November 1 kicks off a five-month period during which San Luis Obispo County high school seniors can apply for the recently announced Cuesta College Promise Scholarship. The Promise guarantees a fee-free Fall 2014 semester to all new high school completers, whether they come from public or private schools or are home-schooled. Students have until March 2, 2014, to apply by going onto and filling out the online application. The webpage also contains information on the steps a student must take in order to attain the Promise, along with detailed instructions, timelines and frequently asked questions.

The first of November also marks the start of Cuesta’s new electronic scholarship application system. The all-online process is being launched in order to encourage more students to apply for the many scholarships offered by the Cuesta College Foundation.

“Students will find that the process is very user-friendly,” said Nohemy Ornelas, Cuesta’s dean of student services. “In the past, students would complete a scholarship application online and then be required to submit additional information in-person or by mail. This new process is 100% electronic.”

Additionally, students will no longer need to submit letters of recommendation, which, according to Ornelas, were a roadblock for many looking to obtain scholarships.

Students who do not qualify for the Promise can still apply for the many existing scholarships that are offered through the Foundation. Last year, the Foundation awarded approximately 162 students with scholarships valued at more than $240,000. The deadline to apply for all scholarships is March 2, 2014.

Future information sessions will be held in order to assist students with the scholarship application process, and on November 4th, local high school students and their parents are invited to attend College Night where staff will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about the Promise. The event will take place from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on the SLO Campus in the Student Center (Bldg. 5400). Parking will be free in lot 2.

The Cuesta Promise is the result of a generous donation of more than $8 million to the Cuesta College Foundation from the Charles and Leeta Dovica Family Trust. The scholarship endowment will pay in perpetuity for the per unit cost of classes, health fees, Associated Students of Cuesta College fees, materials fees, Student Center fees, and the Student Rep fee. The Promise will save an average full-time student an estimated $626 for their first semester of college. In addition to breaking down financial barriers, the scholarship is designed to improve the college-going rate in SLO County and enhance the quality of the local workforce.

The Cuesta College Foundation was founded in 1973 for the specific and primary purposes of promoting the general welfare of Cuesta College. The Foundation assists and supports Cuesta College in the attainment of educational, scientific and cultural goals and in fulfilling the College’s mission of service to the community. The gift from the Charles and Leeta Dovica Family Trust is the largest in the Foundation’s forty-year history. As the lead entity for resource development for the College, the Foundation has provided millions of dollars for student scholarships, equipment, and programs and projects.

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / / Posted: 11/1/13