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by Charlene Dukes
( Vice President for Student Services)

Each spring, Prince George’s Community College offers more than 45 "internal" scholarships (some with multiple awards) to our students via a variety of sources–the OWL Newspaper, the college Web site, financial aid publications, and college email. The Development and Financial Aid Offices collaborate to insure that institutional funds from endowments and gifts that represent close to $100,000 for the current year are available to students. Unfortunately, close to a dozen of those scholarships are not awarded because students do not apply. Almost $14,000 of FREE money was not awarded for the current year! An abbreviated scholarship application booklet is now available for students to have another opportunity to apply for these scholarships dollars for the upcoming spring semester.

With the rising cost of tuition, fees, and books, finding financial aid dollars is increasingly important for students to be able to stay focused on their academics and successfully complete their stay at PGCC. As we all know, the cost of attending college is more than just paying tuition, fees, and books. Financial aid budgets include transportation, room and board (off campus housing is costly), and miscellaneous expenses (such as computers, childcare, etc.), bringing the annual cost of attendance over $7,000 dollars.

The college’s Pell Grant dollars climbed to well over $6.5 million and the Federal Student Loan program to over $2 million for last year. The number of students taking advantage of the FACTS tuition payment plan is increasing, too. We expect those numbers to rise again this year. Still, students struggle to find the necessary funds to pay for college-related expenses. This is why it is so important to consolidate information about scholarships and encourage students to apply.

Instruction and Student Services are now partnering to get the word out to students about scholarship opportunities, both those provided from external sources and internal departments, divisions, and offices. Plans are underway to provide a series of spring workshops to assist students in understanding the application criteria, and getting tips and guidelines on writing the scholarship essay. As opportunities are sent to the Financial Aid Office, announcements are sent campus wide, through GroupWise and to the OWL, for inclusion in the next edition. Help us assist students by making the information available and accessible to our students. Help spread the word!


The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 19, No. 1

Fall 2003