Lane held its 15th annual How to Pay for College in One Day event Jan. 11 in the Center for Meeting and Learning.

The free event included two workshops aimed to educate students about scholarship opportunities. Participants learned how to navigate and compete scholarships as well as how to write effective essays and applications.

Specific information about Oregon Student Access Commission and Lane Foundation scholarships were also provided. Financial aid professionals also assisted participants in completing online FAFSA applications.

The event was sponsored by Northwest Community Credit Union.

“(The sponsorship) allowed for advertising so more people were exposed to it taking place,” Career employment advsior Jackie Bryson said. “We think over 400 people attended this year.”

The first workshop was meant to develop applicants’ skills in planning, organizing, writing and scholarship research.

“Put the time in now or work for 20 years to pay off your debt,” Bryson said. “It’s worth it to come and learn about scholarships. LCC students received the most for community colleges, and if you come to this event, your scholarship potential goes up because you are much more competitive.”

The workshops provide specific information on what school committees are looking for and general scholarship information that helps students with the research process.

“I hear stories every year where students say ‘I walked in never thinking I could get scholarships’ and left, went and applied for them, and got them,” said Lane instructor Beth Landy, who spoke at the event. “It takes hard work and persistence, but it pays off.”

Hanna Achepol, an employee in the Career and Enrollment Services Department, said she attended the event as a student in 2010.

“After that, I applied for 47 (scholarships) and got seven. Two of them were renewable. I went on to graduate from the Culinary Arts program in June and will be getting another associates this coming June. So I will have two associates degrees and six certificates, and I haven’t taken out a single student loan,” she said. “There is no reason to.”

Bryson said students should look for future announcements about paying for college on MyLane and Lane’s Facebook page.