Atilano Raises Awareness for Scholarships

Ella Ray, Editor in Chief The Nest

With the spring semester flying by in a breeze, seniors have been completing their college applications as they ease into the next phase of their lives. However, many students are unaware of scholarships along with the monetary benefits they offer. Thankfully, College and Career Facilitator Enid Atilano was ready with open arms to guide students through the scholarship application process as she held an information meeting in the LGI during enrichment on Jan. 11.

“Applying for scholarships is that one extra step that can make financing the next level of education so much easier,” said Atilano.

Atilano makes sure to raise awareness for the Valerie D. Robinson Memorial scholarship which was set up in memoriam for the first cafeteria manager here at Tompkins. The aid for this scholarship is primarily provided for schooling after the students have already completed their undergraduate education, so students need to know the school as well as the program that they plan to pursue. The application is due on March 31, leaving an adequate amount of time for students to choose the institution that they will likely attend.

“I know it may seem tempting to start these applications at the last minute, but you will get the best results if you start as soon as you can ,” said Atilano. “There are certain questions that require a lot of effort in order to provide thoughtful and detailed responses.”

With search engines such as Schoolinks, it is easy for students to find scholarships that they qualify for with essay topics that interest them as the website includes a system that finds applications that are personalized for each student. Atilano explains that to access this system in Schoolinks, students must go to the ‘Finance’ tab and then select the sub-category titled ‘Scholarship Matching’. Within this part of the website, students will complete a short section that asks them about themselves, as well as their interests, Schoolinks uses this data to specifically search for scholarships that could intrigue the student. Atilano also has an information sheet that includes similar search engines that also has scholarships for out-of-state schools and is posted on the senior class canvas page.

“I try to post the newest scholarships as they come periodically,” said Atilano. “There’s always such a wide range of options.”

Most scholarships require students to be permanent US residents or US citizens. However, there are options for students under different circumstances. Additionally, scholarships also require students’ final transcripts. Students can scan the green QR code outside the counseling office to request to send their final transcript for scholarship applications. Outside of local scholarships, there is a whole other world for scholarships that are applicable for both in and out-of-state schools. Atilano explains that every university has a scholarship page as well as a contact manager which offers multiple scholarships that are just for that specific school.

“These pages are extremely helpful,” said Atilano. “By using resources like these that are available to you, there will be more opportunities to earn the aid that you need.”