Thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid are available to Salt Lake Community College students, and all you have to do is apply.
Many students limit their search to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, but SLCC provides additional funding for students, and many of those additional scholarships aren’t based on high GPAs.
“There are over 225 scholarships available through SLCC’s online scholarship application,” said Laura Thomas, assistant director of development for scholarships.
To create a fair review process, SLCC’s scholarship review committee follows a rubric for scoring a student’s application with the essay questions and the letter of recommendation carrying the most weight.
“Did the student answer the questions? Were their answers thoughtful?” Thomas said when describing the type of questions asked by the committee.
Some students fail to receive scholarships because they did not fully answer their essay questions.
“For example, don’t write about your financial need if the question is about your educational goals. There is a specific [essay] question about financial need where you can include that information,” she explained.
Thomas says interested applicants should request a letter of recommendation from a non-family member, such as a teacher, mentor, or supervisor, and make sure the letter is submitted by the deadline.
The SLCC scholarship rubric gives zero points if the letter of recommendation is from a family member and an extra five points if the letter provides detailed examples of a student’s abilities, academic potential and commitment to education.
“Pre-write your essay responses in Microsoft Word so you can ask an advisor or friend to proofread your responses,” Thomas advised. “The Salt Lake Community Writing Center is always happy to help students with their essay questions.”
The Student Writing & Reading Center, or SWRC, has four on-campus locations and is now holding in-person meetings. Students can have their writing reviewed in three ways: in person, via written submission through the writing center website, or in a virtual meeting.
Some students may hesitate about having their written work critiqued because they are less experienced as a writer.
“Every writer needs a reader and that is why the writing center is here,” explained Clint Gardner, program manager of the College Writing & Reading Centers.
Because some incoming students are less experienced, Gardner said he understands writing is personal, but that critiques can help students grow as writers.
He advised when writing scholarship essays, “Specificity, details and examples are important.”
The SWRC hosts several scholarship writing events that correspond with SLCC’s scholarship deadlines: Oct. 15 to Nov. 1 and Feb. 15 to March 1.
Outside of the general scholarship application, there is a $1,000 scholarship available to new SLCC students for fall 2021. The “SLCC New Student Scholarship” is a one-time scholarship and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available. Students can find more information on SLCC’s scholarships page.
Besides scholarships, there is additional aid and funding for students experiencing financial hardship.
College administrators sent an email to all students in June 2021 to inform them that SLCC had received emergency student aid via the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act, or CRRSAA. This aid is available to eligible students to pay for education-related expenses incurred due to COVID-19.