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Applying for futures

Counselors to hold scholarship camp Saturday, Dec. 15

Scholarship+information+is+sent+to+students%27+district+emails+periodically.
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Applying for futures

Scholarship information is sent to students' district emails periodically.

Scholarship information is sent to students' district emails periodically.

Photo by Stephanie Rosas

Scholarship information is sent to students' district emails periodically.

Photo by Stephanie Rosas

Photo by Stephanie Rosas

Scholarship information is sent to students' district emails periodically.

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With the school year almost halfway through, founder of Guru Academic Advising, Erika Nietz, will speak to students and parents on strategies for paying for college and applying to scholarships. Scholarship camp will be held Saturday, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the cafeteria.

“Scholarship camp is important for students who aspire to go on to college,” Nietz said. “When students don’t think about how they will pay for college or work on that before they apply, they risk having to choose between a degree and a large amount of debt in the form of student loans.”

Because students struggle to find money for college, Nietz believes if students attend and take the time to learn about scholarships they will gain the tools to achieve a degree without excessive debt.

“[I’d like] to understand how to find scholarships by myself and how to apply and where to [apply],” senior Leslie Perez said. “College is very important [for me] and it’s hard to pay grants for college and I don’t want to get a big loan. [Because] the college I’m attending is very expensive, my family can’t afford it.”

By attending scholarship camp, students will learn what scholarships are right for them and how to take time to work on the application process. To expand their knowledge about applying for scholarships, Nietz will also show successful scholarship application essays and explain how they are effective.

“We will first learn about how the best scholarship tool is a smart college list and how to build a college list with that goal in mind,” Nietz said. “Then we will learn about what we call ‘outside scholarships,’ which are scholarships that come from sources other than the college itself. We will set up accounts with good scholarship engines and learn how to use them to build a personalized scholarship list.”

Last school year, counselors decided to hold a camp once a month for parents and students to attend because they say it is difficult to reach students during the school week. Each session concentrates on different aspects, whether it be college admissions or FAFSA. Swain hopes the camps become useful for students and parents who attend to learn about these specific topics.

“We, the counselors, started this last year and we start out with just a few camps, [but] now we are starting to grow because we are finding a lot of success with students and parents attending,” counselor Yvette Swain said. “Sometimes, the room is overloaded, but we do have the space here in the cafeteria and the library to accommodate that.”

With multiple scholarships being offered, Swain believes students should attend so they can learn how to apply for free money which will help lower the cost for college.

“Students should attend if they are looking to have extra money or if they don’t have any money for college,” Swain said. “Every little bit helps. Some scholarships they apply for may give up to $50 or maybe thousands of dollars. So it’s always a good idea to apply for as many as you can.”

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