AACC offers 200-plus scholarships


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Students who fill out the FAFSA and the AACC Foundation scholarship application can choose among hundreds of awards to pursue.

Dominic Salacki, Reporter

Third-year hospitality management and baking and pastry arts student Barb Dahl has three scholarships: two for her culinary arts program and one for her interest in becoming an entrepreneur.

“I just applied to the school and I guess I just qualified for [one scholarship] without having to really apply for it because I was part of the culinary [program],” Dahl said.

In fact, students can apply for more than 200 AACC-sponsored scholarships once they fill out the AACC Foundation scholarship application and the FAFSA—the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

“Students usually know to complete the FAFSA but then they stop there,” said Shanna Kibler, AACC’s assistant director of financial aid. “We want them to know there are other sources of aid besides federal or state aid and we do have foundation scholarship money that is available.”

Among AACC’s scholarships are department-based awards, including three for cybersecurity, networking and digital forensics, the Ratcliffe scholarship for entrepreneurial studies and the Wunderlich scholarship for mechatronic technology.

Dahl said her instructors remind students often that scholarships are available.

“In the beginning of a class, the chefs would say, ‘Don’t forget, the deadline’s coming up, you need to apply,’” Dahl said.

Dahl also won a Radcliffe scholarship, which she said involved “a lot of paperwork.”

“It was pages upon pages upon pages of telling your story and giving an idea of your business plan,” Dahl said. “The … scholarship is for people who know what they want and where they’re going.”

First-year entrepreneurship student Andrew Parr also won a Radcliffe scholarship. He said he had to fill out the FAFSA and get two letters of recommendation.

According to Parr, the scholarship is “more than enough” for his education, which makes him thankful.

“The scholarship has unlocked a lot of opportunities for me,” Parr said.

Second-year business management student Josiah Parker won a $12,000 Ratcliffe scholarship in 2019 to pay for tuition.

The award “was able to cover my whole payment of coming to [AACC],” Parker said.

Parker recommended all students apply for scholarships.

“It would definitely take a burden off [students’] shoulders in terms of them not having to worry about finances,” Parker said.

According to Kibler, the AACC Foundation scholarship application has three types of questions: yes or no, short answer and essay.

The required essay question asks, “What are your academic/professional goals for the next five years? Ten years?’” Kibler said.

According to Kibler, it’s best not to hold back in the essay portion.

“Those essays are where we really get to know [students] and the scholarship committee can make decisions about whether or not you’re [worthy] for a scholarship,” Kibler said. “[We call essays] tiebreakers.”

Kibler said the scholarship application is a place for students to brag about their successes.