Aaron VanHeel is an information technology degree student at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud who is ready to graduate this spring. To date, he has received $19,950 in scholarships and tuition credits.You might say he knows a few tips on how to find “free money” for school.
1. Pay Attention. VanHeel first started thinking about college as a high school student. An Admissions Representative from Minnesota School of Business visited his high school on a career day and talked about scholarships. “I knew I was a good test taker,” he says. “And free money sounded good.” He applied and received admittance.
2. Maximize Opportunities. The first college course VanHeel took as a high school student was Introduction to Business because, he explains, “it was the only five-credit course and I wanted to maximize my scholarship.”
Similarly, he entered the Army National Guard at the age of 17 in order to make the most of his educational opportunities. He became an information technology specialist and re-entered college at 19 after basic and other training, taking advantage of MSB’s Active Duty Military Scholarship, transferring credit and testing out of three required classes. Always looking for more opportunities, he tried to find a scholarship that would qualify for MSB’s matching program but was unable to secure others.
3. Utilize Mentors and Guides. “[IT chairperson] Tom Polinceusz has been the driving force behind what I’ve done,” says VanHeel. “He is a great instructor. He helped me with scheduling courses and motivated me to get the A+ certification for my CompTIA, which is behind my professional certification scholarship.”
VanHeel also gives Admissions Representative Tambera Topp a nod. “She was very helpful when I needed her.”VanHeel is looking forward to graduation and obtaining a job in his field. His long term goal is to work in the information security field as a security auditor or ethical hacker. That will require more education and certifications. But we are confident that he will find his way to free money along the journey to make his education possible.