The Student Government scholarship, poised to give away $293,000 this year, has a history of under advertisement and underutilization.
The scholarship was originally designed for students who do not utilize or receive an abundance of financial aid. The application process consists of a 400-word maximum essay, including a few eligibility questions. The application can be found on the Bobcat Online Scholarship System. Applications close March 6.
According to the administrator of the scholarship and Assistant Dean of Students Kathy Weiser, the Student Government scholarship was created in response to rising tuition rates in 2006. The effort for a Student Government scholarship was entirely student-driven, with the sole purpose of serving other students in need.
“The effort was all from Student Government,” Weiser said. “They were the ones to propose the idea to the university.”
Every year Student Government is given $225,000 for their scholarship, but as an effect of inactivity with the scholarship much of the 2019 award money was leftover. This leftover award money was added to the award funds for 2020, resulting in $293,000 of total award money for students to receive. The maximum award amount of $2,000 can be awarded to up to 146 students.
Student Government Director of Finance Brittlin Richardson is in charge of promoting the scholarship for 2020 and attributes the lack of interaction with the scholarship to the absence of student engagement and trust within Student Government.
“One of the huge problems with Student Government right now is the lack of student engagement. Not many students come to our meetings,” Richardson said. “I think that if there were more trust between students and Student Government, we would be able to reach a lot more students with this scholarship opportunity.”
Richardson also said that the advertisement and marketing efforts for the scholarship have fallen short in the past, resulting in scant student awareness of the scholarship.
Alexis Duran, consumer affairs junior, found the scholarship through the Texas State BOSS site and was initially attracted to the scholarship because of the broad range of majors it caters towards.
“Coming from a single-parent household, I needed tuition money,” Duran said. “I’m in a niche major, and there aren’t many scholarships on BOSS I’m eligible for.”
As a student, Duran did not know of anyone who applied for the scholarship and had not heard of the scholarship prior to applying and believes that more students should be aware of what Student Government does.
“Pay attention to Student Government, they do good work and are trying their best. Apply for as many scholarships as you can,” Duran said.
For more information, Student Government meets at 7 p.m. every Monday in the LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater or visit their website.