Nick Galardi and a fellow Cuesta student express surprise with Cuesta’s scholarship program.
Photo by Josh Pachio/Cuestonian
By Holly Walsh
Opinion & Social Media Editor
Cuesta College recently awarded more than $340,000 in scholarships to nearly 250 students for this academic school year.
Scholarship recipients are selected based upon a variety of criteria, including financial need, academic excellence and sports.
“Receiving these scholarships has been such an overwhelmingly positive experience,” said Callie Tennock, a third-year English major.
Tennock, who received four scholarships, said she works two-part time jobs and uses the extra scholarship money to focus on school, rather than work.
Cuesta recently hosted the 29th annual Scholarship Reception where nearly 450 scholarships were awarded to students, some of whom received several, according to Lauren Milbourne, Cuesta’s media relations coordinator.
The scholarship money awarded does not include the Promise Scholarship, which is awarded to transfer high school students that live in San Luis Obispo County.
When the number of recipients were announced at the scholarship ceremony, Tennock recalled being surprised.
“I just thought, ‘Wow! I wish I had realized that this was really an option last year,” Tennock said.
Tennock describes the application process as being easy, and all that was required of her was filling out one application which was used to apply to all the scholarships.
Tennock says she had heard about scholarships on the myCuesta webpage but mostly through her friends and professors.
However, some students complained they were not made aware of the scholarship availability.
Nick Galardi, a second year mechanical engineering major, said he was surprised to learn Cuesta had $340,000 available in scholarships and wished he had known about them.
“Living in [San Luis Obispo] is expensive and having to work full time as well as go to school is hard, I think most students can relate to that struggle,” Galardi said, adding that perhaps Cuesta could more visibly publicize the scholarships.
Sarah Henning, a financial aid technician at Cuesta, says the school tries its best to advertise available scholarships through myCuesta student email, she later admits that the school could do better by “releasing flyers around campus” to get the word out about scholarships.
Henning’s advice to students interested in applying for scholarships is “Check your myCuesta email, there is so much opportunity available.”
“There are a wide variety of scholarships available to almost every major, simply just applying means you’re near guaranteed a scholarship,” Henning said.
Scholarship applications open on Oct. 1 and the closing date is Mar. 2, 2018 with scholarships being awarded sometime during May.