Pierce scholarships fuel student success

Katie Fenton, Online Team

“Need money for college?”

These flyers plaster the walls of Pierce College Puyallup. Posted by the Pierce College Foundation, the flyers remind students of the numerous scholarships available.

Director of Development of the Foundation, Marion Sharp, said the foundation offers more than $150,000 in scholarships every year.

“Usually it’s in the form of scholarships that range from $750 to $250 a quarter,” Sharp said. “Most of them are for any student.”

The scholarship money awarded by the foundation is applied to tuition first. There are also scholarships for textbooks and program-related tools like calculators. In rare cases, students can receive scholarships for living expenses, child care and gas money.

“We’ve done things like help students after a fire,” Sharp said. “At the end of the last school year, we had a number of people who were in desperate situations; we knew that several hundred dollars was going to make the difference.”

The foundation receives scholarship money from fundraising and private donations. Last year, Costco Wholesale Corporation donated $20,000 to fund STEM scholarships. During spring quarter, the Ruth Murphy Evans Charitable Trust donated enough money for every student in the nursing program to receive a $600 scholarship.

“I think we need to do a whole lot more to publicize (scholarship opportunities),” Sharp said.

Students can visit the foundation’s website for more information. The Washboard, a free website that matches students with scholarships, is also available for students to find scholarships directly offered by Pierce College.

Students who are taking at least 10 credits at the college and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher can apply for most of the scholarships, although some only require a 2.5 GPA

Students also need to submit an application essay and the FAFSA.

“You don’t necessarily have to meet the criteria to receive state or federal aid, but you do have to submit (the FAFSA),” Sharp said. “Financial aid is one of the criteria we look at.”

Most of the scholarships awarded by the foundation are offered twice a year. The current deadline for winter and spring scholarships is Oct. 12.

Students in need of assistance with application essays can visit the writing center located in the Brouillet Library and Science Building. Students can also visit the foundation’s website or Sharp’s office in the Gaspard Administration Building for information about scholarships, eligibility requirements and deadlines.

“Do reach out to people and let them know you need help,” Sharp said. “Think about us after you leave and go on to great success. Pay it forward when you can.”

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Pierce scholarships fuel student success

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