Spreading the word for scholarships and advisement at UNM runs thin
Scholarships available to multicultural students are beneficial to them, but publicity and advertising of them may be less effective than expected.
According to multicultural centers like African American Student Services and El Centro de La Raza, there are several scholarships and internships available to multicultural students.
Other than through advertisement of these scholarships on the UNM website, many students feel like there’s a lack of communication between advisement centers and available scholarships for students, be they multicultural or not.
“I don’t really know about many scholarships for me,” said Anabell Burciaga, a Hispanic student. “I’m not sure where I’d look for them.”
For Hispanic student, Ericka Santillanes, advertising scholarships should be a necessity with the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship funds depleting. She also said she would access multicultural centers if they offered more scholarships for multicultural students.
“If they would advertise their services better by handing out flyers and having representatives promote their services, people would probably use them more,” Santillanes said. “The problem is that we (multicultural students) assume we don’t have options other than lottery. And that’s not the case.”
Santillanes is graduating this semester with a B.A. in Business. She said she applied for a Hispanic scholarship, which gave her approximately $1,000 her freshman year at UNM. Santillanes found the scholarship through standard advisement. She never applied for any other scholarships during her studies at UNM, but said she would do differently now.
“If I wasn’t graduating this semester, I would try to look for more scholarships to help replace the lottery scholarship to pay for school,” she said.
Having multicultural centers on campus that offer an alternative to advisement for students is important. The problem may be that many students don’t go in to use their services or sign up for their emails because they don’t even know the services are there, according to most of the students interviewed for this article.
Chadrick Smith, an African American student, hasn’t visited any of the multicultural centers located on campus. “I honestly don't know much about them,” Smith said. “I hear about some of the services they offer from my friends, and I heard some (information) from new student orientation, but it doesn't seem like they recruit or advertise their services as much as needed.”
Some students view standard advisement on campus as not helpful for finding scholarships other than the lottery.
“Regular advisement centers may not be helpful for (multicultural) students because their advice isn’t targeted towards focusing on their (students’) culture — they just focus on GPA,” Santillanes said.
According to an article on the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship by the New Mexico Daily Lobo on Jan. 24, “The New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee predicted last year that the fund could be depleted as soon as 2014.” For students within the time frame of being affected by the depletion of the lottery scholarship, consider looking online for options held on advisement websites at UNM.
Several current scholarships offered are the Student Professional Development Scholarship offering $300 and El Mezquite Scholarship, offering $500. Both are offered through El Centro’s Website. El Centro also has a tab for other scholarships on its website offered by other centers or departments.
By Ariane Folie / CJ 375 Reporter
Written April 12, 2012