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Scholarships are defined as “money that does not have to be repaid — and is sometimes referred to as free money.” Aren’t scholarships wonderful resources for higher education expens-es? Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC), businesses, religious and civic organiza-tions, employers, philanthropic associations and individuals, colleges and universities, community agencies, and foundations offer free money in the forms of scholarships, stipends or grants. Many students and would-be students assume that scholarships are unavailable to them because they don’t have a 4.0 grade point average (GPA). This thought process is not only a fallacy but also deters numerous students from researching and applying for scholarships.

The four-program divisions at FTCC (Business, College Transfer/General Education, Engineering/Public Service/Applied Technology, and Health) offer numerous scholarships in each division. Many scholarships may require no more than maintaining a “C” (2.0) GPA or enrollment into one of the programs. Yet, all educational scholarships, stipends or grants require that the student take the initiative to find scholarships, to complete the application process and to exercise astuteness in meeting scholar-ship deadlines. Imagine the feeling of success (master student equals master employee) when a potential employer is informed that you were successful in financing your education through scholarships, stipends or grants.

The Financial Aid Office, FTCC Foundation, Inc. and the Career Center at FTCC, along with the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC.org), Google searches and sundry Websites (plug-in information that is unique to you, such as gender, ethnic background, academic achievement, demographi-cal information, achievements, major, etc.), are valuable resources to locate scholarships, grants, stipends and mentoring programs that will assist with higher educational goals. The researcher can uncover scholarships for allied health professionals; vocational, career and technical studies; careers in teaching, accounting, business and fashion designing; recent high school graduates; first-generation college students; cre-ative writers; working moms and/or women over 50 years old; moms going back to college; single mothers, and the list goes on with scholarship availabilities!

Many students are not willing to research and expend the time and effort to apply for scholar-ships: “…there are hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarship monies available in the United States, and many — if not most — of these scholarships are attainable by regular students with regular accomplishments.”

The processes of working diligently toward academic progression, willingly conducting research, following directions when completing forms/assignments and meeting required deadlines in the pursuit of excellence are all opportunities that “master students” embrace. Students who go beyond what is expected to experience successful educational goals are usually students who receive awards and/or free money (scholarships) to pursue higher educational goals.

Earning scholarships and other educational awards demonstrates transfer08-03-11-money.jpg-able skills for which Fortune 500 business enterprises willingly pay megabucks. Students who receive scholarships are the individuals who usually enroll into four-year bachelor degree and graduate-level programs and/or get the megabucks in the world of work.

Photo: Many students are not willing to research and expend the time and effort to apply for scholarships.

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