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Funding Your Education

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Narrator: We hear the expression: "Information Is Power." Here, you see that principle in action at South Seattle Community College. These students are gathered for a workshop on how to fund a college education. In particular, this group, is learning about scholarships: one of many funding options. [ Female teacher speaking to class ] Narrator: In this video, you will meet three students: All of them have discovered different and successful ways to pay for school. We begin with DanDan Wu. She's here today to listen. Instructor: So get out there and get those scholarships! Narrator: And DanDan is here to speak, as well, to share a remarkable story with her fellow students. DanDan Wu: I thought I was so unlucky 'cuz I wasn't born in a rich, wealthy family who can just give me the money - go to school - you can do whatever you want, you don't even have to have an education. But later on I realized if you really work toward your goal, you're gonna get it. Narrator: And "get it", she has! An immigrant from China, DanDan moved to the U.S. in 2004. She's an 'English As A Second Language' or 'ESL' student. Now, DanDan is a three-time scholarship recipient. She's been awarded as an Outstanding Student and she's a graduate of South Seattle Community College with an AA degree in business. Now DanDan continues her education in a four-year school. DanDan: Like I was working two jobs and studying full time and then I was not an 'A' student I was like a 3-point-4, 3-point-5. I was not a not a 4-point-0 student like people think. Narrator: DanDan has become quite skilled when it comes to applying for scholarships and she's passing along that experience. The money is out there, and it's up to each individual student to be proactive and find it. She has done a few things to ensure her success, and these are things that you can do too. First, don't assume you don't qualify for scholarships! There are many out there, and not just for those with the highest GPAs. DanDan also treated it like a job. When you are faced with the application process for scholarships, remember that the money you could receive will make the hard work worth it. And finally, tell your story! DanDan surely thought her story was humble and not unique, but considering what she, and what you, have overcome, it became clear to the scholarship committee that she was deserving of support in getting her education. We'll return to DanDan's story in a moment, and learn how she's inspired her own mother on the path to higher education. First though. You're in the campus coffee shop at South Seattle Community College. This busy young man is student Vincent Beardsley. His job here is a part of the Work Study Program. He eventually wants to own his own restaurant. Vincent is enrolled in the culinary program, and financial aid is a big part of Vincent's success. Vincent Beardsley: The actual paperwork itself is pretty easy and straightforward. It's just making sure you have everything in, because there's lots of little details they need. Narrator: Vincent got started with the Worker Retraining Program which paid for initial tuition and supplies for the first quarter. Vincent is also the recipient of Financial Aid which he learned about through a friend - who inspired him. Vincent: A few years back I had gotten a phone call from one of the guys at North Seattle. He had said that both him and his wife had gone back to school at the same time, and they had a child that they were raising. And they were able to support the both of them going through school with Financial Aid. That gave me a lot of hope. Narrator: Vincent's path to 'Financial Aid' wasn't easy. In fact, it was confusing at first. He didn't know that different colleges may have different financial aid deadlines, and he ended up going by another school's calendar. Vincent: And it turns out that the schools aren't on the same deadlines for Financial Aid. So when I came to drop off my paperwork here figuring that I was about a week or so early from the deadline, it turned out that I was about 10 days late. Narrator: It all worked out, though. And now, Vincent knows the importance of those deadlines. He credits his wife with helping him navigate the financial path back to school. Vincent: I was at kind of a low spot in my life before I got myself back into school, and her getting the paperwork filled out for me was a definite boost for my morale and everything. Sort of a kick in the right direction. Narrator: But, Vincent will tell you that even with Financial Aid, working, supporting a family, and attending school is no easy matter. He learned some valuable lessons, and you can learn from them too. Remember to know the Financial Aid office deadlines for your school and do the work early on to meet them. Also make sure that you turn in all the paperwork the Financial Aid office needs from you by the deadline, often this is more than just the FAFSA financial aid form. It may seem like a lot of work the first time around, but it is also incredibly worthwhile. Vincent: So we are literally scraping by, but I know that there's no way that I'd be able to be doing this without Financial Aid at this point. Narrator: 30-year old Mike Chareunsap is another Financial Aid success story. Mike came to the U.S. from Thailand, with his mother, when he was just 8 months old. Here, Mike is making some new friends in the Cultural Center at South Seattle Community College. [ Multiple voices talking at once ] Mike tried college once before. Mike Chareunsap: I went to North Seattle and I was taking an accounting class, nutrition class and an English class. And it was just the wrong time; it was just the wrong time in my life to decide to go back to college. I tried, but it just didn't work out. So I had to drop all my classes. Narrator: And there have been some other false starts for Mike as he worked to get back into school. But through it all, Mike has gained an important insight about successfully funding a college education. He says, "It's personal!" Mike Chareunsap: I think when you get to college it's really all about you. You can't really expect someone to kind of push you along and you just, 'Hey, you need to do this'. You need a lot of self-motivation. Narrator: So with self- motivation and perseverance, Mike has come to arrange a very comprehensive funding program. [ Mike, speaking to teacher ] Mike Chareunsap: The program that I'm in, Basic Foods, they're actually funding me for a whole year. And I know some other programs only fund for a quarter. I'm very fortunate. [ Teacher, speaking to Mike ] Narrator: Like Mike, you might also be eligible for other types of funding beyond scholarships and federal or state Financial Aid. Depending on your personal circumstances, there is funding for people making a career change, for people with financial need, and for those who have lost their jobs. There are often many other sources of funding, so ask about other funding sources at your college. Ultimately, Mike will go on to get a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. His goal? Well, one day, you may just see a restaurant with Mike's name on it. Mike Chareunsap: Oh, my passion for food. I love eating food and I love cooking. I love to cook for people. Makes me feel good. Narrator: And back for a moment to the story of DanDan Wu. She's the outstanding student and three time scholarship winner, studying currently at a four-year school. As we've seen, DanDan is a speaker at this workshop FULL of students who have questions about applying for scholarships. DanDan shares her tips AND the story of her own mother, who, inspired by DanDan, is now enrolled in college - pursuing a higher education. DanDan Wu: So she's gonna tell all of her classmates, who are my age or whatever, who want to go to college, and who doesn't know where to start, and she's gonna tell them 'you know like my daughter is in the same way as you are. She didn't have anything. She didn't speak English and we didn't have the money to send her to school, but right now she is at school and she's doing great. She's getting her Bachelor's degree and maybe she's gonna get her Master's. Who knows?' Narrator: And finally, DanDan has some words of inspiration for you. Maybe you will follow her lead as you plan to fund your education. DanDan: I realized one thing. I wanna be independent and I am. So I do everything I can do. I ask for help whenever I need to. I don't just expect people to help me. It's something you have to really work on. And then ask for help. Narrator: DanDan is wise beyond her years. She's already walked the path to successfully funding her education. And you can too. As we've learned today, it involves asking for help. Getting the information. Finding and filling out the correct forms, meeting the deadlines, and taking ownership of your personal strategy for funding your education.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 23 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Seattle Community Colleges Television
Director: Seattle Community Colleges Television
Views: 24
Posted by: scctv on Nov 2, 2012

Learn about the variety of ways to fund your education and hear how other students were successful at it. Making Achievement Possible (MAP) Video Series: MAP is a college success video series designed to help students, potential students, and their families learn to navigate the college system and gain the skills necessary for academic success. MAP consists of sixteen short videos, each with curricular materials for instructional use. All videos were funded by a Department of Education/AANAPISI grant to South Seattle Community College. More information is available at

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