Scholarship Sharing holds second annual scholarship fair

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Scholarship Sharing, a nonprofit student-run organization dedicated to helping students find resources to help pay for college, will hold its second annual scholarship fair on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 12, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms.

The fair will connect current high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as their families, to college funding and internship opportunities with more than 60 foundations and organizations. More than 1,500 students attended last year’s inaugural fair.

Scholarship Sharing was created by Lorraine SantaLucia, current VCU graduate student and president of the organization, in the summer of 2012. It became an official VCU student organization in the fall of the same year. It received the “Outstanding New Student Organization of the Year” award in 2012 and has repeatedly won the “Outstanding Student Organization of the Year” and “Special Interest Organization of the Year” awards.

SantaLucia was dedicated to applying for scholarships throughout her undergraduate career and had a knack for navigating the application process. She received more than $33,000 and graduated debt-free from VCU with an undergraduate degree in mass communications.

She began the organization initially by accident. Friends began asking her for advice and help, so they too could apply for scholarships. She started a Facebook group to share ideas and help find resources, but unknowingly left the settings for the group public. Within two weeks, more than 300 people had joined.

“I didn’t realize how many people were looking for this kind of help,” SantaLucia said. “Most people don’t know where to start. I created Scholarship Sharing in order to educate students about what resources are out there, how to best apply for scholarships, how to network and be more engaged in finding scholarships and other funding resources. We meet with students one-on-one to help them find the resources they’re eligible for.”

Today, there are more than 400 members at VCU and more than 1,600 people on the Scholarship Sharing public email list that is open to anyone interested in learning more about scholarships.

Advance tickets are available for those interested in attending the fair to help avoid long lines. Scholarships totaling $500 will be randomly given to attendees with tickets. If a parent or family member wins, the scholarship will go toward their child’s education.

For tickets, more information or to join the email list, visit http://www.scholarshipsharing.org.

 

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Students browse information tables at the 2013 Scholarship Fair.
Students browse information tables at the 2013 Scholarship Fair.
Lorraine SantaLucia, Scholarship Sharing president, with VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.
Lorraine SantaLucia, Scholarship Sharing president, with VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.