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UWL event emphasizes the importance of applying for scholarships

Scholarship+Coordinator+Joshua+Bonnell+educated+students+on+the+importance+of+applying+for+scholarships+Thursday+evening.+
Scholarship Coordinator Joshua Bonnell educated students on the importance of applying for scholarships Thursday evening.

Scholarship Coordinator Joshua Bonnell educated students on the importance of applying for scholarships Thursday evening.

Rachel Mergen

Rachel Mergen

Scholarship Coordinator Joshua Bonnell educated students on the importance of applying for scholarships Thursday evening.

Shayna Anderson, Staff Reporter

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On Oct. 4, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s It Makes Cents and the Scholarship Resource Center (SRC) hosted Rethinking Your Scholarship Side-Hustle, an event created to inform students on easy and effective ways of earning scholarship money.

Joshua Bonnell, scholarship coordinator with UWL’s Financial Aid Office, spent the evening talking about many tips and tricks to use while applying for scholarships, along with resources to find legitimate scholarship opportunities. He noted that one of the goals of the event was to teach students “to recognize that earning scholarships in your spare time can be as lucrative as a part-time job if you are equipped with the right tools.”

One major part of the presentation was to acknowledge that applying for scholarships takes time. Bonnell vocalized that humans value time to a great extent, but that it is a necessity for students to apply for the many scholarships offered, listing off some of the other ways attendees could spend their hard-earned money, instead of on tuition.

Bonnell compared filling out scholarships to having a job. Sometimes it might not be the most enjoyable activity, but it can result in huge rewards. Bonnell stated, “If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.”

Bonnell stressed that scholarships are very much a psychological experience. The student applying for the scholarship needs to make the person reading their application feel connected to them. According to Bonnell, applications need to “remind [donors] that you are more than words on a page.”

Considering most application essays are required to be less than 500 words long, Bonnell added that this goal may be hard to do. However, he explained that creating a bond with the reader will only increase one’s chances of receiving the scholarship award.

He pointed out that some components that should be included in every scholarship essay are one’s leadership traits, volunteer experiences and academics.

In addition, Bonnell listed three outlets that UWL students can use to apply for scholarships: the SRC Database, the UWL Foundation and Google.

“We make sure to get the best scholarships for UWL students,” he stated, explaining the work him and his staff put into the SRC Database.

For an easier experience when searching for scholarships, students can request to be emailed when the SRC finds a scholarship that fits their interests. Students fill out a survey on the database’s website that asks for information on details like their majors, sports, hobbies and so on, all of which are analyzed by the workers of the SRC to help find the perfect scholarship opportunities for the surveyee.

Bonnell informed the audience that through the UWL Foundation, approximately 1.2 million dollars is rewarded to students every year, but that only 25 percent of students take the time to apply. He reminded that applications for foundation scholarships are now open and are due by Feb. 1. Scholarships will be awarded in April.

Bonnell reminded attendees, “You can’t win what you don’t apply for.”

Student and event attendee Bailee Golisch reacted to the percentage of student who actually apply, exclaiming, “I was very surprised to hear that this number was so low.” She noted she “is definitely going to look into these scholarship options.”

For more information about It Makes Cents and to see their upcoming events, visit https://www.uwlax.edu/it-makes-cents/.

To learn more about the SRC Database and UWL Foundation Scholarships, go to https://www.uwlax.edu/scholarships/.

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About the Contributors
Shayna Anderson, General Assignment Reporter

Year at UWL: First-Year/Freshman
Hometown: Mayer, Minnesota
Major: Double major in English and Communications
Minor: N/A
Other Campus Involvement: Intramural...

Rachel Mergen, Multimedia Editor


Year: Senior
Hometown: Bloomington, Wisconsin
Major: English with a Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis and Political Science
Minor: None
...

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