Illinois Member Reels in Scholarships with Help of CollegeFish.org

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As a member of the Nu Lambda Chapter at Harry S. Truman College in Chicago, Illinois, Melissa Brand admits that while she knew she wanted to transfer, she was lost at first. But, thanks to her use of CollegeFish.org, Phi Theta Kappa's online college completion and transfer planning program, she has arrived – as a junior at Northeastern Illinois University on one of the more than 750 transfer scholarships the Society offers nationwide.

Melissa Brand

Melissa Brand, member of Nu Lambda Chapter at Harry S. Truman College in Chicago, Illinois

As a journalism and social science major at Truman, Brand said she talked with advisors a couple of times and attended transfer fairs, but her search really didn't pay off until she logged in at CollegeFish.org, one of the first things she saw on the Phi Theta Kappa website.

"CollegeFish.org showed me all of the universities that were near me and matched my criteria," Brand said. "The site also showed all of the scholarships available to me as a Phi Theta Kappa member."

With information now in hand, Brand cast a wide net in her transfer search, with outstanding results. "I applied to four universities: Northeastern Illinois, DePaul, Roosevelt and Loyola. I was admitted to all of them and they all offered Phi Theta Kappa scholarships as well as other very generous scholarships for being an honor student," she said. "I decided on Northeastern Illinois because the scholarship they offer is for 60 credits of tuition paid. I'm only responsible for extra fees and my books. It is an amazing scholarship and only awarded to one student every year. I am so honored to have received it!"

Brand said she believes all Phi Theta Kappa members should take advantage of CollegeFish.org. "The calendar was great!" she added," It sent me reminders on everything!"

Now a communications, media and theatre major at Northeastern, Brand said she is happy with her transfer choice. "I'm really surprised that the size of classes aren't as big as I thought, and all of the professors I've had so far have been great," she said. "I miss my community college friends and professors, but I'm glad I've moved on and hope to graduate with my B.A. next year in May 2014."

Brand was asked if she could give one piece of advice to a community college student about transferring, what would it be? "START EARLY! Get your CollegeFish.org profile updated right away and follow the calendar," she said. "If you're looking for other scholarships or financial aid be sure to watch your deadlines on those too.

"A lot of people think they just get the Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships automatically. Some scholarships have applications, some have extensive essay requirements, some need letters of recommendations and then there are ones that are given automatically with just some basic information," she added. "I am so grateful for Phi Theta Kappa and CollegeFish.org. The transfer process was made easier and it was painless! The scholarship I received is one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me."