Parkland scholarship opportunities extended

Debbie Skinner

Staff Writer

There are many scholarship opportunities currently offered for Parkland College students. While the Parkland Foundation scholarships have a deadline of Jan. 25, which is an extended deadline from their original Nov. 15 deadline, the majority of the upcoming scholarship applications available this spring semester are due April 15.

Scholarship descriptions and applications are available by logging into the My Parkland College portal, clicking on Student Services, and then clicking on Scholarship Search where the scholarships are arranged alphabetically by name. Under the title of each scholarship there is a brief description, a title of the scholarship, the amount of funds awarded, and other details, along with a link to an application. The application link contains a more specific description of the scholarship, providing eligibility criteria that need to be met in order to apply.

The currently available Parkland College Foundation scholarships will be awarded toward the Spring 2016 semester and students should be notified about the status of whether or not they have won the scholarship within approximately a month of the deadline.

The Parkland College Foundation is a non-profit corporation that strives to broaden the educational opportunities for students. The foundation coordinator of the Parkland College Foundation, Susan Goldenstein, mentioned that the foundation works to gather and prepare scholarships, which are then submitted to the Parkland College Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services.

Haiti Eastin, advisor and scholarship coordinator at the Parkland College Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services, described the various types of scholarships available for Parkland College students. The scholarships may include Parkland Foundation Scholarships, which will be available between March 15 and April 15. There also may be scholarships offered by reputable organizations within the local community.

Eastin recommended applying for as many scholarships as students meet the eligibility criteria for. While it does take time to compile the necessary documents for a scholarship application, there is no penalty for not being selected as a recipient of a scholarship, and the time spent preparing the application may result in a substantial reward.

Eastin advised students to not be intimidated by the scholarship application process. The Writing Lab in the Center for Academic Success is available to help students with the essay process. The Center for Academic Success is located in D120 and can be contacted at (217) 353-2005.

Eastin also recommended to “read [each] application carefully…[since] they look very similar, but the criteria may be very different” for each scholarship. Some scholarships may require one letter of reference, while others may require multiple, while others may or may not require an essay.

While the majority of the scholarships posted on the My Parkland Scholarship Search throughout the academic year have an April 15 or November 15 deadline, Eastin advised that students should be on the lookout for other various scholarships posted to the Scholarship Search page that are not dispersed through the Parkland Foundation which may have other deadlines.

Completed Parkland College Foundation scholarship applications may be submitted in person by dropping them off in the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services, located in U286, or through emailing completed applications to finaid@parkland.edu.

If students have questions about scholarships, the Parkland College Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services can be reached by calling (217) 351-2222 or through email at finaid@parkland.edu.