One Thing to Know: Scholarships

You need money for college, right? Then why haven’t you applied for scholarships – you know, scholarships, free money for college you don’t have to pay back?

I recently sat down at The Campus Buzz with Alicia Van Straten, NWTC’s scholarship expert. With the scholarship application period coming up, I asked Alicia to tell me the one most important thing students should know about the scholarship application process. She answered, without hesitation, “Get your application in, no matter what.”

Alicia Van Straten

Did you know that more than $500,000 in scholarships is given to NWTC students every year? Thanks to the NWTC Educational Foundation and generous donors, hundreds of NWTC students are getting the financial support they need to graduate and get the careers they have been dreaming about since they were kids.

Still, thousands of dollars in scholarships are not distributed annually due to a simple fact – students like you, who may be the perfect fit for a scholarship’s criteria, are not applying. Why? Well, Alicia told me many students think they don’t qualify. Others are not sure how to write a scholarship application.

I totally get that feeling of uncertainty. When I was in college, um, a few years ago, I knew absolutely nothing about scholarships. I assumed my parents earned just enough income to prevent me from getting any need-based scholarships. I also assumed that there weren’t any scholarships out there for someone like me who was going into college undecided and whose grades were mostly good but not mostly great.

I echo Alicia’s “one thing to know”: Forget your assumptions when it comes to scholarships – you need to apply – no matter what!

And you need to apply soon. Scholarship applications for the NWTC spring 2017 semester are being accepted from October 1 to November 1, 2016. The awesome thing is, all you have to do is fill out one application, and the scholarship system does the rest of the work. That means you don’t have to search for specific scholarships – the scholarship system finds the scholarships you’re eligible for and submits your information to those scholarships. Does filling out the scholarship application mean you’re guaranteed to get a scholarship? No, there are no guarantees, but don’t you think it’s worth a try?

Need help writing the scholarship application? Alicia told me there’s help for that too!

Learn more about scholarships and scholarship writing workshops.


Alicia Van Straten - Coord, Fndtn Office & Schlr

About the Expert

Alicia Van Straten - Coord, Fndtn Office & Schlr

In her role at NWTC, Alicia raises funds to support various college programs, scholarships, and student emergency funding. Her favorite part of the job is being a part of a donor’s dream to support students and honor their lost loved ones. Hearing success stories of students who have been helped is another way to make her day. In her free time, Alicia loves hanging with family and friends and getting creative with DIY home design.