Ok, you REALLY shouldn’t wait any longer…

Each month, I will be highlighting 15 scholarships for the following month to allow you easy access to a few scholarships. 

Here are just a few of the many scholarships we have on our Scholarship Database for you to apply for with deadlines in September. Some only take a few minutes, so check them out! Right-click on the scholarship title for a direct link to the scholarship’s website. Remember, time is money!  

EGC’s Scholarship for Gamers – $1,000; September 1, 2017 

Create a game-play video of you playing your favorite game, all while discussing what components you’d buy if you were building a $1000 gaming computer 

YourWorkoutBook Scholarship – $500; September 1, 2017 

Submit an essay answering the following question: What are your career objectives? Do you plan to pursue a career in the field of sport or fitness? List your extracurricular activities as the relate to sport and fitness. What teams have you played on or volunteered with? Have you won any awards or organized any events in this field? What kind of impact or influence do you hope to have others as a result of your education? 

VidgoTV Scholarship – $2,000; September 1, 2017 

Write an essay about how virtual reality affects television. 

Youth Forward Scholarship – $1,000; September 1, 2017 

Submit an essay of less than 500 words, answering questions about your volunteering work . 

Apartment List Scholarship – $2,500; September 1, 2017 

Offered to outstanding students who exemplify one or more of Apartment List’s core values: bold while pragmatic, endlessly helpful, making an impact, driven by data, succeeding together or forever learning. 

Love Your Career Scholarship – $1,000; September 11, 2017 

Submit an essay of 1000 words or more outlining at least 3 steps that you plan to take in the next year to start a path toward having a career that you love. 

CareerFitter.com Scholarship – $500; September 15, 2017 

Submit a 1000 character essay on what the perfect career is for you and why. 

BabyMonitorLab Scholarship – $500; September 15, 2017 

Write a 500-1000 word essay on the topic: “The Impact of Technology on our Health”.  

Olshan Building Strong Foundations Scholarship – $1,000; September 16, 2017 

US students who are 16 years or older are encouraged to apply. Must successfully complete the application form, written essay, and video submission. 

Alcohol Addiction Awareness Essay Contest – $3,000; September 30, 2017 

Submit an essay of up to 1200 words answering the questions “How alcohol abuse and addiction affects the modern society? What steps can be taken to decrease the impact of alcohol abuse and addictions on people and society? 

Don’t Text and Drive Scholarship – $1,000; September 30, 2017 

Submit a 140-character statement that completes this sentence: I pledge to not text and drive because… 

Aaron Seever Sales Scholarship – $500; September 30, 2017 

Fill out an online application that includes two questions that you must answer in 50 words or less as well as providing other basic information. 

ZipRecruiter Scholarship – $3,000; September 30, 2017 

Submit a 250-500 words essay on one of the following three topics: 1. Give a brief overview of your city and what makes it unique. 2. Provide an overview of the job market that is unique to your city. 3. Write about how ZipRecruiter can help you find a job in your city. 

Shout It Out Scholarship – $1,500; September 30, 2017 

Have something on your mind? Let it out, or better yet SHOUT it out. Give your thoughts a voice and earn free college money at the same time. 

Top Reveal Scholarship – $500; September 30, 2017 

Submit a 700 or more word essay that relates to any of these ideas: How a particular gadget made a difference in you or a loved one’s life. How devices can improve education. Stories such as apps to enhance focus or devices to improve study habits work well here. The advantages and disadvantages of smart home technology and why you believe they are good for our future. 

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August Staff Member of the Month!

If you have stopped in the Financial Aid Office, you have probably talked with our Staff Member of the Month, Tammy Haakenson! Tammy has been at the front desk, as the Financial Aid Office’s Receptionist, since February of this year. Prior to working in our office, she worked in the College of Liberal Studies, beginning in August of 2012. She has an Associate’s Degree in Human Resources from Western Technical College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Viterbo University. Tammy enjoys helping students with their financial aid issues and questions. She enjoys providing students/families with advice and says, “Students, as well as parents, are very appreciative when they are given resources to check out.” in addition to learning new things. Tammy is very passionate about genealogy. She even recently traveled to Norway with her sister-in-law to search for their ancestors’ birthplaces! If she were to provide one piece of financial advice to students, she would tell them to be sure to check out the Scholarship Resource Center (SRC) on their webpage, www.uwlax.edu/scholarships. There are numerous scholarships that all students can apply for and the SRC is working to continually add to this resource. If you have any questions about financial aid, stop by and see Tammy as she is sure to provide you with assistance. 

Tammy Haakenson SotM

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July Staff Member of the Month!

With July comes fireworks, parades… And our July Staff Person of the Month! Meet Ka Lia Smith! One of our Financial Aid Counselors and Student Service Coordinators, Ka Lia has been apart of the UWL family since 2010 when she entered as a Graduate student after finishing her undergrad at UW-Madison. However, it wasn’t until February of this year that Ka Lia joined the Financial Aid Office crew! When asked about her favorite part of her job, she had this to say, “I enjoy meeting with students and learning about their unique story while knowing that every day will be different.” When relaxing at home, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tim, her two dogs, Sophie and Levi, and her cat Lionel. She also loves putting together a puzzle or two and visiting local rummage sales and thrift stores. (Don’t we all?) Interestingly enough, Ka Lia is the second youngest of ten siblings! What a full house! When prompted for an important piece of Financial Aid advice, Ka Lia said, “Utilize our office as a resource; we are here to answer your questions and to help you navigate the oftentimes confusing and overwhelming financial aid process.” Excellent advice Ka Lia! If you have questions about Financial Aid, come on in and talk to Ka Lia. She is primed and ready to help you find your way in the chaos that is college costs.

Ka Lia July Staff

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Building a Budget

Now that college has consumed much of our money, how are we supposed to know how much ‘extra’ money we have? To spend or save? That is the real question; you may never have the opportunity to travel about the world, but also, you want money saved for retirement.

The answer? Saving money! You always need to keep in mind your needs, wants, and priorities, but along with that comes mental strength, the ability to say no. You need to have the ability to say no to that new shirt – the money is for the future. But, maybe you NEED that shirt because you have never seen anything like it. Walk away… do you want the shirt, or to have a little extra spending money for that summer vacation? When you create a budget, you are able to estimate your income, subtract your expenses, include what goes to savings, and you are left with, hopefully, a little money! Yesterday, I found a budget online and according to the website, if I keep spending like I do, I am going to be $55 in the hole by the end of the month. You should always overestimate your expenses, so I probably have roughly $100 extra to spend on ‘fun’ activities this month.

My ‘fun’ activities include seeing Billy Joel at Lambeau Field this past weekend, and leaving for New York City tomorrow morning! $100 ahead is going to be more like $100 below in just a few days. It is amazing how quickly money can “disappear”. That is why it is beneficial for everyone to create a budget so they are aware of how much they are truly spending.

So, to build a budget, you must first determine a financial goal: a trip, college, house, car, retirement, etc.? Of course, every month, you can put money aside for each savings goal you have – some being more important than others. Next, you need to find a budgeting tool that works best for you. There are hundreds of them on the internet, or you can visit your bank and I am sure they would love to help you out. UWL also has a resource center, It Make$ Cents! where they will walk you through the steps on how to make a realistic budget. They also have budgeting calculators available to you, along with some budgeting tips. Although the It Make$ Cents! Office is closed throughout the month of July, their website is still available to you and is very useful to first time budgeters.

Tonight, I have a list of items I need to buy (maybe more of a girly want) before I leave tomorrow. Maybe I can talk myself into taking a few things off that list – will power (or maybe won’t power)! After creating my budget yesterday, I should be living in a hole and giving someone else my plane tickets, but life is meant to be enjoyed, therefore, I am going on the trip and will probably spend a few too many dollars.

Budgeting is a very important factor to being financially successful, and it can take many, many years to reach the point of ‘happiness’ with money, that is, if money is your happiness. Or, maybe it’s the satisfying feeling of saving money to enjoy that goal you have been working hard to reach. Everyone has goals that need to be set, followed, and obtained in life to be happy, and creating a budget is the first step towards that goal.


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Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I would like to welcome the incoming freshmen to the university and also to the Scholarship Research Center (SRC), where I hope you spend lots of time because it can benefit you in many, many ways.

I, too, am an incoming freshman – exciting! In fact, today is my first day working in the Financial Aid Office located in Graff. I have been hired to work on the SRC to help you save money throughout your years here! Our mission is to encourage you to focus on alternative funding options that match up with your personal achievements and unique personalities. We also work to help students locate scholarships that fit their unique qualifications, educate them regarding submitting high quality applications and ultimately, see students further their education by receiving scholarships to fund their future goals through education.

Originally, my goal was to work three jobs this summer to save money to provide for my college education, life, and career, but mainly, my college education, because current costs are unlikely to leave me debt free after I graduate. After several months of preparing for a summer low on fun and high on work hours, I decided to look into scholarships offered in my local community. After applying for nearly fifteen different local scholarships, I can say I am a proud recipient of four scholarships totaling close to $3,000.00. I worked very hard to earn these scholarships, but the work paid off!

Now, I am on the other side of the computer, encouraging you to take the time to apply for the multitude of scholarships available to you. I have been working for a total of four hours at this job and I am overwhelmed with the abundance of opportunities this campus provides as an option for you to receive financial assistance. Once you are on the welcoming SRC website, the different scholarships available are laid out to best fit your interests. You can search by department or do an external database search to find the different scholarships available to you which are organized by the deadline date. You can also take part in the “Get Scholarific!” Survey on the home page of the SRC website and you will receive an email back from us with specific scholarship options for you!

If you have any questions, stop into the Financial Aid Office or call (608)-785-8604. I hope you will join me in my search on the Scholarship Research Center website to find a scholarship that suits you best, in hopes of saving your hard earned money for the future.

Carlie Burkhardt

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June Staff Member of the Month!

It’s that time again! Meet our June Financial Aid Person of the Month! Karen DeSchepper is part of our Support Staff and if you’ve ever called in or stopped by the Financial Aid Office, it’s not uncommon for her to be one of the first people you talk to! Karen has been a part of UWL staff since 2004, although initially her work was in the Office of Continuing Education and Extension. In 2015 she joined the Financial Aid Office, and has been a major player here ever since! In 1991, Karen earned her Office Computer Specialist Degree from Western Tech, but she also has what she describes as a degree in “Life” thanks to all the things she’s learned up to now. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, she’ll tell you she loves working with and helping students directly. Being able to provide encouragement and multiple financial options to concerned students warms her heart. When she’s not helping students with college funds, you can find her singing karaoke, or playing with her two dachshunds, whom she is obsessed with! An interesting fact is, every single day she works, she goes to Global Grounds just across the street from the Financial Aid Office and gets an Iced Americano. (Shout out to Alina and Demi!) When asked for a piece of Financial Aid advice she would give to readers, Karen said, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself (vs. having your parent ask us and then hearing the answers secondhand).  We’re here and want to help….really!” She also wants students to know how helpful and driven our staff is in helping students: “The people in our office really care about our students and want them to be successful here at UWL!” I couldn’t agree more, Karen! If you’re someone struggling with Financial Aid issues, stop by our office and talk to Karen. You’ll not only learn a lot, but chances are, you’ll also come away feeling much better about any issues you may be facing.


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Transfer Troubles?

As the year winds down, some students may have plans to transfer to other Universities. I am no exception. In June, I’m moving halfway across the country. So what’s next? If you’re like me, moving to a whole new university next fall, there are some important steps to follow to ensure that you’ve got everything ready!

First off, double check with your new school’s Admissions Office that your UWL credits transfer, as this can set you a bit behind. Some schools are especially picky with what does and doesn’t apply. There are also schools that require you to finish your general education credits before you can qualify for transferal to their school. Others require you to have a certain amount of general education credits left so you can specifically take them there. It can all seem a bit confusing, but the Admissions Office of a college is there to help you.

Next, you need to get your Financial Aid information handled. If you, for whatever reason, haven’t filled out your FAFSA for next year, do so now! And while doing so, make sure to change your school code from UWL to whatever the code is for the school you will be transferring to. If you’ve already filled out your FAFSA, make sure to go back and change the school code as well!

After you finish fixing up your FAFSA, you need to send an email to the UWL Financial Aid office, telling them you are transferring, as this is important for our files. Our email is finaid@uwlax.edu. If you have a Perkins loan, you will also need to send an email to the Cashier’s office cashiers@uwlax.edu, letting them know you plan on transferring. This should help assure that your Financial Aid is all set for transferring!

The final step to remember is to finish Exit Loan Counseling. This is a federally required process for anyone who borrowed loans while at UWL. You may remember doing a similar process when you first applied for loans with the Entrance Loan Counseling. The process is simple enough, and you can get started here.

Transferring may seem a bit daunting, but it’s a process thousands of students go through every year. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on the right track to successful transferal in no time!

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May Staff Person of the Month!

Terry Micks. Photo by University Communications

Terry Micks. Photo by University Communications

Meet our first Financial Aid Staff Person of the Month! Terry Micks is the UWL Loan Programs Coordinator. She first came to UWL in 1972 for school, but when she got married took a break, caring for her two children, who have since grown. In fall of 2001 she came back and finished getting her Bachelors degree in Political Science in Spring 2002. She has one grandchild, and has worked in Financial Aid for almost 20 years! Interested in genealogy, she studies her family history, and otherwise loves to pass the time reading and cooking. In her time at UWL in the 1970’s, she was involved in student government, and was part of a committee of three who wrote the original UWLSA constitution! What a fun fact! Her Financial Aid advice is simple: “Only borrow what you need! You wouldn’t take out a bank loan to buy a pizza, so why would you take out extra student loans for spending money?” Come stop by our office if you have any issues with loans, and she is ready and able to help you out!

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So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen

As the school year comes to an end in a few months, we all must face a bittersweet reality: many students are nearing their final days here as UWL students. While we will miss their faces and their contributions to the campus environment, we feel excited for them. They are taking the next step in their lives, accepting the diplomas they’ve worked so hard for, and stepping into the careers they’ve been dreaming of. But before they can continue on, we have some important reminders for soon-to-be graduates…

First, all graduating students who have borrowed federal loans must go through Exit Loan Counseling. This process takes about 30 minutes and must be done in one sitting. Be sure to have contact information prepared not only for yourself, but for your parents/next of kin, and two references who live separately from your next of kin. This process is a federal requirement, so finishing it is of the utmost importance. To start your Exit Loan Counseling, head to the Federal Student Loan website here.

Another highly important aspect of graduating is registering with your loan servicer. They are going to be invaluable when paying off your loans as they can help you plan your payments each month. Make sure that they have your most up-to-date information so that they can contact you whenever necessary. Still a little lost on all that a loan servicer does? That’s ok! The Federal Student Aid site has an entire page dedicated to their importance right here.

A bit unsure about how much money you still owe? The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) allows you to track your federal loans and how much you owe at any given time. In order to gain access, you will need your social security number, as well as your FSA ID, so be sure to have both on hand. The site will keep you informed on your loan or grant amounts, outline the remaining balances and statuses of your loans, and will make financial planning for the future far easier. Check out the NSLDS site here. This information should also be available on you federal loan service’s website.

Our final piece of advice to graduates is simply, stay on top of your loans. Bad credit can follow you longer than you think, and can affect your ability to buy everything from a car to a house. Work with your servicer to determine what you can afford each month, and talk with them if you have any issues. They are there to help.

As you finish out your final days as a college student, enjoy them. A chapter in your life is closing. It may be difficult, but your future is bright.



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Weird Science! Er… Scholarships!

Have you ever seen a scholarship and thought “How is that a scholarship?” Today I decided to dive in and investigate some of the scholarships that can leave you scratching your head in confusion, but can earn you lots of money for college too!

First off is from a company you’ve probably heard of! The Taco Bell Live Más Scholarship offers awards from $5,000 to $25,000. You can earn this scholarship by submitting a two-minute video of your passion, no matter what it is! They also stress that they’re not looking for experts in film, so your video doesn’t have to be a piece of art. The focus is on your passion. If you or a family member already works at Taco Bell, there is a separate application for you available.

The next scholarship asks a serious question: What would you do during the zombie apocalypse? Unigo, a site dedicated to finding the perfect college for you, also creates scholarships, this being one of their more popular ones. Fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ no doubt will love delving into the haunting idea in this 250-word essay. If you’re like me, you know the smartest place to take shelter would be in a Wal-Mart. (They have everything you need!)

Have you ever seen a greeting card that makes you think…What would anyone use that for? Well, it’s your turn to confuse the world! This scholarship asks you to create a greeting card to be eligible for their $1,000 scholarship. So if you’ve been sitting on an idea for a card that would blow all others out of the water, this is your chance to unleash the brilliance onto the world! (And potentially earn yourself some money for school at the same time).

Our final unique scholarship is all about RC toys! Almost everyone can remember opening up a brand new RC car or helicopter on their birthday and making it zip across the house the rest of the day. While some of them lasted longer than others (my brother set a record one year by breaking a helicopter 5 minutes after taking it out of the packaging) the memories they provided will never fade. This scholarship asks you to write about how RC toys may change in the future. Perhaps for example they could become more durable, or have an extended battery life. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship!

To conclude, there is a scholarship for seemingly everything! If you don’t know where to start when it comes to scholarship searches, consider some of these, or if you want, search based on your interests and major! You will no doubt find dozens of scholarships available to you.

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