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Although I am sure I wrote a blog on scholarships before, I want to reiterate the importance of applying for them because it amazes me how many students won’t after their freshman year. They’ll receive the same or perhaps less financial aid while the cost of attendance rises. If you finance your own college education, I’m sure you are all too familiar with the ins and outs of financial aid. If you aren’t, then please take my advice and relieve your student debt. Even if your parents pay for college, be generous back and reduce each of their quarterly payments with these simple tricks.

First, I encourage everyone to fill out the general applications available on Scholarship Connect. My senior alone, I received an extra $6,500 from the finance and accounting scholarships. There are few questions where the answers must be 500 words or less, but each general application puts your name in for multiple internal scholarships, so your odds are better than you think.

Also, if you have already filed for financial aid, if you need to, consider filing a financial aid appeal form. The 2019-2020 forms were recently posted and you find them at this link​As my dad always says to me, “The worst they can say is no”. My father and I sent an appeal form as an incoming freshman and every year since. The results can truly vary. 


Catch Me on Admitted Student Day

DePaul Sign


If you are a prospective student who has been admitted into DePaul University, I strongly recommend attending the admitted student days to hear first-hand from current students on their experiences at DePaul. Yes, you can read DeBlogs and gain a good sense, but these events are a great opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.

 You can hear from a panel of students from 10:00AM to 10:30AM in the Lincoln Park Student Center on the following dates:

 Friday, February 22

Friday, March 15

Friday, April 12

 I will be speaking at the student panel on Friday, February 22. If you are thinking of going into the Strobel Accountancy Honors Program then you were probably also invited to attend a Strobel Honors Reception. The receptions take place from 1:30PM to 2:15PM in the Loop at the DePaul Center on the 11th floor in the DePaul Club room on the following dates:

 Friday, February 22

Friday, March 15

Friday, April 12

 You can see me at the March 15 and April 12 receptions and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have before finalizing your decision on what college to enroll in. You can register at go.depaul.edu/admittedevents​



First Impressions

LPCFor some reason, DePaul was always a top contender for the college I would eventually attend. I think it goes back to middle school when I was first exposed to the school at a UIC versus DePaul basketball game. Years later, I got a first-hand look at the campus when I signed up for a prospective student visit day. I took quite a few tours, but there is one particular moment I remember the most. This visit had to be in the spring because all I remember is strolling through DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus with the sun shining bright and the trees blossoming on Sheffield. I was taken aback by such an attractive environment, especially on a college campus in Chicago. 

Aside from the campus eye candy, I remember my first impressions of the Loop campus ’ DePaul Center. The contrast between the two campuses was stark. On one hand, there is subtlety and community, and then there is formal and professional. As an incoming accounting major, I saw the facilities of the business school as something that would truly prepare me for a career. I noticed the classroom sizes were smaller than a typical five hundred-student lecture hall, thus making DePaul’s curriculum more inviting and engaging. All these factors aligned together just right because it did not take much convincing for me to enroll a few months later. I hope others can experience the visit days as I have. If this is not possible due to snow or rain, there are surely many other attributes to DePaul that will entice.  


Why I Chose to Become a Blue Demon Vol. II

On the other hand, choosing to attend DePaul, or stay for that matter, solely based on the premise it is located in Chicago does not by any means constitute a valid reason to study here. Truth be told, I think it is the field experience - in terms of jobs and internships - that separates DePaul from most universities. I see firsthand the dedication of studying in honors programs, declaring multiple majors, working a job as a full-time student (whether it be on or off campus) and attaining internships before graduation; all to which typical DePaul students will have the luxury of accomplishing as opposed to those of a state school. I see old high school classmates in their state universities partying and tailgating, to which I must admit seems so fun, you know that stereotypical college experience. But, it is no wonder as to why parties are the dominant theme; they don’t have some of the world’s most renowned cultural institutions, corporate employers, and recreational parks in their backyard. There is a reason why Chicago is the first destination they flock to when summer break comes around.  


Why I Chose to Become a Blue Demon

DePaul
 
When it came to that time of deciding which college I would attend, it was not an easy choice. Besides DePaul, I had applied to Marquette, Saint Louis University, Northern Illinois University, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My final two contenders ended up being DePaul and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but there are many reasons as to why I chose DePaul above all else. 

First off, I wanted stay in-state and close to home so that I could visit family with ease. With DePaul being nestled in Chicago, I never have to drive. I just take the CTA to one of the few train stations that’ll lead me straight home. U of I does have a small train station, but I would’ve had to buy a car down there in order to get around the city. Whereas at DePaul, everything is in walking distance or accessible through train or bus. I also was considering my major in my decision. U of I has one the top accounting programs in the country, so needless to say I wanted to be a part of that. However, DePaul’s business school is nothing to overlook. Then, upon admission into the Strobel Accountancy Honors Program and the University Honors Program, in addition to the fact that DePaul’s class sizes are relatively small to huge lecture halls, I knew that I would receive more challenging and engaging coursework at DePaul.

One of the most prominent reasons I chose DePaul over U of I was with regards to financial aid. Down in Urbana-Champaign I was offered zero dollars. With DePaul, I received the Presidential Scholarship, accounting scholarship, a grant, and the exclusive EDGE award. Despite only covering a little over half of the total $52,000 cost of attending DePaul with on-campus housing, it was still cheaper than that state school.

These days I do wonder what could have been if I chose somewhere else rather than DePaul, but after only one year of attending, there is no way I could transfer out because DePaul’s roots in Chicago are just too appealing. 

A Secret to Scholarships

Scholarships
 
Being a private university, it comes as no surprise that DePaul has a higher tuition rate. Despite that, I chose DePaul because it was actually cheaper than my state school preferences after all the scholarships and grants they offered me. There are more scholarships out there other than what DePaul has to offer upfront when you’re an incoming freshman. In fact, there are scholarships that don’t even necessarily apply to your major and you can still be eligible. All scholarships, through DePaul and off campus funding can be found at DePaul’s Scholarship Connect. 

Once you are a DePaul student the first step would be to visit DePaul’s scholarship website​. Here you will sign in with your usual Campus Connect username and password, and will be directed to the main page. This will show you all your active or submitted scholarship applications. In order to view what applications are currently open, go to the “Opportunities” and choose between “Ours” for DePaul scholarships or “External” for such. Also, there is a “Recommended” tab that will show a list of scholarships that are though to be your most compatible according to your major. If there is any that applies to your major, I recommend filling out a general application, which is one application that makes you eligible for multiple scholarships.

Scholarships
And if you’re curious about who funds your scholarships, there is a “Donors” tab to read a short biography of your donor and the history of your scholarship. So, at least visit the Scholarship Connect site because any money that goes toward your tuition is always welcomed.