Available scholarships go unclaimed

Available scholarships go unclaimed

CARMEN GUZMAN, Managing Editor

Scholarship applications opened for Dallas College students on March 1.

Students can apply for scholarships for the fall semester until the June 1 deadline. Currently, there are over 400 available scholarships.

As a Title V grant program coordinator, Elena Martinez’s job entails hosting scholarship workshops and assisting students with applications.

“[Students] just need to know that [scholarships] are there,” Martinez said. “For example, there was one scholarship for dramatic arts, and it was for $500. Not one student applied last semester.”

In 2021, 18 out of 225 application-based scholarships had zero applicants. Among these scholarships, four of them were for hospitality majors and three were for theater majors.

Scholarship coordinator Lori Tatsch manages the scholarship database for the Dallas College Foundation, which has increased marketing over the past three years to help students find scholarships.

Tatsch said most scholarships with no applicants range from $100 to $2,500.

“[Students] are probably not familiar with how to search for a scholarship,” Tatsch said. “With our system, it’s actually quite easy.”

The Dallas College Foundation uses the search engine myScholarships. Students can filter scholarships by major, campus and keywords. Students can visit this search engine at foundation.dallascollege.edu/myscholarships.

Additionally, the search engine offers a general application which automatically places students in pools for eligible scholarships.

“You have to keep in mind when you’re doing [the general application], there’s probably a thousand other students in the system,” Tatsch said.

Tatsch and Martinez say students shouldn’t gamble on gain-
ing scholarships through the general application alone.

Certain scholarships in the general application pool have optional essays or questionnaires.

“Make sure you’re making yourself a strong candidate,” Martinez said.

The general application connects students with application-based scholarships, but students must manually search for scholarships that are not under the application pool.

Keywords on myScholarships’ allows students to find scholarships based on ethnicity, hobbies and financial situation.

Itzay Gallegos is received a scholarship for being a first-generation student as well as the first person in his family on track for college graduation.

“[Counselors] reached out to me and told me about scholarships,” Gallegos said.

Gallegos thanks his counselors for directing him towards scholarships, but he said he wishes Dallas College hosted more scholarship workshops and activities. Although scholarship openings are advertised, Tatsch said students should keep an eye out for scholarships with different deadlines.

Certain scholarship applications close as early as the end of April. Currently, students cannot search scholarships by deadline.

Tatsch urges students to actively search for scholarships they’re eligible for as soon as they can.

“It’s free money,” Tatsch said. “There’s scholarships out there for everyone.”