Sinclair draws first round of random scholarship winners: ‘I got a big surprise’

Alexus Gauselman was among the first group of Sinclair Community College students to receive 5,000 scholarships awarded through a random drawing. SUBMITTED

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Alexus Gauselman was among the first group of Sinclair Community College students to receive 5,000 scholarships awarded through a random drawing. SUBMITTED

Seeking to boost enrollment, Sinclair Community College awarded its first randomly-drawn set of scholarships to 10 lucky students this week.

Alexus Gauselman had no idea the college was giving away $200,000 to students until she received a call.

“I thought they were calling to tell me my tuition payment was due and I got a big surprise,” she said.

Each Monday through Aug. 23, the school is drawing names from students enrolled for the fall 2021 term. In all, 40 students will each receive $5,000 to put toward tuition, books or other billed expenses, according to the college.

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Like Gauselman, five of the recipients each week will be new students, while the other five will be continuing students.

Gausleman will be taking prerequisite classes this fall to prepare for entering Sinclair’s nursing program. She said the pandemic was a factor in enrolling.

“I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field,” she said. “But seeing all the nurses being heroes on the news made me more motivated to go ahead and get this done.”

Gauselman and her husband, Derrick, moved often due to his military deployments and transfers. Most recently living in California, they settled down about a year ago in Huber Heights with their three boys going on ages 2, 11 and 13, she said.

“All the expense for moving and trying to get established in the area kind of put us behind a little bit,” she said. “I just turned 30 and I didn’t want to wait on school anymore … It’s just a big weight lifted off my shoulders.”

Currently enrolled students are automatically entered into each week’s drawing. New students who register for fall 2021 courses the Sunday before the next weekly drawing are automatically entered, according to the college.

“Sinclair College is thrilled to offer this opportunity to build excitement around fall enrollment and, more importantly, provide vital support to our students who have worked so hard through the pandemic,” said Scott Markland, senior vice president for Student Development.

As long as a student is enrolled in at least one credit hour in fall 2021, they are eligible for the drawing. Scholarship recipients will receive the full amount of the award before any other sources of financial aid or scholarships are applied. Students in College Credit Plus, Advanced Job Training, and other non-tuition paying programs are not eligible for the scholarships.

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Internal scholarship dollars are being used for the program, according to the college.

“The scholarship drawings allow us to widen the reach of financial assistance to meet the needs of even more students,” Markland said. “Some students who are not eligible for the federal emergency relief funding now have a chance to receive assistance through the drawings.”

Sinclair has also distributed federal relief funding to students with the most financial need. Since March of 2020, the school has distributed more than $7.3 million in emergency relief funding to more than 8,000 students. To ensure students could continue learning in a virtual environment, the college also distributed more than 800 laptops to students and other equipment, according to Sinclair officials.

Later this week, Sinclair will announce an additional $16 million in emergency relief funding through the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Student Share Grant Funds. In addition, Sinclair is providing an additional $1 million in federal funding for the “Retake a Class on Us” program which will allow students to retake a class at no tuition cost in fall 2021 or spring 2022. Sinclair students who received a failing grade or withdrew between March 13, 2020 and May 9, 2021, are eligible for the program. Eligible students are being contacted directly by the college with information on how to apply for the funding.

Registration remains open for Sinclair’s 2021 fall term, which begins Aug. 23. For additional information about the random scholarships, contact the Sinclair Welcome Center at welcomecenter@sinclair.edu or 937-512-3000.

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