NMSU Scholar Dollar$ priority application due today


Cassidy Kuester

The Scholar Dollar$ online application is open year-round but is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Scholar Dollar$ priority deadline is fast approaching for students to apply for hundreds of scholarships from the university and individual departments.

Scholar Dollars$ is an online scholarship application that allows new and returning New Mexico State University students to apply for broad and specific scholarships year round. Liz Vigil, Financial Aid outreach advisor, said the application is open through the full academic year, but the scholarships are awarded on a first come first serve basis.

“It also does give the importance that these are competitive scholarships that students are going against each other for, you know, fighting for,” Vigil said. “So you’re obviously showing a lot of effort and interest in them by getting that application in early.”

She said she works mainly with incoming freshmen and most of those students submit their applications. She said they are able to push those students to apply because they have more contact with them through their high schools before entering college and again at orientation.

While Vigil works with the broad institutional scholarships, Jessica Savage, scholarship advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, works with scholarships more specific to the departments in the college. She said the Scholar Dollar$ application is a student’s opportunity to compete for donor-based scholarships and every department has their own criteria for awarding this money.

According to the College of Arts and Sciences website, over $638,000 was awarded from the departments and programs in the college to more than 700 students during the 2017-2018 academic year.

“The more we award our scholarships, and donors get feedback from students, the more they want to give,” Savage said.

Christine Shank, a freshman, and Delphine Nelson, a sophomore, both said they knew the priority deadline was coming up, but neither of them had completed their application yet.

“I knew since like the beginning of the semester that it was coming up and I needed to get it done, but life gets busy and I kept putting it off,” Shank said.

The priority deadline is Friday but students can continue editing their applications, including the one for the 2018-2019 academic year, after March 1. Vigil said the important thing is to answer the questions fully using the entire 3,000 characters allowed and sell yourself.

“Because this is somebody giving you free money. They want to hear about you, they want to invest in who this person is,” Vigil said. “It’s not just recent things, it’s what has built you up to be the person that you are right now at NMSU because we’re investing in how you got to NMSU and where you’re going to go from here.”

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