Miina McCown/The Broadside
We all know that college isn’t a cheap endeavor. For students needing help funding their education at Central Oregon Community College, the COCC Foundation scholarship is here to help. Every year, COCC students facing financial difficulties have the chance to win 4,500.00 to support their financial needs.
The scholarship application window opens on February 1st and closes on July 1st of every year. The application for the 2021-2022 school year is open until July 1st of this year, and the scholarship can also be renewed for two additional years, supporting a total of three years of education.
Each year the COCC Foundation offers nearly 400 scholarship awards totaling $1.7 million for students. While donors and criteria may vary among some of the awards, all scholarship winners will be awarded with the same amount, which is $4,500.00.
“For example, there might be an art specific scholarship, but the vast majority of them are general scholarships for any COCC student,” says Brittany Nichols, the director of Foundation programs. “1.7 million dollars is what we have available this year and we are expecting the same for next year as well. That supports about 400 full scholarships for students, so 400 COCC students will receive a scholarship of that amount.”
So, what does the actual application process look like? Students will first examine their financial need, GPA and overall academic standing. Next, students will answer three essay questions, which cover topics such as personal accomplishments, future goals and financial challenges. For more specifics regarding the narrative questions and the determination of financial needs as well as some additional acceptance requirements, visit this page. And for some tips on writing scholarship application essays, check out this article from The Broadside.
Once all applications are sent in, volunteers review, looking at the student’s GPA, the FAFSA or ORSAA, financial need and the narratives written by each student.
“We always have more students apply than we have funds available for, so unfortunately not every student who applies will get a scholarship but a majority of them actually do. And it changes year to year, but about 50 percent in any given year will receive a scholarship they apply for. The odds are pretty good and it’s an easy application.,” says Nichols.
Usually, at the beginning of August the first round of awarded students is informed. Then, a smaller second round of students are informed that they won as well. The second round consists of the next eligible students who receive scholarships that were not accepted by students from the first round, for example students who ended up transferring or not needing it anymore.
Nichols also remarks that while students must have a 2.0 GPA minimum to apply for the scholarship, to get the scholarship renewed for the next two years, they must bump it up to a 2.5 GPA and take a minimum of 24 credits in that academic year as well.