Free money is made available through scholarships

Hunter Wallace
News Editor

Screenshot-2017-10-1 2017-2018 Second Chance Scholarship Application Packet - second-chance pdfCourtesy of HVCC.EDU

Are you searching for money to fund your education? Free money is available to students that pass through the Hudson Valley College Foundation.

Students often overlook the money they can potentially receive from scholarships. Offered during the beginning of every semester, few students actually apply for one, essentially forfeiting the chance to earn money that could pay for their college education.
Several types of scholarships are available to students.

“A scholarship can be need-based or merit-based, but many of our scholarships take both financial need and merit (academic achievement) into consideration,” said Kimberly Berry, scholarship and operations coordinator for the College Foundation. “That’s not to say that only the needy and the smart get scholarships — some of our scholarships are specifically for students who aren’t carrying a high GPA.”

Berry added that current students can apply online, and the college’s program will match them with scholarships for which they are eligible. An application period for any given scholarship is open to students anywhere from four to eight weeks. Depending on the number of scholarships available, it can take one to two months for decisions to be made, and if students apply at the beginning of a semester, they will be notified before the end of that semester.
Students may decide not to apply for scholarships for a number of reasons.

“Often, I hear that [students] don’t think they will qualify for financial aid because of their parent’s income, but merit-based scholarships don’t take financial need into account, so I say go for it,” Berry said. “We always encourage students to apply. It’s fairly painless [because] most scholarships only require a one-page essay that tells about your academic and career goals.”

According to Berry, there are also scholarships offered only to students within particular programs or areas of study, such as automotive technology, nursing, criminal justice and dental hygiene.

“Many [scholarships] are for a specific major or program, and some require recipients to be Rensselaer County residents or to have graduated from a Rensselaer County high school,” Berry said. “Other are for graduates of a specific high school or may have a preference for someone who is a single parent, athlete or entrepreneur.”

Berry added that it is typically for the College Foundation to see over 300 students apply for over 100 available scholarships.

“If there are 100 scholarships available and only 300 students apply, then you would have a 1-in-3 chance of receiving a scholarship,” she said. “It’s important to apply, because, just like the lottery, you’ve got to be in it to win it. Also, sometimes the first choice decides to go to another school, and then the next student on the list may be offered the scholarship.”

According to Berry, the College Foundation has existed since 1983. In addition to scholarships, it administers emergency funds and award funds that benefit students, while also co-sponsoring many educational events, such as the recent Student Leadership Expo. It is also in the process of implementing a new scholarship management system for the 2018-19 academic year, which may allow for more student flexibility and offerings throughout the year.

For more information regarding scholarships, contact the College Foundation by phone at (518) 629-8012, by email at and in person at Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center, Room 131.

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