Financial Aid Advisor, Andrea Cowser, of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships presented the online process for scholarship applications at CSUSB on January 16, 2020.
Before applying for the scholarships, Cowser noted that in order to be considered for CSUSB scholarships, a completion of the FAFSA for the academic year of 2020-2021 will need to be filled out already.
“We highly recommend that you actually file the 2020-2021 FAFSA application. So many of our CSUSB scholarships are need-based, so we do require student applicants to complete a FAFSA application,” she clarified.
She also reminded attendees that “for incoming freshmen or transfer students, they will also need to have a transcript on file for the application.”
“To apply for the scholarships, log in to your myCoyote portal and click on the ‘My Financials’ icon, the CSUSB scholarship site should appear after you click on it. After clicking on the ‘CSUSB Scholarship Site’ icon, you will be rerouted to a sign-in page. Use your coyote ID and your password to begin the process of filling out the application,” Cowser detailed.
She told the student attendees that “one of the tips we like to give to students is that it’s best to actually respond to all questions that are provided to you in the application. This information can increase the number of scholarships an applicant will be considered for.”
She also said that the application is paperless, and the letter(s) of recommendation will be requested and submitted electronically.
Continuing on with the presentation, Cowser presented on the seven sections of the scholarship application. She said, “The first section is the instructions and student demographics. The second section is general information. The third consists of program and career-related questions, which is then followed by the fourth section on letter(s) of recommendation and student essay. The fifth section is specific scholarship questions, while the sixth section is for specific essay questions. The last section asks for the applicant’s consent.”
“In order to be considered for any of the scholarship applications, you will need to at least have one letter of recommendation submitted, but we also highly recommend asking from three different instructors,” added Cowser.
When an applicant enters the information of the instructors, which will include the names and e-mail addresses, the request will be sent to the instructors to write and submit the letter(s) of recommendation. The letter writers will have a week after the student applicants submit their applications, or until March 9, 2020, if the student applicants turn their applications in by March 2, 2020, the last day to submit the scholarship applications.
“The letter doesn’t strictly have to be from a teacher of professor here at CSUSB,” said Cowser. She clarified that the recommendation letter(s) can also be written and submitted by another teacher or professor from another institution that was previously attended by the applicant.
Cowser also informed the attendees to be aware of the possible additional essays that will need to be written, along with the online practical essay.
“One suggestion we like to give students is that if you’re doing an essay, make sure you’re doing it in a word document – that way you can edit, make any changes, and then copy and paste your essay into your application,” Cowser stated.
She revealed that the application site closes after 45 minutes of inactive use. Therefore, leaving in the midst of writing an essay on the application site can lead to the essays being unsaved if the window closes after 45 minutes.
For awarding information, Andrea explained that, “On March-April, we start awarding the new students. For example, we have first-time freshmen that are coming in and we try to get them awarded because they actually have a deadline of May 1st to confirm whether or not they’ll be attending CSUSB. We try to get those awards out by March-April for those students. April-June is typically when we start awarding continuing students, so if you’ve been a student for the last year or so, we will award you during that time.”
By the end of July, Cowser said that all students who completed the applications will be notified, if they have not yet, prior to July.
“After submitting your application, you will be able to review the status of your application and check the status of your letter of recommendation(s). If an applicant also applied last year, the applicant will be able to see the previous application submitted on this page, too,” Cowser further added.
She also encouraged student attendees of the presentation to fill out an evaluation form by the end of the presentation. She said, “If you’re near the end of completing your application already or are in the process of completing it, and you’ve experienced any issues during your application, you can fill out the evaluation form. It’s actually helpful for our office to know what concerns and issues you may be experiencing. Each year, we modify our applications so that it becomes easier for students to apply annually.”