Scholarship deadlines become uniform

By Gus Bode

For most students, the process of filling out a scholarship application is grueling and tedious enough without having to worry about deadlines.

An official deadline put intact this week, though, for all university scholarships should help alleviate some of the applicants’ woes.

The Financial Aid Department, with the help of a representative from each college on campus, has made the process simpler by setting a campus-wide deadline for all university scholarships – March 1.


While the change seems to be a step in the right direction for many, Terri Harfst, the field representative for the financial aid department, said she hopes the deadlines will eventually fall between Dec. 1 and Feb. 1.

Harfst said she was worried about the lack of cooperation between the colleges when it came to scholarship information and their deadlines. She said a definitive deadline would only help students apply for scholarships.

“There is not a one-stop shop on campus for scholarships,” Harfst said.

The Financial Aid Department, though, has tried to make the current process more bearable.

Kevin McGhee, a freshman from Chicago studying accounting said he feels that not only will the process be more bearable, but it also makes more sense for the scholarships to be on the same deadline.

“I think it’s a good thing,” McGhee said. “As long as the University puts out flyers to let students know they are available.”

After FAFSA and other information is completed and turned in, the Financial Aid Department prepares a package for each student with how much money the student will be rewarded.


With the new all-encompassing deadline, the Financial Aid packets should be more accurate and help students know if SIUC can be an affordable choice, said Bruce Chrisman, coordinator for the College of Engineering.

Chrisman said close to 30 percent of SIUC students are eligible for Pell Grants and other financial aid. However, the Pell Grant does not completely cover a full time student’s tuition.

“The biggest reason that SIU’s enrollment has gone down has more to do with this gap between the state and federal governments not being willing to provide educational opportunities to students whose families don’t have the financial resources,” Chrisman said.

Daily Egyptian writer Christian Holt can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268 or [email protected].