Tag: Scholarships

Loans and Scholarships

Loans and Scholarships


I know that Halloween is a month away, and I don’t mean to scare anyone just yet about the topic of “loans.” When I first started hearing that word and understanding what it was, I got a negative impression out of it, especially when people emphasized that they still owe money after years and years. For my first two years of college, I had that mindset and I did not borrow any money. However, this year is my first year taking out loans and I can finally say that loans aren’t that bad (or even scary).

The unsubsidized loan is a wonderful thing because it is a loan that does not acquire interest as long as you stay in school. This means that you owe money that you know you need to pay off; there is no surprise in this loan. This loan also works in your favor because it is based off of your income taxes as well- it isn’t the same reward amount for everyone. This means that the rewarded amount should have some representation of your (or your family’s) earnings.

The subsidized loans are different in that in addition to the amount of money borrowed, there is interest included and factored in.

In my opinion, thus unsubsidized loan is worth taking out because it will allow you to be more responsible and pay off the money yourself, as opposed to using your parent’s money to pay off tuition and other fees. Also, you know in the future, you will have a job and save money, so there’s certainty that you will be able to pay the loan off eventually to its entirety.


In my experience, I haven’t be so successful in receiving scholarships through external sources because they are based off of specificity or given out randomly (like Scholarship Points). The chances/likelihood of getting a scholarship are not high. However, internal  scholarships within your [high] school or through Loyola are much more likely. These scholarships range from academic standing to whether or not you attended Catholic school.

Here’s a link to the LUC info on these scholarships:


All in all, I wouldn’t worry so much on taking out loans and I would encourage you to be on the lookout for scholarships you think you can do/apply for. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to apply for them! It can only work in your favor.

Decision Time

Decision Time

You’ve made it. You’re nearly finished with your senior year of high school and you can’t wait to take the next steps toward your future in college.

College…that’s the tough part isn’t it? By this point you’re probably dizzy from all the campuses you’ve toured and the pile of acceptance letters at you’ve accumulated. Now that you’ve seen the scholarship options from these schools you’ve probably nailed it down to a top two or three. And by this point you just want to make a decision so that you have a concrete answer to the dreaded “What are your plans for next year?” question.

When it comes down to it here’s a few questions to ask when making your college decision:

1. Does the school offer the major you’re interested in? (And a variety of others in case you change your mind?) Students change their majors much more often than you may think, so even if you can’t predict what you might change your major too, at least look for schools that offer a variety of programs that appeal to you.
2. Are you comfortable with the distance from home? Whether you want to go to school across the country or in your hometown, be sure to think about if you’re comfortable with the distance from home. Consider how often you’ll be able to make the trip home (and how worried your mom will be if you go too far away).
3. Were you offered any grants or scholarships that will make paying for school manageable? College is expensive, which means that schools that don’t offer you large enough scholarships will probably have to be thrown off the list. Don’t forget to look for outside scholarships that can certainly help you pay your way.
4. Do you like the campus? It’s layout, the way it looks, the residence and dining halls? Even if you like everything else, if you don’t like the way a campus looks or feels then you probably won’t end up loving the school. These are the buildings you’ll be taking classes, studying, eating and living in for the next four years—liking them is important.
5. What are the major pros and cons of coming to school here? Go ahead and write it out, when you’re able to see your likes and dislikes in front of you may be able to better understand what is most important to you.
6. Will you be happy calling this school home for the next four years? Loving everything about the college you choose may be impossible, but if this is a place where you can be happy, see yourself grow and ultimately become a better person, then without a doubt, that is the school for you.

Now I must admit that the college decision was much easier for me than it is for most people. In fact, I did exactly what all admissions counselors tell you not to do and only applied to one school. Thankfully, Loyola wanted me and offered me a generous scholarship. For me, LUC checked off all the boxes I needed: plenty of majors, a beautiful campus, academics that would challenge me, Chicago (enough said), opportunities to study abroad and ultimately a place where I could be transformed.

Scholarship Searches

Scholarship Searches


Affording a college education can be expensive, especially if you plan to dorm on-campus. Besides financial aid from the FAFSA, scholarships (external and internal) can substantially reduce expenses. But getting a scholarship isn’t easy. You have to earn it; you need to meet all the qualifications that the scholarship specifies for.

One advise I have for you- create an account through Fastweb. This site sends emails every week and suggests a list of scholarships that match certain characteristics and info that you provide in your profile. You do not have log-in and log-out from the site consistently; you get informed of scholarships all through email, which makes it so easy and efficient to use. From this site, I was able to get some scholarships and with that, I can testify that this site is worthy of trying out.

Internal scholarships (aid from the school) are usually found the school website. For Loyola, there are 2 kinds of internal scholarships- merit-based and non-merit based. Usually the merit-based scholarships are awarded when you first apply for school admittance. The non-merit scholarships vary greatly and they are not automatically awarded to you- you need to apply for these scholarships separately.

Here is a link to the LUC scholarships: h


I highly encourage you to keep in touch with tons of companies (big or small) and see if scholarships are available. Sometimes, having connections/networking can really help because they can personally put in a good recommendation for you to the scholarship committee.

If you have any other questions regarding scholarship searches, feel free to leave a message down below or contact the financial aid office at  773.508.7704


The Process of Studying Aboard

The Process of Studying Aboard

Studying aboard is something that didn’t cross my mind when thinking about my college experience. The person who opened my eyes to studying aboard at Loyola was my academic adviser. Being a nursing major, I have a strict outline of my four year plan and the only time I can study aboard is the fall semester of 2016, so I had to look into it. My academic adviser told me to start off by making an appointment with the study aboard office to get more information about the different places I can study aboard. There are many places you can study aboard from Australia to the Middle East to Europe and many more. The location was going to be a hard decision because I could go anywhere. First, I decided to see what universities would accept my Federal and state grants and Loyola scholarships. That narrowed it down to about 9 universities. After that, I decided to see what universities offer courses aboard that will count towards my graduation requirements. That really narrowed it down to two places: The John Felice Rome Center and Saint Louis University at Madrid. Deciding between the two was tough because they both offer great programs and different experiences, but Madrid stood out to me because I would be able to live with a host family. This will really help me experience life in Madrid and get to better know the culture.
Now I just needed to talk to my parents. I had to convince them why studying aboard would be a great opportunity so I brought many brochures from the study aboard office to show them. To my surprise, they were actually open to the idea because they didn’t want to stop me from doing something I was really excited about. The next step was applying to study aboard. First, I had to do an application for Loyola and then a second application for Saint Louis University. The application for Loyola was short and simple. It asked more details about where I was going and what semester I would be abroad. However, for Saint Louis University, their application required a bit more. I needed an essay, a resume, and two letters of recommendation to submit along with my application. I recently was able to secure all of those documents and now all I have to is wait to hear back! Hopefully it will be a yes! 
The News That Brought Hope

The News That Brought Hope

The joy of being part of the Loyola community.
The joy of being part of the Loyola community.

Who knew paying for college could be so expensive! One thing I knew I had to do in order to pay for college was apply to scholarships, but I wasn’t sure where to start my search. The first thing I did was talked with my counselor. She told me that Loyola was offering 5 students from our high school to apply for the “Senn High School Scholars” scholarship. Right in that moment I realized I can do this, I can pay for college. But the process wouldn’t be that easy! The application consisted of answering two essay questions, each within 500 words. After I was done with my first draft, I went to my favorite teacher, Ms. Damlich, to get some feedback. After I proofread my two short essays like a million of times, I knew it was time to hit the submit button. I was scared that the essays wouldn’t be good enough for Loyola, but Ms.Damlich said they were excellent so I just went for it and waited to see what would happen. I also kept applying to other scholarships in case the Senn one didn’t work out.

Out of all of the applications, Loyola only selected 10 to be interviewed and I was thrilled when I found out I was one of them. I was also terrified because I had NEVER EVER done an interview before. To prepare, I started searching for common interview questions and how to dress professionally. I also had Ms.Damlich do a mock interview with me to help me be prepared. I also did this with different staff members because I wanted to do great. One of my teachers even made me do a mock interview in front of the whole class!!! When I arrived to the interview I thought I was going to be interviewed by only one person but no, I was wrong. I walked into the room and panicked when I saw three people sitting down ready to take notes and interview me. I told myself just be yourself, you can do this. After the interview was done, I realized it wasn’t so bad, but now I had to wait again, and in the mean time I completed more scholarship applications.

A month later, I was at the library and received a call from an unknown number. I answered and heard the voice of one of Loyola’s admission counselors. I started to feel nervous, I knew this was when I would find out if I had gotten the Senn scholarship. Guess what?! I got it! I was so proud of myself and my family was so full of joy! My mom called my family from Mexico right away to give them the news. All the hard work I put in throughout high school and throughout my application had paid off!

Whether you’re applying for a Loyola scholarship or an outside one, the following tips I learned throughout my process can be helpful!

* When doing an interview, dress professionally. Also, practice with friends, family, staff, or whomever to get you prepared. Don’t forget, the most important thing is to be yourself and be truthful.

* Never doubt yourself! I believe everyone has an opportunity to receive a scholarship as long as they put forth effort.

* Find scholarships that meet your requirements. The earlier the better! It doesn’t matter if the scholarship is just worth $500 because that money can add up and make a big difference.

* Apply to more than one scholarship. It will not hurt to give it a try.

* Keep a timeline of when the scholarships are due, so you don’t miss any deadlines.

* Ask others (such as teachers, counselors or even the librarian) to look over your application and essays.

* Some useful websites to get you started on searching for scholarships are: o http://www.fastweb.com/ o https://colleges.niche.com/scholarships/ o http://www.luc.edu/finaid/scholarships/external/ o https://www.gmsp.org/

* Also, there is an app called “Scholly” that matches you to scholarships. It’s about $3, but give it a try! They also have essay examples that you can look at.

Facing Finals

Facing Finals


Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, you’re final exams are incredibly important to your collegiate futures. Colleges pay close attention to your freshman – junior year grades when making admission and scholarship decisions and colleges can revoke admission or scholarship awards from seniors who let their grades slip. All of this just stresses the importance of final exams no matter your year in high school, so below, I’m sharing a few tips on how to do your best on these tests:

  • Sleep: Make sure to get some sleep two nights prior to the exam. Not only does the night before matter, but so does the day before. You’ll want to make sure you’re rested and alert, so avoid pulling all-nighters.
  • Eat: Make sure to eat before your test as you don’t want to be distracted by your growling stomach or the number of minutes until lunch.
  • Maintain a Routine: Sitting in your normal seat and retaining your normal schedule before the exam can help you feel more at ease and might even help your memory.
  • Ask Questions: Ask as many questions as possible about the test so you know what to expect. Make sure to clarify any uncertainties with exam content with your teachers before the test. This means you’ll have to study and review early enough in advance to figure out what you don’t know; then spend the rest of the time learning those items.
  • Learn how to Study: Not everyone learns the same way, so figure out if study groups, re-reading the textbook, making note cards, writing outlines, etc. works best for you. It might even be more beneficial to study a couple different ways to make sure you’ll be ready to ace the test.
  • Avoid Senioritis: Even though there is so much to be distracted and excited about, you need to maintain your focus and motivation to do well on finals. As listed above, there can be some very serious and expensive consequences if you let your distraction get the best of you!


Fellowship – what is it?

Fellowship – what is it?

I am here to tell you a little bit more about what a fellowship is because frankly, I would have liked to read or find out what it entailed.  I first heard about a fellowship when I watched “The Imitation Game.”  Yes, the movie.  I know it just came out, but it wasn’t until this movie that the word “fellowship” really intrigued me.
According to the University of Berkley a fellowship is:

– are short-term opportunities lasting from a few months to several years
– focus on the professional development of the fellow
– are sponsored by a specific association or organization seeking to expand leadership in their field

Think of it as an internship, except you get paid and you get a stipend depending how long the program is.  You have the support of all the academic professors and it looks great in your resume.  The numbers of fellowships are increasing, so there is so much money out there which can be invested in your area of study! I share this with you because I think it is important for everyone to have a little knowledge on some great opportunities that are out there.  If there is one thing that I have learned is to not leave anything until the last minute.  Always be prepared.

As we approach Easter Break, I am really looking forward to get back on track with my planning.  I do not want to record a step  by step game plan because truthfully, they never go as planned.  What I want is to just have a general idea about my options. I am just grateful that I will be graduating, and I have so many choices as to what I can do after college.  This is the beauty about having an bachelor’s degree from such a great school!


Defining Different Types of College Visits: Which visit is right for you?

Defining Different Types of College Visits: Which visit is right for you?


Enjoy your Campus Visit

Winning the Scholarship or Honors Program Acceptance Letter

Winning the Scholarship or Honors Program Acceptance Letter


Congratulations, you’ve been admitted to Loyola University Chicago as a future Rambler! And now, some of you have been invited to apply to Loyola Interdisciplinary Honors Program or the Business Honors Program and some of you have been invited to apply for selective scholarships at Loyola! While being invited to compete for these prestigious organizations and awards is an accomplishment in itself, you can follow a few quick tips to put yourself in the best position to win the scholarship or acceptance letter; my advice:

When it comes to your essay

  • My number one tip: ANSWER THE QUESTION. Many students submit essays that dance around the topic, but your essay will be much more impressive if you acknowledge the question head-on. Be direct and be concise.
  • SUBMIT IT EARLY. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to start your essay. You want this to be a well thought-out and well-written essay. Not something you threw together at midnight between your math homework and science project. We read enough essays to tell which were written with care and which were written hap-haphazardly.
  • USE SPELL CHECK. It’s your friend. Use it. Then proofread it. Then read it again. Then have someone (a teacher, counselor, parent, etc.) read it. Then put it away for a few days and then break it out and read it again. You want this essay to be perfect.

When it comes to your resume

  • SEND IN A NEW ONE. If you submitted a version for college admission, that’s great, but you might be leaving out some new accomplishments. I would recommend adding new information like new awards, honors, participation in organizations, leadership, service, etc.
  • DON’T FORGET FRESHMAN YEAR. We should know everything you’ve been involved with in regard to extra-curriculars over the past 4 years; not just what you’ve been doing junior and senior year. Leave nothing out; this is your chance to awe us with your accomplishments. (This updated resume will also be helpful in the future if you are looking for jobs on-campus in the fall!)
  • MAKE IT PROFESSIONAL. The font should be clear, text in black, with a format/style that says organized. There are so many different template available to help you do this. A final tip, send you resume as a PDF so you don’t have to worry about it being distorted when opened on different types of computers and programs.

When it comes to your interview…

  • BREATHE. You’re here to talk about you. No one knows you better. This is a topic you’re a natural pro at so try to relax. Just come in, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to brag a little.
  • BE PROMPT. Walking in late will not impress anyone.
  • DRESS FOR SUCCESS. You don’t have to wear a suit necessarily, but you should be dressed appropriately (definitely no pajamas, disheveled clothing, or clothing you wouldn’t wear to school or to dinner with your grandma).
  • BE POLITE TO EVERYONE YOU ENCOUNTER. If an administrative assistant checks you in or escorts you to the office for the interview, be polite and friendly with them, you never know if they might share this input with the decision-makers.
  • PREPARE. Do your research about the school, their values, their mission, etc. Knowing what is important to the school will likely help you impress the interviewers.
  • LEARN SOMETHING. If you’re there on campus, this is another chance for you explore and determine or confirm “fit”. Also, keep in mind that whoever is interviewing you has some connection with the University whether they are staff, faculty, current students, or alumni, they are great resources whom you can ask questions.

Good Luck!


Scholarship Search Tips

Scholarship Search Tips


It’s never too soon to start searching for scholarships. Whether you already have your acceptance letter or if you’re still working on completing that application (which you should try to do as soon as possible!), there are plenty of ways for you to begin your scholarship search process.

How to get started with YOUR scholarship search (you should be searching, not your parents; this is your college application process, not their’s) –

1. Check your applicant status page regularly for scholarship opportunities we know you’re a good fit for.

2. Search for “Out-of-the-Box” Scholarships.

3. Look for outside scholarship opportunities.

4. Talk to your high school counselors about local or community scholarship options.

5. Have your parents inquire with their companies/employers to see if they offer any type of scholarships.

6. Search online (there are so many websites like FastWeb & Scholarships.com) and on Social Media.


Good Luck & Happy Holidays from the Undergraduate Admission Office!