One application equals multiple scholarship opportunities

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One application equals multiple scholarship opportunities

February 06, 2015, Katja Sonkeng

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Hundreds of College of Business and fellow Salukis from other departments at SIU are now eagerly waiting the selections to be announced.

Discouraged by continuous media coverage reporting record-breaking and consistent increases of college tuition and fees, students all too often miss out on an opportunity to receive a good college education.

Whether they wrongly assume that their household income is too high, or that they can’t compete with other classmates or shy away from the anticipated large numbers of applicants, they are likely to overlook scholarships for which they might be eligible.

The good news is that it has never been easier to land an award that helps you through college. A variety of need-, academic- and merit-based scholarships are easily and conveniently accessible through the single online platform www.siu.academicworks.com. They are offered jointly by Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the colleges at Southern Illinois University, including the College of Business.

Applications for the fall 2015 to spring 2016 academic year were accepted from Nov. 1 to Feb. 1. To enter the scholarship application pool for all available university awards, as well as scholarships available exclusively to the College of Business, students had to complete just one combined questionnaire and a few additional questions.

“The nice thing about this program is that it will ‘auto match’ you, so most student record information are already in the Banner student system, so you don’t have to provide basic information, such as major and GPA,” said ,” Jill Gebke, assistant dean at the College of Business. “And then the system automatically starts screening, and with that information you will be ‘auto qualified’ for scholarships and encouraged to apply for more awards. So the more questions you answered, the more scholarships you may be considered for. So it’s a really intuitive program in that aspect.”

With the recent closing of the application process, hundreds of College of Business and fellow Salukis from other departments at SIU are eagerly waiting the selections that will be made this spring. The lucky ones will be notified via email.

“Last year we had 220 applicants and 77 scholarships available,” Gebke said. “And we awarded a total of 103 scholarships, so some students may have received more than just one scholarship.”

Among the lucky awardees were Cameron Thomas, an accounting major; Hiba Abbasi, a finance major; and Thomas Becker, a marketing major.

Becker received three different scholarships worth more than $5,000 per semester. Besides a 20 percent tuition waiver for being the son of two SIU alumni, he also obtained a SIU Academic Scholarship, a Dean’s Scholarship and a Walter Mauck Scholarship.

“The scholarships allow me to worry less about finances and concentrate on my studies,” Becker said.

But what exactly set him apart from the rest of the applicants? Becker said he believes that “the Dean’s and Academic Scholarships were both because of good grades (his current GPA is 4.0), and so was the Walter Mauck Scholarship.”

“Plus, I am from Hamilton County,” he said. “I also feel that my two-year membership in the Marching Salukis, two-year membership in American Marketing Association, one-and-a-half-year membership of Pi Sigma Epsilon, and that I am currently a resident assistant, helped me receive these scholarships.”

Gebke confirmed that his assumption is pretty accurate.

“We follow the scholarship criteria guidelines, so if a scholarship requires a GPA of 3.5, we find the students that meet this criteria and award it to them,” she said. “We usually look at the whole applicant package and the scholarships' preferential criteria.”

Anyone who missed the deadline for the upcoming 2015-2016 year should mark next year’s application period on their calendars because, as Gebke points out, “it’s free money.”

“It’s funding that goes to the students’ bursar bills for their tuition,” she said. “And it’s only one application for multiple scholarships. Students would pass on an exceptional opportunity if they don’t apply.”

For more information about College of Business scholarships, contact Gebke at jgebke@business.siu.edu and click on the link below to hear four SIU College of Business students share their stories on how scholarships changed their lives for the better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK-w-k0adC4