COD offers $1,000 scholarship to students


Photo courtesy of College of the Desert. COD students continue to learn remotely in the Spring 2021 semester. Due to COVID-19, students might be eligible for a $1,000 one-time scholarship. New this semester at COD.

Scholarship applications are open for students attending College of the Desert. The Financial Aid Office has announced that grants are now available for continuing and transfer students attending the Spring 2021 semester. The application will remain open through April 1, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Students are urged to apply online as soon as possible.

A variety of scholarships are accessible to full-time and non-credit students, whether continuing their education at COD or transferring to a 4-year university. Students must apply for the FAFSA or Dream Act to be eligible.

The awards apply to various majors such as architecture, business, art, math, science and humanities. Also, there are scholarships for nursing students, veteran students, vocational students, international students, and scholarships that do not require a major or financial need.

Dean of Enrollment Services, Dr. Oscar Espinoza-Parra, is excited about this special $1,000 scholarship to all full-time credit and non-credit students. This scholarship is in addition to any financial aid students already receive. There are no minimum income requirements to qualify for this award and it may be used to cover the costs of registration, books, lab fees or to pay for a variety of student needs.

“College of the Desert is committed to support and advance the educational and career goals of our diverse community college learners,” said Espinoza-Parra. He added, “With the Spring 2021 Scholarship, we hope this one-time financial resource can encourage students to increase their unit load to full-time status and mitigate some of the outside external factors impacted by the pandemic. The institution has introduced late-term Spring 2021 courses to provide more opportunities for students to enroll this semester as a full-time student and be eligible for the Spring 2021 Scholarship.”

The institutional funds are from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) and will be distributed directly to students who meet the criteria established for eligibility by April 30, 2021. President Joe Biden is expected to add to college relief funds under his American Rescue Plan, providing more future grants for students in need.

Community college support is a priority for the Biden administration. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden understands the importance of community colleges’ contributions to our society and our communities. Biden spoke at a three-day virtual 2021 National Legislative Summit on Feb. 9 hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees and the American Association of Community Colleges.

“As we rebuild our economy, we need community colleges more than ever,” said Dr. Biden. “This is personal to the President and me. We understand the power of your schools. We know supporting your students and your institutions is urgent.”

College of the Desert plans to distribute $1.5 million to eligible students this semester. The deadline for this one-time scholarship is March 15, 2021. To be eligible for this award, the student must be a US citizen, permanent resident or California Dreamer. Credit students must be enrolled in 12 or more units and non-credit students must be enrolled in 2 or more non-credit classes. The scholarship funds will be automatically dispersed to students in April. For specific questions, please contact [email protected].

Qualifications for other scholarships vary from type of major, GPA, number of units completed, county of residence and transfer goal. Students are encouraged to apply online and scholarship applicants will be matched to scholarships based on awards to questions contained in the general scholarship application.

Scholarship funds can be a lifeline to students, enabling them to stay in college and achieve their degrees. Journalism student Alyssa Rimada says she is grateful for her award. “So far, I’ve used the money to help pay for books and other school expenses, but the rest is going to be saved up. I plan on transferring to a university within the next 2 years and I’m going to need all the help I can get financially.”

Students may start the 2021-2022 scholarship application process (Fall 2021 to Spring 2022) by going to College of the Desert or accessing the Scholarship Information Page under Student Services.

If you need assistance with your application, the Financial Aid Office offers scholarship workshops and a range of informative videos to help navigate the process. The workshops will be conducted via Zoom. The dates and times are listed online and you can register for a workshop at ​Scholarship Workshops. COD’s Scholarship Specialist Stacey Williams is also available to help with any unanswered questions and can be reached at  [email protected].

College of The Desert lists additional Outside Scholarship Opportunities​​​​​​​​​ on its website. Students are highly encouraged to check with the Financial Aid Office for more outside scholarship opportunities.