Parenting Dos and Don’ts

Don’t assume your student won’t qualify because of average grades or test scores  

There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of scholarships available to students with average grades and test scores. If there are scholarships that require a GPA disclosure, your student must usually have a GPA between 2.5 and 3.5 as both are common requirements. Once that requirement is met, the student has the same chance as others with higher GPAs.  

The scholarships that rely on grades and test scores are usually from the institution your student is planning on attending. They utilize scholarship money to help encourage high achieving students to attend their institution. However, not every scholarship your student’s institution provides relies on a high achieving aspect. So, if you have it, flaunt it. If not, there are many other places to look.  

Don’t Pass Up the Small Scholarships 

Scholarships with the least competition are between $500 and $5,000. Many students do not believe the effort it takes to find and apply for scholarships is worth the $500 to $5,000 payout. This is ridiculous! Just think of all the books, supplies, tuition, food, housing, and gas that sum could pay for. Change or challenge both of your mindsets and look at the scholarship as a way to accrue less student loan debt. Scholarships are a legitimate way to pay for some of college, if not all of it.  

Don’t let your student casually write their scholarship essays 

This is your student’s one shot to WOW the committee. Make sure they take time to write an outstanding essay. Committees are not looking for sob stories, they want to see a challenge a student faced and how they overcame it with perseverance, courage, and dedication. Committees want essays that appeal to their emotions, yet show there was progression and the student learned from this process.  

Similar to a normal essay, do not start writing without doing the research. Have your student look at the company, organization, or entity to see the interests, values, and mission. For example, if your student took the time to see a specific company is interested in providing clean drinking water to hurricane victims and your student has volunteered by helping provide clean drinking water to a needy group, that would be a great connection to focus on.  

It is also important to focus on the word count. Many scholarships want 250 word essays. This is not much space to let the committee know how great your student is. Make sure your student knows that every word is important and there should really be no “fluff” like they might add when they are trying to meet a page count in their school essay.  

Don’t let them forget 

“If my mom or dad told me to do it, I would.” We hear this all the time from students at UWL.  We see that students do not view scholarships as a viable way to pay for college, however, that is where you come in. Push your student to apply for scholarships. If they require more structure, help them come up with a goal. Tell them to complete (X) number of scholarships monthly or set specific times of the year to finish scholarships. For example, students (usually) have summers, Fall break, Winter break, and Spring break off of school. Utilize these times to complete scholarship applications.  

Don’t be afraid to give incentives for completing scholarship applications 

Here at the SRC, we try to encourage applying for scholarships as much as possible. By offering prizes and rewards for participating in scholarship programs. Incentives usually have a pretty successful and positive outcome and gives the student something to look forward to once they complete a scholarship application. Money goes a long way, and if you can spend a little to help encourage them to win a lot, it might just save you in the long run. (Maybe they will have enough money once they graduate to get their own apartment instead of moving back in with you!) If money is not an option for you, then think of their favorite meals/snacks or offer to bring the family pet to campus to visit. Get creative!  

Don’t think the timing is wrong 

A lot of students think the only time to apply for scholarships is their senior year of high school. However, there are places out there ready to give scholarships starting in middle school for students with future higher goals. It is also never too late to apply! There are thousands of scholarships available for undergraduate students through their super senior years, graduate school, and even a few for former students who have graduated and are still paying off student loans. Also don’t forget about fellowships! These post-graduate “internships” provide an excellent stepping stone into the field, and sometimes provide amazing scholarships.  

In addition, scholarship deadlines occur year round. As long as your student has free time, there are open scholarship opportunities. If your student is feeling discouraged because they could not apply for a scholarship whose deadline has passed, they should keep looking for more. Chances are there are similar scholarships available elsewhere and the application enrollment period could always reopen next year, so make sure to set a reminder for next year! 

Don’t forget to check out the SRC’s website! We have resources that are just a few clicks away and might just help your student win big. We also provide the Scholarship Database which houses hundreds of scholarships hand selected for UWL students. No time to search? We have you covered with the “Get Scholarific” survey. Fill out the survey and we will send your student scholarship information based on their responses. Our goal is to make the scholarship search and application process as simple as possible so let us help you! 



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Staff Member of the Month!

If you have ever stopped into the UWL Financial Aid Office, there is a chance you have seen our staff member of the month, Louise Janke. If you didn’t see her, that is normal too because she is a very busy person! Louise has been the Director of Financial Aid since 2005 and has been working at UWL since 1988. Prior to joining the staff at UWL, she was an Eagle herself, starting as an undergrad in 1980 and graduating in 1984 with a degree in Elementary Education. She then returned to campus in 1986 to pursue her Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration. One thing she enjoys most about her job is partnering with other university departments to create/develop new ideas to assist students as it relates to their success here at UWL. Louise grew up in a small farming community, a village of 451 peopleLa Crosse must have been huge to her when she moved! Louise likes to spend her time outside of work with her family, volunteering, and in thrift stores – she must keep herself busy! When I asked her if she had any advice, she said to “Work hard and create a plan to graduate in four years if possible; really examine what you need to borrow to be successful and limit that amount; be frugal and budget carefully!” Great advice that everyone should think about. If you see Louise around, be sure to thank her for the advice and introduce yourself! 

SotM - Louise

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Organizing your Scholarships

Scholarships can change your life during college. While you are applying for as many scholarships as you can, it is important to stay organized while finding these scholarships. It will reduce stress, keep you organized, and may give you a better chance at receiving scholarships. 

First, you should find what writing software you would like to use, then stay consistent with it. Pages, Google Drive, and Microsoft word, are just the few I have used in the past. It is important to stick with the software you choose because you will become a more efficient writer once you learn where to locate different useful tools on the software – each one is different. 

Next, you need to have a method of searching. There are several scholarship websites to help find one that suites you best, including our very own UWL Scholarship Database available to only UWL students. The Scholarship Resource Center(SRC) also offers a survey, ‘Get Scholarific’, where the SRC will find scholarships specific to your response. Many students have benefited from this survey as well as searching the database for more. When using any website to locate scholarships, I find it helpful to use keywords to help pinpoint scholarships that are most suitable to you. Play around with different keywords, but be sure to write them into a document so you can refer back to the different words that helped you.  

In addition to saving your keywords, it is very beneficial to save any statement you write. Several scholarships ask the same questions; personal statements, volunteer work, extra-curricular involvements, etc. I have a document saved in my Google Drive account labeled ‘Scholarships’. I have saved every statement I have written, including a little blurb about what the statement is about. I worked for several hours on my personal statement, so it’s worth using again. I advise you to create a separate word document for these statements, so you can save time. Although it can be very beneficial to use past statements, it is important to be cautious the statement fits the criteria of the current scholarship, or this tip could end up hurting you in the long run. In other words, make sure to read what the scholarship directions are asking for and that your statement completes what the donor is asking for. 

Lastly, I have found it useful to keep a record of each scholarship you have applied for. You can either do this in another document or in an excel sheet. There is also a tool located on the SRC page to help you stay organized with your scholarships, where you can record the title, date, monetary amount, description, and contact information. You can look forward to receiving responses from scholarships as their application comes to a deadline, and also be able to look back at your hard work. Another benefit of recording scholarships is that you are able to look back on them while writing other scholarships to see the different ways you can complete each application.  

I find it most important to label each of these documents with a good, easy to remember title – like what the statement is about (personal, volunteer, involvement). It will not save you any time if you spend fifteen minutes searching for the document on your computer. It may also be helpful to create a folder to hold each of the documents. The less clutter the better! 

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Handpicked scholarships just for you!

Here are fifteen of the many scholarships the Scholarship Resource Center has available to you through the Outside Scholarship Database. The scholarships below expire early December, so be sure to check them out! Also, you can always apply for more at, 

AJ Madison Scholarship 

In 300 words or less, answer the following question: How have you demonstrated leadership both in and out of school? How has this helped better your school or community? 

The Elscion’s Content Writing Scholarship 

Submit a 700-1,000 word essay on “any informative topics about bicycles.” We also want you to incorporate the following ideas:   How does cycling help you to stay healthy? How cycling deals with reducing obesity ? What are other health benefits of cycling? 

Annual Upgraded Points Student Scholarship 

Write a 1,000 word essay about yourself, including your educational/career goals and where you see yourself 10 years after completing your education and what you would use the scholarship money for if awarded. No minimum GPA; open to US students only. 

Future of Robotics Scholarship 

Submit a 700-1,200 word essay answering “How will robots change our lives in the next 10 years?” 

CreditSpot’s Essay Scholarship 

Write an essay about any subject regarding credit (i.e. credit cards, debt, or US. Credit situation). 

Webhosting Geeks Scholarship 

Submit a 1,500-2,000 word essay on how modern technology has changed our lives, transformed the way we communicate and do business, affected our privacy and security. 

The Berkowitz & Myer Scholarship 

Submit a 600 word essay answering the following question: According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 10 percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of personal injury crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes. Based on your research, what factors can lead to distracted driving accidents and what suggestions do you have to decrease these types of accidents? 

Hair Loss In Women Scholarship 

In order to apply, applicants must submit a typed essay that answers the following questions: Why is hair an important part of confidence in society? How are people that experience hair loss often psychologically impacted by hair loss? What can people do that are affected by hair loss to maintain positive self esteem 

GorjessPets Yorkshire Terrier Scholarship 

Participant must currently have a dog or grew up with a dog. Submit a 1,000 word essay and choose from the following topics. These can be combined. How has a dog taught you about responsibility? What dog owners can do to keep their pets out of shelters. How puppy mills have helped or hurt dog breeding. How dogs can emotionally help us and our community. How do dogs affect our personalities? How dogs affect us in the workplace, home. How dogs help serving our country or service animals for those in need. 

Leaders and Achievers Scholarship 

Must have a 2.8 GPA or higher. Complete the application prompts. 

Herrman & Herman P.L.L.C. Scholarship 

Submit a 600+ word essay on the following topic: What kind of effects do you believe we will face as self-driving cars become more prominent on the roads? 

The JacksonWhite Labor Law Scholarship 

Submit a 1,000 words essay on the following topic: With the United States trailing in maternity leave benefits, lawmakers are looking for ways to catch up. Create a general 3-point plan that improves the quality of life for new parents. 

Architect Marketing Scholarship 

Sumbit a 1,000 words essay on the topic of “How can companies take advantage of digital marketing? 

Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team Education Scholarships 

Submit a 500-750 word essay about how you are driven to innovate, how you plan to influence progress on any level in any space or how you have already affected positive change with creative thinking. Must have a minimum 2.8 GPA. 

Burning Tree Academic Excellence Scholarship 

Write a reflective essay between 500 and 750 words about a specific moment that influenced your decision to pursue university-level studies, whether it be an experience, conversation, documentary, or even a societal observation. 

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Staff Member of the Month!

If you were walking around the Clock Tower on Wednesday and you saw a husky, there a good chance you saw Josh Bonnell attached to the cute pup! Josh is the owner of Lyra, the husky, and also the mastermind behind the Scholarship Resource Center! He is always very busy, but never fails to try to brighten students’ days by bringing his new born baby, icies for students, or the Scholarship Resource Center’s “mascot”, Lyra to campus. Josh first started at UWL as a graduate student in the Student Affairs Administration program in Fall of 2015. Prior to working in the Financial Aid Office as the Scholarship Coordinator, he worked in the It Make$ Cents! office for two years until he graduated. He has a Bachelor’s of Social Work and received a Master’s of Science in Education for Student Affairs Administration in 2017. While working as the Scholarship Coordinator, he enjoys helping students find free money, as he explained, “there is nothing better than helping students graduate with less debt”. Aside from work, Josh loves the outdoors and enjoys spending lots of time on the Human Powered Trails on the bluffs with his wife, Megan, new born son, Leo, and his two dogs, Lyra and Murray. He told me he doesn’t have many dislikes, but if he had to name one, it would be driving past the Sweet Shoppe and not being able to stop for some ice cream. Same, Josh! An interesting fact about Josh is that he can tell what kind of car is approaching at night just by their headlights/taillights in addition to pretty accurately guessing the year – hopefully this helps to not get pulled over! Also, Josh used to have a raccoon as a pet, which he would not suggest for anyone else as they get a little too aggressive. If Josh were to give one piece of Financial Aid advice to a student, he would tell you to apply for scholarships! He said, “many students are unaware that there are scholarships out there for current college students…there are a ton.” He explains that graduating with less debt is possible with scholarships so be sure to check out the Outside Scholarship Database, a personalized scholarship search. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Josh and Lyra as they are often on campus promoting the Scholarship Resource Center 

SMotM - JBonnell

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One stop scholarship searching!

Continue applying for scholarships to offset the cost of college! Below, I have listed 15 scholarships due in November, although there are at least 40 more scholarships with November deadlines in the Outside Scholarship Database that the Scholarship Resource Center has found for you. Remember, time is money! Apply for a scholarship today. 

Future Innovator Scholarship – $2,000, November 1, 2017 
Submit an essay with a maximum of 1,250 words answering all of the following prompts: Share a story with us about how you have been a knight in the past. How do you envision using your education to better your community? Describe a time that you led a team of your peers. 
Garage Gym Planner’s Scholarship – $1,000, November 10, 2017 
Submit an 800-1000 word essay on a topic pertaining to health and wellness. 
ATOPDAILY Scholarship – $1,000, November 11, 2017 
Submit a 1,000+ word essay on “A short essay about your inspiration in life – life experience, volunteer work, your education, and/or your dream. 
Start Standing Scholarship for All College Students – $1,000, November 15, 2017 
Submit an essay (1,000-2,000 words) describing the lifelong health dangers of being sedentary throughout the day, how students can add movement to their day, and how office workers can increase their activity levels. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
Grosvenor Montessori Scholarship – $1,000, November 15, 2017 
Submit a 2-5 minute video explaining why you think education is the key to a brighter future, and how you can shape society. We want to hear what motivates you. What are you passionate about? What have you already done to help improve society? 
FuriousGrill Scholarship Program – $1,000, November 15, 2017 
Submit a 500-1000 word essay on the topic “We are what we eat”. 
Top Paris Transfer Scholarship – $1,000, November 15, 2017 
Submit a 600-650 words essay on “What are your plans for marketing the best vacation destination to college students?” 
280 Group Product Management Scholarship – $500, November 15, 2017 
Write a short essay (1,000 words or less) regarding why you would be a good candidate for the scholarship. Must have a 2.5 GPA or higher. 
College Moving Scholarship – $800, November 16, 2017 
The College Moving Scholarship is a cash scholarship for students who are moving to out-of-state schools. In 500, words explain where you would want to move if there was a zombie apocalypse. Must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. 
Getbestmattress $1,000 Scholarship – $1,000, November 18, 2017 
3.0 GPA, submit a 750-1,500 word essay on the prompts about nightly habits. 
Target Tamers Scholarship – $500, November 21, 2017 
Create a short video of yourself (30 seconds to 90 seconds) answering the question: What would being awarded this scholarship mean to you? 
Organic Supplements Scholarship – $1,000, November 28, 2017 
Submit a 600-1,000 word essay on the topic of “Importance of Eating Healthy Food.”  
Smart Home Talks Scholarship – $1,000, November 30, 2017 
Submit the info graphics or article (1,000 words or more) about the growth (or benefits) of one home appliance (vacuum, fryer cooker, shaver, mattress, etc.). Must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. 
Unigo Education Matters Scholarship – $5,000, November 30, 2017 
Submit a short 250 words or less essay explaining what you would say to someone who thinks that education doesn’t matter or that college is a waste of time and money. 
Siddhi Yoga Scholarship – $1,000, November 30, 2017 
Submit a 500-1,000 word essay about yoga – How has yoga had an impact in your life and how it continues to help you grow in your daily life? 
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“Get Scholarific” Now!

If you have visited our Scholarship Resource Center website, you have probably seen the “Get Scholarific” Survey on the right-hand side – it’s hard to miss! This survey will help you find scholarships that are unique to you and that fit your personality. 

 Scholarific Survey Blog 1.PNG

To begin the survey, complete the general questions about yourself including your Student ID #, GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and your area of study. After completing this first step, you will be taken to a second page so we can learn more about you. 

On this page, you will tell us all about yourself – the more information the better. We request that you fill out each of the 6 boxes, even if it is very short – these responses do not need to be long and should only take you a few minutes to fill out depending on how much information you would like to give us. The boxes include information about talents/hobbies and/or interesting facts, extra-curricular activities (present sports, clubs, campus programs, and other activities), volunteer/community service, current/former employees (including parent information for the past two years), and what makes you stand out (life events, experiences, and special circumstances for you or your family). 

For each box, list as much as you can about each event/activity, including: type of organization, roles and responsibilities, and dates of participation. As I stated before, the more information the better, but even one bit of information per box will do the job. 

I completed the “Get Scholarific” Survey in about 20 minutes, giving very detailed information. If you already have a resume, you may find it easy to go off of your resume outline since it had the necessary information.  

After you complete the survey, within a week, you should receive an email from the Scholarship Resource Center staff containing 6-8 scholarships that we believe suit you. This list will include the name of the scholarship, award amount, deadline, and URL. These scholarships are a few of many from the Outside Scholarship Database that are available to you, so I highly encourage you to check out the database to find addition scholarships to apply for. 

Lastly, the Survey is only available for current or incoming UWL students, as is the Outside Scholarship Database. Both of these features are unique to UWL so be sure to check them out! 

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New and Improved!

NEW AND IMPROVED! We are excited to announce a new feature that has been added to the Outside Scholarship Database! Recently, a “favorites” button was added to the page. This feature allows you to indicate scholarships that you are interested in, then return to them later by clicking the “View favorites” tab next to “Update results”.  

To take advantage of this new feature, first visit the Outside Scholarship Database site, here. Log in to your UWL student account, when prompted, using your NET ID and password. You can narrow down the search by selecting categories that apply to you, then search the database and find scholarships that appeal to you! Of course, you can apply for the scholarships right away, but if you are busy, click on the heart next to the scholarship to add it to your favorites. By doing this, the scholarship will be added to your favorites list, which you will be able to come back to anytime as long as you are logged in and click the “View favorites” tab!  

Be sure to check out this exciting new feature to help make your scholarship search easier, and remember to also take advantage of the “Get Scholarific” survey to find more scholarships unique to you! 


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October Scholarships!

Scholarships are one of the easiest ways to receive money for college. Yes, many scholarships require a writing piece, but the price is worth your time. Think of it as getting paid hundreds of dollars per hour of work – is that motivating? Check out these scholarships with deadlines in October! 

Internet of Things Scholarship – $1,000; October 1, 2017 

Write a 400-600 word essay on how internet connectivity has evolved, will continue to evolve, and how you are going to keep all your connected devices secure for both personal and business purposes. Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarship Applicants – $500; October 1, 2017 

Apply for as many scholarships as possible and then send all of the confirmation emails you received. A short letter telling them about yourself is also needed. 

Millennial Scholarship Program – $1,000; October 1, 2017 

Open to students currently enrolled full-time studying business, technology, engineering, or finance. Submit a 500-word essay or a two-minute video on the following topic: “Legacy companies have been entrenched in their industry for many years. How do Millennials see themselves contributing to help the company gain a competitive advantage?” 

Students with Heart Scholarship – $6,000; October 1, 2017 

Applicants will need an official transcript from their current academic institution, one letter of recommendation from a previous or current professor, and a personal statement of no more than 2,000 words and no less than 500 words. Scholarship – $2,000; October 1, 2017 

Applicants must submit a typed essay (1,000-1,500 words) answering four questions that highlight your vision of a smoke-free world. 

Pix Wireless Scholarship – $1,000; October 1, 2017 

Submit a 600 words essay on a topic that we will assign. 

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research – $1,000; October 1, 2017 

Only undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in degree seeking programs may apply. 

Greek U’s Proud to be Greek Scholarship – $1,500; October 1, 2017 

Submit a 500-word essay on the following topic: How has joining a fraternity or sorority changed your life? Please include one or two photos that you feel best represent your love for your organization! 

RentLingo Dream Big Scholarship – $1,000; October 1, 2017 

Write an essay about your dream job in 750 words or less. 

Parking Solutions Scholarship – $1,000; October 15, 2017 

Write a 500 word essay that is original, creative, and persuasive on the subject of technology innovation in parking solutions. 

MP Mallorca Properties Scholarship – $1,500; October 15, 2017 

Submit a 600 word essay on what you learned from your parents about personal finances. You can write about topics having to do with making money, budgeting, paying bills, saving money, investing, the pros and cons of investing in real estate or anything else your parents may have taught you about managing your money. 

Bytesout Internet Marketing Scholarship – $2,500; October 21, 2017 

Submit a 1,000 word essay that shows us through your words that you are going to use the scholarship to help fund your education and become a productive member of society. 

Above Ground Pool Scholarship – $500; October 24, 2017 

Submit a 1,000 words essay on the topics related to this site (you can choose to write about swimming, related summer activities or pools). 

Innovation Inspiration Scholarship – $5,000; October 31, 2017 

Inspire kids by making vision boards showing diverse scientists. Must live in the US and be 25 years or younger. 

Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship – $2,000; October 31, 2017 

Submit a short online written response (250 words or less) on your plan to avoid the zombies, where you would hide (or maybe you wouldn’t need to), and the top five things you would bring to stay alive. 

I have listed 15 scholarships here for you, but there are many more on our Scholarship Database, including more with October 2017 deadlines. Here in the Financial Aid Office, we are updating the database daily! 

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” -Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Reach for your dreams and apply for a scholarship today! 


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Staff Member of the Month!

If you have ever met with a counselor in the Financial Aid Office, there is a chance you met with our Staff Member of the Month, Ben Chenault! Ben helps with reevaluating student’s FAFSA and helping students look at other loan opportunities. Before coming to UWL, as a student, Ben received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He began working here in February 2010. Ben enjoys meeting with students and families to help them find financial solutions when they are struggling financially. He says, “My goal is to always have students and families feeling better about their situation when they leave my office than when they first came in.” Outside of work, Ben has two very active boys, 10 and 8, and he enjoys watching them participate in their sporting events all year. Ben also enjoys hunting and fishing, but he could do without the harsh winters Wisconsin brings, as he said even 9 years later, he has yet to transition from his Tennessee to Wisconsin move. In addition to hunting and fishing, an interesting thing about Ben is that he lived in Seoul, South Korea for two years in high school due to his father being in the military. While he lived there, he learned to read Korean, although he has no idea how to translate it to English. One piece of Financial Aid he would give is to apply for scholarships! Applying for scholarships can sometimes feel like an unrewarding task because it seems like the time spent applying for scholarships doesn’t translate well to the amount of scholarship money a student may win. Ben thinks students need to rethink that – “If a student spends 25 hours applying for 25 scholarships and is awarded one scholarship for $1,000, that doesn’t sound very rewarding. If you think about it in terms of an hourly wage, you can easily see that student made $40/hour applying for scholarships ($1,000/25 hours).” That is a great way to think about scholarships, to see it as a success instead of a failure, and it may keep them energized to keep applying for scholarships. If you have any Financial Aid questions, don’t be afraid to email him, call him, or stop in the Financial Aid Office to ask him questions, or even just to say hi! 


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