Financial Aid Tips and Advising

by Jessica Young  |   

Cherise Beatus is the financial aid coordinator for Prince William Sound College. Her mission is to help students go into as little debt as possible while financing their education. Here is some advice that she shared, “I think everyone can earn a free ride to college or university, but they see things short-term. Loans can take less than an hour to apply for and do not require essays and letters of recommendation. By devoting 3-5 hours to writing a great scholarship essay, means you can cut your student bill by thousands of dollars. Especially if students apply to more local or regional scholarships. Alaskan students also have the opportunity to receive the Alaska Performance Scholarship, the UA Scholars, or the Alaska Education Grant.”

She is available to help anyone in our community who is struggling to navigate financing college (even if they don’t plan on attending PWSC)! Cherise shared, “Since we are a small campus, I am able to sit down individually with students to work on FAFSAs, or to apply for other forms of outside financial aid. Most recently, I've been working with a student who is looking at a career and technical school that is not PWSC, and we've been working on scholarships for the last few weeks. It's a great feeling knowing I'm helping a student with financial aid, and that I'm able to fill that knowledge gap....”

Want to graduate college with minimal debt? Apply for scholarships! Here’s a tip for high-school students on the easiest way to find and apply for scholarships: “The best option for graduating high-school seniors is to connect with their local high-school counselor about local scholarship opportunities. Local scholarships are great because 1 - you know it's a legit scholarship and not a scam, 2 - you have a higher chance of receiving a scholarship compared to state or national scholarships, and 3 - the high school counselor did all the work and found the scholarships. For students who are returning to school, please reach out to me or to the financial aid department at your college or university for help.”


Book a financial aid advising appointment with Cherise: