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Cougars & Mustangs 

There is an unfair amount of unspoken stigma attached to community college, particularly in a town boasting as notable an institution as Cal Poly. It is easy to be convinced that you just didn’t try hard enough in high school, or just aren’t smart enough for a four-year institution. 

It is the hope of this column that regular readers will be well aware of the contrary: Cuesta College is an incredible place to be a student. For a much, much lower price than a supposed “higher” institution, access is granted to a bevy of notably quality classes and programs, and without as immediate a pressure to discover which educational pathway is needed. 

The No. 1 major at Cuesta College? “Undeclared!” And it’s a very respectable place to get certifications of various kinds: Cuesta’s EMT program, for example, is pretty well known. And people from all over with the goal of eventually joining the ranks of Cal Poly alumni have been known to begin their journeys at Cuesta, as it boasts more successful transfers there than any other school—and, to be frank, Cal Poly is pretty high-profile. Not making it on the first application attempt is nothing to be ashamed of.

But even with the wonderful secret that beginning at a community college can be way cheaper than just immediately heading to that higher learning center, school attendance can still be rather unnerving in its price. Now, then, is a particularly convenient time to remind my fellow Cuesta Cougars that, in fact, yes, there are scholarships available—hundreds, in fact—and no, you are not too late to apply for them! 

The deadline for most scholarships at Cuesta College occurs on March 2, and the deadline for the Cuesta Promise, a scholarship available to all local high school graduates to make their first year at Cuesta fully paid for—you read that correctly, fully paid for—is available to apply for until Aug. 1. Both the intense myriad of generous scholarships and the glory that is Cuesta Promise can be applied for online at https://cuesta.academicworks.com/users/sign_in. 

Last year, 434 general scholarships were awarded: 434! So if there’s worry about the price of college for you, don’t fret. There is hope for a scholarship to help you survive. Several helpful links relating to various information on Cuesta scholarships can be found on the main Cuesta website, under an article titled “2016-17 Scholarship Applications Open.”

Contributor Lola White-Sanborn feels a lot of Cuesta Cougar pride. Pride! ’Cause mountain lions! Oh, never mind, just send her your collegiate news via cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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