The Winner of $3,000 University Scholarship 2015

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself? Your hobbies or extracurricular activities?

I live in Tucson, Arizona so I spend a lot of my free time outdoors either cycling or hiking. I also like spending time working on DIY projects. I was involved in several student leadership organizations in High School and am now currently involved with the University of Arizona’s Student Alumni Association. I am also involved in organization called Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), which gets girls in elementary and middle school excited about science.

How did you feel when you found out you won the $3,000 scholarship?

When I got the email saying I was awarded the scholarship I was in disbelief. After realizing I had actually won, it felt as if a physical weight was lifted off of me. After spending months trying to put together a way to pay for school, and then having ChameleonJohn recognize that I was worth investing in, it was a very emotional moment.

What do you think about the questions asked on our application form?

I felt the questions from the application allowed me to really express my passions and goals. Being able to talk about these is always exciting because it’s what my life is surrounded around. My responses did not feel forced. On the contrary, when answering all the questions I had to find a way to say less. My responses were very personal and really showcased who I was.

What part of your tuition fees will these $3,000 cover?

This scholarship will cover the rest of my tuition that is not paid for by my academic excellence scholarship. This allows me to use my other aid for books paying for room and board, so I can live closer to campus.

What would you have done if you didn't win this scholarship?

If I had not won this scholarship, in order to pay for school, I would have had to continuing working 30 plus hours a week at my job on top of completing 20 units of my dual degree program. I would also still have to live at home, which for me is over an hour away from campus. I would be struggling every day to be able to continue my education.

Is it relatively easy to get a scholarship to study in the United States or it requires a ton of work and persistence?

It is fairly difficult to find ways to pay for school if you are a student who is struggling financially. Scholarships are extremely competitive and even though your situation is dire there are another thousand students just like you competing for a way to pay for school. You have to apply to every scholarship you see even if you don’t think you have a very good chance of winning it. The process of applying to scholarships takes a countless amount of hours, but if you are serious about your goals then it is worth it.

What are other effective ways for students to raise funds for their studies in the United States?

When you are still in high school and you know that affording college is going to be a struggle, then get a part time job and start saving so you have some savings to start with. In addition, filling for FASFA can really help. Making sure you know how to fill it out correctly, and filling earlier will make you more likely to get all the money you qualify for.

What would your advice be to our next year's applicants? What should they pay attention to?

When you are responding to the questions make sure that you are expressing your goals and how determined you are to achieve them. Making a personal connection with the responses you are giving is the most important. Don’t try to play yourself up or down, just say who you are and where you want to go. When you are passionate and you share that passion with another person, it tends to cause that second person to become invested in your success.