Scholarship 101 helps out transfer students


Matthew Espinosa

Cut into concise, understandable chunks, the slideshow accompanying the lecture made it easier to follow along. Taking notes to put down beneath each bullet point was just the icing on the cake.

Matthew Espinosa, Staff Writer

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Cerritos College’s Financial Aid Office still holds Zoom workshops such as the one held on Jan. 14 for transfer students seeking advice in obtaining scholarships.

As of late, that ever-present sense of Zoom fatigue seems to have discouraged students from joining these Zoom sessions, but those willing to push through the fog and work are more than welcome.

“I would recommend students prepare for the workshop in advance. If you come to a workshop with questions and screenshots of your accounts, you’re going to get a lot more out of the experience than if you’re passively attending just to check off your to-do list,” said program assistant Natalie Gordon.

Attended by 30 students and Counselor Marvelina Graf, Scholarship 101 officially started off explaining the foundational basics of this Zoom session’s subject before delving into it further.

As put by Gordon, a scholarship is one out of four types of financial aid—the other three being grants, loans, and work-study—that is typically not need-based and awarded as a result of the student’s merit, with there being requirements like maintaining the appropriate GPA or being enrolled full-time.

To boot, scholarships can only be used for items that will scholastically benefit the student, and not for vacationing in Hawaii.

As to where a scholarship might originate, it could range anywhere from Cerritos, your future college, or community-based organizations such as AVID, as well as large corporations like the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

“Although most of our students receive financial aid while attending Cerritos College, if they transfer to a 4-year university, many are left to borrow large amounts of student loans in order to complete their program of study,” said Gordon.

For those who wish to offset this loss with a scholarship, interested students must confirm that all criteria are met, the requisite documents are sent by July for transfer students, and everything was double-checked with the scholarship provider.

However, your desired college might also require an application, personal statement, transcript, letter of recommendation, or proof of financial need, which is usually a financial aid award.

To ensure that you will not miss out on said financial aid award, checking your portals and emails at the institutions you’re interested in is a surefire method.

Except, the Cerritos College Foundation Scholarships, which are available only to its own students, informs applicants which college considers them eligible—a slightly easier experience than checking continually for mail.

Students who are further interested in what the Financial Aid office has to offer further only have to log onto the Cerritos website and find out which workshops might assist them in ending college with a bang.

“The workshop [was] incredibly insightful and informational for first-gen transfer students,” said 20-year-old Katherine Jimenez, a psychology major.