Scholarships available for Parkland students, but deadlines approach

Photo by Alex Davidson| Caressa Dillow sits on a couch in the U-wing. Dillow is a Parkland student that uses scholarships to pay for a large portion of her tuition.

Photo by Alex Davidson| Caressa Dillow sits on a couch in the U-wing. Dillow is a Parkland student that uses scholarships to pay for a large portion of her tuition.

Alex Davidson

Staff Writer

Many scholarships offered to Parkland College students to help cover education costs have deadlines coming up, so those looking to apply should turn in their applications soon.

Student Life is currently offering the Student Activities Scholarship and the Richard D. Norris Student Government Scholarship for the 2017-2018 school year. Applications for the Student Activities Scholarship are due April 14, while applications for the Richard D. Norris Student Government Scholarship are due April 13.

Both scholarships require a letter of recommendation and an essay, as well as full-time enrollment and separate grade-point average requirements.

The Parkland College Foundation also offers many scholarships. Many of these scholarships are major specific, allowing students to apply for scholarships tailored to them. Deadlines for these scholarships are April 17.

Scholarships are an important part of many students’ academic life because they provide the financial assistance students need in order to be able to afford the cost of tuition, books and living. Without them, higher education isn’t an option for some.

Caressa Dillow, a current Parkland student, is a recipient of scholarships which she says enables her to attend Parkland.

“Having a scholarship enables me to go to school because working a part time job [at Spencer’s Gifts], and paying rent, alongside…other bills…I don’t make enough to cover that and Parkland costs about two grand a semester,” Dillow says.

Many scholarships each semester are not awarded. This happens when there are not enough applicants for it to be awarded. One reason given for this by Sarah Minyard, secretary for Student Life, is that students do not want to write application essays.

“Sometimes, people are intimidated by trying to do an essay,” Minyard says. “But you can go down to [the Center for Academic Success]; they have a writing center down there. People could help you with the writing.”

CAS is open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday with some evening hours.

Often students don’t know about the wide variety of scholarships offered, or that they may be eligible for some of them, which may be another reason scholarships lack applicants, according to Ellen Schmidt, executive director of the Parkland College Foundation.

“Some people don’t realize that there’s scholarships out there, or that they might be eligible for scholarships,” Schmidt says.

Whether you are struggling to make tuition, would like to avoid student loans, or would simply like to put money from your current job towards other expenses, applying for scholarships may help you out.

For information about scholarships, as well as their requirements and applications, contact the Student Life in U111 or at 217-351-2492.

For information on Parkland College Foundation scholarships visit scholarships.aspx.

For more information on CAS visit