The deadline for Continuing Studies scholarship application enrollment is going to be extended from April 7 to September 15 beginning in 2014 by the College Advancement Department at Mercer County Community College.
Tatiana Dodge, an Administrative Specialist at MCCC, says of the decision to extend the application deadline by more than five months, ‘Some students decide in May ‘I’m going to go to a four year (school),’ and then over the summer they make the decision to stay at home. They shouldn’t be cut from that application deadline.”
Kay Eaton, Director of Grants and Special Projects, says “Seeing the need the students had, we made a very intentional decision to extend the deadline for students…to put in their application”
Eaton has temporarily assumed responsibility for the scholarship process. Amy Frangione, who was the Manager of Development at MCCC and oversaw the scholarship process, vacated that position at the end of July this past summer.
Though the deadline is extended, Eaton says “If I were counseling a student, I would always counsel them to [put in their application] earlier. They (the teachers who help award scholarships) may want to look at what’s in the system before they leave for the summer, and you can’t control that.”
MCCC offers two different types of scholarships: continuing studies scholarships, which are awarded to students who are going to continue to enroll in classes, and graduating scholarships, which are awarded to graduating students.
According to the College Advancement Office there are currently 102 different types of continuing studies scholarships and 22 graduating scholarships available, though the total number of scholarship types available can vary from year to year. Included in the 124 total scholarship types are 28 different degree-specific scholarships.
Students can apply for scholarships they are eligible for by using the Mscholarships section of the school website (www.mccc.edu). The Mscholarships link is located by clicking on the financial aid link under the student services menu.
In a survey of fifty MCCC students by the VOICE, thirty eight percent of respondents were not aware that the college offered scholarships, and eighty six percent of respondents did not know that the Mscholarships web portal existed.
Of the nineteen respondents who were unaware of the scholarships offered by Mercer, fourteen said they now believed they would apply for one.
First semester undecided student Lee D’Amato says “If I had money from a scholarship, I’d only work my butt off a little bit, I wouldn’t have to work on my time off.”
First semester liberal arts major Essence Amos was unaware of scholarships offered through the school when asked by the VOICE. “I should know about the scholarships” said Amos.
Third semester nursing major Nqueita Mentee knew about the scholarships when asked by the VOICE, but said about the schools advertising efforts, “Other than having it on their website, if someone doesn’t check or go looking for it they won’t know.”
In addition to extending the deadline for scholarship application, Dodge says the school is planning on increasing their outreach and awareness efforts. Dodge says some new initiatives could include hosting training sessions for students and faculty and advertising through official school social media.
“More students need to apply for scholarships because the money is there and I feel students could be better informed about how to get it… the office exists to help students who have trouble financing their education” says Dodge.
“It would be a good thing to have, it would look good on your records.”