all right well oh okay this oh sorry so this is since this meeting is recorded i mean you’re not comfortable with like you know if you’re not comfortable having your face shown feel free to just turn off your video um so yeah just give me a heads up oh yeah sorry go go ahead chris okay no worries um thank you guys for coming um the scholarship workshops are something i’ve been doing for all seven years that i’ve been here i think they really do help you prepare for the process um and you know because i oversee the system um it’s it’s nicer to get to talk to students individually like this i like doing the workshops bigger but um anyway so i’m here to kind of fill you guys in on how how this stuff all works and why won’t my thing fly not advancing why not there we go okay so i represent the pcc foundation in this scenario today um and we are essentially the main fundraising branch of the college um the foundation’s been around a while um our goal is always to sort of close the gap between needs and resources of pcc i know i don’t have to tell you guys that the cost of education has gone up significantly over the years um i can remember being at a csu before i took this job and this is when prop 20 i think was on the ballot and there was this whole like toss-up between back in the day the state provided 85 percent of the um of the cost of attendance and students paid 15 and now it’s totally the other way around so so believe me we know that this is not easy for you guys and and that’s one of the reasons why i love doing what i do um but we’re a pretty amazing power team of all women um who surprisingly all get along it kind of blows my mind that that happens but um everybody here is just so dedicated to our work and we have a really good time working together come on okay um so what we do as a department is raise money manage money and distribute money for the college the way we fundraise there’s a number of different sort of ways that we take money in um our annual fund is all on restricted money so this is a result of our foundation board members giving and folks just kind of kicking in ten dollars here fifteen dollars here whatever um but unrestricted money is what we use as our operational budget and then endowments come in when people want to give more like substantially more so a traditional endowment here would start at about 25 000 we have folks that will start growth funds and pay those off over time and the endowments are invested and it’s the interest and there’s a spending limit and that’s sort of what creates the um the scholarship amount every single year and then planned giving um takes place when somebody or family decide to leave pcc in their estate or put pcc in their will we don’t always know that these are happening sometimes until after they happen so they’re kind of like nice little surprises every now and then but um all of these funds together create what we refer to as our endowment and i believe pcc now is at like 27 million endowment so all those funds um are shared if you will with an investment firm and we just basically give them control of our money and say okay here go take good care of it and and bring us some extra back if you would so obviously when the market’s good we get more return when the market’s not good we lose money um that’s the way of the world and uh and we deal with it accordingly and then we distribute money for the college we just finished a major gifts campaign we raised about 16 million dollars for different tenants of the college we raise money for athletics for the arts for career education and for scholarships but the bulk of our money sits in endowments that is used for student scholarships and you guys get to benefit from that so that’s all kinds of fun um what i’m going to talk about with you guys is the actual application itself in blackbaud award management we’ll roll through the timeline really quickly i’ll give you a sense of how financial aid plays a role although that doesn’t necessarily apply to you guys because you’re international students i’ll tell you a little bit about how the evaluation process works and then mostly we’re going to talk a lot about references and personal statements because the personal statement is really the bread and butter of this process and if you don’t do that right um you won’t have a successful application um i find it’s really interesting year after year when i hear from students about the reasons why they don’t apply for scholarships and frankly they’re all kind of stupid um people blame that on time not being a good writer not having a 4.0 gpa all of this stuff is frankly a bunch of crap students do so much amazing work at this college and for folks to not take you know maybe two hours to apply for a

scholarship just kind of blows my mind granted we can’t give scholarships to everybody that applies but if you do the work and you have a good story to tell um you’re likely gonna come out on the other side with a little bit of extra money to help pay for school so got that out of the way benefits of scholarships are there are many obviously besides the cash money itself um there’s academic benefits because this sort of academic award kind of puts you up in a position like oh look i’m a scholarship recipient and you’re always a scholarship recipient um and you can list this stuff on your resumes moving forward um on graduate school applications all sorts of things so benefits go a long way besides just um you know the five hundred thousand dollars five thousand dollars that you wind up collecting as a result of the process okay so please do not ever call this bam because that makes me crazy just call it blackbaud award management the fact that people are calling this bam um i just want to shake them and say oh please stop um because that makes me nuts well so i refer to it as blackbaud award management it is the software formerly known as academic works when i started here in april of 2013 we had just contracted with the company called academic works they were standalone startup and they were amazing um so we were one of the earlier adopters of this software and um now they consider us to be super users because um you know we just we do it well here um the the system is a software management or scholarship software scholarship management software come on mcpeak that houses the application the review process the awarding and post acceptance so it’s basically a one-stop shop anything having to do with scholarships at pcc you will find in blackbaud or management like i said we have had it since 2013 so this will be our eighth fall cycle which kind of blows my mind that i can say that um yeah i’ve worked here longer than i’ve worked at any other college so when i say it out loud i kind of get a little nostalgic any money that’s held at the foundation you will find represented in here um but we do have external scholarships that are posted we will hear from organizations from time to time that will say hey we have scholarship info will you post it on your site and of course we say yes because there’s some some pretty interesting organizations out there that want to give money to students and i say you know by all means bring it on and you can apply for scholarships year round but we have two set cycles during each fiscal year and i will talk about that here in just a second our dictionary of terms and i’ll refer to these throughout the the presentation and when we actually talk about the software one-on-one a cycle is basically when a group of scholarships are open for application and review that cycle covers a set period of time so right now we’re in what’s known as the fall cycle this is the general application general scholarship application so pretty much everything is an auto match award which i’ll talk about in a second um the spring cycle oh and the fall cycle is completely centralized meaning the foundation controls all of it the spring cycle’s a little bit different it is decentralized so departments and divisions that traditionally have scholarships that are allocated to their major programs so english has money social sciences has money um math and computer science has money the president’s latino advisory council they have a pool of money so the spring scholarships are decentralized the college the different departments and divisions kind of oversee their own thing and i just kind of work with them on an advisory advisory process um opportunities versus portfolios so the portfolio in blackbaud award management is the scholarship itself the opportunity is this pers specific portfolio application referring to the term that the award is open so for example the robert westerbeck scholarship that is a portfolio just speaking of the scholarship itself but then we’re in fall 2020 so the fall 2020 opportunity of the robert westerbeck scholarship is when something is open in a specific period of time auto match and apply to these refer to how your information tells you if you qualify for the scholarship or not so auto match you can just fill out the general application and the system will automatically match you to anything you qualify for you might qualify for five things you might qualify for 20 things just kind of depends on where you are in your academic career and some people just decide i’m doing auto match and that’s it for fall i don’t have time to do anything else and that’s fine people do um people do well with auto match apply to means that the scholarship requires additional questions or information in order for you to qualify so you have to specifically apply individually to these

after completing the general scholarship application there’s maybe eight or nine of those in the fall semester the robert westerbeck being one of them that’s our largest pool of money um it was like a five million dollar gift and it yields close to two hundred thousand dollars every year so if that’s if you think about a thousand dollars a scholarship we’re able to award a lot of students with that money um so but westerbeck’s and apply to because you need to do letters of reference unfortunately fortunately unfortunately everything in the spring semester is applied too because the departments and divisions kind of run their own thing and almost all of them want letters of reference and at the very least a number of them want your transcripts um and possibly resumes too so that’s the difference between auto match and apply to post acceptance is what happens after you are offered a scholarship and you accept it so this is where we gather thank you notes and photos that can be shared with the donors they like to have testimonials and the donor reports and then you also have the opportunity to give us feedback about the process um i love hearing that from students because they usually say nice things and it really is pretty intuitive um software and it it just keeps getting more robust every single year which is kind of fun to to work through that okay if you are at your computer and you want to go ahead and kind of follow along um this is the website it’s pasadena.academicworks.com you can go straight to the software that way you can find it on our webpage through the foundation if you go to pasadena.edu forward slash foundation click on the scholarship tab but it’s just so much easier to go straight there from here um and i you know i type in the letter p and it’s like the first thing that comes up for me because i’ve been doing this for so long um you will log in with lancerpoint credentials that was a happy thing that happened in year three so we have the single sign-on thing and this is beautiful for me because it pulls data out of banner so i don’t have to go in and spot check everybody individually which was a total pain in my ass for the first year um it’s helpful to review the applications kind of before you get moving and if you are somebody who believes you will want to pursue apply to opportunities then you kind of want to take a peek at okay well what do i qualify qualify for let’s take a look around etc so it helps to definitely take a breeze through before you start answering questions so there’s two kinds of info that are going to come into your application and make it what it is there’s the self report and the lancer point lancer point imported this is what i referred to before why we have single sign-on so it pulls your gpa it pulls all your credits earned in your current enrollment what you’re studying it’s pretty important that this is current because let’s say that you’re a nursing student but you’re still listed as biology you’re not gonna qualify for any nursing scholarships and the system will let you apply so if you are not current with your academic major in um and lancer point then fix that please um we pull your efc and unmet need i don’t know that that um is applicable for you guys as international students or bog waiver it might be i don’t know and then we like to pull the demographic stuff just because from time to time institutional research will say hey can you give us some scholarship data so that’s the imported stuff and then you’re going to fill out a number of these things um name and student number obviously that gets you in the system we want your phone number we would like to get your personal email because we hang on to this after you leave pcc become alum this is how we continue connecting with you and make you an active alumnus there are some athletic scholarships that we hold so we asked that question support services this is things like pass and eops um international student services um if you’re in puente or ujima any of those organizations we ask you about that and then we ask about marital status independent children because again there are some scholarships that were designated for those populations and we ask about transfer destination um because we’re known as a transfer institution and have a very very high rate of transfer we do have scholarships that are unique for students who are planning to transfer okay then we dig into the super super super personal stuff that’s going to build you know the uniqueness of your application so these are sort of short answer questions uh about honors and awards clubs and orgs and church activities employment etc honors and awards are fun this is the best way to describe this is anytime you’ve been publicly rewarded for having done cool stuff so that could be as easy as a previous scholarship or that could be like um if you play badminton and you were the player of the month for your

region getting an award like that i love telling the story about my health award in high school because i went to a very small rural high school in arkansas and my high school boyfriend was a valedictorian and of course he he was one of the smartest people i ever knew but he got every academic award that existed so we go to our senior year and i’m like i’m gonna take health this year because you know i’m interested in health and he says well you know chris it’s not a weighted class it’s not going to help your gpa and i’m kind of like i don’t care i’m going to take it so when it came time for award time at the end of our senior year chris mcpeak got the health award and tauren didn’t but then again tauren didn’t take the health class so quite possible that if he’d been in that class with me he still would have beat me out but i don’t care that’s an academic award that i got and hell yeah i put it on my scholarship application are you kidding me that was a big deal um i just don’t you know mention that he probably would have gotten it if he’d been in the class okay anyway i digress clubs organizations campus activities these are ways that you are involved at pcc when you when you are not in class but you are physically doing stuff on campus so associated students is a big thing you guys are all here because you’re involved with international students in the club form of this so you would list that on your application um if you play a sport of pcc any kind of community service stuff that you do with the college we want to know about that and then the third section here is church employment neighborhood events this is anything that you do that’s organized when you’re not at pcc so good examples if you have a job you might work at target or starbucks or a grocery store or something like that we want you to list any employment that you’ve had you know within i guess the last last five years it depends on how far removed you are from high school um and if you’re a student who has worked full-time before before coming to college um some folks are super active in their church they might you know run the day care center or teach sunday school class to little kids um any kind of volunteer opportunity that’s within the um within the community so if you volunteer at humane society or food banks or anything like that um a clear delineation i want to make here we’re talking about organized events or um or organizations so um so working at a fitness club is very different from attending a fitness club because you’re a workout fiend so don’t write down that like i work out at my gym um that’s a hobby that’s not an activity or another example would be um volunteering at the afi film festival versus attending the afi film festival so we’re looking for um ways that you participate in a volunteer and organized way not not your hobbies and things that are fun for you um the high units thing this is fairly new to the application mostly because our foundation board feels pretty strongly and i actually agree with them that you really should be able to finish up your time here within the 90 units three years kind of thing whether you’re transferring or whether you’re completing your program so you can go into the workforce so what we kind of want to get a sense of is if you’re over 90 units what’s going on there did you change your major very late in the game did you have a very long period away from school and came back and had to start from scratch those types of things um so we just kind of want to get a sense about that and personal statement we will talk about here in just a bit okay so when you go to pasadena.academicworks.com this is where you will land and you guys want to log in here on this tab that says applicants and administrators and you will do the single sign-on and log in with your lancerpoint credentials which is fantastic and beautiful and then here is a quick peek at the you know top page of the of the application now if this is your first time logging into the system there’s probably going to be like a green banner up here that says it looks like it’s your first time logging into the system please complete your general application does blah blah blah all that stuff um so you’re gonna scoot down in here and and fill out all these questions obviously the asterisks are the important things that are required you have to fill those things out now i want to talk about the bottom part here so the little gray button versus the red button save and keep editing will allow you to do exactly that save your work and keep editing later finish and submit is the button i would prefer that you hit all the time even if you think you may make changes later and i will tell you why um if you stay with save and keep editing your application itself stays in drafted status so that means you can’t move forward and apply for um for reply to opportunities you can’t list anybody for a reference because your application is not done yet so even if you think you’re going to tweak stuff later stay with the finish and submit thing because that keeps you in submitted status it tells the system

that you know you’ve got your stuff done obviously if you leave asterisks questions blank it’s going to tell you you have to fill these out before you submit but i think it’s just a safer way to keep your application moving forward because if you keep hitting save and keep editing inevitably some people forget about this and they don’t match to anything because they technically didn’t finish so make sure that you always hit the red stuff okay so you’re done with your general application and now it’s going to pop you in here and it’s going to say um almost done because your previous applications qualified you to apply to additional stuff and that’s what more of this red stuff so if you actually hover over this word opportunities there’s going to be four different things that show up there there’s going to be it’s going to be the word hours o-u-r-s there’s going to be the word recommended recommended hours are essentially the same thing recommended are the apply to opportunities that you qualify for if you click on hours you can see everything that’s in the system um if it’s an auto match it won’t give you the opportunity to apply to it because you don’t have to um but if they don’t show up on the recommended opportunities for you it’s because the system has noticed that there’s something missing um from your application that would qualify you so i would you know take a look at what all is there obviously but this will be the stuff that you can actually are recommended to apply to because you qualify for it there’s also something called grants which i don’t know why that’s in there because we don’t use it um but then remember those external awards i told you about before like the other organizations that contact us that’s where you’ll find all the external stuff so you hover over this and get the drop down and external will be at the bottom and there’s all kinds of fun stuff they there was um like a paleo lifestyle scholarship one year there was a scholarship about why you love dogs um there’s some pretty some pretty fun things in there so uh give it a peek even if it’s just you know for fun and to play around so okay so the hour opportunities if you selected that section this is what you would see again these things they say none because they’re not applied to their auto match but you can get a sense of see red buttons mean okay i’m going to go in and try to apply for this again you have to finish the general application before you can get to this piece and then when you are in and apply to opportunity this is the dorvan and betty lee’s family fund um you’ll see the supplemental questions and they might be just one question like this one just wants to know what sports teams you compete in at pcc uh if you don’t compete in any sports you won’t apply for this award um but there’s other things like submit a transcript um there’s additional writing that is um requested sometimes letters of recommendation all kinds of stuff pop in there so um so yeah and there there’s all kinds of different things that are asked again important with the gray bar and the the red button hit the red button and keep yourself in submitted status and better to be safe than sorry is what i say so obviously when i get you guys rolling pretty quick because the due date is october 9th and i think now we’re at like two weeks away from that which again blows my mind how is this semester going by so fast um virtual scholarships uh workshops happening now the um this 11 59 pm deadline i didn’t make that up that’s just the way the system works so the whole like if it’s 1201 a.m on saturday october 10th you’re not going to be able to get back in people turn into pumpkins and the whole thing this does include your reference letters so if you have requested a letter of recommendation from someone for an apply to opportunity they need to have their letters in the same time i tried a buffer week one year and it just did not did not serve my process well so i said never again um then on monday the 12th through friday the 23rd we do the review period where all of the people i’ve recruited to help us read and score these they do their work and then my committee will meet i think the 26th is a monday we’ll meet on monday um and make all the all the selections and choices i’ve never done this virtually before so that’s going to be a bit of a challenge but you know what we make it work because that’s what we do um and then you guys will be notified uh what’s going down by november the 2nd which is a oh it’s a monday okay so i gave myself an extra weekend to get stuff done good for me that was very wise of me okay this is our current rubric that exists right now there is a high probability that this is going to change a smidge between now and review time only because this is the same rubric that the committee’s been using for like the past four or five years and i definitely think they want to mix it up particularly related to

the gpa piece um because gpa is still a high portion of the scoring and that’s that’s great except when it’s not um because in our current environment a lot of people work to jobs have to take care of parents or or their family members and a 4.0 is not necessarily not that it’s not attainable it’s not realistic um and and we know that that our students do a lot of stuff in addition to going to school so there’s definitely been conversation on making this a little bit different obviously a 4.0 is still a great thing to have and grade point average is considered you know a factor an academic achievement but um this would be the thing that gets tweaked the most um and the other thing that we’re working on is for true freshmen who are just out of high school um they don’t pull your high school gpa we don’t do that all of our transcripts are def uh individually um evaluated by by the registrar’s office so if you’re a first-time freshman just out of high school you’re not going to have a gpa score and that kind of sucks for the first year students so this will be one major thing that changes i believe it will change personal statement will get up to 25 points or thereabout that’s the the biggest portion that’s the big part of the kitty if you will we’re looking at statements that are giving strong examples of career aspirations and how you’ve overcome adversity faced your challenges we want very high levels of persuasion authenticity and credibility so we want a statement that feels exciting that feels impressive we want a statement that tells your story and elicits some kind of emotional response from our committee we want a statement that moves us that makes us go oh my gosh this is the most amazing student on the planet of course they need scholarship money um we are looking for that kind of reaction um and you know some people are kind of like well i don’t really have a good story to tell i didn’t you know it didn’t have any hardships what not and that’s not true everybody has a story to tell and again we’ll talk about that more in the in the personal statement section and if you think you’re a bad writer talk to somebody at the writing center and get some get some tips on that um we’re not looking for the next uh stephen king novel here we just want a nice relatable story that that talks about you know what you plan to do on this world when you’re done at pcc um honors awards extracurricular activity service employment have traditionally received up to five points each so you’ll get high points in this area when you list two to three things don’t let that part stress you out and we’re looking at quality over quantity so the traditional first year student that lists every single club they were ever in in their life but writes nothing else about it is not going to be as well reviewed as somebody who maybe only did two or three things but they describe those activities in detail and they explain what the organization did and what their role was in it that kind of stuff um i need to take this out because the 90 units or more has no bearing in the rubric but we do look at it and we do talk about it but it’s not a point getter in any way shape or form um okay so can i switch these slides i think i should okay no worries after we do the reviewing and students um are selected to receive scholarships i will send out two types of emails i hate the way that these i hate the names i’ve given these emails but i really don’t know what else to call them um the first one is the finalist email and you’ll get this email if you are receiving a scholarship and you get all the details about the ceremony all the prerequisite things you have to do before the ceremony if you get the finalist email congrats you’re getting money haha you do not know which scholarship you’re getting or how much it is for we keep that a secret so we can get your butts up to the ceremony because donors are there and they want to hang out with you um ceremony attendance is mandatory unless like your sister’s getting married or and you have to go to philadelphia or something like that um and then the second kind of email i i don’t it’s not the decline email there’s just no other way of calling it anything i hate that name um so it’s important to note that just applying for a scholarship doesn’t guarantee that you’re getting one so this email basically just says thank you so much for applying and pursuing scholarships at pcc it was a highly competitive process you weren’t selected this go around but here’s five things that you can do to improve your statement for next time and i always do a round of like one-on-one help with people after this process and we do that during the winter intercession folks can make one-on-one appointments with me and i’ll look at your application and i’ll say like well these

are some things you might want to beef up moving forward in spite of the fact that i’m a reviewer i do i do review people’s statements in the immediate here and now so if you would like me to take a peek at your statement you can email that to me and my email will be in the latter part of these slides um and i also have i’ll tell you about that later um okay so yeah ceremony friday december 4th this is uh ideally we want everybody there unless like i said your sister’s getting married or you have to go to philadelphia or something like that and that’s where you find out what scholarship you are receiving um after watching the emmys on sunday night i’m feeling a lot better now about a virtual ceremony um because they had some really nice production elements that i think if we you know mimic some of that it’ll be it’ll be really fun um and then after you’re notified that you’re a recipient you’re going to go back into blackbaud award management and do that post acceptance that we talked about earlier so you’ll write your thank you letter throw in your photo do a testimonial provide feedback etc etc and we award the funding through the lancer point system so even though you’re not going to physically be at a ceremony you won’t get a check at the ceremony um you’re awarded like you get any other financial aid and that’s um through the lancer point system via this new bank mobile thing that i think we’re like this is the third year we’ve been doing it um if you owe money to the college the scholarship will offset that so let’s say you got a thousand dollar scholarship but you still owe pcc 200 bucks that balance is covered you get a reimbursement of 800. everybody’s happy that way pcc is happy because you paid your bill and you’re happy because you know you get that a little bit money back hopefully and you don’t have to worry about oh when am i going to pay for my classes because i’m not working or whatever um okay i’m going to talk about the financial aid thing anyway even though i’m not sure it’s applicable to this group so we’ll just kind of breeze through that but um the fafsa’s out there that free application for federal student aid um when you apply to pcc and you designate your major financial aid puts together what’s called an educational budget that’s your cost of attendance and the beautiful federal government will then determine from your fafsa what your estimated family contribution is it’s a crazy formula i don’t even pretend to understand because sometimes i think it’s bunch crap but your educational budget minus the efc is considered your unmet need and if you receive federal funding you can’t be over awarded um that’s a title four thing but the good news for you guys is you don’t do a fafsa most of you don’t get an efc so you can get as many freaking scholarships as as you can kevin has a question lee um actually not every student here is an international student i have some domestic there here as well alrighty then it’s good that we went over this briefly um so if you are a domestic student you get federal funding so you get work study you get a pell grant anything like that that unmet need is pretty crucial because again we can’t award you more financial later scholarships to um exceed that so if your unmet need boils down to five thousand dollars that’s the limit of scholarship funding that you can receive um otherwise you have to pay taxes and we get in trouble because there’s all these regulations and whatnot um the disbursement period it’s like three it’s three more steps than i would like for it to be but the more that this is explained to me the more that i get it so that whole like if you owe the college 200 a scholarship offsets that that believe it or not is one of the physical steps and it’s the difference between financial aid and fiscal services they have to talk to each other over this stuff um so financial aid will run a disbursement report first which goes to fiscal services fiscal services is due all they do all their magic oh your student account is clear and then they run what’s called a refund report and then if you’re getting any money back that money is wired to this bank mobile organization and uh what’s bank mobile so we’ve been um partnering with them for the delivering of refunds this is supposed to make things easier for the college i don’t know if it is or not but i can only assume that it is if you’re not registered with bank mobile you can go to this refundselection.com and they should send you a code in your email and if you don’t just go to student business services and they’ll they’ll hook you up um the two recommended ways of getting your scholarship money is to do it for via direct deposit if you don’t have a bank which it blows my mind how many students don’t have bank accounts in this day and age you can direct deposit to your personal bank account or you can open a checking account through bank mobile so this would be one of these options would be what i

would recommend you can select a paper check here’s the thing with paper checks they take 10 to 14 days longer for you to have cash in hand and i’m telling you what i don’t know what it is about checks they go stale and students forget that they have them and then they go to cash it six months later and they can’t cash it so we have to just rerun it and that’s a pain in the ankle so um so yeah please do do the ach or the vibe checking and and you’ll be a happier person and chris mcpeek will definitely be a happier person um financial aid disbursements typically run on thursdays the fiscal refund will be the following tuesday and the wire to bank mobile happens on a friday so it’s like about seven days seven to ten days for the full process to be to be completed if you are doing the direct deposit thing you’ll have that money either on friday or early the following week if you pick a check god be with you you will get that money within 10 to 14 more days okay references um this is one of chris mcpeak’s little pet peeve areas because it blows my mind annually that students do not pay attention to etiquette involved in asking for references and i’m here to tell you guys i’m 52 years old and i still ask for references you are going to ask for them for the rest of your life so you may as well learn how to do it right now so you can avoid making mistakes later and what i mean by asking do not ever assume that somebody is going to give you a reference just because you want them to um you want to let them know what’s going on hey i’m applying for scholarships here at pcc there’s a couple that require letters of references i it’s been raped studying with you for the past two years whatever so i would really would mean a lot to me if you’d write the letter that’s the kind of conversation we’re talking about um in our current scenario i think an email is fine i don’t know if professors are doing virtual office hours or if you can have a virtual check in with them after a course but asking in person is always the best way to go but i think right now if you write a really a very nice professional email that should be okay and then you want to explain the process to them some professors have got this down by now and they know exactly what to do and some are totally clueless so the way this works is when you are filling out a reference request in blackbaud award management it’s just going to say please list a name and email address and you’re going to pop that in and then haha when you hit finish and submit guess what happens system is triggered to send an email to that faculty staff member saying kevin liu has applied for a financial aid opportunity and was requested that you submit a letter reference so if you still hover in that save and keep editing crap no reference email is going to be triggered and then you’re totally sol so that’s explaining the process if they try to give you a paper letter which again right now probably not going to happen if they try to email you a paper letter you you have to say no talk to chris mcpeak because hey you have no way of uploading that yourself either it’s physically impossible for a student applicant to upload a letter recommendation i’m so happy to help i usually try to walk the faculty through the process of how to do this on their own but probably within the next two weeks i’ll probably be uploading a faculty letter on behalf of a student every single day um it just happens that’s the reality that is my life i have accepted it so there you go um it’s their responsibility to write that letter and get it in but it’s your responsibility to follow up and make sure that they understand what’s going down so um after they say yes i’d love to write this letter maybe in a week if you don’t see it check in say hey kevin you said that you would do this letter for me and i just want to make sure everything’s okay because the deadline’s coming etc be nice be professional be um a cool person about that uh and and we want to avoid the situation where the faculty member calls me and she’s my ass out because you waited till the last minute to request them as a reference and y’all i’m gonna tell you this happens every single year probably a dozen people i get yelled at a dozen times every single year by folks who don’t plan for folks don’t plan ahead so do me a favor make my life easy and plan ahead i would appreciate that so much um this is kind of what that reference piece is going to look like so again that’s the letter that’s written by the reference and uploaded by them you should not be given that paper letter but you can see here it’s not a really good screenshot but add a new reference and if you’re unsure about an email address um you can click right here and see the faculty directory so piece of cake this is not a hard thing to do okay so now we’re going to do some writing like i said bread and butter of your application this is where the rubber meets the road all of those terrible cliches that i’m going to tell you not to use in your statement um this is a three-phase process for me okay you’re going to prepare to write you’re going to write and then you’re

going to get your feedback so it says here i you know i i mix the stuff up every year because i need it to be otherwise i get so bored doing the presentation um it says here scholarship judges have to read through hundreds of scholarship applications that’s me that’s not so much our scholarship reviewers i try to keep them at 20 or 25 but still that’s 20 or 25 students it’s a blind process so we want your application to stand out so it makes an impact on them right away and this concept of show don’t just tell is really really important and i will give you an example so i mentioned my uh small town rural high school of walden arkansas population 2642 my graduating class was 93 people it was originally 130 people but that many people dropped out because they got pregnant or they got someone pregnant so there you go um my english teacher’s name was mr millard and i loved this man he was the most fascinating english teacher i’ve ever had in in any place in college the whole thing um we would do the shakespeare thing every year so he would introduce a play into the curriculum usually in the spring term we would read it in class and discuss it but we wouldn’t just read it he would read it with us and he would take on a character and like i mean he would really take on a character he would jump on the desk he would grovel on the floor he would change his voice he would wave his arms around he would run around the room he would do whatever he needed to do in character to make this interesting for us and i’m telling you as a 14 to 15 year old person who has no idea what iambic pentameter means like that made this so much more fun for me and and he did it all four years of my high school and that was one of the things that was the impetus to me going like shoot i’m gonna study english and education when i go to college because i want to be able to do for students what mr miller did for me so if you’ve got an experience like that to talk about write about that because that gives you a mental image of this you know hick english teacher who did all this uh shakespeare fun stuff for his students um and i’m like more than 30 years removed from high school and i still remember that experience so that made a huge impact on me um think about your audience when you’re writing and in this case the people that are reading your scholarship essays are pcc faculty and staff foundation board members and passing in community leadership there’s probably nobody under the age of 25 reading your scholarship applications so keep that in mind a lot of them are in their 60s and 70s and so some of the contemporary um pop culture related things they may not get so if you were thinking about quoting eminem probably you don’t want to go there so after you’ve done this reflection and you’ve thought about kind of what path you want to take um we’re going to sit down and we’re going to write the statement i would do this on a word doc and i’ll tell you why in a second um so provide that impressive introduction that visual that anecdote my mr millard story is a perfect example of this follow the prompts specifically for the essay and you were able to see a little bit about ours before you know write a 500 word statement that expresses your career goals and obstacles and hardships etc that’s what you’re going to write about the three c’s i think are pretty cool compelling i’ve made that argument already concrete we want you to be kind of specific and don’t go all over the place with the point you’re trying to make and concise you have 500 words to do this so make sure that you are making that point in a way that is going to make it quickly and get your closure thinking outside the box because you are a unique student you want to tell your story in a way that’s different from everybody else and you’ll feel that when you’re telling it when you’re writing it when you’re going through this process because if it doesn’t resonate with you it’s probably not going to resonate with us either so go for that experience stay positive and upbeat now i’m going to explain this and if i were in person it’d be a lot easier i don’t know if you guys can see me um you can see the screen so here’s this okay so here’s a student who’s here in their uh point in their career and they’re writing they said all this really crappy thing happened to me when i was in high school and it was really hard and um it took me a really long time to get over it and i’m it’s i’m still kind of sad about it etc so we’re talking like a straight trajectory here right that person has made no significant growth from that experience so the positive upbeat students gonna write about so this scary thing happened to me in high school and it was really kind of a bummer but i learned so much about it when i was dealing with it and i had great family and friends and support and this is the person that i am now because i have this experience so now you’ve got upward trajectory like the plane taking off and that’s the kind of statement i want you

to write forget this lateral crap we’re going to go upward and mobile and up and forward okey-doke okay feedback now you’ve written this in your word document and i want you to print it and i want you to go stand in front of the mirror and read it to yourself like you might be delivering a speech and i know that sounds all hokey and crazy but you will you will catch things in your statement by reading it out loud to yourself and hearing it in your ears then you will just sitting there staring at a screen looking at it again for the 20th time you might have written t-h-e-r-e where you should have written t-h-e-i-r trust me that stuff happens all the time so do that first catch those little boo-boos and then find somebody that you trust and you know cares about you and have them read it because they will either give you the thumbs up or say i don’t know who this person is that wrote this statement but maybe you should come back and figure that out um and again i’m i’m totally happy to read these for you and sometimes it’s even better that i read them because i have a completely unbiased thought of it all and i’m looking at it from the perspective of a reviewer so if you want to email me those totally happy to do it okay then these are the don’ts and i just have one really big pet peeve on this one the cliches and the fillers like leave that stuff out that’s just using extra words you don’t need some people do think it’s important to quote someone famous in a in a statement and that’s fine but we want to know what you think we don’t want to know what yogi berra or donald trump have to say we want to know what you have to say and then this one here number five and i say this with all love and respect um i promise you i promise on the lives of my husband and my dog everybody that is reading these personal statements and applications we know that college is expensive and we know that a lot of people don’t have the resources to pay for this stuff so writing a beautiful personal statement that ends with my family does not have the resources to fund me in college so i really really need this scholarship i mean that’s just like that lets all the air out of the balloon for me y’all so um so keep it positive keep it upbeat keep the focus on you and the beautiful things that you’re gonna do not the fact that you need a scholarship because i’m assuming that most students that are applying aren’t just doing this for ego boost like y’all need the money right so keep your eyes on the prize my friends okay so black bottle award management is not the only resource that you have there’s a number of other reputable online sites that can be pretty helpful i spent an afternoon like four hours one day playing around on scholarship monkey i had the most fun with this because you can do all kinds of searches and filters these are all reputable sites that have been mentioned before on other um like you know us news and world report that kind of stuff so if you want to go take a peek at these google can be your friend if you want to search for demographics that pertain to you scholarships for film majors in los angeles uh when i did this it yielded over 15 million hits so you might want to dig down for that and you want to avoid these scams if you find a site that is suggesting that you give them a 59 advance fee or a disbursement or redemption fee then just close that window and go to the next thing because from where i sit you should not have to pay any of your money to get scholarship information that’s a bunch of crap and don’t need people taking advantage of you okay i don’t know how many of you are familiar with ramit seti he wrote the book i will teach you to be rich he’s a hugely popular financial blogger um lifestyle blogger and he’s made quite the career out of online courses and online education um when i first was introduced to him i’m like this guy is not going to teach me anything about money because he’s a snotty millennial student and i’m a very raging gen xer but his book was pretty fascinating and in the book he tells a story about his pursuit of college so mom and dad basically said look remy if you want to go to school you have to get scholarships because we got nothing for you and he was like okay i’m digging in so he spent one to two hours every single day in the counseling office looking at scholarship information applying for things and he has written blogs about this like how to be the obvious college scholarship winner and it’s a very fascinating article but and i think my math is i think this is the wrong figure i don’t think he won a hundred thousand dollars worth of scholarships i think he won two hundred thousand dollars of scholarships but the homeboy went to stanford debt free y’all stanford stanford is a freaking expensive school and this guy paid nothing because he got all these scholarships so take a page out of ramit’s book and really

put your effort in this process because you can do anything if you put your mind to it as ramit did the snotty millennial who i’ve learned so much from um the scholarship committee would scold me for saying this but scholarships really are free money um you don’t ever pay this stuff back you can use it for whatever you need to use it for um fees books supplies bus passes whatever we had a top westerbeck scholar in 2014 who took her 5 000 and went and bought a car because that’s what she needed to make college easier for her she didn’t buy very fun car very nice car but she bought a working car that got her to and from school so this is this is your money you guys and you have earned it um and you know how i spoke earlier about this scholarship winner thing following you for a while you know how they continue to refer to presidents when they’re not president anymore or they refer to heavyweight champions when they’re not heavyweight champions anymore well guess what you’re a scholarship recipient once you’re a scholarship recipient forever so you should hang on to that and and share that because that means you’re a high achiever and that you really really care about your education and where you’re going with your life so october 9th is your drop dead date at 11 59 pm um everything locks down the following morning uh you will hear something from me on or around november 2nd it might be earlier it will not be later i promise you that and then the virtual event will be on friday december the 4th so we are at the cdc which unfortunately you can’t get to right now so um i will send this powerpoint to kevin he can make it available to you guys these are all live links so if you want to do a one-on-one appointment with me through um through zoom i can take these on calendly that’s filling up but i’m i’m making more slots available because i’m realizing how important the resources is for people um and then i’m at kmmc p e a key p ak geez with the mouse today at pasadena.edu if you would like to send me your statement i’m happy to read it if you want to ask additional questions i’m happy to answer them um i will try to open up more of these one-on-one appointments if you feel like you need that but kevin that is essentially all of my material so if you want to moderate questions or anything anybody wants to ask i know we’re straight up at 12 so you’re muted my dear oh hello okay cool there you are okay um cool yeah thank you so much chris can we give a round of applause for her everyone our virtual applause [Laughter] good stuff yeah thank you so much and i’m definitely going to look up uh ramit’s website um his stuff is fascinating he’s really really neat and he just moved to los angeles i got an email through his system that said he just moved to la and how like okay remy and i want to hang out with you um yeah um maddie maddie brown she asked um if we can use the scholarship money for rent and if there are any scholarships are specifically for housing not specifically for housing themselves but again like i said once your balance is clear with pcc you can use this for anything that you want um so if rent is what you need to cover with your scholarship money then there you go um and i will also tell you that um we have a sponsorship program that is available this year i normally don’t tell students about this um but i will tell you guys kevin you can share this with olivia if you want um if there are students in your area that are having some significant hardships like having a really hard time making rent or have food insecurities or like equipment needs that that can’t be met with any other financial uh aid then olivia can refer you to me and you can fill out the application for student sponsorship and we can provide additional money that way um so kevin i’ll write you back and i’ll send you the the details about that um just indicated me while maddie was asking about rent that’s a resource available to you i just don’t i don’t want to i’m advertising it only to like student services uh professionals because if i put it out there to students i’m going to get 5 000 applications and and then nobody will get anything because i won’t have time to review anything so um if so you know of students that have those issues going on then olivia can refer them um and we can provide additional funding and it’s not like an either or scholarship or sponsorship you can you can do both and that’s not just for international right the messi can use it to anybody yeah not just for international students so so yeah everyone you’re you can do this all of y’all can you can be sponsored if you have a need and you have a faculty member or staff member that will refer you because you have to be referred thank you all right any other questions for chris

and we’re doing another one of these next week next week okay so yeah thank you so much chris it is my pleasure i like doing these as you can tell i get rather animated about it and i love telling my stories so um and i need to fill up my yoga ball because it’s getting really um getting really squishy it’s not very comfortable right now um all right well y’all know where to find me i will close this out and send the slides to kevin straight away and i’ll send you the brochure about the sponsorship and then um kevin i’ll see you on tuesday and if y’all need me just let me know and uh i got your back okay and would you mind putting your email in the chat as well oh yeah for sure and everything absolutely yeah because all you all want to email me right now right tell me about this so everyone who’s here um this this uh this this will be provide um the recording we provided um but at the same time and so this is actually how i’m gonna be able to send it out to you so i have a survey for um i have a survey for all of you to fill out so just to see like how how it went for you but also to see how we can improve it as well um so yeah so can you please fill out the survey um it will include your email um and then i’ll send out the information to you afterwards magnificent uh yes brian i will send you i’ll send you the sponsorship information as soon as i get it from chris all right guys i’m gonna bug out and go eat some food bye enjoy your lunch thanks see you all later thanks so much welcome all right well thanks for coming everyone thanks for uh letting me know about this kevin this is great yeah but yeah i can’t wait i’m gonna i can’t wait to read that article from ramit because i’ve been really wanting to apply for scholarships but i just don’t know how to i mean i have like the same kind of system at usc um for the program i’m in but i just like i don’t have much experience applying for scholarships excited to get that money yeah that’s super cool what are you studying at usc again i’m getting a master’s in educational counseling nice that’s awesome and that’s a pretty expensive school too so that’s super awesome that you’re looking into those options yeah okay so i’m gonna i’m gonna head out right now but um yeah so thank you all for coming and remember uh you know you can always meet with me i have drop in hours i mean not not right now but then i’ll email you my availability and you all should be able to make appointments with me like very soon maybe like within a week or two after some set up and so it would be really nice to meet you all individually so yeah sounds good thanks so much kevin