Financial aid 101: Find your money

By Brooke Bailey

Reporter

 

The scholarship hunting process for tuition valued at more than $30,586 a year can be a daunting task for students.

The first place Baylor students can look for scholarships is  the student financial services site, www.baylor.edu/sfs.

Financial aid assistant director of counseling Amine Qourzal encourages students looking for scholarships to check this website each spring semester. The scholarship link on the site points to a list of different types of scholarships.

Scholarship options include Baptist scholarships, committee scholarships, department scholarships and outside scholarships.

Each of the links on the website provides a detailed list of individual Baptist and committee scholarships.

Students can find departmental scholarships by typing a department name into a specialized search engine.

Jacksonville junior Meagan Pike applied for and received a departmental scholarship from the School of Education.

“It helps pay for part of my tuition and helps lessen the debt,” Pike said.

Also available to students are links and search engines for outside scholarships. If students find outside scholarships and wish for them to apply to their Baylor account students need to complete the Outside Scholarship Report Form, available at https://www1.baylor.edu/OSRF/.

However, this website is not the only place students can find outside scholarship opportunities.

“Current students can also look for outside scholarship opportunities through the Internet or through connections in their community,” Qourzal said.

One such outside scholarship website is Fastweb.com and is a resource Qourzal recommends students use. Fastweb is one of the largest scholarship search engines available.

If studying abroad is in a student’s future, they can find funding resources at http://www.baylor.edu/study_abroad/. The scholarship page includes the application for the Glennis McCrary Goodrich International Scholarship, an in-house Baylor scholarship. Several outside study abroad scholarships are listed as well.

Tips for winning scholarships are available at Baylor.edu/sfs.

Cleburne sophomore Kaitlin McHargue said she thinks this process of looking for scholarships is too long.

“I didn’t want to take the time to apply,” McHargue said.

Spring 2012 graduate Katie Anderson did not apply for scholarships.

“They weren’t well advertised,” Anderson said.

Every scholarship application has different requirements, but some need multiple submissions such as resumes, essays, questionnaires and even interviews.

Some scholarships award money to students based on financial need. In most instances, students will need to submit a FAFSA to be eligible for need-based scholarships.

Dr. Douglas Henry, who is the chair of the scholarship committee in the Honors College, said students who have needs and eligibility for scholarships cannot be awarded money if they do not apply.

“It maximizes our opportunity to see that these resources go to the students who have the most significant levels of need,” Henry said.

Qourzal said students with strong academic credentials have the best chance of receiving scholarships.

University Scholars Associate Professor and Associate Director Dr. Jennifer Good said students must stand out from other students also applying for the same scholarship.

“Students need to have a good GPA and show why they are more deserving than other people who are also doing great work,” Good said.

Qourzal said he believes that with the help of multiple scholarships, students can help minimize the amount of loan debt incurred while pursuing their degree.

“Without a doubt students should pursue scholarships as best as they can if they need help with their educational expenses,” Qourzal said.

For some students, scholarship money is what keeps them at Baylor.

Anchorage, Alaska, senior Billy Kretschmer needed scholarship money to afford Baylor tuition.

“I would not be here without scholarships,” Kretschmer said.

Cleburne senior Karalynn Reynolds said she seized every opportunity to apply for scholarships. Reynolds has applied for scholarships every semester since her senior year of high school.

“Baylor is a private university, which means high tuition, so anything helps,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said she found scholarship applications through Google and Fastweb. She has received five outside scholarships during her time at Baylor.

Hayward, Calif., junior Dana Reed said scholarships have paid for a significant amount of her schooling.

“Scholarships are important to me because my parents are paying, but I want to help out as much as I can,” Reed said.