A little work now could pay off big in the long run

Written by: Adam Magnoni
For many students the summer quarter is for all things that are not BCC. Many will travel with family and friends, work a summer job or just use the time to watch television and try to push back all that was learned over the academic year. Even those who choose to attend classes for the not-so-sunny summer quarter, there is one thing all who plan to attend next fall should be thinking about: how can I get someone else to pay for these costly credits? Besides using the money saved from a summer job, or going to mom and pop, BCC’s Center for Career Connections and Women’s Center offers a plethora of resources, including access to many different scholarships and the BCC Financial Aid Office is currently accepting applications for the fee waiver. Currently there are three scholarships that students can apply for through the career connections and women’s center. Weather you fall into a specific group, with specific educational goals or are still testing the educational waters, there should be a scholarship out there for all. The Issaquah Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is offering an award of $1,000 for female students who meet qualifying criteria, including age, credits and degree being pursued. The Jesse L. Gary Scholarship Fund is also offering an award of $1,000 to qualified business students that plan on entering a career in the insurance field. Lastly, Key Bank has a scholarship sweepstakes that is offering $2,500 to qualified students, and guardians, ranging from high school juniors all the way up to graduate students. Specifics on the Key Bank award can be found at https://www.key.com/gen/html/LP-kerscholarship.html. All other direct qualifying material, applications and due dates can be found at http://bellevuecollege.edu/scholarships. If further help is needed students are urged to visit the career center located in B231 or contact BCC’s Career Service and Scholarship Specialist Kristina Szilak. She is on campus to be of assistance to the student body and can be reached by phone (425) 564-3102 or via email kszilak@bcc.ctc.edu. BCC’s Fee Waiver is a unique option for students as it is available to most that may not be eligible for other forms of federal or state funds through the financial aid office. BCC does not have any credit requirements for the fee waiver, students can be enrolled with as little as five credits and still be eligible as long as enrolled in applicable degree or program and the credits apply. The waiver will pay for all costs incurred due to the amount of credits taken, though does not cover other fees such as lab or materials, students would still be responsible for these charges. The funding is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, students are advised to get applications completed as soon as possible. Students must not be receiving financial aid otherwise, and must be a citizen of the U.S. or lawful permanent resident as a green card holder or refugee. International students do not qualify. BCC does require that students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in an eligible degree or certificate program. The SAP is a program that puts students under review both quarterly and annually and holds students to a couple basic academic standards including completion of a minimum amount of credits, maintaining a minimum GPA, and completion of a degree or certificate within a specific timeframe. Students must complete the fee waiver application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by August 15 to be eligible for fall quarter. “…we have the cheapest money in town. The Stafford loan program has better interest rate than any credit card and any private loan. Last year the Washington State legislature approved an increase to the Washington State Need Grant (WSNG) program, which…allows us to provide funds to more middle class families, up to the 70% median family income. To make it short and to the point, apply, apply, apply,” said Sherri Ballanytne, Assistant Dean of Financial Aid, in reference to all that the office has to offer. For more information and a copy of the application students are urged to visit the financial aid office Web site at www.bellevuecollege.edu/financialaid. Though paying for credits that one has not even signed up for may not be the top priority of the summer for most, a little preparation now will go a long way as fall quarter is right around the corner.