Scholarship applications due March 1

Scholarship+applications+due+March+1

Having any type of financial aid always comes in handy. Almost every college student in the nation would agree with this. Florida Gulf Coast University students are encouraged to apply to receive a foundation scholarship, and the deadline is just around the corner.

Foundation scholarships are financial awards given to students by different donors. There are 385 donors providing money for FGCU students.

The different donors set their own criteria specifying which students can receive their scholarships. The criteria vary greatly, but it is usually need-based, merit-based or both. Some of the criteria requirements specified by the donors include a specific GPA, major, the high school the student graduated from or the county they are from.

Any students who are interested in receiving a foundation scholarship for the academic year of 2016 must apply by March 1. All students are highly encouraged to fill out the application, along with a FAFSA form.

Jorge Lopez, director of the Student Financial Services, emphasized the importance of applying.

“Let us tell you that you don’t qualify,” Lopez said. “Don’t just disqualify yourself automatically.”

According to Lopez, 4,000 students applied for a foundation scholarship last year and 957 applicants got one. The average amount of money provided by a  year-long foundation scholarship to each recipient is $1,777.

Barbara Peterson, assistant director of Student Financial Services, is in charge of all of the foundation scholarships.

According to Peterson, approximately 25 percent of the applicants receive a scholarship.

“What I usually tell students and parents is ‘applying does not guarantee you will get one, but not applying guarantees you will not get one’,” Peterson said.

Students can fill out the form to apply for the scholarships by going to http://www.fgcu.edu/FinancialAid/Undergraduate/scholarships.html. Students are also encouraged to follow the Financial Aid Office Twitter account, @FGCUFinanAid, and the Facebook page, FGCU Financial Aid to keep updated about future opportunities.

“We’re always here to help,” Peterson said.