Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Why you should apply

Three really good reasons to apply

Besides getting free money to go to school, of course!

  1. Recognition
    Wow, someone just gave you money because of a great application, and they don’t even know you. They believe in you so much they want to help you succeed in school. Be proud of yourself; earning a scholarship is recognition of not only your potential, but your past hard work, too.
  2. Less debt
    A scholarship can reduce or eliminate the need for student loans. This means when you graduate and get that amazing job, you’ll keep more of your paycheck – instead of using it all to pay back your student loans.
  3. Career boost
    Scholarships look great on your professional resume. Also, many times you will be able to meet the donor of your scholarship. The donors want to see you succeed and they could become more invested in your future by sharing internships and job opportunities.

But… but… but…

Having doubts about whether or not you should apply? See if any of these excuses sound familiar and check your facts.

Scholarship myths and corresponding facts
Scholarship myths Scholarship facts
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“I probably wouldn’t qualify for a scholarship.”

There are scholarships out there for all types of students:

  • part-time
  • new students
  • adult students
  • students on financial aid
  • students with all income levels
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“My grades aren’t good enough.”

It’s true that having good grades increases your chances of receiving a scholarship, but some scholarships only require a 2.5 GPA.

“I’m an international student, so I don’t qualify.”

There are many scholarships to help both international students and students who are not eligible for financial aid. Start with scholarships offered by the PCC Foundation and continue your research from there.

“I don’t have time to apply, I need to do my homework instead.”

Yes, doing your homework is important. But think of your scholarship application as another class, and you have to work on it just like your homework. This great piece of advice is from a scholarship winner: “If you work on your scholarship homework a little bit every day, you will get the work done, have time to perfect it, AND still maintain your school workload”.

“It’s better to spend time working at a job than writing applications for a scholarship.”

Yes, you do earn immediate money at a job. However, time spent on a winning scholarship application can turn out to be more rewarding. Take this example:

  • Student A works at a coffee shop and earns $10 an hour. After taxes, it will take this student 125 hours to earn $1,000.
  • Student B spends 20 hours on a winning scholarship application and wins $1,000. Based on the time spent, Student B earned $50 an hour, 5 times the amount of Student A.

“My education is already paid for with loans.

It can feel easier to just use loans to pay for school and not worry about scholarships. However, loans can be very difficult to pay back. If you decrease the number of loans you take now, you can keep more of your paycheck after you graduate!
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“The scholarship is too small, it won’t make a difference.

Even if you win a scholarship that pays for one book, it makes a difference. For example:

  • Student A wins a $200 scholarship for books and is able to buy all of their books at no cost to them.
  • Student B puts that $200 charge on their credit card. At a 13% interest rate and $10 payments each month, Student B will be paying a credit card bill for the next 2 years.

“I’m just an average person, no one cares what I’m doing.”

You may think there is nothing scholarship-worthy about your life, but just the fact that you are thinking about going to school demonstrates that you want to improve yourself and the community… and that is what donors look for in a student!

Now that you know the facts about these common myths, it is time to take the next step and get your application process organized!