ASUCD to hand out scholarships for students

Attention students: ASUCD wants to pay for your books and tuition; maybe some new clothes, too.

With the weak economy and tuition hikes on the horizon, students are struggling to make ends meet. In an effort to help students financially, ASUCD Vice President Bree Rombi, along with ASUCD Senator Andre Lee, uncovered a scholarship fund that has not been given out in years.

“If you go outside and ask someone what their issue is, it’s always about money. Tuition is going up,” Rombi said.

In order to encourage more people to apply, ASUCD engineered a holistic approach to the screening process, noted Annemarie Stone, chair of the ASUCD Academic Affairs Commission.

Applicants will be judged based on a variety of factors, including academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership potential and financial need. The online application is available at asucd.ucdavis.edu/scholarship and will be due today at 11:59 p.m. Four $500 awards and three $1,000 awards will be given out.

The scholarship will be disbursed to the recipient’s student account to cover any outstanding charges. But in the event that there are no charges, the money will be deposited into the student’s bank account, where ASUCD will have no control over how the funds are spent.

Although Rombi concedes there is no way for ASUCD to regulate how recipients spend their scholarship dollars, she is nevertheless hopeful that this will make a significant difference in someone’s life.

“$1,000 is a lot of money,” Rombi said.

One of the conditions for receiving the scholarship is that it must be reported to the UC Davis Financial Aid Office. Despite negotiations with the department, ASUCD was unable to reach any agreement to mitigate the scholarship’s potential impact on existing university financial aid.

According to Lee, in some cases, the scholarship may adversely affect a student’s aid from the university. Lee hopes that students who do not qualify for university aid, but who still need financial help, will apply. However, all eligible undergraduates are encouraged to apply.

“There’s not a lot ASUCD can do to address students’ concerns about tuition, but this is one tangible way we can help,” Lee said.

RICHARD CHANG can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.