Along with tests, finals and papers, students may have another
worry as the semester draws to a close: scholarship applications. Some students
are already searching for scholarship opportunities or even filling out
applications. However, how likely is it for a returning student to receive scholarships?
“It’s a common misconception that incoming freshmen get all
the scholarships,” said Larry Moeder, director of student financial assistance and admissions and vice president for student life. “Returning
students don’t realize that there are more scholarships out there for them
because they have a college grade point average and clubs and associations.”
According to Moeder, K-State awards a little over $18 million in scholarships, most of which are academic scholarships. While some
scholarships are merit-based, meaning they are based on grade point average,
Moeder also said many scholarships are based on clubs and activities a student has participated in as well as past leadership roles.
“K-State scholarships have different criteria,” Moeder said.
“But when we looked at student leaders and their applications and scholarships,
we saw they were also high school leaders.”
However, the general K-State scholarship application is not
the only way to get scholarships. Students can also apply for scholarships in their own departments.
According to Anand Desai, associate dean for academic assistance
within the College of Business Administration, after a student fills out the
general K-State application, the application is sorted based on majors. From
there, Desai looks at students’ overall grade point average and awards scholarships based on merit. Within each major in the College of Business,
there are even more scholarships to apply for.
“If you don’t apply, you don’t get the scholarship,” Desai said.
“We have 2,600 students but I only get 1,900 applications. I don’t know why
some students don’t apply.”
One reason for students not applying, according to Moeder,
is that incoming freshmen had guidance counselors to help them with the
application process and deadlines, whereas in college, students are left on their own and have to be more proactive about finding new scholarship
Moeder said he knew a student who spent every
night doing an hour of scholarship searching and applying. In high school, she
had signed up for various scholarship websites, such as CollegeNET.com and Fastweb.com, that located scholarships for
her. In college, she continued to use those resources, as well as scholarship
opportunities here on campus, to receive $20,000 a year in scholarship
“I don’t think it’s very hard to get scholarships,” said
Natalie DiDio, freshman in psychology. “There’s a lot of ways for people to
get money through academics or anything.”
However, for a returning student, it may be hard to find
time to apply for scholarships.
“I think the hard part about scholarship applications is not
knowing what’s out there and the time and effort you put into them,” said
Lauren Delosky, junior in architectural engineering. “I think students should
get rewarded for what they’re doing here, like joining clubs or doing well in a
class. I know there are some students who get rewarded for that, but not all of
A variety of scholarship opportunities are still available for
students, including scholarships for students living in a certain area or even for left-handed students.
As Moeder put it, “Someone out there wants to pay for you to go to college.”