By Deanna Honett
More than 400 SCCC scholarship opportunities are available for students, but a major dilemma seems to be the lack of knowledge of where to look when someone wishes to find out more information.
Students are not aware of informative faculty members who are not only passionate about helping them, but also happy to do so when students come seeking help or guidance. By discussing and forming bonds with the faculty, students can gain knowledge from people who not only have hands on experience, but have years of advice they can offer.
Dr. Donna Ciampa, campus associate dean of academic affairs on the Grant campus talked about an app called “SCHOLLY.” This app is not free, costing $2.99 through an APP store, but those that decide to download the app will find rewards and countless scholarship opportunities. The minimum cost is setting you up for a future that could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Edwin Roldan, Grant campus admissions counselor offered a pamphlet that presented a list of college names that were all located on Long Island on the inside.
“Do you like any of these colleges? We have a program here that you can apply to that gives you a chance to attend any of these colleges for free,” Roldan said. For any student, no matter what their circumstances are, being able to attend and receive a college degree for free seems too good to be true and impossible. This chance for students could lead to so many different opportunities, and experiences, and relieve many of the anxiety of not being able to afford continuing their college education.
The scholarship program is called “It Pays to Stay on Long Island.” College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay created this scholarship program in 2011 so that Long Island could keep young and talented students on the island, while also giving qualified students a chance to attend the Long Island Colleges and Universities for a full ride. This scholarship program has awarded a sum of approximately $640,000 annually to 31 students. More than $3 million have been awarded in the form of different sized scholarships to over a hundred students in either full ride scholarships or partial scholarships.
This program gives students the opportunity to be provided with both full and partial tuition scholarships if they are qualified, as students transfer to one of the partnering four-year Long Island colleges to finish their education and receive degrees. The schools partnered with this program are schools that many of students are already looking to attend. They include Adelphi University, Briarcliffe College, Dowling College, Farmingdale, Five Towns College, Hofstra University, LIU Post, LIU Riverhead, LIU Brentwood, New York Institute of Technology, The College of Old Westbury, St. John’s University, St. Joseph’s College and Stony Brook University.
Kimberly Desz, an Ammerman campus student, is transferring to Stony Brook in the fall for the social welfare program. She is a hard worker and goal driven student who wants to help people. She admits that her biggest downfall though is that she tends to be on the quieter side, causing her to not interact much with staff or professors outside of the classroom. When learning of the scholarship program and what it offers to students like herself, with Stony Brook being one of the partnered colleges, she looked disappointed.
“I wish I knew about this sooner so I could have applied to it. I just didn’t hear anything about it so the only reason why I didn’t apply was because I didn’t know,” Desz said. This shows the importance of asking around about what options there are for students because these opportunities were created in order to fit students’ needs.
Students seem to not realize how many faculty members enjoy interacting with us. Being able to talk to people, to pick their brains and not be afraid to ask questions is so important. It could lead to some life changing answers, like finding out there are opportunities for students to continue their education at colleges on Long Island for free.
Hopefully more of our students can begin to see the many chances and opportunities that are out there for them as they pursue their passions and strive for their goals. There is a famous saying “when there’s a will there’s a way.” Our college helps ensure students to have options in whatever direction they choose to lead.
“Follow your passion and always be true to yourself. Be a person of your word. Follow through. These are all ways to be successful. Be a leader,” Ciampa said.