I don't want to apply for a scholarship because...
“I don’t think my GPA is high enough and scholarships are only for Honor students”
While it is true that having good grades increases your chances of receiving a scholarship, many of our scholarships are open to students with a 2.0 GPA. Our scholarship system takes into consideration your GPA and will match you to scholarships for which you meet the GPA requirement. If you meet the GPA required by each individual scholarship, you will be placed in the pool of applicants and be reviewed by the scholarship committee. We also have some scholarships where GPA is not even considered. Don’t let this be the reason you don’t apply!
“Scholarships are just for athletes or students with lots of extracurricular activities and I am just an average student/person”
We do have scholarships for athletes at RCCD, but we have many, many more for students in all majors and programs. While some scholarships ask about your involvement in the community, clubs or volunteer work, most of our scholarships do not take extracurricular activities into account. You may be just an “average student” but oftentimes that may be exactly what the donor is looking for: a dedicated student with goals for their education and career. You may be just the student to fit the donors’ criteria as a recipient. There are also scholarships for all types of students: full-time, part-time, new students, adult students, etc.
“Too many students apply for scholarships and the competition is just too great”
It is true that some of our scholarships have a large pool of applicants. However, we also have some scholarships that have very few students who meet the criteria set by the donors. And some of our scholarships are given to multiple recipients. Scholarships in general are a competition, but once, again you may be the perfect fit for a specific scholarship.
Our scholarship application system will match you to as many scholarships for which you fit the criteria, so you have as good a chance as any other applicant. The important thing is to apply and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised. Plus, in the spring semester, we often need to look for alternates to scholarships for which the original recipient is no longer eligible or if we receive additional funds.
“Only low-income students qualify for scholarships”
While some of our scholarships are for low income students, many are not need-based, meaning your level of income is not even considered. For most of the need-based scholarships, you will need to complete the FAFSA or California Dream Act application, so be sure to do that before you apply for RCCD Scholarships.
“I just don’t have time and I don’t think it is worth the trouble”
Yes, applying for scholarships does take time and of course you want to devote much of your time to studying and homework. However, every student can use some financial help and we have made the application process as simple as possible. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. You can log in at any time, even from your phone.
Finding even an hour now and then to work on scholarships may be very much worth the effort. Most of our scholarships are in the $500-$1000 range, but even a scholarship that covers the cost of one book will help. The key is to not wait until the last minute so that you have time to complete everything required to apply.
Also, scholarships offered by RCCD are not the only scholarships available to students. There are many external scholarships offered by sources and donors outside of RCCD. It will take you more time to search and apply for these scholarships, but we have tried to help by providing a list of external scholarships and search sites on our application site. It wouldn’t hurt to set aside a little time each week to work on searching for external scholarships and applying for as many as you can.
"I am not very good at writing an essay"
Many of the external scholarships from sources outside of RCCD require either a personal scholarship essay or an essay written about a topic chosen by the scholarship donors. We have tried to simplify our process by asking you specific questions from which the answers will help our review committees make a decision. Just answer each of the questions in the Scholarship Essay Questionnaire portion of our scholarship application simply and honestly.
Also, there is plenty of help on the internet on how to write a good scholarship essay for external scholarships that require an essay. Be careful not to plagiarize and follow these tips: Pay close attention to the essay topic and be sure to answer every question; create an outline to get started; pay close attention to spelling and grammar; stay positive even when talking about negative circumstances; give examples when referring to personal qualities; include information of any accomplishments you are proud of; include your career goals and your anticipated role in society after you complete your education; be creative and make it personal, tell your story; complete several revisions to perfect your essay.
"I’m shy about asking someone for a recommendation"
Many teachers and advisors at RCCD have completed scholarship recommendations before so it is not new to them and they are usually very happy to provide them for students who ask. Just be sure to give them plenty of time. The recommendation portion of our scholarship application is a questionnaire that is very easily completed by those you ask. Be sure to ask a few people so that you have a back-up. You can also ask employers, or people you have worked with in the community or at other activities. However, friends and family usually are not valid for a recommendation.