By Katana Liebelt
Through the ASNU Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Senator Kayana Smith compiled a list of outside scholarships for people of color that was posted on the Eagle website. Smith said her friends expressed a need for more scholarships during her freshman year and thought a tangible list would help students.
ASNU first recognized the need for minority scholarships at a discussion hosted last year through VIDA. ASNU Chief of Staff and former VIDA leader Jasmin Rodriguez and Director of Multicultural Life Blake Small discussed the Hispanic retention rate. She observed that a big factor contributing to Hispanic retention rate was lack of financial resources.
“The data showed that although [Hispanics] were the highest minority to enter college at Northwest, [they] had the lowest retention rates which means even though [Hispanics] join and come to this school, [they] don’t always stay,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez wanted to solve this problem. Although the scholarship list originated as a resource for Hispanic students, Rodriguez said it can help all minorities with the cost of education.
“Having diverse students of color come to this campus is very essential. It’s something that is so needed, not just for them, but even for the majority as well,” Rodriguez said. “I think [people of color are] very valuable students to our campus and it’s kind of plays onto a bigger picture of…advocacy and inclusivity and just seeing more workplaces become diverse.”
Smith carried out this project by searching for, updating and sending scholarships from third-party websites to Student Financial Services. In her searches, Smith first ensured that Northwest offers the academic major the scholarship may require. She then considers the demographic at Northwest and in the scholarships.
To ensure the legitimacy of these scholarships, Smith looks for deadlines and an actual website. She seeks information about the previous recipients and the scholarship’s background. If the website is for a business or organization known apart from the scholarship, the website is more likely legitimate. After Smith sends the scholarships, faculty within NU’s Student Financial Services also goes through them.
The scholarship list was posted onto the Eagle website on Feb. 2. To find the list, students may go onto Eagle and hover over the Departments tab. From there, students will click on Student Financial Services and navigate to the Outside Scholarships option on the right side. Finally, students will need to click on the Minority Scholarships option at the top of the page. You can also gain direct access to the list here.
Smith says the list “will most likely be ongoing,” but it depends upon what next year’s members decide. If you identify as a minority, consider applying for these scholarships.