All over North Texas, scholarship deadlines are fast approaching for college bound students. Some organizations in Mesquite are concerned money could go wasted due to the decrease in applicants they've seen.
Eastfield student Karen Macias thought college was out of reach, until she got a Rising Star Scholarship to pay for it.
"The scholarship encouraged me to come to school because it was money that was given to me," said Macias. "If its money that's just sitting there and I can apply for it and get it and qualify, then I might as well use it than pay out of pocket."
However, the Hispanic Forum of Mesquite is concerned students like Macias are following the money. Last year, the number of students applying for scholarships decreased by nearly half -- money nearly wasted.
"The money is there," said Rachel Lopez from the Hispanic Forum of Mesquite. "Last year we were in a position where we had very few scholarship applicants and we had the money allocated for scholarships. So there was a potential of more than a $1000 that could not have been used."
But some students don't think getting scholarships is that easy. Former Mesquite ISD student and Eastfield student Chelsea Lamb said she spends nearly 20 hours a week applying for scholarships.
"I wish it was easier to get picked and I have applied for a lot and I still haven't received one, so you really don't know, you have to keep going and keep going," said Lamb.
"I applied for at least 10-12 and I got one," added student Rachel Calhoun.
"I feel like I was lucky to go in and get it but I don't think it's as easy, said Karen Macias.
Mesquite Independent School District said regardless of how competitive the scholarship process is, about 70 percent of students apply for scholarship and that percentage has been the same for the last few years. The district said some scholarship rules and processes can be intimidating for families.
"They tell their students, work hard, we want you to go to college, but they don't understand the details of how things work and that's where Mesquite counselors come in to give them access to those things," said Leslie Noble, West Mesquite High School Counselor.
Counselors work individually with students applying for scholarships, provide easier computer access for students wanting to research scholarship applications.