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New campus academic advisor Evangelina Tello continues the occasional column, College Corner, for The Feather Online. She shares college prep advice and offers college counseling in her office. Tello can be reached via email. Her office hours are M/T/Th 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Wed/Fri., 8 -noon. She encourages students to set up appointments during these hours but has an open door policy as well. Read her first article, College Corner: Take responsibility for early applications.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Academic advisor, Evangelina Tello (left) gives tips to seniors, including Erin Wilson, on how to apply for scholarships.

As college application deadlines come to a close there’s a new task at hand for students seeking to attend college. With a consistent yearly increase of college tuition rates, it is now more important than ever for students to be informed and educated about scholarships.

The simplest way to define a scholarship would be to think of it as free money for schooling. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and their families to receive financial help towards their college expenses without having to worry about paying it back.

When beginning to search for scholarships, it can be quite overwhelming to find a place to start. There are numerous scholarship search engines and websites which can lead students to feel a bit lost amongst the endless options. To aid students in their search, I would encourage them to explore this list of the best scholarship search platforms of 2017.

  1. Fastweb
  2. Cappex
  3. Unigo
  4. Student Scholarship Search
  5. Scholarships.com
  6. MyScholly
  7. SallieMae
  8. BigFuture
  9. GoodCall
  10. CollegeData

Many of these websites will require students to create an account to access their scholarships. Once the account has been created, students will be able to search, view, and apply to any scholarship they choose.

Aside from public scholarships, students should be aware of the academic scholarships some private colleges may offer. To further highlight this, Derek Kliewer, Fresno Pacific’s admissions counselor, offered some advice and insight regarding scholarships and academic scholarships.

Scholarships are absolutely crucial for students who are attending college,” Kliewer said. “If a college/university awards a student an academic scholarship, it represents a reward for hard work in high school, as well an investment by the university that the student will continue to do well in collegiate studies. Scholarships can greatly reduce the cost of tuition, and, combined with other financial aid, can cover all the expenses associated with college.”

Fresno Pacific University is a local and private university that is an option for FCS students. Kliewer finds it important that the students are informed about FPU’s academic scholarships and their requirements.

Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

Tello provides useful websites for seniors interested in scholarship opportunities.  

“Fresno Pacific offers a broad range of academic scholarships, ranging from $5,000 – $13,000 per year,” Kliewer said. “These are awarded based on a combination of high school GPA as well as ACT/SAT scores. FPU also awards the Paragon Scholarship, which covers all of the tuition, to three students per year. The application for the Paragon Scholarship involves an interview with our President, Dr. Joseph Jones.”

As an admissions counselor, he also informs prospective students about additional scholarships they can look into.

“Fresno Pacific offers a number of internal donor-provided scholarships, available at scholarships.fresno.edu,” Kliewer said. “Regarding external scholarships, some good websites include fastweb.com and an app called Scholly that connects students with available scholarships. There are a lot of resources available if students are willing to do the research! A helpful tip would be to contact admissions counselors for the schools that you are interested in to ask if they are aware of any scholarships that students can apply for.”

For students who are on the fence when it comes to applying for scholarships, Kliewer advises students to immediately get started.

“Don’t be hesitant to apply for scholarships,” Kliewer encouraged. “The more you apply for, the more chance you have of being awarded. It is helpful to be strategic about which scholarships you choose. Try to find something within your field of study, or that is geared toward your background. For example, FPU has a number of private scholarships that are awarded based on the major you intend to study or where you are from. It would be more advantageous to apply for those, simply because you fit the mold that the committee is looking for when they award.”

Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

Evangelina Tello, campus academic counselor replaced longtime advisor, Michelle Warkentin.

FCS students who are interested in applying to FPU or would like additional information about the university and their scholarships, Derek Kliewer will be their admission counselor throughout the application process. He can be reached by email Derek.Kliewer@fresno.edu or by phone 559-453-7156.

As Fresno Christian’s academic counselor, I want students to know that it is never too early or too late to apply for scholarships. As Christmas break quickly approaches, this would be a great time for students to take advantage of the time off to explore all the scholarship options and to further research if their private college of interest offers academic scholarships. I encourage all students to utilize the websites as tools to gain knowledge on the variety of ways to pay for their college education.

For a previous college information article, read, College Corner: Take responsibility for early applications. For another article on admissions and applications, read College Corner: College applications options. Finally, seniors can check out the CollegeBoard website for more information on college applications and the process. For another Feather article, read, Yamaguchi reflects on time spent in Japanese relocation camps.

Evangelina Tello can be reached via email: etello@fresnochristian.com.

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