Life Hacks

Worried about your tuition? I know I sure am.

     Whether you are a current student or are planning on attending college soon, you are sure to be troubled by “The Doubt” as fellow blogger Ernie describes in his post here. Driven by whatever personal reasons to pursue a college education, paying for college is not easy. Yes, there are many avenues for financing your education. However, it is often difficult to determine what may work best based on your situation and time frame. Whether college is a few month away or years down the road, thinking about how to pay for school can make you anxious.


     The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is an organization that will help you pay your tuition! Yes, you read that correctly, I kid you not. The pursuit of my bachelor’s degree would be, but a mere thought had it not been for the USG Scholarship opportunities. These USG Scholarships provide funding for me to pursue my academic and career goals, as I am not eligible for the various federal options.  In addition to federal and state grants awarded on the basis of financial need, and institution-specific scholarships, various private scholarships are available for students enrolled in programs at this amazing campus. These scholarships are made possible through the kind and generous contributions from private donors, local businesses, foundations, community organizations and individual donors. (See list here).

     I am forever grateful for the much-needed support that I was fortunate to receive and with the priority deadline (Nov 30th) for the Spring Scholarship application approaching, I would like to encourage others to apply and share a few tips to help navigate the application.unnamed

     In addition to the application, the following information/documents will be required to complete the application: (1) University ID and USG ID number, (2) Montgomery County District if you are a resident of the county, (3) Certificate of Finances, if you are an international student, (4) Personal Statement/ Essay, (5) Most recent unofficial college transcripts, and (6) Resume (Optional). With these in mind, here are three tips to navigating the application:

  1. Complete Priority Application: The priority deadline to submit the application is November 30, 2016. Click here to apply.
  2. Provide Accurate and true information: The application contains several questions, be sure to read the questions carefully before filling in responses. The questions are not meant to trick you, but mistakes do happen so be sure to take your time and pay attention to what the question is asking. I have often mixed up University ID with USG ID. Also, use current information, for example in response to “email address” it would be wise to provide the email address that you check most frequently as this would ensure that you are aware of any and all communications regarding the application.
  3. Ensure Attachments are included: Several attachments will be required, be sure to include these per the instructions provided. For the personal statement/essay, read the prompts provided and tailor responses to those. The Center for Academic Success (CAS) also offers writing assistance so feel free to visit them to get help with the personal statement.

     It is a mistake to assume you are too late to complete the USG Scholarship priority application within three weeks. You can still gather all the information needed and work with the relevant parties to receive any missing parts. It is a mistake to overlook this because you assume it is a complicated process for a scholarship that you may be too well off to qualify for anyway.Keep calm and pay for school, with a USG Scholarship. #LifeAtUSG

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