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Money for College Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Submitted by Elise Mallory

African American news from Pasadena - Community - Annual Scholarship workshop - Pasadena AKA - "Money for College Doesn't Grow on Trees"The Pasadena Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. presented its Annual Scholarship Workshop on Saturday, October 18, 2014. The topic for the workshop was "Money for College Doesn't Grow on Trees" where the purpose of the workshop is to educate high school students on How to Find Scholarships, How to Complete Applications and How to Find Financial Support for College. Many local organizations offer scholarships each year. Scholarships are also available via corporations, private organizations, schools and more every year on a nationwide basis. The cost of an education keeps going up. The best way to go through school is via Scholarships instead of Loans. Yet, with this being the facts, many scholarship funds go unclaimed every year. The amount of money that students take out in loans each year continues to grow.

From a Pasadena/Altadena perspective, many organizations are frustrated because they have money to give away, but have trouble getting applicants to apply the monies. There is a breakdown that is ultimately harming our children as an education is a must in order to get ahead in life, but the best way to manage the cost of that education is also important to understand. Students and parents that attended the Annual Scholarship Workshop were given valuable information from Tony Smith of Pasadena City College, Dana Huley of La Jolla High School, and Dr. Jaye Goosby Smith of Pepperdine University.

There were many gems shared with those in attendance throughout the day from our experienced guest speakers. Tony Smith who is a Financial Aid Specialist highlighted the importance of every college bound student filling out the FAFSA. This is a FREE application and no one should pay anyone to get access to this form and complete it. One of the gems shared by Mr. Smith was that he recommended that students should first focus on the career that they would like to have and then find their way to a major. Another was that he noted that Gift Aid can come in the form of Grants, Scholarships, Work/Study and Loans. When completing applications every student should always check 'yes' for Work/Study during the application process. It will be too late to try to pursue this path once you have arrived on campus.

Dr. Jaye Goosby Smith spoke on 'Choosing the Right College.' There are thousands of universities and colleges so how do you know which one is right for you? Making this decision thoughtfully will often determine one's success or not at their chosen school. The bottom line considerations become – 2 or 4 year college? Public, Private or Military? Large or small? In-state or out-of-state? Religiously affiliated or not? Nationally ranked or not? While considering these questions, each college bound student should also have a Personal Development Plan (PDP) throughout their high school career that will help them keep their eye on the prize and build their resume during this period. Dr. Goosby Smith shared information of importance with the attendees on items that should be in their PDP.

Overall, those in attendance found the day to be informative. They felt that they are better equipped to face the competition and win scholarships to pay for their education. The Pasadena Chapter of AKA is proud to provide this workshop annually in order to help our students better prepare for higher education success. In order to help reinforce lessons learned during the workshop, the chapter also does a bi-monthly lunchtime chat with students at Muir High School.



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