Students unaware of scholarship eligibility

Sophia Jamil

Staff Writer

Hudson Valley offers over 150 scholarships in multiple fields for students, but some scholarships go unawarded due to the fact that no applications were received as many students are unaware of the scholarship opportunities the college has to offer.

Blaz Krtalic, a biological science major with a 3.45 GPA, has been paying out of pocket for four semesters and had no clue that Hudson Valley even offered any scholarships.

“Since it’s a pretty small school, I just assumed that they didn’t have any scholarships to offer,” said Krtalic.

Krtalic didn’t know that he was eligible for more than six scholarships offered by Hudson Valley.

“I have had kids come into my office thinking they weren’t eligible for any scholarships and leave my office with a list of more than 10 scholarships that they might be able to receive,” said Kim Berry, scholarship coordinator.

Individual studies major Taylor Rejak finished last semester with a 4.0 GPA.

“My grandma pays my tuition and also pays for my books. If I could receive a scholarship that would help me pay for my tuition or my books, it would be great. I’ll definitely be looking more into them now,” said Rejak.

There are scholarships offered for almost every subject area, from liberal arts to biological sciences.

“There are people out there who are donating $500-$2500 worth of scholarships for students at Hudson Valley. Donors donate money for various reasons, one being to pay tribute to someone. Like the Dr. J. Frank Morgan scholarship that was in memory of Dr. Morgan,” said Kim Berry.

To apply for scholarships, students have to meet certain criteria for the specific scholarships that they would like to receive. Most scholarships offered to students don’t require a perfect GPA.

“There are multiple reasons as to why students are not coming in and applying for scholarships, one being that they don’t think their GPA is high enough, when really, there are scholarships for students with a 2.0 GPA as well as a 3.7 GPA,” said Geoffrey Miller, director of development and donor relations.

Connor Gordon, biological science major, said, “If I knew before this interview that Hudson Valley offered scholarships for students who don’t have a perfect GPA, I would have already applied. I ended off my last semester with a 3.86 GPA.”

Gordon has been working part-time off campus to pay for his college while still managing to be a full-time student with an almost-perfect GPA.

Though students don’t have to have a perfect GPA, some require the submission of a 250-word essay.

“The word ‘essay’ is what usually scares most students from applying,” said Miller. “However, Hudson Valley has a lot of sources that may be able to help and guide students in writing essays as well.”

Two of these sources are the Financial Aid and Foundation staff. Both of these organizations work together to raise awareness for the scholarship money that is available for students to utilize.

Jack Taylor, who is a part-time student at Hudson Valley, said that Financial Aid helped him realize he could get his degree paid off.

“I’m a veteran, and when I was first planning on taking classes at Hudson Valley, the Financial Aid office informed me that I could receive a GI bill that could pay off my BA degree for me, which was really helpful,” Taylor said.

“We try our best to raise awareness for all the scholarships that Hudson Valley offers, but at the end of the day, it is up to the student to decide if they want to apply for it or not,” said Ken Villeneuve, Financial Aid technical assistant.

The deadline for scholarship applications for the upcoming academic year is Mar. 25.

Berry’s desire is to see the scholarships go to help students pay off their tuition.
“Education is a gift. At our office, we have these gifts waiting for students to call on them. For most college students, money is usually a problem, and we love working with students to help make their life easier,” she said.

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