Financial stress has been the elephant in the room for college students across the country in the 21st Century. Students in need of extra cash for the year can find comfort in what has become a staple of college life – scholarships.
Dating all the way back to its founding, Minnesota State University, Mankato has awarded scholarships to its students for decades with hundreds given every year.
Students who receive a scholarship can see a monetary prize between $200-$1000. A single student is able to apply and be awarded multiple scholarships if they cover the requirements.
The Legenhausen Scholarship, named after Mankato natives Judy and Steve Legenhausen, pays for four years of tuition for students. It is the first Distinguished Scholar Award in MNSU history.
Scholarships have been around since the 1800s with new scholarships being created by alumni wishing to give back to their alma mater. All students are able to benefit from scholarships and can find which scholarships they are eligible for on the scholarship finder on the MNSU website.
Vice President of Student Affairs, David Jones, advocates that all students apply for scholarships when they are available as they can both assist students for the current semester and for the future as well.
“Scholarships are important for two different reasons. One, clearly the financial assistance helps for students, they can continue to work toward their degree by helping compliment the dollars they put in so it helps fit that gap, whatever it might be, towards tuition, housing, whatever it might be,” Jones said.
He continued, “The other side is that there is clearly people who believe in young adults and what we’re doing here at the university, so they’ve put forth money to assist and do that.”
Jones, along with Carolyn Nelson, the Director of Scholarships, go through thousands of students, looking at multiple different essays students have written to explain why they should receive their scholarship of choice.
For Jones, he says the winning strategy for a scholarship essay is to not exaggerate yourself, all you need to do is be yourself and not express yourself that isn’t authentic to who you are.
“There is some benefit in brevity, I definitely encourage students to not be too overly verbose if you feel like you can get your message across in a page or two pages. Don’t write five,” Jones said about scholarship essays.
The University makes a good effort to make sure all scholarships are able to be given to students who fit the right requirements. At the end of the February window, departments and professors are given the opportunity to give students they see as best fitting the requirements of the scholarship and are awarded accordingly.
There are some scholarships that have very specific requirements that may cause them to go unused during the school year.
There are no negatives when applying for scholarships, the worst that can happen is that you do not receive one and you’ll have to wait next year to try again.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.