Applications open for student scholarships

A college degree is more valuable than ever and with so many people wanting a golden ticket to a successful future. Scholarships help provide a saving grace to those who can’t afford it. The School of Extended and International Education at Sonoma State University is currently offering $50,000 worth of scholarships to students. 

The School of Extended Education provides scholarships throughout the year, including summer and winter intersession. Applications for the upcoming winter intersession scholarship will open in October. A total of 100 scholarships will be rewarded to Sonoma State students who qualify, which will be worth $500 each. 

The scholarships are need-based. Those who need the most financial assistance will take first priority. To meet the basic requirements students must be in good academic standing,  enrolled in a winter intersession class for three or more units, and must have filed a FAFSA with Sonoma State for the 2016-2017 academic year and have a family contribution of $7500 or less. 

“The scholarships give us the opportunity to make intersession and summer session available to students who might not have been able to participate before,” Jennifer Watanabe-Haynes, marketing coordinator for Extended Education said. 

The department will first look at who meets the basic requirements. From there, students who need the most financial help will be chosen. Depending on how many applications are received, the department may make decisions based on student GPA as well. 

“One main objective of The School of Extended Education is getting people to graduate quicker,” Robert Eyler dean of the department said. 

With students focusing less on the expense of college and more on their classes, students have a higher chance of graduating on time. 

“We want to be able to expedite the process so students can graduate in four years or faster,” Eyler said further. 

The department is focused on the future and success of its students, and the money for these scholarships comes straight from the reserves of the Extended Education Department. For the 2017 summer intersession semester, the department plans to give away 300 scholarships worth $500 each. 

With a $500 scholarship, students can cut the cost of a three unit class in half and can cut the cost of a four unit class too. 

Noel Skocko, a sophomore who received the Presidential Scholarship from Sonoma State after high school, knows what difference a scholarship can make. 

“I receive $500 each semester; because of my scholarship it really helps me to breathe a little easier,” Skocko said. 

Students can easily apply online at the Extended Education section of the Sonoma State website. Applications will be available starting Oct. 6. And they must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 10. 

Award notifications will be sent out to students starting Nov. 21. 

With $50,000 in scholarships helping a 100 students, The School of Extended Education is committed to helping increase the chance of success for students make it to the finish line and graduate on time.