State offers several scholarships that one can apply for online, and the application opens online October 17 and is due by December 15.  The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office website also has a link under the tab of  Scholarships>CSU, Chico Scholarships to a list of external scholarships, which are scholarships offered outside of Chico State, as well as information of what to do when you receive an external scholarship. 

Many students don't qualify for other types of financial aid so they don't fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  A little known fact is that students who don't fill out a FAFSA application, will not be considered for need based scholarships.  This is huge if you are self-supporting or if your family isn't able to provide much help.  Fill out that FAFSA whether you believe you qualify or not, it will open up opportunities for many more scholarships.

Scholarships can go with financial aid, and the more you apply for the greater chance you will have in receiving an award.  Don’t miss out on extra money to help you get through college; use your time wisely and apply for scholarships this semester!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

PALS Can Be Your Pals

As a peer advisor I can say that we aren’t just students who volunteer to help the Liberal Studies Advising Office, but people you can trust. Many people fear going to an advisor for help because they are embarrassed to ask stupid questions or sometimes too scared to talk about their personal experiences. 

I have had a couple of liberal study majors tell me they prefer to talk to us, the peer advisor, when it comes to their school work or feelings. Advisors are viewed as professional who can’t compare to a younger student. It feels good to know that you have certain students that only go to meet you. This sometimes turns into a friendship where only you and that person will understand. You have become someone dear and caring to them, someone they can trust when it comes to school problems or personal problems. 

It gives us as peer advisors a good feeling to know that you mean something to someone that you barely knew at one point. We want more students to come with this mentality. We want students to trust us in anything because we are all human and know what it feels like to stress out and be scared in many types of situations. We can be more than just peer advisors to students, but we can also be your friends. As peer advisors our role isn’t to just help students academically, but we are to help students in any way. We are a shoulder that you can lean on.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dorms Are the Answer

In our colleges today many students face depression or sadness due to the lack of meeting new people and not really having any friends. Yeah, we have other students in our classes that we talk to, but not really outside of class. Sometimes it’s nice to have friends outside of class, to be able to talk to and just hang out with. 

Many freshmen coming into universities face being alone and having no friends. This soon turns into a serious issue where students want to drop out, move back home, or change schools. I can speak with experience when I say things like this are an issue. I had a friend who hated coming to school because other than me she had no friends. She would talk to other students from classes but that was it, never really anything serious. So this lead her into depression and started to skip class and eventually dropped out because she felt lonely. I was wondered what could be a solution to a problem like this because I am positive that there are other students with the same problem. 

I believe that students should live on campus their freshmen year, only because this way they are able to meet new people and have some support later on down the road. This allows students to experience the college life on the right track. They can experience things with new friends and not feel alone. The new students have something to look forward to their first year and eventually make lifelong relationships with new people. 

My freshman year, I lived in the University Village and I can say it made a big difference in my first year as a student. I was matched up with six other roommates. Living with six other students gives you a sense of comfort and ease. Those roommates ended up being my first friends here in Chico State. You can see the results in the students when they are faced with a new experience and get to face it with six other people. I believe that living on campus is an amazing thing for first year students, so they can get their foot on the right track by not feeling lonely and able to break out and have fun their first year. 

If you are feeling lonely, remember there are lots of people here to support you.  Stop by the Liberal Studies office and talk with one of the PALS.  If you'd like to talk with someone professional, we have some wonderful counselors at Chico State and our PALS will even go with you the first time. Check out their website.