The CSU-Pueblo Foundation scholarship application is now open, marking another year in which students of the university can earn access to the $1.8 million in awards.
This year, the university is prepared to expand financial support for its students after receiving a substantial endowed gift of $3 million from the Lois W. Mathis and J. Roland Mathis Trust in December.
According to a CSU-Pueblo news release, the estate of Lois Mathis allotted the funds to be used for “educational opportunities for the young men and women of the Pueblo community and the advancement and improvement of the graduate and faculty members of the university.”
Nick Potter, the private scholarships administrator for the Foundation office, said the university will be able to sustain itself off of the interest from this donation for years to come, and that a portion of the money will be used to grant additional scholarships to students.
Students wishing to apply for an award can access the general application through the “scholarships” link in their Personal Access to Web Services account.
Although the process of filling out the application can be slightly daunting, Potter said he encourages everyone to apply.
“It’s the most money that you’re ever going to make per hour,” he said.
Once a student fills out the application, their submission is sent to an array of scholarship boards, which evaluate each student’s potential. There are scholarships available for students of almost every major and background, whether the student has financial need or not.
Potter had a few recommendations for those who want their application to exceed expectations. He stressed the importance of community and school involvement, and said that it is vital for students to have a well-organized essay. He compared the essay to a job interview, as it is the scholarship board’s first impression.
“Sell yourself,” he said.
Potter also explained that students should look for scholarship resources outside of the university, particularly on websites such as Fastweb.com. More submissions increase a student’s chances of earning more scholarships.
“It’s basically just like casting a net,” he said. “The more nets that you put out there, the more fish you’re going to reel back.”
Although CSU-Pueblo has been criticized for its lack of public funding, Potter said he does not share that opinion.
“For a school of our size, being able to give out almost $2 million in scholarships is a pretty big deal,” he said.
And some students are certainly reaping the benefits.
Connor Marth, a sophomore exercise science major, has received two Foundation scholarships since the start of his freshman year. One award was a Pepsi scholarship and the other an athletic scholarship through Art and Lorraine Gonzales.
He said that he continuously checks his student email for reminders of when the application is open and felt that the school does an adequate job of advertising for the Foundation’s scholarships.
The deadline for the Foundation scholarship application is March 1.