Scholarship season is here! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get money that could help pay for college.

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Scholarship season is upon us. Scholarship applications have been open since March, and CCA leaders are urging students to apply before it’s too late. Many opportunities to apply will close at the end of May. CCA’s Mike Mestas sat down with Britt Davis, the CCA Foundation’s Scholarship and Alumni Engagement Coordinator, to discuss the specifics on how to apply, and the impact scholarship dollars can have on someone’s academic career. Listen to the interview above, and read the transcript below. 

Can you provide an overview of the scholarships being offered by CCA? What should students be aware of?

We awarded over three quarters of a million dollars last year to just under 500 students,  so there’s definitely a ton of opportunities out there. There are so many different types of scholarships that we offer whether, it’s for students that are returning to school to get their degree and finish up after an amount of time. Whether it’s for people pursuing a specific major, like STEM or healthcare pathways or business. We also started really focusing on helping to fund certificates and things like that, that maybe aren’t financial aid eligible and then most recently we’ve been able to secure funding to provide scholarships for students that normally wouldn’t qualify for federal aid, or other forms of funding because of their citizenship status so we’ve been able to expand that opportunity as well. 

For someone who may not know about what is available to them, is there a place where they can go to find those resources?

Yes, and I believe our scholarship process makes the process of applying so much more approachable for students. We have one application that they fill out and it automatically applies them to all 60-plus of our scholarships, so they just have to fill it out, tell us a little bit about themselves and provide a transcript. Whether it’s from here or their previous institution, or if they’re a new student or a high school student. Then do three short answer questions, and that’s it. It really is very very simple, The easiest way to find the application is to go through the financial aid page, and I want to highlight this because when you click on “scholarships” on the CCA financial aid page, it shows you other scholarships that they want you to look at as well, so I always want students to start there because they’ll see different opportunities that they can click on. But we are the CCA foundation scholarships. We’re open twice a year. So once in the spring for the summer and fall opportunities, and then again in the fall so it can apply for spring opportunities.

Talk about how these scholarships support the students who get them. I know in some cases it can be a life-changing opportunity for them to go to school. 

Our typical award is going to be anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, but for some of our larger scholarships, some of our donors want to support a single student throughout their entire career here. So a scholarship like that we don’t take lightly. I mean, that is life-changing money. That’s a really, really awesome opportunity versus if you’re a Colorado Opportunity, Scholarship student, so a COSI scholar, you get paired with a specific coach so the COSI coaches are over in Student Life and they are able to provide one-on-one coaching and advising and then they’re able to earn a $500 stipend by doing all of the things, like attending financial literacy workshops, and things like that. So some scholarships just come with money which is awesome but other times they come with additional support.

I know local organizations and donors play a major role in the scholarship money that we are able to offer these students. Tell me about how important they are in this process.

Truly our donors are amazing, and all they want to do is change the lives of the students that they work with. We’re really excited because this past year we had five people come out of the blue and say “I want to start a scholarship with CCA.” So, whether it’s a group of retired Aurora Public schools principals who got together and decided that they want to fund students or somebody who works here and decided I want to help provide a scholarship for real estate students because that is not a financial aid eligible program. And I got my real estate license, and know how life-changing that was. I got my real estate certificate here, so I want to pay back and pay it forward and sponsor a student here. So if you need help at all, we’ll be having scholarship workshops on April 11 and April 25. Look out for the flyers campus advertising for it. I would say if you’re at all thinking that scholarships may not be for me, why would I get chosen? I promise that is not the case at all. Sometimes people are shocked when they get chosen for a scholarship, and it’s not a small amount of money by any means, and it would be silly to not to spend an hour of your time working on this when it could mean $1,500. Please come and see us and ask for help and we will help you. 

This interview has been edited down for time.
Photos by Dept. of Strategic Communications.