Yesenia's Theory: Scholarships as a Part-time Job

I met Yesenia Rodriguez at a Dare to Dream Academy held at Washington State University in June of 2013. Yesenia served as a college mentor for high school students attending the week-long academy. During a morning session where mentors were interviewed by high school students, Yesenia answered a question about scholarships. She explained that she approached scholarship applications like a part-time job. That was the best idea I heard in all of 2013.

Yesenia Rodriguez at the WSU Dare to Dream Academy, June 2013

Yesenia Rodriguez at the WSU Dare to Dream Academy, June 2013

Yesenia and I met again at the WSU CASHE Conference in November 2013. I was eager to learn more about her approach to scholarships as a part-time job. So we did the math. Yesenia spent 2-3 hours per week-day and 5-6 hours on the weekends for a total of 20-25 hours per week on scholarships. That time was spent researching the qualifications, organizing paperwork and writing essays or answers to questions. Yesenia started this process in November and continued through March. That's five months of work for a total of 500 hours. She was awarded 12 of the 60 scholarships for which she applied, and received just over $10,000. $10,000 divided by 500 hours equals $20 per hour. Not bad for a part-time job.

  • 2-3 Hours per school night (research, organizing, writing)
  • 5-6 Hours per Saturday and Sunday
  • 20-25 Hours per week
  • 500 Hours over 5 months for 60 scholarship applications
  • $10,000 in scholarship funds
  • Total payoff of $20 per hour, which is equivalent to $41,600 per year. 

Our estimates on the total hours was a little high. We didn't want to inflate the final hourly wage. In truth, Yesenia's final hourly wage was a higher amount. How much money can you make per hour? If you would like to offer your numbers please keep track and let us know your final results.

-by Vincent Perez

A Few Scholarship Resources

Scholarship Sites & Searches

  • College Bound Scholarship, 
  • League of United Latin American Citizens, 
  • Gates Millennium Scholarship 
  • Homeless Student, 

For DREAMers, Accepting DACA or do not require proof of citizenship

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund,
  • Frank Terrazas,
  • Univision,

Migrant Student Specific Scholarships

  • BOCES GENESEO Migrant Center, 
  • Hispanic Assoc. of Colleges and Universities, 
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Ed Fund, 
  • Washington Apple Ed. Foundation, 

Service Learning: College Stipend Possibilities 

  • AmeriCorps, 
  • City Year,
  • Washington State Service Corps,
  • Corp. for National Community Service,