UW-WHITEWATER PHOTO/CRAIG SCHREINER
Every year thousands of dollars in scholarships are awarded to UW-Whitewater students. The money provides a lifeline for many to stay in school and focus on studies without letting debt become too big of a burden. But while many take advantage of this generosity, every year thousands of dollars also gets left behind simply because students don’t apply.
So while the process of searching through scholarships might seem daunting for some, the literal payoff is well worth it if you talk to the many students who win these awards.
“I just applied through WINS, following the instructions provided on the UW-W website,” says English major Andie Laube, who found the process pretty easy. “Some scholarships are automatically applied to when you fill out the general application for your specific college, and some you have to individually apply to. It tells you in WINS how you can apply for each scholarship.”
Laube recommends applying to as many scholarships as possible because it increases the chances that you might be successful. She says while some scholarships can be quite competitive and only go to a small number of students, others are given out to many students or are so specific that not many people apply. Different factors like these can improve your odds of winning an award, so don’t hold back no matter your perception of your chance at success. The key, after all, is not only in the search, but also in the application.
“I suggest volunteering and getting involved because that is a great way to make your application stand out,” says Laube. “It is more difficult to do during the pandemic, but there are still plenty of organizations to get involved in on campus that meet virtually every few weeks.”
Getting involved in different ways on campus through academics and organizations is important because it improves the UW-Whitewater community. And a major source of funding for these scholarships comes from those very members. Donors want to leave a legacy at Whitewater that encourages growth in active students here, while also setting them up for success in their future careers beyond academia.
Allowing alumni the opportunity to give back to the student community is an important aspect of the Scholarship Program. Senior development specialist Katie Kuznacic works with donors in the office of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement to ensure their gifts reach the maximum potential.
“We receive funds from former alumni, professors and friends,” says Kuznacic. “Whitewater offers every major a chance at a scholarship.”
The awards often allow direct contact between students, both past and present, building relationships and helping to grow the Warhawk community. And of course the money raised helps thousands of grateful recipients.
The university has specialists like Joette Mather, head of the Scholarship Program at UW-W, who helps coordinate the many award opportunities on campus. Mather recommends putting aside some dedicated time to research available opportunities, prepare your applications and apply.
“The scholarships help students with so much. They support them with living expenses, books and much more,” says Mather. “All of our students deserve them.”
Applications for most scholarships are accepted until Feb. 22. So like the saying goes, “give it the old college try” and throw your hat into the ring. With a whole Warhawk community behind you, the odds of a win are in your favor.
For more information about scholarships visit https://www.uww.edu/financialaid/types-of-aid/scholarships or email Joette Mather with questions at [email protected].