WSCC Scholarship Application Deadline is March 15
MARIETTA— When 22-year-old David Hensler decided to return to Washington State Community College to advance his nursing education last spring, he did so with some trepidation. While he was confident in his career pathway, financially, he had to take a leap of faith.
After graduating in 2019 with his practical nursing certificate, Hensler worked in the field for three years, however, he quickly recognized that he needed to become a registered nurse so he could serve his patients in a greater capacity. “I wanted to do more for my patients and to do that, I need to go back [to school] and really hone my skills because I wanted to change the lives of my patients.”
He knew if he was going to be successful, he needed to leave the security of his full-time nursing job so he could dedicate 100 percent of his energy to becoming an RN. That choice, however, left him in a quandary about how he would live. “It was a financial situation,” Hensler explained. “I had worked for three years and saved for this, but you get really scared. Can I really afford to go back?”
WSCC’s Foundation Director Megan Hardway said Hensler’s story resonates with many students across campus. “When we conducted our last Trellis survey in the fall of 2021, we learned that 3 out of 5 Washington State students are worried if they will have enough money to complete their degrees. We never want finances to be a barrier for a student to earn an education,” Hardway emphasized.
To Hensler’s good fortune, he received the Donald Morris Charitable Trust Scholarship last spring. The award, one of the institution’s most valuable, covers tuition, standard fees, books, mandatory supplies, licensing and testing fees, as well as travel expenses with weekly gas cards.
“When I found out how monumental this scholarship was, I didn’t want to let the donors down. I was chosen for this and I want to really show that I’m taking it seriously,” said Hensler. Successfully holding up his end of the scholarship bargain, he is on track to graduate from the associate degree nursing program later this spring.
WSCC’s scholarships range from $250 to awards like Hensler received that pay all tuition, fee, and book expenses. In total, nearly $400,000 in scholarships will be awarded to Washington State students for the 2023-2024 academic year.
The college acknowledged that the demand for financial assistance is up from previous years and they are actively looking to create additional awards. “The need is great,” confirmed Hardway. “The number of applications already submitted has surpassed what we received last year and the deadline is still two weeks away.”
She added that the Foundation is continuing to seek donors interested in establishing scholarships that can be awarded this year. “Now is a great time for members of the community and local businesses to partner with the WSCC Foundation to create opportunities for the students who are working hard to improve their current situations. The value of a scholarship is so much more the dollar figure that’s presented to a student,” said Hardway.
“When we invest in our students, it also results in an increase to the economic growth for our community. I call that a win, win.”
Applications are being accepted through March 15 for scholarships offered by both the college and the WSCC Foundation. Eligibility is based on a variety of factors including financial need and academic merit, which means that in addition to submitting the scholarship application, a 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is also required to be on file with the college. FAFSA filing assistance is available through the WSCC financial aid department. They can be reached at 740.568.1908 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All scholarship criteria and applications are available at wscc.edu/scholarships.
The Washington State Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable corporation administered by a Board of Directors composed of community leaders and institutional representatives. Gifts made to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and are used exclusively to support the College’s mission, its programs, and its students. To learn more about how you can establish a scholarship at WSCC, please contact the Foundation at 740-885-5706 or at email@example.com.