Computer scholarship searches discouraged

By Jami Peterson

Computerized scholarship searches do not work any better than NIU’s search service, an NIU official said.

For only a $60 fee, we’ll find you the scholarship you’ve been waiting for!

Send us money, we’ll find a way for you to pay for school!

Promises like these are advertised every day by the computerized companies. But NIU Private Scholarship Coordinator Dorothy Razniewski said students should save their money and stick with using the free scholarship information provided by the school.

“It’s (scholarship information) all here for free,” she said.

Razniewski said the Student Financial Aid Office will provide any interested student with the means to obtain all the current scholarship information available.

“We do not advocate or encourage any student to partake in this (computerized searches),” she said.

Every year a small amount of students inquire about computerized searches. Razniewski said it is the student’s choice to use these services, but there are no guarantees students will ever get their money back or receive a scholarship.

Freshman Boris Schneerson said he thought about using a computerized service, but decided not to because of the money involved.

“I decided to look through my high school, which is free,” Schneerson said.

“At first it sounds like a good idea, until you read how much it costs,” said sophomore Nicole Craun, adding the scholarships offered seem very “random” and “have nothing to do with anything scholastically.”

Sophomore Connie Benbenek said she would not use this sort of service. “I think they (computerized searches) are just out for your money,” she said.

Razniewski said the amount of scholarships are increasing every year and presently the average scholarship offered is $1,000.

Two scholarships available are the NIU Alumni Scholarship and the Endowment Scholarship. Interested students should contact the Financial Aid Office.