Rowan Foundation Scholarships: Which Ones To Apply To and Where To Find Them

The Rowan Prof Statue.

Today a member of our Rowan Blog team, Rachel Rumsby, shares advice about Rowan’s Foundation Scholarships. Rachel is a junior Communication Studies and Public Relations double major. Rachel is an on-campus resident from River Edge, NJ (Bergen County). 

Paying for school is a struggle for some. Applying to scholarships is a great way to help pay for school and maybe take fewer student loans!

Rowan University has a system called Scholarship Universe that matches matriculated students with Rowan Foundation scholarships and outside scholarships that they may be eligible for. 

Students studying on Bunce Green.

Continuing Student Scholarships

Continuing students are eligible to apply for Rowan Foundation Scholarships through Scholarship Universe as soon as their first semester as a student begins. If awarded, these scholarships are credited to your bill for the next academic year.

There is a timeframe to apply: scholarships typically open in September and close in late December/January.  

Student works on laptop outside Business Hall.

Before you apply to scholarships, through the portal, you must fill out the questions that gauge your eligibility for all the scholarships. You can find these questions after signing in and clicking the “questions” button on the left side panel. After you fill out the questions, you can click the “scholarships” button. This page will show you the scholarship matches that you are eligible for, partial matches, and scholarships you have previously applied to.

I recommend that everyone fill out the “General University Application.” This scholarship application is to apply for any general continuing student scholarships, as well as some departmental scholarships.

Everyone has a unique background, which may lead them to be eligible for different scholarships, so I cannot recommend scholarships everyone should apply to, except for the General University Application. However, I highly suggest that you answer the Scholarship Universe questions so it can match you to scholarships you are eligible for. 

Students walk with textbooks on campus.

Incoming Student Scholarships

Incoming students are eligible to apply for scholarships through Scholarship Universe after their first semester at Rowan. If students apply to the university by Jan. 31, they will automatically be considered for scholarships they might be eligible for; there is no separate scholarship application. For more information, check out this post by Assistant Director of Admissions Amanda Marcks and the Admissions Scholarships page

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, junior communication studies and public relations double major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

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Julia’s Corner: Taking Advantage of On-Campus Resources

a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.Recent grad Julia McAleavey shares guidance through this advice column for incoming students. A student with well-rounded experience, Julia earned a bachelor’s in advertising this spring. She transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, after another school wasn’t a great fit. While at Rowan she started as an exploratory studies major, unsure of what to major in. She’s lived both on campus and off campus, held student worker jobs and internships, and participated in clubs and sports.

New beginnings – you are starting at Rowan University. This is one of the biggest changes you will have in your life, either as a new freshman or a transfer student. You may think you are ready to be free and get away from home, and maybe you are. However, even if you are ready, you will probably still struggle with adjusting to your new life at Rowan. No matter what that struggle may be, Rowan wants you to succeed and be happy. That being said, there are several resources on campus to help with whatever you may be struggling.

Tutors: You may have been in the top ranks of your class in high school, but college is a whole different ball game. School might become more challenging for you. There is nothing wrong with that. Rowan offers free tutoring services to help you get out of that slump and be the best you can be. To sign up for a tutor, you can go to the Rowan website under Student Success Programs. You will matched with a tutor to help you in whatever class you need. 

freshmen on Bunce greenFinancial Aid: You may be paying for college on your own. Even if you aren’t you still may need some help. Have no fear, financial aid is here! They want to help make paying for college as stress-free as possible. Visit them in Savitz Hall so they can help set up a payment plan for you. 

The SHOP: Located in the Rowan Boulevard apartments near the Rowan Boulevard end of campus, The SHOP is a small food pantry that people make donations to. The donations consist of food and other necessities for students in need to take. It helps students with financial struggles to get things they need without them having to worry about paying for it. You just have to show your student ID to get inside. 

The Wellness Center: Whether you are physically ill or are having some mental health struggles, the Wellness Center is here to help you. I have gone for both of these, and they were super helpful. It is a great resource and being seen by someone is free, so I highly recommend it. Plus, everything you tell your counselor is confidential, so you won’t have to worry about being exposed. There are plenty of nurses and mental health counselors available that want to help you get better. You can make an appointment online or call them. 

Friends sit and chat in the cold, bundled up with jackets holding coffee. All in all, there are tons of resources on campus to help students live a healthy life. Take advantage of them. You’ll be glad you did in the long run. Just remember that there is nothing to be embarrassed about! It may be hard to take the step to get help, but you should be proud. Most likely, you are not the only one who needs it, and you will be a role model for those who are nervous about it. Everyone at Rowan wants you to be happy, and getting help from these resources will help with that. 

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Story by:
Julia McAleavey, advertising graduate

5 Financial Tips to Help You Graduate Debt Free

Scattered dollar bills.

This spring, I will graduate with no college loan debt, but I was kind of dealt the financial aid jackpot when I applied for college. I live with a single mom who had two other kids in college. Due to my situation, I was eligible for multiple grants and scholarships at any college I picked.

Public relations major Maria Mancini at her Glassboro home
Public relations major Maria Mancini will graduate this spring debt free.

Although I got a lot of help through financial aid, here are some tips for high school and college students for saving money and graduating debt free. 

  • Take advantage of high school classes that can earn you college credits.

In high school I was able to take advanced placement (AP) courses such as AP calculus AB and BC. At the end of the marking period, I then took AP tests to earn college credit for those classes. Taking advantage of these classes allowed me to graduate with a whole semester worth of college credits.

There was also a course called High School Option. This meant you had a period or two free, but you attended a college course at your local community college. Both of these options allow high school students to receive college credits at low costs. Now, there are even more opportunities for high school students to receive college credits. My cousin attended GCIT, where she graduated with almost a full year of college finished. 

  • Apply for grants and scholarships and don’t miss the deadlines.

Another way to lessen your student debt is to apply to all grants and scholarships that are available to you. Local businesses and organizations in my town gave out scholarships to high school students. I was able to take advantage of these and although it may not have been tens of thousands of dollars, I was able to use that scholarship money and pay for books for two years of college.

Each state also gives out grants and financial aid, but there are deadlines for both of these. It is very important that you do not miss these deadlines. Missing these deadlines can result in you not getting the full financial aid you are eligible for. 

  • Consider going to your community college for 2 years. 

While you may not get the full college experience, going to community college allows you to finish your first 2 years of college at a third of the cost, possibly even less. Going to a community college cuts down the cost because you only pay for the classes that you are taking. You don’t have to pay for room and board, a meal plan or all the additional expenses that a 4-year college charges you. Attending a community college also allows you to work part time or possibly full time. This can help you pay out of pocket for your classes you are taking or it will give you an income to help save money for when you transfer to a 4-year college. Either way, attending a community college will help you cut expenses and college costs in the long run.  

  • Create a budget and stick to it!

The first step to creating a budget is calculating all of your monthly expenses. This means going through your bank statements and receipts and figuring out how much you spend and what you spend it on each month. Next, calculate your monthly income. Once this is all determined, you can figure out how much money you are left with each month. In order to save or pay off debt, you must create a budget. It can be to save $100 every week or $200 a month. Whatever you determine your budget will be, it is important to stick to it!

  • Apply for a work-study or to be an RA.

Another option for college students is applying for a work-study on campus or applying to become a resident assistant (RA). Work studies are a great way to gain experience with on-campus jobs and can also connect you with a lot of resourceful connections for after you graduate. R.A’s get free housing, but also a lot of responsibility that may leave you not gaining the full college experience, if that is what you are looking for. Both of these options allow college students to lessen the cost of college or allow you to make money while attending college. 

Using these 5 tips can help you towards graduating with little to no debt. 

Public relations senior Maria Mancini at her home

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Story by:
Maria Mancini, senior public relations major

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Student Worker for Financial Aid Department Provides Tips for Filing the FAFSA

Courtney Colletti, a senior communication studies major from Pennsville, NJ (Salem County), is a student worker for the Financial Aid department. Today she shares with us a glimpse into her job, and the importance of filing your Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming school year.

What are your responsibilities as a student worker for the Financial Aid department? 

My official title is Creative Assistant, and I manage the Financial Aid social media accounts and help out with marketing efforts within the department. I get to create content for Twitter and Instagram, brainstorm contest ideas for social media and help my bosses organize financial aid events. 

I really wanted to expand from just social management into more marketing experience. This job presents opportunities for me to run events and host classes about financial aid and plan PR campaigns for getting students to file their FAFSA. I am also part of the initiative for the FAFSA Finisher contest, which encourages students to fill out their FAFSA for a chance to win Rowan gear and technology prizes.

Courtney leans against a tree and smiles.How did you get the job as a student?

I actually came across this job on ProfsJobs. I love ProfsJobs! All of my past positions have been found on there. When I interviewed for this job, the atmosphere was so great, and I realized the importance of making sure I am happy in what I do and having a good environment. It’s such a collaborative team effort, and we still have fun and get creative. The whole office is focused on helping students and making sure they get the money they need. Financial Aid may have a reputation for being “boring,” but my bosses are so funny, outgoing and happy. 

From your experience at work, how does the FAFSA help students? Why is it important to complete?

Students have to fill out the FAFSA if they want any kind of financial assistance from the government. When it comes to grants and scholarships through the government, the information you provide in your FAFSA determines how much aid you qualify for. It also sets you up so the federal government can determine how much in subsidized and unsubsidized loans you’re able to receive.

We try to encourage students to file the FAFSA as early as they can, because you can lose potential aid money by not filing as early as possible. The more aid you are able to receive from the government, the less money you have to borrow from private lenders, which could come with higher interest rates. We want to prevent students from losing money that they are entitled to. 

Because of COVID-19, the deadlines for filing have changed. Instead of April 15, returning students have to file by June 1 the very latest. Brand new students have until Sept. 15 to file for the Fall 2020 semester.

Any suggestions for students who are looking to fill out the FAFSA?

Ask your parents to sit down with you to do this, or find someone you trust who is good with money to advise you. Make sure you have all the information you need ahead of time so you’re not scrambling for it last minute. And if you have to fill it out on your own or need help, the Financial Aid department is here for you. You can email us to set up a phone or Zoom call where our staff can walk you through the process. It’s not as scary or intimidating as students think it is. You’re just plugging in a few numbers, and they keep it pretty simple.

The Office of Financial Aid wants you to know that they are still here for you as a resource. Follow @rowanfinaid on Instagram and Twitter to participate in contests and win prizes just for filling out your FAFSA!

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Story by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

Learn How This Transfer Student Graduated Debt Free

The top of Bunce Hall on a sunny day.

Rowan alumna and transfer student Natalia P. graduated debt free.Meet Natalia Panfilova, a 2017 graduate from the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts. Natalia earned her bachelor’s in Public Relations without paying a single dollar for her degree.

According to Marketplace, roughly 70% of American students end up taking out loans to go to college. It was estimated that the average student leaves school with around $30,000 in debt. Not Natalia, though, and today she will share with us how this transfer student managed to graduate debt free.

Community College

Before coming to Rowan, Natalia went to Camden County College. She chose to attend community college because she knew she would save up more money that way. According to Saving for College, “Students can save as much as $30,000 or more by attending a community college instead of a private four-year college.” During community college, Natalia worked in full-time jobs that were taking care of her tuition payments. Also, during community college, one of Natalia’s friends told her to work with her at one of the Wyndham hotel chains in Atlantic City because the hotel chain would cover a part of her tuition. This opportunity was one of the reasons she managed to graduate debt free.

Tuition Reimbursement Jobs

Wyndham is one of many organizations that offer tuition reimbursements. Tuition reimbursement is when a company agrees to help pay for an employee to further his or her education. “All you have to do is prove that you can somehow apply your career skills to your job,” Natalia says. Natalia also received financial aid, but whatever was not covered by her job took care of it. “They would cover up my books and they would cover up to $4,000 per year. So, I actually didn’t pay anything out of pocket. I got to keep my salary, because I was a commuter,” Natalia says.

Natalia in front of the ccca sign.Commuter

When Natalia was at Rowan, she chose not to stay on campus and decided to commute from Brigantine, NJ (Atlantic County). She commuted an hour each day, but because she commuted and was able to schedule her classes in two days, she was able to work full time at the hotel.

She recommends students learn about finances: “Educate yourself in all things financial, the more you know the better. Just in life in general, if you know how debt works, how banks work, your life is going to be so much easier.”  

What is Natalia Doing Now?

Rowan alum Natalia visiting a friend in Minsk, Belarus.
Natalia visiting a friend in Minsk, Belarus

Natalia recently moved to New York City for her new position as a program marketing manager for WebMD. By being savvy with her spending, she was able to graduate debt free and become a homeowner. Graduating debt free allowed Natalia to travel worry-free and so far, she has visited 13 countries.

Like what you see? Learn more about becoming a Rowan transfer student!


Story by:
Iridian Gonzalez, senior journalism major

Photos courtesy of:
Natalia Panfilova

Meet our FAFSA Financial Aid Winner

Zoilemmy standing outside wearing the new Apple Watch that she won through the FAFSA contest
Zoilemmy standing outside showing off her new Apple Watch

Meet Zoilemmy Castellanos, a junior biological sciences major from Pennsauken, NJ. She’s the grand prize Apple Watch winner through the FAFSA financial aid contest! 

“It is a struggle sometimes, but being able to be an EOF/ASCEND student and fill out my FAFSA knowing I have the opportunity to study and make my dreams come true is a blessing in itself. I thank Rowan, my high school counselor, and God that I am able to go to school.”

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Photography by:
Jelani James senior journalism major

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Brandi from Financial Aid holds a multi colored beach ball while in front of Science Hall at Rowan University

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Rowan student stands next to the prof holding hot sauce

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