By MacKenzie Ullmer, Alyssa DeKeyser, & Indiana Schilz
According to an article by Investopedia, fifty-four percent of U.S. college students take on debt from student loans to pay for their higher education. Scholarships are a helpful yet time-consuming way to offset the expense of furthering your education. Applying for scholarships is highly recommended. It can sometimes be challenging to know where to start.
There are numerous scholarships that students can apply for at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB). The Communication and Information Science Department, for example, offers five different scholarships. These include The Green Bay Media Scholarship, The Craig A. Mueller Communication Scholarship, The Althea Steele Lederer Scholarship, The Ralph R. Stein Memorial Scholarship, and The Charlie Leonard Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Communication. Each scholarship has a unique application process and eligibility requirements.
Dr. Bryan Carr, an Associate Professor of Communication and the Communication scholarship coordinator recommends all students apply for the scholarships they are eligible for. “College is expensive. I had to apply for many scholarships, grants, and other awards to get through my undergrad to speak firsthand to the need for that. But more than that, these are not just financial rewards but merit-based awards. These are things you can put on your resume as genuine accomplishments to show prospective employers what you have done in college. There is no downside to applying, and you have a lot to gain – how many things can you say that about in life?” he explains.
If students are looking to stand out in the applicants’ pool for the Communication scholarships, Dr. Carr has a few suggestions. “Dedication to Communication and involvement in internships, student organizations, and committees, as well as your entrepreneurial Communication work, are all excellent ways to set yourself apart. I would also suggest you read the instructions for each scholarship carefully and make sure that you have provided appropriate essays for each. We require articles for three of our scholarships, and not including them would make you ineligible for those scholarships. Every Communication student who still has time remaining in their program of study is eligible to apply for scholarships, so make sure you make a case for why you are particularly deserving of the award and what you have done on a concrete level to meet the requirements “ Dr. Carr says.
A current senior at UWGB and the 2020 recipient of The Craig A. Mueller Communication Scholarship, Kelly Krebsbach, shares her perspective on the importance of applying for scholarships during college. “Applying for scholarships is such an easy, risk-free way of getting money. You don’t have to pay a scholarship back after you are done with school – it is free money. It also pushes me to do better in school and get more involved in programs related to my field because that’s what scholarship committees look for. Winning a scholarship in my major was a huge confidence boost. It showed that my hard work was paying off and that I earned the scholarship money.”
Krebshach’s advice to other students interested in applying to scholarships – “Just apply! The application was very straightforward and did not take up much of my time, from what I remember. If you are applying for other scholarships, have a template that you can use for your applications. Just make sure to update it and change it up a little bit for each application, especially if they are asking for different things.”
Scholarships for UWGB Communication students are due at 11:59 p.m. on April 16th, 2021, and can be found at https://www.uwgb.edu/communication/scholarships/scholarships-offered/. For a complete list of scholarships offered at UWGB, students are encouraged to visit: https://www.uwgb.edu/scholarships/. The opportunity is there. All students have to do is apply.